For Kids: Organize From The Ground Up

January 19, 2010 by Amy Clark

What Do Kids Need?

If your house is anything like ours, then your kids’ bedrooms and play areas probably need a little help (or a lot!) in the organization department. How to begin? Look at your child’s space from their vantage point. Adult furniture and organizing systems don’t translate well to kids’ needs. Simplify it with storage solutions and furniture that grows with them.

Sort, Take Stock, Store And Simplify

This is how I begin when it’s time to go through clothing, shoes and toys. When I’m finished, we donate the extras. The remainder will stay neat and orderly in the available space.

Contain It All

Bins and containers can help you control the number of toys taken out at playtime, especially if you allow children to pull out only a certain number of bins at once.

Label Everything

Have younger kids draw a picture chart for where things go in their rooms. For older kids, label makers are a great way to keep their space organized.

From The Bottom Up

Kids are small, so I organize from the bottom and work my way up. The most-used items belong in lower drawers or on the floor. The higher up you go, the less-used the item should be.

Make It Routine

Build a routine for cleaning up. In my family, we do an Evening Pickup before bed. We put on some tunes and clean up for 10 minutes. For older kids, a reward system encourages participation. For keeping their room clean, you could reward them with a later curfew, more responsibility or a gift card.

Do The Little Things

A “day of the week” organizer helps prepare my kids for busy mornings. You can attach a pretty ribbon or sturdy rope to walls to display favorite hair accessories and ball caps. I’ve got a hamper in each child’s room to encourage immediate cleanup of dirty clothes.

The Playroom

We teach our kids that everything has its own special spot and every item must be returned when playtime is over. I buy cute baskets and bins to store the kids’ playthings. Plastic crates and shelving also work well, along with low shelves and hooks.

Encourage Creativity With Special Spaces

We’ve also designated a certain area of the family room for arts and crafts or family games. I think it encourages creativity and imagination if kids have a special place to create.

What’s your plan to organize your kid’s living space?

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.