It may only be spring, but summer’s around the corner — which means your kids will be home with you sooner than you think. And you know what that means. They’ll be bringing their mess with them. As much as you love having your children with you over the summer break, they can wreak havoc with your home, leaving behind toys and other clutter — not to mention all of the report cards, crafts, and awards they’ll bring home from school. Rather than let their stuff take over, keep reading to learn some tips to keep your kids’ clutter to a minimum.
1. Know What to Keep and Give away
During the last day of school your kids will be cleaning out their desks, cubbies, and lockers of all the knickknacks, crafts, assignments, and awards they’ve collected over the year. They’ll arrive home with these pieces stuffed into their bags, expecting you to know where it should all go. Yikes! Even if you aren’t sure what’s going to go where just yet, take the time to go through their stuff and see if you need to keep all of it. If you invite your kids in on the fun, it’s an easy way to learn more about what they did at school.
Some stuff will immediately go on the fridge for display, while other things can go straight into the recycling bin. Don’t feel bad about throwing stuff away; you’ll be keeping the good stuff to share with family or to store as keepsakes. And since you’ve let your kids in on the process, they’ll understand why some of their art work isn’t staying.
2. Create a Binder to Hold Their Work
Once you have a pile of keepers, it’s easy to let them collect in the kitchen or in their rooms. This is a recipe for disorganized disaster. Not only will it take over these living areas, but this habit is liable to ruin these early school memories when they get ripped, torn, or spilled on.
Rather than let these papers fly loose in your home, keep them collected in a binder. Slip loose paper and other school year memories into 3-holed sheet protectors, so you can snap them into the binder without damaging their work. If you’re feeling particularly motivated take advantage of tabbed sheet protectors. They come with labels you can use to separate work according to age, grade, or class. You can easily include school portraits in this binder to keep everything together.
3. Create a Toy Library
If it’s not stray pieces of paper you have to worry about, it will be toys left on the floor throughout your home. To cut down on clutter, turn a closet, cupboard, or container used to hold their toys into a library — meaning they have to check out toys before they get to play with them. Decide how many toys they can check out at one time and follow this rule whenever they want a new toy. Before they can grab another one to play with, they must return the first toys. Keep in mind anything can be turned into a library, but you may want to invest in furniture like a bookshelf or ottoman with built-in storage to house their toys. Take a look at this list of IKEA built-in storage hacks to get an idea of what you can do.
4. Consider Mini-Storage Units for Larger Items
Sometimes, what we need to store won’t fit conveniently in a binder or bookshelf. Large artworks, sport equipment, and boxes of keepsakes may take up more room than you can afford to give them. When space is at a minimum, but you want to keep these items for your children, consider renting a mini storage unit. A storage unit is an easy and secure way to keep anything, including your own belongings. And for a growing number of parents, these units are a huge advantage when their kids move away to college.
Before you rent a unit for yourself, be sure to research for the best service and price. Use the best rental storage units in Richmond Hill as a meter stick for searching out a facility near you. When it comes to mini storage Richmond Hill has top-rated units that have set industry standards regarding security and environmental measures. These include monitored alarms and surveillance systems to keep you stuff protected against physical theft and climate controls to save them from the elements. Whether it’s your children’s school work, camping gear, or an inherited dining set, these features will make sure you belongings are safe away from home.
You have a lot to look forward to this summer with your kids. Don’t let their mess take over the house and sour your time together. Keep on top of clutter by using the above organizational guide, and you won’t have to spend any more energy than absolutely necessary keeping your house in order over the break, leaving you with more time to spend with your kids.