With the Scottish long, cold season now well underway and the reality of more time spent in our homes due to social distancing, I thought a room organisation guide, starting with keeping kids’ rooms and belongings tidy, might come in handy.
Any parent who has tackled the task knows it can be an uphill battle. Generally, we tend to purchase more than we let go of, which can cause piling that over time becomes unmanageable. But what we should all be aware of is that getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want less housework?
Kids’ rooms – and sometimes our entire homes – can quickly become an accumulation of discarded clothes, toys, books and school items all jumbled up in a heart-sinking mess.
Managing our family belongings can have overall wellbeing effects way beyond a tidier, visually pleasing space. A decluttered kids’ room makes a more serene space, is easier to clean and dust and brings physical and mental benefits to its inhabitants.
So, where should you start? As a guiding principle, when it comes to organising kids’ rooms – less is definitely more. The fewer items we own the less mess we can make, the less we have to clean, maintain and store, and the more manageable our homes become.
For me, it’s not about striving for minimalism or having a house that is stark and clinical but rather having a home that is practical, clutter-free and calm.
Having a routine in place to manage what our kids own, as well as an overall aim to become more sustainable, needn’t be stressful or overwhelming. Here’s my guide to a Better Organised space that is easy to maintain.
Install a donation station! This can be a box with an ON ITS WAY OUT label. Place small clothes, unwanted items and toys the kids have outgrown straight into the box. When it fills up, you can decide to donate, recycle or sell.
By all means, also add a memorabilia box – this acts as a storage limit but lets you keep those beloved items that you and your children will love looking at over the years. It is very easy to photograph and store artwork projects on a cloud folder – so you can be pretty ruthless with paperwork, drawings and bulky school art projects. For more tips on this, here’s my advice on creating your own kids’ art gallery – https://www.betterorganised.uk/blog/create-your-own-kids-art-gallery/
A toy rotation system is another quick way of keeping less on the bedroom floor at any given moment. Keep one chest of toys out of sight for a couple of months, then rotate with the toys available for play. It will be like a brand-new set of toys every other month. Less floor clutter and the surprising discovery of forgotten toys can be doubly exciting.
Firstly, you might need to sell them the idea: freeing up floor space to do dance practise, for example. Taking items to charity shops teaches kids about helping others. Doing a car boot sale with kids can be a fun way for them to earn some pocket money while letting go of items in a sustainable way.
“Keep it simple. If you feel like it’s getting too complicated, it probably is. Focus on a few key areas and the actions you can take to hit your goals.”
Brian P Moran & Michael Lennington
This works great for adults but is very handy for kids too. At the change of season, see what tops, bottoms, outerwear and shoes still fit and put everything else in your donation station. Buy strategically to fill in the gaps in the wardrobe but keep the number of items small – that will mean less clutter, less laundry and less storage too. After all, kids grow out of their clothes so quickly, and right now social opportunities are rather limited, so it is a good time to experiment with a limited capsule wardrobe.
Who doesn’t love toys? And right now, they can be a saving line for all parents who want to avoid the dreaded “I’M BORED”. My first recommendation when it comes to toy collections – besides the previously mentioned toy rotation system – is curate, curate, curate! Start a “best toys for age group” wish list and invest in good quality, durable toys. It is more environmentally friendly and you will avoid tons of cheap half broken pieces that will end up in landfill almost immediately.
Secondly, see if you can purchase experiences instead of actual objects: outdoors activities or adventures, farm park season tickets, cinema gift cards, a course or classes (horse-riding, dancing, go-karting etc.) are a few of my favourites. The memories of these outings will far outlive anything plastic or electronic.
I hang as much as possible on the clothing front. These extendable hangers are great as they can fit small t-shirts etc., but then adjust as kids grow. You can order a set that comes with a mix of hangers, some including hooks for trousers.
For small items, toys, craft supplies, socks, undies, I think you might like these transparent hanging storage bowls; they are super cute and ideal for where there is dead space i.e. behind a door or inside a wardrobe.
A few more space-saving storage ideas:
– hooks/pegs can be good for things like backpacks, dressing up costumes etc., and can work well under a mid-sleeper – perhaps above/beside an Ikea Trofast unit if space permits
– floating shelves work well for books, figures, Lego character collections and other displays – read my previous post on better organised Lego here.
– a large toy chest (or simple box with lid) to contain soft toys in an instant.
If you would like some ideas for decluttering and organising your own bedroom, read this previous post. Also, browse the online store and discover my book, A Better Organised Home in 30 Days, as well as other printable resources, one-off decluttering sessions you can gift – and so much more.
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