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Six Tips for Decluttering and Organizing Your Kids’ Spaces Like a Pro, and Why it’s Important -

Six Tips for Decluttering and Organizing Your Kids’ Spaces Like a Pro, and Why it’s Important -

Six Tips for Decluttering and Organizing Your Kids’ Spaces Like a Pro,
and Why it’s Important

Nassim Secci
Founder of The Happy Space Co. 

One of the most problematic areas to keep decluttered and organized is our kids’ spaces.  Kids grow like weeds, needing new clothes and shoes all the time.  They are also constantly changing developmentally, needing new toys, new crafts, new activities.  This means you are accumulating more and more all the time.  Parents, we feel you!  A lot is working against you in keeping your kids’ spaces tidy, organized, and decluttered!

 

Here are six tips for decluttering and organizing kids’ spaces:

TIP #1

Create a system for clothing, including “grow into” items.

Kids are constantly outgrowing their clothes.  Without a sound clothing organization system in place, you might not realize what you are missing in the next size, or you end up with too many of one category and too few of another. 

 

For kids under two, this is particularly important as they are outgrowing sizes every few months. We recommend a system where you sort clothes by size, and the next sizes are visible or at the ready.  If you’re using drawers, file folding will help you see everything at once.

We recommend using drawer dividers to keep the file folding in order.  Create as many rows as you can and group the clothes by size.  Within each size, sort the clothing by type (e.g., tops, bottoms, pajamas).  Then use labels for each row to indicate the size.

Hanging clothes dividers are similarly helpful in organizing by size in a wardrobe. Put the current size on the most accessible side of the rod, with the next sizes going toward the harder-to-reach area.

For older kids, it will take longer for your kids to grow into the next size.  In that case, you might prefer to store them in a container that you can place in a hard-to-reach area – up high in a wardrobe or under the bed.  You can do the same for seasonal clothes.  Store them in a place that you can’t access easily, so you save your more accessible storage areas for other items.  Make sure to label these containers so you know what’s inside.

TIP #2

Develop a toy rotation system

Our kids have a lot of toys.  One of the best ways to create a toy storage system is to put a rotation system in place.  This way kids don’t feel overwhelmed with all their choices and don’t lose appreciation for the toys they see every day but choose to ignore.

We recommend setting up the rotation system by category.  First, sort your kids’ toys by category, such as legos, puzzles, play-doh, giving each category its own container.  We recommend clear containers of different sizes from the same set.

You can find great options at Japan Home or IKEA.  If you have a lot of one category (such as puzzles), you can split it in two.  Then you can include that category in two rounds of rotation (e.g., “Puzzles 1” and “Puzzles 2”).  Second, number the containers according to the rotation. Put a number 1 on the containers for week 1 and so on.  You can have two rounds of toys for rotation or more.

This system can help you determine whether some toys need to be permanently taken out of rotation.  Keep those toys out of the rotation system for a few rounds.  If your kids haven’t asked about it and have taken to other or more age-appropriate toys, then consider it your permission to get rid of it.  Take them to Retykle or donate.  If you want to keep them, see the next tip.

TIP #3

Prepare a system for sale items, donations, keepsakes, and saving for baby no. 2+. 

The key to staying organized when it comes to items you are no longer using is to create a designated place for them.  Prepare a labeled container for things you want to get rid of and those you wish to keep.   

For clothing, it can be as simple as a paper bag from Retykle to keep items for donation and sale.  Once it is full, separate what you are sending to Retykle and what you’d like to donate to charity or friends, and send them out.  Put clothing that is almost too small and your kids never or barely wore at the forefront of the wardrobe or drawer, so you remember that you want your kids to wear them.  It will also make it easier to remember to rotate them out.

For toy donations, you might want to keep a container in a storeroom or if you don’t have the space, get them out the door as soon as you can. 

As for keepsakes, designate a container as well. If you plan to keep it under the bed, you can use a fabric box that zips closed or a wide, flat container that you can find at IKEA.  If you plan to put it in a closet or wardrobe, you’ll want a sturdy container that is not too wide. The IKEA Samla series is a practical, inexpensive option.

