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How to Organize Your Child’s Room

This guest post was written by Certified Professional Organizer® Tiffany Engler – St. Louis, Missouri – www.yourlifeorganizedstl.com.

Now that the kids are home from school, there is no better time than now to help them organize their room.  Teaching your children how to organize, sort, categorize, make decisions and put their stuff away are huge life skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.  Here are some tips to get you started.

KNOW YOURSELF.  Before you ever dig in, ask yourself a few questions.  Am I a morning or afternoon person?  Do I have a short attention span or could I do the same thing for hours?  Do I work better with a friend or alone?  Your answers will help you determine what part of the day you should organize, for how long and whether to have a friend or professional present.  The key is to set yourself up for success.

Tiffany-boxes SORT.  Clear off a tabletop or floor to use as your work space, then take a box of toys and begin sorting and categorizing.  You may not know what every piece is, so have your kids help you. Pictured here is an example of the sorting process.
    Here are some of the more common categories:
    •    Car/Trucks
    •    Dolls
    •    Arts/Crafts
    •    Missing Pieces (place missing pieces here then review at the end of the project)
    •    Trash
    •    Baby Clothes
    •    Action Figures
    •    Animals
    •    Legos
    •    Balls
    •    Small Electronics
    •    Misc

LET GO.  Once you have your items sorted, work with you children to decided which ones he/she would like to keep and which ones can be given to charity.  Tell them that their toys will be going to children who don’t have as much as they do and work with them through this process.  For some children this will be much harder than others and you may have to do some part of this without their presence.

NOTE: If your child is having a hard time parting with his/her toys, consider reading the book Too Many Toys written by David Shannon. The book begins with a boy named Spencer trying to pursue his mom to keep all his toys and ends with a great life lesson learned. 

CREATE HOMES.  Now that you have sorted most of the toys and boxed or bagged the ones you don’t want, you can put them away, or as I like to call it, “Create Homes.” I suggest using something like a 12-bin toy organizer or cube shelves or shelves and containers to hold the toys (all shown here).  These items can be purchased at most retail stores.  Remember to leave space for new toys.  If you have too many toys for the space get more shelves, let more go, or store them somewhere else in your home.  Many of my clients actually have two spots for toys and every 6 months or so they swap toys.

Tiffany-books Tiffany-binsTiffany-shelves
 
 
LABEL.  Have fun labeling the containers.  I love using hang tags.  They can be purchased at many craft stores or online at http://www.thecabingal.com/tags.html.  When labeling, use words for older children and words and pictures for younger children.  Cut out photos from magazines or print them from the internet.  The idea is for your children to associate the photo with the word.  Labeling will help your children keep their space organized.

REWARD.  Teach your children how to put things away when they are done playing.  Give them rewards when they keep up with the organization.  Every child as their own currency. One might be motivated by money, one might be motivated by Chuck-E-Cheese and one might be motivated by a sticker.  Either way, find out what it is and use it.

NEW TOYS. And finally, help your children create “new homes” for the new toys that come into their life. Often times kids don’t put things away because they don’t know where to put it.

Tiffany Engler is owner of Your Life Organized, LLC – a Professional Organizing Company based in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. Your Life Organized specializes in basements, garages, downsizing, entire home transformations, team organizing and yard sales. Tiffany is one of few organizers in Missouri Certified and President of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) – St. Louis Chapter. She is also a Certified FreedomFiler® Consultant, a member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and International Coach Federation. Tiffany is also a graduate of the Coach Approach for Organizers Foundation Courses and trained to coach her clients through organizing challenges. Tiffany knows firsthand what it is like to be a caregiver and would be honored to help anyone going through this difficult transition. For more organizing tips be sure to visit her website at www.yourlifeorganizedstl.com.

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4 Responses to How to Organize Your Child’s Room

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  3. Erin Gentry August 15, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Hi Loreena,
    I am so sorry that you are disappointed. Our blog is written by employees and guest writers who take time out of their lives to share their organization stories. It is a volunteer effort that is not in their job descriptions. The purpose is to share tips and stories as we all work to set up systems in our homes to be organized. It is a snap shot of real life. While we do have at least two people read every blog post, just like our homes in the photographs, we are not perfect and may miss a spelling mistake or two, and I am sure our high school teachers cringe at some of our grammar mistakes.
    We hope that the connections and advice we share on this blog with our consumers are worth more than an annoying spelling or grammar mistake. I know I have learned so much from interacting with the people on this blog and I hope I am helping people as much as they are helping me. I would not be able to do that if we paid for professional photography or proof-reading on this blog (because then we would not have a blog).
    Thank you for being a fan of Rubbermaid and I hope you learned something from the post despite the spelling and grammar.
    Thanks,
    Erin

  4. Loreena VanBokhorst August 15, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    I love Rubbermaid and all its products. So you can imagine how disappointed I was to read this article for tips and things on sorting & organizing your childs room only to find the article itself filled with spelling and grammar errors!!
    Who wrote this?!? Someone who’s first language is definitely NOT English for sure!!
    Please – get your act together & have a professional proof-read what you’re posting on your site & in your emails.
    Can’t find anyone? Let me know & I’ll be happt to help you out!!
    A very disappointed English-speaking Canadian Mom

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