Monday, July 26th, 2021

How-To: Help your child get organized

By Jasmine Beierle on May 17 2010 • Filed under How-To

The last thing we enjoy doing as parents is relentlessly sounding like a broken record and nagging our children to clean their rooms. But no parent likes to walk into their kid’s room and find a week old, half full glass of chocolate milk or piles of laundry and dirty dishes shoved under the bed. Does your child scramble around in the morning looking through piles of toys, books, DVDs, clothes and so on, for that permission form that needed to be signed and handed in last week? There is a system that will put an end to all of this madness – it’s time to help your child get organized!

Putting simple organizing solutions in place will not only help your child learn to get organized but stay organized.

Follow these simple steps and assist your child de-clutter, clean and organize their bedroom:

Step 1 – Make Time

Schedule a day when you and your child can tackle the clutter and cleanup the mess. Depending on the severity of the mess, I would recommend scheduling at least three to four hours. Be certain to give your child your undivided attention. If possible turn off all phones and ignore your email. Let your child decide on the tunes while you choose the volume level.

Step 2 – Setup

Have boxes or bags labeled and ready for sorting:





Pull out the vacuum and cleaning supplies and have them ready.

Step 3 – Remove Items that don’t belong

Immediately remove all dirty dishes and laundry from the bedroom. Share the job with your child — you remove the dishes while they remove the laundry. Take the items to their designated area in the house. Chances are that the bed sheets and comforters need to be laundered as well. Remove any other items that don’t belong in your child’s room, such as family DVDs or like items that just happen to mosey into their bedroom.

Step 4 – Start Sorting

Start with a small area first and deal with every article. Does it have a home already, or do you need to designate one? Before designating a home for items, group them together and wait until the end. This will give you a better idea of the space needed to store them. Use the bed to place items that are going to stay in the room that don’t have a designated spot yet. Work around the room in a clockwise manner until you are done.

If an item is broken or missing pieces, its time to toss it! If it’s no longer being used but in good condition perhaps it can be donated or sold. Let your child help make decisions on what stays and what goes. Encourage them to sell or donate unwanted items and explain the rewards of doing so.

For parents with smaller children that have an overabundance of TOYS this is where the STORAGE box comes into good use. Children do not need tonnes of toys out. Most times they just stay scattered all over the place and get broken in the long run. Store some of the toys and swap them out every two months or even seasonally. To them, it will be like getting new toys!

The storage box could also be used for memorabilia or keepsakes for older children.

Don’t forget to go through dressers and closets and eliminate all items that are too small, torn or unwanted – it will give you a better idea of what clothing items need to be replenished. Be sure to use up any wasted space in the closet by putting up extra hooks to hang bags, hats, scarves and like items.

Step 5 – Time to Clean

Once you have gone through all areas and can see the floor, tops of dressers and window ledges again its time to clean! It is much easier to get your child on board if you let your child decide whether they want to dust and wipe down furniture or vacuum/mop the floors.

Step 6 – Get Organized

Now that the room is completely de-cluttered and clean it’s time to get organized. Look around and decide what your child might need to keep things organized. Do they have a laundry hamper and garbage pail? Do they need plastic bins or storage boxes to hold DVDs, video games and controllers? Is there adequate shelving for books and toys? Take your child shopping with you and let them help select storage bins or shelving. They are more likely to put the storage bins to good use if they have selected them.

If you allow your teenager to eat and drink in their rooms perhaps you can place a plastic tote by the door for them to store dirty dishes in. Get them to make a habit of bringing the tote to the kitchen every night before bed or first thing in the morning. If they don’t keep up with it – don’t allow them to eat and drink in their bedroom.

You may wish to offer small rewards to your child for keeping their room clean and organized. Most children respond quickly to keeping their rooms de-cluttered and organized with positive reinforcement and when proper shelving, bins and systems are put into place.

Step 7 – Maintenance

Because old habits are hard to break, it would be wise to check in with your child every couple of days for the first little while and give friendly reminders on putting things back where they belong. Encouragement goes a long way – let them know when they are doing a good job!

Be patient and teach your child good organizing habits whenever you can. And before you know it they will be doing it all on their own.

Happy Organizing!

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