You guys – the struggle is REAL. Keeping an organized home and sharing a home with children seem like mutually exclusive lifestyles.
Here are my 5 tips for keeping kids stuff organized and the clutter from taking over your home. You can have kids and be organized, too!
1 – A Place for Everything
I’ve said this before, and (as my kids can attest) I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face.
But with kids, especially, it’s important to let them have a say in where that place is.
I often ask my kids, “This item needs a place. Where do you think that should be?”
When your kids pick a “place” for their toys, they have buy-in. They are invested in the organizing process. When you ask them to put that item away, they know where it belongs. They picked the place, after all.
2 – Rotate
We just recently implemented this in our home, and it has made a huge difference! After reaching my breaking point with our playroom, I built shelves in the playroom closet.
By putting about 90% of our toys away in one spot, it is way easier to rotate them out. Yes, we can play that game. When we’re done, we put it back into the closet. Then we pick something else to play with.
3 – One In, One Out
Ok, I will admit that I’m not as good about this one as I should be. For every new item that comes into your home, one needs to leave. Simple.
Well, it should be simple. It’s a bit more difficult in real life.
We do make a habit out of going through our toys to see what we are ready to donate before Christmas and birthdays. That’s honestly the easiest time to do it.
“Ok, kiddos. You’re going to get some new toys for your birthday. Are there any old toys that you’ve outgrown or don’t play with often? are we ready to donate them for another little boy or girl to enjoy?”
Also – I have started giving less toys as gifts. Instead, we focus on experiences that we can enjoy together – memberships, tickets, vacations, etc. I took my kids on a cruise for their 8th birthday. 1) I didn’t hear a single complaint about not getting toys, and 2) I can guarantee they will remember that vacation for years longer than they will the LOL Dolls that they asked for.
4 – Inventory Clothes Often
I keep praying for my kids to stop growing and “stay little forever.” Well, until that prayer is answered, I will continue to regularly inventory and purge clothes.
I do this for 2 reasons: 1) to keep closets as uncluttered as possible my removing outgrown clothes, and 2) to keep stock of what I will need to buy in the future.
After learning more about the disastrous environmental cost of “fast fashion,” I have made a conscious effort to buy more clothing second-hand. I keep 1 bin of “clothes to grow into” in each kid’s closet when I find items at garage sales or the second-hand kids clothing store.
5 – A note on toys in kids bedrooms…
We don’t store any toys in my kids room…. other than stuffed animals and blankets. So, it also goes without saying that we don’t have screens (TV, tablets, etc.) in bedrooms either.
Bedrooms are for sleeping. I have made it a priority in our home to create calm sleeping spaces with minimal distractions.
Don’t get me wrong. My kiddos play in their bedroom all the time. They might bring a few toys in to play with. Then we put the toys away before bedtime.
Often times they just push their bed together to make a fort and let their imaginations run wild. Road trip, camping, airplane, beach. These are all scenarios that have been played out using two canopy beds and a few blankets – proof that imagination is way more powerful than any toy ever will be.
More tips for keeping kids stuff organized: