Playrooms and kids' rooms are often some of the hardest spaces to organize. Finding a good balance of knowing when the toys are taking over but also keeping a wide range of options to foster creativity and fun is a challenge. Organizing for kids is a hard task. While respecting what an individual child enjoys playing with, there are ways to purge without ending up with lots of tears over toys that are missed.
1. Talk with your kids about what happens to toys that they let go of. Help them see the story that they play a part in when they donate toys to children that may not have toys to play with like they do. If you have a child that gets excited to participate in the process of purging, let them be a part of the process. Ask them which toys they would like to share with a less fortunate child.
2. If your child isn't as willing to let go of things, take a few weeks to intentionally notice what toys they spend the most time playing with and which toys are neglected, or maybe they have grown out of. For children less willing to purge when the toys are taking over, try boxing up all of the toys that you believe they are done with. Keep the box in a hidden location for two weeks and if they haven't noticed or don't seem to mind that the toy is gone, give it away. Concentrate on helping your children value relationships more than things.
3. Specific toys to keep: Try to keep toys that help foster creativity, furthering education, and thinking skills. Art and Craft supplies, dress up clothes, building blocks, games, etc.
4. If your kids share a room, help them make their own space feel special. Sometimes kids need their own space and sometimes they need to learn how to share space well. Whether your kids share a room or have their own, making an effort to hang their favorite poster, frame their best art creation(s), create a reading nook, or frame a photo of your child with their best friend can make them feel proud of their own space and, hopefully, lead to taking more responsibility of keeping it in order.
5. Kids clothes.
It's amazing how quickly kids grow out of their clothing. This is an ongoing process. Each season, go through each closet and toss or donate items that are worn out or no longer fit. If you have younger kids that will grow into things in the future, just keep the well maintained items & box up clothing by size and sex and store somewhere other than their closet if you have the storage space available. When it comes to kids closets, make sure items are stored in a way that makes it easy for them to become more independent. Can they reach the things they need to? Is it obvious where things go?
6. Kid storage.
Coming up with a way to organize toys and games that is conducive to kids can be complicated. Bins can be a great help as a solution. This unit has the ability to do both store in bins and on shelves which can be helpful with multiple shapes of toys. Getting items off the floor and onto shelves or in bins is a must.
7. Kids books. The best advice here is have lots to choose from on shelves that your kids can easily reach. Color coordinating can be a fun project for kids and is much more practical in re-shelving than alphabetically.
8. Art supplies. Which supplies do you want them to be able to access without you present? Which supplies do you only want used with adult supervision? This changes with age so reorganizing is necessary over time. Going through and tossing broken, dried up etc. Storing in a way that allows kids to participate in clean up process. I've had great success over the years with a small chest of 4 drawers. It has grown with the kids starting with a drawer for play-doh, one for wooden puzzles, one with all kinds of paper to now holding all sorts of markers, paints, clay & older kids art items.
As always, HYD is here to help if you're needing a little boost to get these projects started. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 865.245.9080.