Post shared from: www.froddo.com, author: Ana G.
If your child’s bedroom resembles the aftermath of a tornado, you are not alone. “Messy” is the default state for most children’s rooms. Kids typically leave clothes and toys strewn about with the idea they will come back to them later. At best, these items are piled on the floor of the closet or under the bed where they are at least out of sight.
The lack of organization can make it almost impossible to find needed items, especially on a busy school morning. The majority of parents procrastinate organizing their child’s closet because the task appears so daunting, and they are afraid they don’t have enough time. The following tips will help you get your child’s closet ship-shape quickly and easily.
1. Take Everything Out of the Closet
The first step is to create a blank slate. You should start by taking everything out of your child’s closet. This will allow you to see exactly what is in the closet, so you can sort the items later.Make sure you set aside items that do not actually belong in your child’s room, such as overflow clothes from your closet or the extra sleeping bag that could be better stored somewhere else. Once you empty the closet, you should analyze the space and assign areas for specific items such as shoes, clothes, toys, and hampers.
2. Divide the Items into Categories
It is now time to divide the items you removed from the closet into separate piles. The easiest way is to start with at least five large buckets, bins, or even extra-large trash bags. You should label the bins with the following categories:
- Wear Now: These items should be seasonably appropriate items in your child’s current size.
- Too Big: These are items that you may have purchased or had given to you that are one to two sizes too big for your child at this time. Store these clothes in labeled bins according to size so you can get to them when your child is big enough.
- For Storage: You will use this category if you have younger children in the house that will use the items later. This bin is for clothes or toys that your child has outgrown. Make sure all items are still in good condition. You can organize things further by dividing them according to age, sex, and size.
- Give Away: This bin is for the items that your child no longer uses or has outgrown but are still in good condition. You can give the items to a friend or family member, donate to a charity, or even turn them into cash at a garage sale.
- Trash: This stack is for no longer used items that are broken or too worn to be donated, given away, or stored for your younger children.
Remember, you have to be somewhat ruthless when it comes to the “give away” and “trash” bins. Your child may tell you that a particular shirt or toy is their absolute favorite; however, if they haven’t worn or played with the item in months it is probably time to let it go.
Get Down to Your Child’s Level
You should look at the closet from your child’s perspective. Most closet bars and shelves are at an adult height, which makes it difficult for your child to put things away on their own. You may want to consider lowering the bar, adding a second bar, or even adding additional child-height shelves. Bars and shelves can easily be adjusted as your child grows. With a few minor changes to the closet, your child will not have an excuse for not hanging up their clothes.
3. Group Like Items
When you return clothes to the rack, make sure to keep like items together. For example, all the shirts should be in one area, all skirts in another, and so forth. You can purchase or even download printable closet dividers to help with the process. These dividers will also help your child keep their closet organized by letting them know exactly where items belong.
Other helpful tools include adjustable hangers that grow with your child and premade closet organizers and shelving units. For younger children, you might find it useful to have a small selection of pre-matched outfits in the center of the closet so the children can learn to dress themselves.
4. Organize Items that Cannot Be Hung
The next step is to tackle the items that cannot be hung. You may want to consider adding shelves for things like toys or games.Hanging canvas shelves or putting a small dresser in the closet is perfect for storing items such as PJs and underwear.Door organizers and small plastic bins can be used for smaller items such as belts and other accessories.
5. Use Storage Bins and Containers
You should make storage bins your new best friends. It is best to start with clear containers without lids so you and your child can easily see what is inside. It is important to make sure each bin is properly labeled. You can use preprinted labels, erasable labels, or even pictures of the contents. This will help you and your child return things to their proper place. The bins should be organized according to similar items such as art supplies, beach gear, and board games. Of course, you should put the least used or out of season items on the higher shelves.
6. Put the Shoes Away
Children’s shoes typically end up in a jumbled mess on the closet floor, and the pair rarely stays together. This can be a major time-waster on a hectic school morning. You can eliminate this problem by creating a designated area just for shoes. Open shelving, door hangers, or stackable plastic baskets are good alternatives to the traditional shoe rack. You can also use storage bins for out of season shoes and dance or sports gear.
7. Sort Through Toys
Toys often take up the most space in a child’s closet and can be the most difficult items to sort and store. The following guide can help make sense of the clutter:
- Invest in a variety of plastic containers and bins. It is best to use clear containers with lids that can be easily removed. You should make sure you have containers in different shapes and sizes to accommodate the various types of toys.
- Sort the toys according to size and type, and match them with the appropriately sized container. For example, balls or large stuffed animals go in a large container and art supplies in a smaller container.
- Make sure each bin is clearly marked with the contents.Pictures on the outside of the bin will make it easier to identify what is inside and ensure that the items are put back in the correct place.
- Place the bins back into the closet strategically. You should avoid stacking bins. Your child will inevitably want something in the bottom bin. It is best to store the bins horizontally, so you can pull out what you need easily.
9. Consider Using a Curtain
You should consider replacing your child’s closet door with a curtain. Sliding or bi-fold closet doors can be difficult for younger children to manage and can even pinch tiny fingers. A curtain is a practical way to hide the closet contents while giving your little one easy access. Curtains also come in a broad range of colors and styles, so they can be customized to match the rest of your child’s room.
10. Maintain Closet Order
A few final touches can help you maintain the organization that you just achieved.
- Make sure your child has a hamper or laundry basket nearby for dirty clothes. The clothes are less likely to end up on the floor if the hamper is within easy reach.
- Keep a spare bin marked “too small” for items that your child outgrows. Once you determine that your child has outgrown an item, immediately put it in the bin. You can then sort through the bin every three to four months to determine what can be donated or given to friends and family.
- Check the contents of the “too big” bin every couple of months. There may be items that your child has grown into that can be added to the clothing rotation.
- Take a few minutes each day to straighten up, and make sure everything is back in the appropriate place.
Organizing your child’s room doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. The key is to edit the belongings and make sure you create a place for everything. You can actually make it a fun project for you and your child to work on together. They can pick out bins, baskets, and other organizers, in order to give their room a more personal touch. You can even engage your child’s creative side by letting them decorate the different containers with their own labels and pictures.