Today’s messy situation is from Tara!
“I was hoping you could offer some tips on organizing a bedroom my two boys share. I am so frustrated with their messes but I don’t have anymore ideas in how to help organize a shared space. They play with Lego and play mobile so there are tons of little pieces all over the floor. I would appreciate any insight you can offer. My husband is sick of me asking him all the time!” – Tara
Tara, my girls share a bedroom too so I understand your dilemma!
Before you try to organize your kids’ toys, I recommend decluttering their toys – so often our kids can’t keep their messes clean because they’re simply overwhelmed by the vast amount of stuff. I wrote an article about cleaning out kids toys, and I included helpful tips for how to decide what to keep and what to toss, so make sure to check that out before you declutter!
Once you move on to organizing what’s left, just remember to keep it simple – put systems in place that your kids can easily maintain on their own. For example, I absolutely love Jennifer’s ideas about creating little zones – you could keep your eyes peeled for a great deal on a Lego table to give your kids a fun space to play with and store their Lego pieces. You could also place some nice bins in your cube shelf, like Keri explains in this article.
And before you shop at a store, remember to shop your house! I have an entire article that’s packed full of free storage solution ideas! You may even have a small table elsewhere in your house that you could use instead of a Lego table. Or maybe you have baskets or boxes on hand that you can use instead of purchasing new bins for the cube shelf.
You’d also mentioned feeling frustrated about not being able to keep their room clean. Ohh, I so understand that and I want to encourage you. Our children are just that – children. They’re going to play, they’re going to make messes, and sometimes they’re even going to whine when it’s time to do something they need to do.
But aren’t we the same way? When we have a huge mountain of laundry to fold, don’t we sometimes walk away and do something else instead? So, we can understand why our children want to be resistant – cleaning isn’t always fun! But it’s a necessary part of life, and you taking the time to teach your kids how to clean up after themselves will serve them well for the rest of their lives. So don’t give up!
Here are a few ideas for having your boys help keep their room clean:
- Try not to go too long between cleanings. It’s much less overwhelming if the room is cleaned daily than if it’s allowed to get messier and messier for two weeks.
- Be specific. For example, say, “Please put your cars in the car bin” instead of just saying, “Put your toys away.”
- Make cleaning a positive experience. (Tips about how to make chores fun are here.)
- Set the example – make sure that you’re keeping your own things clean on a regular basis.
- Have explaining conversations. Say things like, “Look how easy it was to clean up tonight because we just cleaned last night! I love cleaning up every day because it keeps this space looking so nice!”
- Offer praise and grace. Your children will be encouraged and inspired by your words, but when things go wrong, offer grace to your children – and to yourself.
- Purge old toys every six months.
I hope this helps you, Tara! Good luck in organizing their space – please send after photos when you’re finished!
PS Don’t forget that if you submit your own mess by October 30th, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.