There is a point in every parent’s life when he or she gets so fed up with a messy child’s room that collecting everything and putting it into self-storage becomes a real option. However, once the frustration wanes, it becomes apparent that moving your child’s belongings off-site is neither practical nor fair. You still need a way to help your child keep tidy though – for his/her safety and your sanity.
Children are naturally messy most of the time. Therefore, to expect a child to keep his or her room tidy without help is probably not realistic. We have some solutions based on three fundamental principles: perspective, simplicity, and storage.
Perspective: The Child’s, Not Yours
The most important thing to understand about keeping a child’s room tidy is perspective. Not your perspective as a parent, but your child’s perspective as a smaller person. For example, any storage solutions you come up with have to be appropriate to the size and age of your children. If your child is still young enough to spend the majority of his/her playtime on the floor, storage solutions that fit under the bed are ideal.
The other part of perspective that many parents forget is that what they deem neat and tidy may not be the same for the child. That does not mean parents cannot teach their children their perspective, it only means that kids may not always share the same opinions about what constitutes neatness. So what if your child doesn’t organise all of his/her blocks by size and colour? As long as they are put away in a storage bin when not being used, that is all that matters.
Simplicity … For Their Sanity
We have already touched on the fact that a messy child’s room can lead a parent to insanity. Nevertheless, have you ever stopped to think what drives your kids crazy? One of the things is having too many choices. Kids are unable to process multiple complex decisions in a limited environment, so an extremely messy child may just have too many toys to deal with. You might find it a lot easier for him/her to learn to be neat if he/she has fewer choices to make.
Simplicity and neatness go hand-in-hand like fish and chips. You can simplify your child’s life by putting some of the toys away, then rotating what comes out and what goes into storage. Not only does this make it easier to keep a room clean, it also helps prevent a child from becoming too easily bored with what he/she owns. The rule of simplicity will go a long way toward helping your child develop habits of neatness and tidiness.
Storage Is for Everyone
Once you get a handle on perspective and simplicity, the last thing to consider is storage. Just as a self-storage is the key to keeping your home free of clutter, personal storage is the key to maintaining a neat and tidy room for your child. The good news is that there is no shortage of options available.
Plastic bins with wheels make great under-the-bed storage for dolls, toy cars, balls, etc. A wall-mounted bookshelf provides the best place to put all of those wonderful storybooks you love to read together. And, of course, a large toy box at the foot of the bed is the perfect receptacle for those larger items that will not fit anywhere else. Remember the adage, ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’.
You do not have to move all of your child’s belongings to self-storage in order to keep a clean and tidy room. You need only remember the three fundamental principles of perspective, simplicity, and storage. Putting them into play will keep a child’s room neat while also teaching him/her good habits for the future.