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18 June 2014

Organising Your Kid's Clutter

There is no task around the home more daunting than tackling a child’s bedroom in an effort to bring a little order to the chaos and introduce a system where things can be found, without the need for a grid search. And it is even more soul destroying when you realise that within hours of cleaning, the room will be once again a mess.

Children are perhaps among the most prolific hoarders on the planet, refusing to dispose of anything that has had special meaning to them while they grow up. And, let’s face it, parents aren’t so much better. Who hasn’t heard of the mother not wanting to throw out little Johnny’s first teddy bear, even as the youth now known as John is out buying his first car?

An external storage solution

If you really can’t bring yourself to shed those childhood memories but haven’t the room in your home to keep them, you might consider taking all those old toys and books to an external storage facility. There are many different storage options available to suit most budgets. Companies such as Fort Knox Storage will be able to give advice on the space you might need.

Keep your child involved

If the reorganisation of your child’s room is going to be a success, you have to get little Johnny or Mary to own it. Simply reorganising the room while your child is at school is going to have nil effect. They will have it back in a mess before you’ve had the chance to put dinner on. Have them help you reorganise the room and ask their opinion. If their choice for where the toys should be stored works, do it their way.

Use a simple sorting system

Always remember the KISS approach – Keep It Simple Stupid. If you want your child to maintain the organised look, don’t make it too difficult for them. Put toys in one area as a group, clothes in another, books in a third and so on. Don’t separate things into too many categories such as ‘educational toys, ‘books about science’ or ‘toys used for building models’. This will soon wear the patience of even the most organised child.

Keep some sentimental items for yourself

There is no way around it; some things are going to have to be thrown out. The hard part is deciding what to keep and what to part with. If the item has no sentimental value, the child no longer uses it and you can’t even remember how it came into your possession, chuck it out. If it always reminds you of the day your child was born, a last gift from a dearly departed grandmother or is something that can never be replaced, put it aside. Find a keepsake bin and place those things with special memories in it for sentimental reflection at a later date. But you must set a limit. There is little point going to the effort of organising your child’s room just to transfer the clutter to another place.
Whether you decide to shift the clutter in your child’s room off site or bite the bullet and discard everything you no longer need, it’s going to be a tough job – both physically and emotionally. But with a little planning and strategic thought, and with the support of your child, it can be done to everyone’s satisfaction.

Do your children keep their rooms tidy?

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