One of my biggest complaints with my kids is that they're messy. I can't stand clutter -- it drives me insane. My daughter is a huge offender because she likes to put things in bags. So her room would look like we just shopped out the entire mall if I let her store her items like that. One of the most important things to remember is that you have to provide your child with the tools that they need to get and stay organized and come up with some creative storage solutions when you're short on space. What do we do to keep the kids' rooms organized? Here's a few things that we do to keep things neat and tidy.
1. Re-evaluate toys for age appropriateness at least twice a year. Clutter can be caused by having too many toys that are no longer age appropriate. Keep their favorites tucked away in a special bin and donate/sell/giveaway the rest. This tip is especially important for younger children since they outgrow toys as often as they outgrow clothes!
2. Bins for specific toys. My son has a ton of Legos (and I mean a ton!). Therefore, to keep them all in the same place for better playtime fun, we have an established bin where all Legos go. This is a sanity saver since Legos tend to wander like nomads in my house. It also helps because when I say, "Put these Legos away." my son knows exactly where they go without hesitation.
3. Ensure you have adequate closet shelving. When we painted our daughter's room, one of the side projects was installing extra closet shelving to give her more storage space. Toys and games that she rarely used go on the top shelf. See tip one - don't forget the top shelf when you're clearing out toys.
4. Save those wipe tubs! Baby wipes tubs are great for storing small objects. Use a Sharpie to mark what is inside when stacking them in the closet.
5. Preserve toys' boxes. While a child might be tempted to tear open the box the toy came in, it is important to try to preserve the boxes whenever you can. My son has a few Hot Wheels sets and I'd never be able to tell them apart if they were lumped into all one bin. On top of that, it is nice to put everything back into the box it came in for storage reasons. Also, when my son outgrows the toy, it is good to have all of the pieces for when I give it away.
6. Ziploc baggies are your friend. My kids know that one of mom's rules is: I don't keep broken toys. And I don't! I can remember playing Clue with a yellow wire nut because we lost Colonel Mustard. I enforce the Ziploc rule that if your game has small pieces, you need to put them all in Ziploc baggies and store them with the toy.
7. Creative use of storage space. Think outside of the box. I recently purchased some wire stackable locker organizers in hot pink for my daughter to use in her room for extra storage. They can be used stacked or apart to add extra space by allowing us to place items underneath and on top. I even bought extra to use in my pantry.
8. Clothes on the floor. Both of my kids are guilty of this cluttering nightmare. Kids know when their clothes don't fit and will throw their cast offs on the floor. When you do laundry, check the sizes and set aside anything that looks too small for donation later. Go through their dressers each season and pull out clothing that they've outgrown.
9. Bins for underneath the bed. This is a storage technique we use in my daughter's pink room. We purchased some slim, fabric bins for under the bed storage. She uses them for doll clothes, books, and more. Best of all, they slide in and out easily and are nice enough that though you can see them under the bed, they hide what's inside because of their fabric covering.
10. Stuffed animal net. My kids refuse to part with stuffed animals and having them all over the floor made their rooms look more like a zoo than a bedroom. We purchased inexpensive nets to house their burgeoning collections. This got them up off the floor where they had no real home to go to other than a bed, which meant that each night, they ended up on the floor again. Use nets for stuffed animals and dolls in a girl's room to make the most out of your available space.
These tips will help you get your kids' rooms ship shape in no time and if you have any tips to share, please leave a comment below.
Hot Wheels has introduced a new must-have toy that I know my son will be begging for called Wall Tracks™. These Hot Wheels tracks actually are mounted on your child's wall, how cool is that? Best of all -- no floor clutter! Once my son put together a Hot Wheels set, he never wanted to take it apart since it was a lot of work to put it together in the first place. So I know he'll love the Wall Tracks and my husband will too since he's a kid at heart. Take a look at this YouTube video:
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
About the sponsor
About Hot Wheels®
Since 1968, Hot Wheels® has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. With a fan base of more than 41 million people, Hot Wheels® is the No. 1 vehicle property in the United States producing the coolest cars imaginable. The Hot Wheels® brand began as a line of 16 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a true, global lifestyle brand for boys of all ages with segments that range from aftermarket parts to licensed apparel to branded digital content from Team Hot Wheels™, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts.
More on Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ sets: http://www.hotwheels.com/walltracks
More info on Hot Wheels®: http://www.hotwheels.com