5 tips to contain kid chaos
"They're such tiny people, how can they have so much stuff?"
I hear this comment all the time. And the majority of us – young and old – have too much stuff. But it seems like children's toys, books, and clothes are in every corner and on every surface of the house sometimes.
My top 5 tips to contain the chaos that comes with children:
Ditch the big toy box. Take a minute and imagine the scale of a toy box. Imagine yourself right now standing next to a big rectangle box that comes up to your waist and contains all of your most prized possessions. Would you want to dig through there? Would you want to toss all of your favorite things in there at the end of the day? No way!
Follow the system used at school. At parent-teacher conference does the teacher say, “Your son/daughter is so helpful during cleanup time.” Do you laugh out loud and ask if the teacher is thinking of the correct child? Take a minute to look around the classroom and see how you can modify your home's play/craft space to mimic what is in place at school. You'll likely find small, open containers with word and picture labels on the front, all in a stacking organizer. Start there if cleanup is driving you crazy.
Rotate toys to make them feel like new. Have the Paw Patrol team go on a quest for a few weeks. When they triumphantly return, send the Shopkins on vacation. Work with your child to purge toys they've outgrown on a regular basis. I suggest before every birthday and Christmas. Most children will be willing to give toys, books and games to others who will love them.
Go low. Hey, have you noticed that young children are short? Yes? Well, why are we surprised when they don't put a towel on a rack that is five feet off the ground? And if you want to keep coats and backpacks from littering the entryway floor you'll need to put hooks lower.
Communicate. Talk to children about why it's important for them to do things on their own. Remind them that Mom and Dad did not play with the toys that are all over the floor – so Mom and Dad should not pick them up. Most children will understand and want to be a team player.
Need assistance with toy clutter? Contact me to learn how a professional organizer can help.