When it comes to getting organized, the first step is to get the kids excited!
A few years ago my oldest daughter went into the little girls' room to help them pick up their toys. She made clean up a game. They would pick up a toy and "zip" or "zoom" it to the proper storage container, with sound effects, of course! Now, whenever we clean up, they always want to play the "zip and zoom game."
When I looked into storage options, I found that there are many options when it comes to decorating and arranging my children's belongings. I also found that is not necessary to tear down the walls and do a major overhaul, much to my husband's delight. Shelving units, baskets, and colorful containers that coordinate with your child's decor are fun ways to help keep the house clean.
I also have a child that cannot bear to part with anything, so eliminating clutter is not a simple task. When the toy box starts to overflow and the closet is filled to capacity, we spend a day emptying everything out. Once they can see all of the stuff they have accumulated, I help them make decisions about what should stay and what should go. There are times when we don't always see eye to eye, so I am always prepared to make some compromises. I have my child make three piles: keep, throw, and donate. Once only the necessities remain, we discuss which items should stay in the bedroom and playroom, and which can be placed in a container for storage in the attic or basement. When my children feel like they are an important part of the decision making process, they are more motivated to work to keep their space clean and tidy.
Today the bedrooms, tomorrow the world (or at least the rest of the house!)
As you already know, kid clutter winds up everywhere. When it starts to get out of hand, we pick a room, and I have the kids go on a scavenger hunt to collect all the things that do not belong. Using baskets, we sort the items into piles that can be delivered to the playroom, bedrooms, basement, garage, laundry, or the garbage. By encouraging my children to play an important role in cleaning and organizing I am helping them feel like an important team member. These tasks teach them valuable life skills and relieve some of the items on my to-do list.
Plus, the "zip and zoom game" can be pretty fun!