How do you feel when you step into your child’s messy playroom? It can be an ongoing struggle to corral all the toys, books, art supplies, and games. Kids today seem to accumulate more than any previous generation. As loving parents, we want to provide our children with the chance to learn and grow through creativity and fun activities. Yet, this well-intentioned desire can sometimes lead to a chaotic playroom resembling a toy store explosion.
Confession time: As a child, my room was the messiest corner of our home. My parents often gave up and shut the door in frustration. I remember feeling defeated as I sat amidst the clutter, pondering how to organize everything. These memories were the driving force behind the birth of “Wish Organizing by Jeannie Cleaning,” a venture dedicated to helping families find peace and joy amidst this challenge.
There Is Hope! A Messy Child Can Learn To Be More Organized
Though I was a messy child, I eventually discovered a passion for organizing spaces during my career. A simple motto became my mantra: “Everything has a place – Everything in its place.” What I’ve realized about organizing is that it’s easier to tidy up other people’s belongings than our own. Our emotional connection to our things can often hinder our ability to place them in their designated spots.
This challenge is particularly evident in children when it comes to tidying up their playrooms. When I glimpse a child’s play area cluttered with toys, books, and crayons, it transports me back to my own messy childhood room. I remember the struggle of tidying up and trying to maintain order. Understanding the root of disorganization and the hurdles it presents helps us strategize for a more organized future.
Maria Montessori’s words, “Play is the work of a child,” remind us of the valuable learning that takes place through play. Messiness and creativity often go hand in hand, yet a tidy space promotes calm and well-being. As children transition to students, organizational skills become crucial, aiding in activity prioritization, goal setting, and stress reduction. Balancing creative chaos with the art of organization is indeed a parental challenge.
Here’s some exciting news for both you and your child: It’s okay for things to get a little messy sometimes, and it’s just as important to embrace organization. Both aspects contribute to fostering a successful individual. This is a family agreement in which boundaries are set for the times and degrees of messiness and organization. Organization is a skill that can be learned; no one is inherently “messy” or “organized.” As a living example, I can attest that both states can coexist!
So, I’m thrilled to share simple strategies that can help you and your family promote play and teach organization simultaneously. Success doesn’t necessarily mean achieving a room straight out of Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens. Rest assured, a perfectly organized space is not a prerequisite for being a fantastic parent, nurturing a child’s happiness and success. Here are some steps you can start implementing today to foster a tidier and more organized playroom.
1. Create A Playroom Organizing Plan With Your Child:
Involve your child in planning their playroom’s design and organization. Set a date to discuss goals for maintaining an organized play space and how to arrange the room to simplify tidying up. Embrace the “Everything Has a Place” philosophy by taking an inventory of items, categorizing them as Toys, Books, Art Supplies, etc. Together, explore storage solutions and, if feasible, establish a budget. You could even collaborate on refreshing the room’s decor—a fun way to nurture creativity.
2. Agree On A Routine For Play & Organizing:
Once the room layout is planned, define when the room can be messy and to what extent. Clarify the meaning of “messy” and allowed behaviors. For instance, games can stay on the table or floor, but pieces and cards should not be scattered about. Determine when the room must be tidied and what “Everything In Its Place” means. Capturing before-and-after photos can help ensure everyone’s on the same page. Special rules could apply during playdates or visits from guests. Discuss reminders, assistance, how to check their work, and ways to celebrate organized successes.
3. Teach Sorting & Storage Skills:
Organizing is a skill learned through practice. Break it down into steps:
- Choose a specific time to organize.
- Group similar items together.
- Assign designated spots for each category.
- Tidy up one category at a time.
- Ensure one category is organized before moving on or taking a break.
- In the beginning, guide your child through this process and work beside them to help them understand and master the technique.
4. Encourage Regular Toy & Possession Reduction:
The constant influx of new toys is a significant challenge in maintaining a playroom. Encourage your child to part with items they no longer use, need, or that are broken. Consider implementing “Let it Go” days on a monthly or quarterly basis. Put on the Disney song and have fun sorting through each category in the playroom. Although you might lead the effort initially, the hope is that this practice becomes a lifelong habit. Studies consistently show that decluttering and donating/recycling items enhance focus, mood, and sleep quality. Mark three boxes as Donate, Sell, and Recycle/Trash. Involve your child in choosing donation recipients and discuss how recycling helps the environment.
- Deciding what to let go of can be challenging. Guide your child through the process with questions:
- Have you played with this in the last six months or year?
- Do you think you’ll play with this again soon?
- Does it still work?
- Could another child enjoy this?
- What can a broken item be recycled into?
- Once items are sorted, ensure they are stored out of sight and reach, and remove them from your home promptly to avoid any potential backtracking.
A Tidier Home For A Happier, More Organized Child
By involving your child in planning, setting routines, teaching skills, and encouraging regular purges of possessions, you’ll foster a harmonious environment for your family. No more incessant nagging about tidying up—instead, you can celebrate your child’s growth through play and skill-building activities. Imagine stepping into your child’s playroom with pride rather than frustration.
If you need help configuring your playroom or sorting through belongings, “Wish Organizing by Jeannie Cleaning” is here to help! Our mission is to Make Lives Better In All That We Do! Our expert organizers assist families in creating tidier spaces and maintaining them. We offer many organizing packages to fit your unique needs. Discover more at jeanniecleaning.com/wish-organization.