7 Ways to Help Kids Keep Their Rooms Organized

The following post is from Becky of Organizing Made Fun:

source: Organizing Made Fun

We need to teach our children to organize. But, if we don’t make it easy for them or actually teach them, we can’t expect them to keep their rooms organized. Here are seven ways to help kids keep their rooms organized:

1. Teach them {young} how to make their bed, everyday. It take just two minutes! Little ones, as young as 2 can make their beds. Maybe start by having them put pillows on or stuffed animals, then move up to having them put covers on top and the pillows, and eventually teach them to make it. Never expect perfection, only to do their best. Our kids have to make their beds before coming to the breakfast table on school days. It’s now a habit I hardly ever have to remind them of. Oh, and parents need to set the example and make their beds everyday, too!

2. Have a rule that before they pull out new games or activity, they MUST clean up the one they are playing with. It’s totally fine that they are done with an activity, game, or play stuff but they need to clean up when they are done. It may feel like you say it all the time “Did you clean up?”, but I promise that eventually {meaning it could be years} they will start to catch on and do it before you ask.

3. Clean up and put away means to put it away “where it belongs”. This means that you’ll have to label things and actually take the time to teach them where everything belongs and how to put it away. It takes time, but in the end will result in kids that know where things go and how to put them away. Some kids learn faster than others, so be patient.

4. Teach kids how to go through their own toys and donate and giveaway things that are no longer needed. This can include clothing. Use a benchmark time – birthdays or Christmas, start of summer or spring – to help remember to go through clothing and toys. The littler they are, you’ll need to sort through it with them but resist the urge to do it yourself when they aren’t around. Everyone needs to learn to throw out, give away, and donate their items.  Starting when they are young will give them a lifelong experience of knowing how to do it. When they are older, you can give them a pile to go through on their own.

5. Have a laundry hamper in their room or another easy place to keep dirty clothes off the floor. If you don’t have one in there, kids will just pile clothes on the floor. Set one up in the closet, in a corner, or in the bathroom for them to easily throw their dirty clothes into each time they dress and undress.

6. Put clothing where they can reach it to dress themselves or learn to put away folded laundry. Giving them a little more independence as they grow will help them to learn to put away and take out their clothing when they are old enough to start doing so. As they get older, begin having them help to fold their clothes and/or put away in their drawers. Hanging up clothing where they can reach it will help you in the long run.

7. Have a small file drawer or box for them to learn to file necessary papers. There are so many papers that come home from church, school, or camp. Teach them to sort through and toss the ones that aren’t necessary and keep only special ones. If they are important, set up a special file in a drawer in their desk {if they have one} or even a file box in their closet or under their bed that they can put those school or art papers.

I have been working on my own kids for years in each of these areas. It doesn’t happen over night. It takes patience and time to help them learn these skills. Some kids learn easier than others – and some kids hang on to stuff more than others. But, showing them that others could use their outgrown clothing or toys, teaching them to toss what’s necessary, and keep their rooms clean and organized teaches them to be respectful of their parents and grateful for what they have.

Do you have any other ways you’ve helped your kids keep their rooms organized?

Becky blogs at Organizing Made Fun. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 18 years and is a mother to two children. Becky organizes just about everything and she enjoys motivating other women to learn to organize, schedule, and run their home imperfectly but efficiently.