If you have children you know that they bring so much joy and love into your life… but they can also bring in some mess too! Getting and staying organized with kids can be a challenge, and sometimes it can feel like it’s just never going to happen. But I have good news to share. Kids can get organized and stay organized too.
The key is getting them involved. In this blog, I’m sharing some tips on how to get organized with kids.
Tips for Getting and Staying Organized with Kids
Edit the Excess
If you take nothing else away from this post let it be this - the key to staying organized is to eliminate the excess. We are constantly accumulating stuff. Birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays are always times we find ourselves bringing more into the home.
It might not be easy to see at first, but over time toys and clothes will accumulate until you feel like your space is ready to explode. No amount of organizing bins will help if you have too much stuff for your space.
My recommendation is to edit at least once every 4 months. Get your children involved in this since it is their stuff too. As a Professional Organizer that has worked in children’s spaces before this is something that can totally be done! Kids might be hesitant at first, but I find it is always helpful to explain that the toys and clothes are not getting thrown away, but instead being given to another child that doesn’t have new clothes, or toys to play with. That small mindset change helps them to decide the things they are ready to part with.
Create Easy to Maintain Systems
If the system is difficult for you to maintain, it certainly won’t be any easier for your children. The simpler the system, the simpler it will be for your child to understand, making clean-up a breeze.
Simple systems can be things like using open-top bins so toys are easy to drop right in. Picture labels to show where items go are also incredibly helpful for children to see visually where their toys and clothes belong.
If you feel like you are constantly tripping over book bags and shoes, create a drop zone in your mudroom or entryway with hooks and bins so kids have a place to hang their bags and place their shoes. If your children do sports, create a designated spot where their uniforms and equipment go so they never get lost. .
Most importantly, have patience. Even if the system is simple it will take a bit of routine to get this down so it’s always helpful to encourage your kids to use the systems that have been set up for them. Remember, it’s ok to involve your children in picking up their toys and putting away their clothes. This provides them with a sense of accomplishment and responsibility.
I briefly mentioned this above but labels make a huge difference in maintaining an organized space, especially for kids. The great thing about labels is that it keeps everyone accountable for where things belong.
With a ton of variety to choose from you can add simple handwritten labels, printed ones, chalkboard ones, or even picture labels. It's totally up to what works for you!
Plan for Paper
The amount of paper that comes with one kid can be overwhelming. School papers, artwork, appointments, medical information, etc. It's a lot and if you don’t have a system to manage it, it will take over your countertops.
I recommend creating a file box drop zone. You can label a folder for each child, or create individual folders for their different activities, but using a file box keeps papers sorted, safe, and prevents clutter.
Read this post for even more information about how to organize children’s school papers.
Grant Some Grace
It can be easy to get caught up in the images you see on social media of these perfect spaces with no mess, but remember this: social media is a highlight real. No one is going to openly show their messy kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink, or the living room that is covered in toys.
No one has a completely clutter-free life 100% of the time and that’s ok. Life happens, messes happen, and they always will. So don’t lose your peace or temper over it. These tips aren’t to get you to have a house that has immaculate rooms that never get cluttered or messy. They are designed to help you create systems so that when it does come time to tidy it will be easier, take less time, and take some of the burdens off of you.
Need Help? We are Here
As always we are huge advocates for outsourcing things in your life you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, and organizing is no exception. If you need some help clearing out the clutter from your home or organizing your children’s space we are here to help.
Click to schedule a consultation with us and get started.
Bonus! Download our favorite children's labels to help you get your little one organized.