How to Organize with Kids - Part 1
Updated: Jul 19
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I did a post a few days ago about how to organize with kids. It went a little something like this…
There’s only so much you can write on an Instagram post, so I want to expand on these ideas. I’ve also decided to break this blog post into separate chunks to prevent the post from being too lengthy… I should also preface this by giving a little background about who I am, and how I have come to these 5 “simple” ways to help children get and stay organized.
Where do I begin?
I’m a busy mom of 4 and staying organized with young children isn't always easy, especially when space is tight in our home. My children include a 6 year old girl, 4 year old girl, and twin 2 year old boys. The 2 older girls share a room and the twin boys share a room. We are in a smaller home for a family of 6, so I've worked extra hard to declutter, minimize, and find solutions to keep toys and clothes organized in our home.
The first thing we ended up doing to get a better storage solution was install a closet system. The one wire shelf across the top that we had just was not cutting it with 2 kids sharing space per room. I wish I had a before picture to show you. It wasn’t good! We decided to go with a ClosetMaid system similar to this one. It was a little of an investment but not as costly as other closet systems I came across. It was so worth it!
However, just because we installed a closet system, didn’t mean we automatically became organized. There have been many failed attempts. It finally clicked with me once I started implementing the 5 tips I gave you above, so I want to expand on each of the tips to give you a better breakdown of what we went through to get to where we are at now.
I also want to add that while my two oldest are home this summer, I’m striving to create more of a routine with teaching them to keep their room tidy. I’ve noticed that as a primarily stay-at-home-mom with the twins, they are learning tidying tips from me, that my girls didn’t learn because I was working when they were babies/toddlers. It’s so cool to see how much children learn by watching.
Last thing before we get started, I'm mainly referencing my 2 oldest girls’ room when writing this post. The twins experience similar problems in their room but because they are still young, I haven’t lost complete control of their room…yet. And honestly don’t plan to. We’ve learned from past mistakes and hopefully my story will help you. Okay here we go!
Declutter Toys and Clothes
Lets start with toys…
“Clutter can be overwhelming for anyone, including children. Take a moment to get rid of clothes that are damaged, too small, or out of season. Do the same for toys (i.e. damaged or they no longer play with).” ---From my original post on Instagram.
When my girls’ room gets out of control with clutter, they lose the ability to play freely. They step all over toys to get to their bed, causing them to not be calm sleepers. And often stay up later than normal. It’s almost as if the chaos makes them feel chaotic. Hmm... I know I feel that way when my home gets out of control, why should children be any different? When their room is organized, they play calmly (and better together) and then when it’s time for bed, they are more calm. Here is a picture of the chaos I’m referring to…
I was fed up, even though we installed the closet, it didn’t fix the problem… We needed to make a serious change. And this honestly was in good condition compared to some days.
Decluttering their room has been a journey. I am slowly trying to teach them that if they don’t play with something anymore, it’s getting in the way of them finding and playing with the toys they do enjoy. Some organizers may say that sayings things such as, “let’s give it to another little girl to play with” aren’t always the best options, but I think it gives my girls a little excitement to know they are giving to someone else. If they aren’t ready to let go of the toy just yet, we find a way to store it. I will expand more on storage when I get to the blog post on containers for kids’ rooms.
If the toy is broken and lost functionality, it gets tossed. I know this may seem wasteful to some, but my family’s mental state is way more important than a broken toy that never gets played with causing more clutter.
Because we have made decluttering a normal process in our house, my girls have come to me in recent months and given me a toy they no longer play with, explaining that they are ready to donate it. I truly never push them, it is always a discussion because I want to respect their things, just like I want them to respect my things.
In terms of clothes, if there is an outfit that is too stained or torn to wear out of the house, then get rid of it. It’s causing clutter and more than likely you may have more than one item that’s worn out. For example, my daughter had some dresses that I hated to get rid of because they were so cute on her. One had a stain and another had a huge hole in it. I kept grabbing at the dresses for her to wear to school, forgetting they were damaged. I’d hang them back up (maybe) depending on how much in a rush we were that morning and the cycle would repeat. Finally, I said to myself, “why am I keeping this dress?! She isn’t even wearing it, even to play at home. Get rid of it!”
And it isn’t just damaged clothes. It’s not necessary to keep out of season clothes hanging in the closet or cluttering the drawers. What I do is place out of season clothes in a container on the top closet shelf.
Wait until there is truly a consistent change in temperature, then use a few minutes of your day to place the seasonal clothing out of reach and out of sight, BUT remember before putting any clothes away, check for damages. Clothing clutter gone! Now your mornings are easier because you have a better idea about what your children have to wear for this season.
Added bonus for a decluttered look is to get something like these MIZGI (#ad) velvet hangers as you see in my above picture. Some velvet hangers were gifted to me during a baby shower years ago, and I needed to buy more. These hangers have worked out perfect!
I hope this truly helps a busy mom streamline any toy and clothing clutter. Be on the look out for part two of this blog series “How to Organize with Kids.” We will discuss how to find the perfect containers to store the toys and activities in your child’s room.