If your home is like mine, it can be a never ending battle to get your kids to pick up after themselves at time. In my case older kids are even worse hen the little ones. Perhaps it has something to do with that teen attitude. But no matter what their ages, there are things you can do to encourage your kids to be tidy. Yes, you can have tidy kids!
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Its really a matter of knowing how to make it easy for them, and this is what I’ve learned through the years. As a former teacher at a day care, I believe these ideas to work!
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I have learned that as long as kids are living in my house, it will never look the way I want it to. But tidy is one of my favorite words to describe what I’m looking for. Again, far from perfect, but as long as its presentable and liveable, I have learned to be content. Some day when my kids are grown and on their own, I can have a clean home again.
There are things that we can do as parents to make cleaning up easier for our kids, however. I have greater success with making it as simple and straight forward as possible for my kids. The following are methods I find to be helpful with kids of all ages.
Here are some things you can do to encourage your kids to be tidy too.
Set a good example of keeping things picked up.
Even if life is busy, you as a mom need to at least demonstrate what your expectations are and being consistent in how you care for your things and are tidy your self.
Teach your kids to care for their things.
You will show them more than once in order for them to learn what your expect and to master the art of doing it. Especially if they are younger.
Use the pick up rule.
From a young age, teach your child to pick up after themselves before getting the next thing out. This is the pick up rule. Its amazing how simple this concept is, but its so hard to implement since kids can create a tornado in the two minutes that you are using the bathroom.
Maximize closet space in kids rooms.
Put a lower bar in their closet using a tension rod to put their hanging things with in their reach. This will make cleaning up their clothes on their own so much easier.
Organize kids toys smart.
Store toys in clear or opaque containers. That way, it will be easy for your kids to see how full each container is and to quickly sort the containers properly if they get out of hand. You can find these containers at the Dollar Tree.
Label where kids toys go.
Label their toys containers either with words or pictures of whats in each bin. You can purchase peel and stick labels at the Dollar Tree. But there are plenty of other ways of labeling as well.
Kids dress up clothes organization.
Keep dress up clothes on a simple coat stand or set of hooks. This will avoid taking up precious closet or cupboard space, and will add some color and fun to the room.
Label where kids clothes go.
Label their dresser drawers with words or a picture of what goes in each one. This is how to deal with kids who are not old enough to read yet. All kids can look at a picture and put things in the correct places.
Organize small things in containers.
Use small container in their dresser drawers to keep things like socks, underware, belts, and slippers together. This is such a simple thing to do, and it makes a world of difference in them being able to maintain some sense of order inside drawers. This is especially true if their drawers are large.
Hooks work great for kids clothes and things.
Provide them with a few hooks in their room to hang hats, partially worn clothes, or even a sweater, sweatshirt or coat. This can be a really cute way of adding a pop of color or decorative touch to the room while also creating more room in precious drawer space.
Use a binder for kids special things and keep sakes.
Create a binder with clear page protectors for them to keep their treasures in. Most kids like to hang on to things that have special meaning to them. This could be things like birthday cards, special pictures, or letters from friends or loved ones. This way these things not only have a place, but they are also forced to pick and choose between what to keep and what to toss. This keeps them from hanging on to too much clutter.
In our home we enjoy doing crafts, and there is always left over parts. I find this falls into the binder category. We get this great box We Craft Box that has amazing cool things for kids to create, and even has a story that goes along with it!
Let kids choose where their toys belong.
Let them be involved in the decision as to where to put their things. If they are part of the process, they are more likely to want to put things away.
Store kids pajamas out of sight.
Have your kids keep the pajamas they may wear for more than one night under their pillow to avoid having to look for them at bed time. That way they pajamas are out of sight, yet they are easy to find when bed time rolls around. I always say, what ever I can do to make bed time go a bit smoother is a good thing.
Color code different kids towels.
Have a different colored towel and wash cloth for each child so they can be responsible for taking care of their own towel and wash cloth after using them. When the bathroom is a mess of towels or wash clothes you know just who to seek out based on the color. It makes it so much easier to hold your kids accountable.
Choose kids packaging wisely (or get rid of it)
Get rid of excess packaging or packages that just don’t make sense or aren’t easy to use.
Schedule a 10 min. tidy 3 or 4 times each day.
Looking to have tidy kids? Tired of cleaning up after your kids? Put these principals into practice and experience the peace and calm that kids who are tidy can bring into the home.