Put an end to nagging and reminders to clean up. Remove, organize and teach your child how to take care of his belongings.
Do your children get bored with their toys and other items in their bedroom or play area?
Build new excitement with old items as you remove and rearrange.
Organizing toys into colorful bins with labels helps children develop matching and organizational skills. When children are able to put their toys away with ease, they become successful in taking responsibility for their belongings. Put an end to nagging and reminders to clean up. Remove, organize and teach your child how to take care of his belongings.
Organizing with bins is the first step in creating a wonderful, child-friendly environment. Changing toy themes and decorations often helps a child to view old toys in a new light. Purchase inexpensive picture frames, frame your child’s artwork, and hang it in his play space on a designated art gallery wall.
Change the location of furniture and items for a fresh, clutter-free look. Place each item with the purpose of building a new learning environment. Remove broken toys and baby items that are developmentally below your child’s level or haven’t been used in a while.
Invite your child to help as you wash and repair those that are broken, encouraging her to donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. The process of cleaning, preparing and giving is a wonderful exercise, especially as upcoming holidays approach. Invite your child to give to others, so he develops an understanding that others have less. Many families will be purchasing their gifts and toys at their local Goodwill or Salvation Army, so inspire your child to give to the cause.
Decide what to give up
Some children cling to toys rather than give them away. If your child just can’t give up an old baby toy, allow him to keep it until the next clean-out. If months pass and he hasn’t touched that toy, store it. If he hasn’t asked for it after months of storage, donate it to a child who will love it and give it new life.
If you see that your child is having great difficulty giving up broken or unused toys, it may be easier to clean out and rearrange when he is not underfoot.
Surprise him with a newly organized bedroom or playroom, simply by cleaning out and moving furniture around. The cost is nothing, but the impact is big when children find themselves enveloped in a new creative space.
Once you have a game plan it can be easy and fun to clean out and start fresh.
Sort items into four piles: Throw it, Store it, Give it, and Keep it. Once you have decided what you are throwing away, throw it away! Bag it and take it to the garage or the curb. Now you are left with items to keep, the pile to donate, and another pile of wonderful toys that you will place in storage to rotate.
Items to be kept should be thoughtfully arranged according to their use. Place all art supplies in bins, and arrange on a shelf by an easel, chalk board or small table, overlooking the art gallery wall.
Building blocks, Legos, cars and trucks should be placed in bins near each other for easy building projects. Place books on a shelf divided into two categories: Read alone and Read aloud together with a parent. Older children appreciate reorganization of their rooms as well, so think about their space and how you can organize and develop new interest with the same materials.
Store items that are not often used. Rotation gives children the opportunity to explore seemingly new toys without continuous costly purchases.
Change your child’s learning environment often. Invite your child to decorate his space with seasonally themed pictures, cut-outs or crafts.
Have fun, keep it clean, and go green by recycling toys and giving them a new life with other girls and boys.
Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting coach who lives in Stark County, Ohio. She is author of “Parenting with a Purpose.” Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com. Find parenting resources at her website, www.yourperfectchild.com.