As a child, I remember forever rummaging around in a huge toy chest attempting to find the one Barbie shoe I was missing. The shoe was usually at the bottom of the chest. Consequently, the room was strewn with the contents of the toy chest. Neither my mom nor I liked the result of finding one small toy.
Organizing a space can feel daunting, especially a child’s play area. Don’t worry, darling, we have you covered with six steps to creating a space for the kids to make both mom and child happy – and get you set for the new school year.
Step 1: Evaluate the space and what you need
The key to efficient organizing is knowing what you need before you get started. Think about the space you are working to create. Is it a separate play room or a part of the bedroom? Do you need shelving, baskets or other supplies? Take measurements and get all of your supplies ahead of time.
Step 2: Occupy the kiddos
This is key to successful organizing! It is hard to accomplish a task when breaking up fights and making snacks every ten minutes. Consider the age of your children. Usually over the age of four or five, kids can be a part of the organizing process with specific tasks and directions (sorting trains or puzzle pieces).
If you have babies or toddlers or simply want to do it on your own, find a time where you won’t be constantly interrupted. A new movie (or even 2 or 3 in a row, let’s just be honest) or new toy can go a long way to giving you focused time while the kids are engaged with something. Putting a baby or toddler in a high chair with an activity also keeps them safe and occupied.
Step 3: Just do it
Organizing is a lot like exercising. You have to just do it. There are always plenty of excuses. Once you start, you have done the hardest part. So jump into the mess and just do it!
Step 4: Take it in chunks
Walking into a mess is overwhelming. Divide it into less overwhelming steps. Start off with cleaning up any trash. Move onto picking up anything that doesn’t belong in the room and placing it out in the hallway to put away later. Next focus on cleaning and organizing one set of toys at a time (e.g. puzzles or dolls).
Step 5: Organize for the kids
Think about what your kids love to play with the most and make sure it is accessible for them. Put their favorite books on their eye level. Put their basket of trains where it won’t be hard for them to reach. Consider creative ideas and baskets for stuffed animals and dolls. The key to successful organization is creating a space that makes sense for your kids. Put things in places that are easy to get to, and organize them in a way that it is easy for your kids to repeat when it comes to pick-up time.
Consider rotating out toys every few months. It will feel like Christmas because kids get bored just like we do.
Check out this list of 41 Clever Organizational Ideas for your Child’s Playroom over on Buzzfeed.
Step 6: Create family rules on clean up
Even the youngest of children can help keep a space somewhat tidy with supervision. The time you spent organizing won’t make a difference, if it’s not maintained. Decide what matters to you and talk to your children about their responsibility in helping taking care of their space and things.