Another option for keepsake clothes is to have them created into a soft toy or cushion. Check out this UK company that does just that: https://www.edieandjoe.com/memory-keepsakes.

The above containers are also useful for the clothing you’d like to save for a second/third/fourth baby. Group the clothing by size. Before you fold the items and put them away, consider taking pictures of batches of clothes to file in a folder on your phone or computer. That way you won’t need to take everything out to be reminded of what you have. 

TIP #4

Create a system for your kids’ artwork.

Our kids create a ton of artwork and having a system to deal with them will help create order and eliminate clutter.  Create an artwork filing system, like the one pictured. Have one for each child separated by age. Keep only the most notable items to conserve space. Remember you can take a picture or video of it and create a folder on your phone or computer for everything else. Some companies that create beautiful books for you like ArtKive or the Keepy App are also a helpful option.

TIP #5

Create a “clean-up” bin to encourage putting their things back where they belong.

To get your kids in the habit of cleaning up after themselves, add an empty “clean-up bin” to your night routine.  Walk around your home to gather your kids’ belongings with them. With younger kids, you can treat it like a treasure hunt.

For older kids, it serves as a practical way to carry their things back to their room.  For multiple kids, it could become a game of who can fill up their bin first. The next step would be to encourage them to put everything from that bin back to their rightful place. 

 

TIP #6

Declutter before or immediately after birthdays, holidays, and moves.

Some of the best occasions to purge are around the time of an influx of kids’ clothes and toys.  That is usually their birthday and gift-giving holidays, like Christmas.  Or when you expect a generous overseas visitor, like grandparents (back when that was still happening!)

With older kids, you could go through the process together.  They might be more willing to part with some old items with the new ones glistening in front of them.  It serves as an excellent opportunity to teach them about giving to the less fortunate, appreciating their possessions, and letting go.

Remember, that you are not obligated to keep gifts.  It might feel uncomfortable to hear this, but just because it was a gift, it doesn’t mean it has to stay with your family forever.  You are allowed to get rid of it.

Another great opportunity to declutter is in preparation for moving.  It is a time that you need to take everything out anyway.  And you get to reduce the amount of stuff you need to pack up and lug into your new home.

Why organization matters for Parents.

As parents, we benefit tremendously from having a decluttered space.  Let’s be honest, parenting can be difficult.  Add to the mix every other aspect of life: work, family, fitness, social life.  It’s a lot.   

Having a decluttered home helps us tackle the stresses of life more easily.  It helps us feel calmer, in control, and put together. An organized home also helps with the practical aspects of raising kids.  It helps you know exactly what you need to buy for your kids because everything has its place, and you can see it easily.  An organized space also prevents us from overbuying, which is terrible for the environment and can create expectations in our kids that we might not be comfortable with. 

It helps with the organization of the family’s schedules.  Knowing where the equipment for extracurricular activities is, for example, helps get to the activities on time.  It also creates mental space to organize kids’ weekly activities, doctor’s visits, dental appointments, haircuts, and everything in between.

The benefits of an organized space are numerous for kids.  It teaches them to respect their possessions and their spaces.  Kids today have more possessions than ever.  Keeping it decluttered and organized teaches them to value their possessions.

Just as it’s calming for adults, it is also calming for kids.  Kids get overstimulated more easily than us.  Giving them organized spaces can help them decompress and be calm after the chaos of school, activities, and social events. It also promotes independence!  If everything has its place, our kids are less reliant on us to find their items.  They can more easily dress themselves, gather what they need for the day, keep track of their homework – the sky is the limit!

Having an organized space will encourage kids to keep an organized space, which fosters organization in other aspects of their lives, like schoolwork.  These are all lessons in discipline, setting them up for success in the future.

Why organization matters for our kids.

THE HAPPY SPACE CO.

They offer a bespoke home and office organisation service, creating a system of simplicity and style that clears clutter and saves you precious time.

Instagram@thehappyspaceco

Facebook: @thehappyspacecohk 

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