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Teaching Kids to Declutter
An Underbed Box can store a couple years’ worth of mini masterpieces

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Kids Organization Solutions
Teaching Kids to Declutter
Create a place for everything and kids will be more likely to put everything in its place.

Clear plastic storage bins are the perfect tools for organizing children’s things. They allow kids to see what’s inside—no need to dump everything out in search of what they want—and the boxes come in many sizes so they can be filled with everything from train sets to hair barrettes.

Best of all, clear bins help kids put things in the proper place because they’re able to see easily where stuff goes. Start early and involve kids in the organizing decisions, and you’ll instill smart habits that will last forever.

Prolific young artists can create a masterpiece a day. Encourage them to display only their favorite works in a place of prominence, and tuck the others away for safekeeping. Create a dedicated gallery space—hang cork board or magnet strips, for example, above a child’s desk or down a hallway—so kids can easily rotate in new paintings and drawings. For retired artwork, keep a plastic storage box someplace where it will be easy to access, such as under the bed or on the closet floor.

Kids are natural collectors—rocks, shells, marbles, tiny cars. Keep collections contained yet easy to enjoy in small see-through plastic bins. Stack several on a shelf or inside a closet and use colorful letter stickers to label them; for those who are too little to read, tape digital photographs to the fronts. If a collection is large, use multiple bins and let kids decide how to sort and organize the items, whether by color or which ones are their favorites.

Does the mountain of toys in your house grow faster than the kids do? One key to containing this clutter is to rotate their playthings. Every season, for instance, let youngsters choose the toys they are most into and store the rest.

Better still, encourage kids to regularly donate toys they no longer use. They may be more willing if you make it interesting and easy. Let them help you choose the charity their used toys will go to and, if possible, visit the destination (say, if it’s a women’s shelter). Keep a bin labeled for donations someplace prominent—in the child’s closet or by the back door–so they will be reminded of their good intentions.