How many times have you heard “mom I don't know where to put this?" My kids also love the phrase “my closet is too full". I'd like to share some tips on helping your child organize their room.
Closets - Whenever you buy new clothes, get rid of some old clothes. Children grow and clothing through usage wears out. Even though my kids say “but I wear everything", when we really go through their closets, we always find clothes that either don't fit or are worn out. If they group like items, they're much more likely to be able to find what they're looking for. Group all their shirts together, all their pants together etc. We use plastic storage bins for the shelf in their closets. These bins are clearly labeled so that we can see exactly what's inside. I don't mind stacked bins as long as the bins are labeled and kept organized. The floors of their closets are used mostly for shoes and backpacks. I don't mind buying new shoes, but the same rules apply to shoes that apply to clothes, we need to throw out what doesn't fit and what has worn out.
Bookcases - We have lots of bookcases in our house. I probably have more than the kids. I really like bookcases. However, bookcases are a haven for clutter and items we just don't know what to do with. Usually once a month or so, we all choose a few shelves and we go through them, getting rid of those items we no longer need and putting away the items we believe we do still need. Old books need to be given away, sold online or traded in at the used bookstore. Once you've read the book, unless you truly believe you'll read it again, it needs to go. There are exceptions like the Harry Potter series. We have every book in the series and I'm certain those will be passed down to the next generation. This is the exception to the rule and we don't have a lot of exceptions. Some schoolwork can be saved but most of it can be recycled. There are not a lot of papers that are needed for the next year. If you have long essays, yes, save them. They took a lot of work and we're all proud of the work done. However, pieces of paper from homework, old tests etc. are only necessary if they'll be used to study for a future exam. At the end of the school year those items need to be tossed, less the essays we already spoke about. If you keep the bookcases clear of the clutter, you can almost always find what you're looking for and even display your knickknacks in a way that you'll be able to enjoy them.
Night stands - Both of my kids have night stands. They have a clock and other assorted stuff on the top. It's the drawers I want to see kept organized. I personally keep a pair of glasses, tissues and a few other things in my drawer. Both of my girls wear glasses. I believe that drawer is the perfect place to keep their glasses. Though they wear contacts, they need their glasses when they wake up in the morning. That drawer is also a great place to keep your current reading book and your journal. These are items you might want when you are in bed.
Under the Bed - Have you looked under your child's bed recently? I am always amazed at what my younger daughter tries to store under there. I've found old books, old clothes, one shoe and even old food. Of course I've told her many times that none of this is ok. Today, they make many storage bins that slide in right under your bed. These are great for storing off season clothing or other items you absolutely want to keep but don't use year round. I'm actually ok with big bulky current year text books hanging out under the bed, as long as it's a temporary storage situation.
If you can keep these 4 areas organized, you're well on your way to having a room where most everything can be found and enjoyed.
Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visited at http://www.todays-parent.com