Kids Organization Solutions
The ABCs of Organizing
Teach your kids to conquer clutter with these fundamental tips
Everyone appreciates being organized—it’s an essential part of daily life, whether at work, home or even at play. But let’s face it: not many of us look forward to the process of getting organized. Maybe an early start is the answer: instilling organizational values at a young age, so that orderliness is a habit your children can readily embrace. It doesn’t have to be all work. Here are some great ideas to help you get your kids organized in fun, creative ways.
A - As with all tidying tasks, the first step is to purge. It’s a good idea to get your children involved right from this stage. Help them go through their toys and throw out any that are broken or have missing pieces. Also ask them to decide which ones they no longer play with, and then donate those. If your little ones seem hesitant about parting with their rarely used games, explain that they’re helping other children by passing on things that they don’t need any more.
B - Now you know the types and the amount of items that need to be stored. Sort the toys into categories that work best for you and your child. Some ideas: action figures, building blocks, books, board games, dolls and art supplies. Or better yet, have the kids decide the categories. Since they’ll be the ones playing with and putting away the toys, it’s best if the groupings make sense to them. This activity lets them be a bit imaginative and also gives them responsibility of keeping their toys organized.
C - Select containers to hold each category. Clever Store™ containers come in a variety of sizes and are excellent for storing anything from cars and trucks to construction sets. They have snap-shut latches so it’s easy to hear when the lid’s closed properly. Clever Store™ containers are also available in a wide range of sizes and their transparent sides let you view contents at a glance. They’re perfect for holding art supplies and action heroes. Easy Find Lids™ containers are perfect for organizing smaller items into categories—one container for toy cars, another for crafts, etc. And the lids snap on to their bases, so there’s no misplacing them. Best of all, one lid fits multiple bases, so finding a match is always a cinch. They’re not only safe for the microwave and freezer, but they’re also dishwasher-safe, which means they can be easily sanitized for later food storage.
- Instead of labeling containers with words, have kids draw examples of what’s stored inside. For instance, with toys and trucks, they may draw a picture of a car. It’s a fun project and the illustrations make it simple to identify what goes where, especially for younger ones who can’t read yet. For the kids who can, let them use Sharpies or a DYMO labelmaker to clearly mark the containers
- Containers should be easily accessible. Children should be able to quickly find what they want and easily put it back into its place within minutes. This helps kids understand that tidying up doesn’t have to be a chore. Plus, if they can do it by themselves, and it doesn’t take long to complete, they’ll be more likely to do it automatically.
- Implement a “one-out, one-in” rule for older kids. If a child is playing with Lego™ then wants to switch gears and play with Transformers™, the Lego needs to go back into its storage container. A bit of flexibility on this rule is fine; the significance is understanding the concept that if a toy’s not being played with, it needs to be put away before another can be taken out. There’ll be less to put away at the end of the day, and there’s less chance the floor will be littered with toys
- Use open storage like colorful baskets and totes for the living room. They can be placed under the coffee table or beside a sofa, and they’re a great idea for any frequently used toys. Once playtime is over, children can quickly pick up their belongings and toss them into the container for the next play session. Swap toys out every week or so, for a fresh new supply to re-discover.
- Encourage kids to clean up by making it into a game. Play one of your child’s favorite songs and see how many toys he can pick up before the music stops. Teachers have been using variations of this method for years, and say it always works like a charm!