Are you frustrated by how quickly your child’s bedroom becomes cluttered and disorganized? Does it turn chaotic as soon as you’re done tidying up? You’re not alone. For many parents, a messy kid’s bedroom is a source of conflict and annoyance, both for them and their child. The child doesn’t like being nagged, while the parents despair about their child’s disorganization and uncleanliness.
However, keeping a child’s bedroom tidy doesn’t have to be a never-ending fight. With the right strategies, you can teach your kids bedroom organization skills they can use throughout their lives. The following guidelines can help them learn to tackle the mess to keep their bedroom clean and organized.
1. Simplify the process
Children can be easily overwhelmed by a big task, like tidying a messy bedroom. When toys and clothes are strewn everywhere, getting organized can seem like an impossible goal. The child can get stuck not knowing where to begin or what to do.
The more you can simplify the task, the easier it will seem to your child. For example, you can give your child a list of easy things to do, like “put all your clothes on the bed” and then “sort out dirty and clean clothes.” These bite-sized tasks will keep your kid on track by limiting the decisions they need to make. You can even use the same list every time, so the process becomes familiar.
Another way to simplify the chore is by cutting down on the amount of stuff in the kid’s room. To accomplish this feat, you can divide the room into sections and go through each part together. The kid can decide what will stay in the room, what will be stored, and what will be donated.
Although this process will take longer initially, it’ll make tidying their room much faster in the future. With fewer things, the mess will seem less overwhelming, helping the kid to clean up independently. Besides, being able to sort out what’s important versus what’s unnecessary is a good skill to learn for staying organized as an adult, too.
2. Create an organizational system that works
Children can follow simple tasks and make yes-and-no decisions, but they might have trouble thinking of an effective organizational system. In other words, if you leave the organizational design of your child’s room entirely up to them, you might be disappointed with the results.
Instead, work together with your child to create an organizational system that’s tailored to their needs and personality. For instance, for a young child, you might want to take off the closet door to make putting away clothes easier. You can also put open plastic baskets on the floor with labels to identify what goes in each one. If your child struggles with reading, trying using picture labels instead of words.
Ultimately, you want an organizational system that makes tidying up as easy as possible. If this system still isn’t working, you can simplify their room even more by putting seasonal clothes and certain toys into storage. Consider using a “toy library,” where stored toys are regularly swapped out for current toys. Then, your child will not only have a tidier room, but also “fresh” toys to play with.
3. Make tidying up a habit
The messier a bedroom gets, the harder it is to clean up. That’s why it’s important to make your kids bedroom organization a daily routine, rather than a once-a-week or once-a-month ordeal.
To make organization a habit, you can try combining it with an established routine, like bedtime. Depending on the child’s age, it might help to create a list of activities, such as brushing teeth and putting on pajamas. Then, you can add tidying up to the list. When your child gets used to this new routine, they’ll find it easier to keep their room clean without your help (or nagging).
In some ways, children are not so different from adults. Keeping your home organized is easier if there’s a routine, as well as fewer things and a clear organizational system. To understand your kids’ struggles with organization, you need only to think of your own struggles and remember that they’re people, too.