Do you find that with each year that your child grows up her toy clutter gets worse and worse? One of the main cause (if you have not been very observant) is that you and your parents (their grandparents) have been showering the kids with tons of toys at their birthdays or any special occasion (when they do well for something ) every year… and the result? Massive toy clutter!
It is unavoidable since kids need toys to grow up and so the next time that you ask your children to clean their rooms, you can make it easy on them by following the 7 suggested tips for organizing toy clutter below.
#1 – Get Down To Their Level
To see just how tough the task is from your child’s point of view, you need to get down to their level. A small chunk of toys in one corner may seem small to you but to them it is many and heavy! You will definitely need to place those toy, game and clothes storage containers down where your child can reach them. The easier you make cleaning up for your kid, the more likely she is to clean up her own clutter.
#2 – Ask Your Child For Some Ideas
This works on the same level as the first tip. Ask your child to get involved with the organization of her toys. You may be surprised by the ideas she has to offer. This also makes her more likely to have fun when picking up her toys.
All children love games. So you may even want to make cleaning up your child’s room a competitive contest! See which child can clean their room quicker. If you are the parent of a single child, challenge your little one to beat his or her previous room cleaning speed record.
#3 – Purge Intelligently
Ask your child if there are any toys or games they do not play with frequently. Explain that there are needy children which would love to have their very own toys. This can help you cut back on clutter, while also teaching your children wonderful life lessons and letting them benefit from the rewarding feelings of giving.
#4 – Reward Organization
Telling your child that you are losing your mind (along with raising levels of anger) with toy clutter all over the house is not the best way to accomplish what you desire. The way out is through rewards and children understand it well. Set up a system like the one from Melissa & Doug for weekly or monthly rewards depending on how many days your child’s room is neat and organized.
You can also hide loose change under clothing and toys which are out of place. You can also reward a sticky star for each day your child’s room is clean by a specific time. When a certain number of stars has been achieved, present a small reward along with a praise for the efforts!
#5 – Separate And Contain
If all of your child’s stuffed animals, video games, comic books, robots and other toys are stored in one large container, you are creating a mess every time your child wants to play with any of them (because they will take each one out just to reach to that particular one that they want to play). So separate your toys by type, storing them in separate bins or containers.
For those models, puzzles and Lego-type toys that have several parts and pieces, you can place them up high on shelves where your child cannot reach them without asking. You can also store these out-of-the-way in a closet. Your child must prove to you that he can properly clean up after using these toys with 1 million pieces before he is allowed to use them again.
Another useful tip is for you to color code your storage system since kids love bright, primary colors. Purchase or paint storage containers with different colors. Teach your child where certain clothes and toy types should go. Identifying those colors with particular items can be a fun matching game for them too!
#6 – Make A Trade
If your child wants to play Play Doh, tell him he can do that as soon as he puts away the current toy set he just finished playing with. This will minimize clutter since he will always have just one toy out at a time. If you are using this tip for the first time, you need to play a part to enforce this so that they will get into the habit of putting away.
#7 – Set A Schedule To Start Good Habits
Organize and stick to a morning and/or evening toy pickup routine. Rather than letting clutter buildup all week long and then forcing your child to agonizingly spend 2 or 3 hours cleaning their room, 10 or 15 minutes at the beginning and evening of everyday makes clearing toy clutter quick and simple.