Organizing is a challenge. Organizing for your kids is an even bigger challenge. It’s been said that organizing while you have kids is like trying to brush your teeth while you eat Oreos, difficult and almost pointless. I will admit, it can be trying, but it’s so worth it. Here are some tips to make it easy, stress free and even FUN!
1. Instead of asking your child what they want to donate (the answer will always be nothing!), give them a box or laundry basket and ask them to fill it up. Often, they will do this quickly and easily. It’s all about getting rid of the excess and moving along the items that have fallen between the cracks.Explain to your kids where their old toys are going. Talk about helping those who have less and what it would mean to them. Expose your kids to this as early and often as possible to make donations easy and meaningful.
2. If something is broken, missing pieces or in disrepair, either commit to fixing it, ordering a replacement or just donating the item. Some toy companies will sell or provide replacement pieces (like Manhattan Toy). However, if the item has been broken for a long time, you probably won’t miss the item once it’s gone.
3. If a stuffed animal has a name, keep it. If it is an unloved, unnamed one, it’s okay to donate it. Stuffed animals are usually not accepted by stores such as Goodwill. However, police stations will usually accept them and give them to children in need during an emergency situation. For any stuffed animals you are keeping, toss them into the dryer on fluff for about 30 minutes. This will cut down on dust, pet dander and dirt. If something is priceless, hand wash it.
4. Label everything! If your child is too young to read, have them draw pictures of the items. This will ensure that they know where things are, and will ensure that things can go back where they came from.
5. When cleaning your kids’ playroom it’s important to involve them. Get down to their height and see what they can see. Can they reach shelves? Are the drawers and containers too heavy for them to lift? Making some small changes in the weight and location of items can increase their success in putting things away on a regular basis.
6. If you have toys that are well loved, spring is a great time to clean them. You can put plastic toys into the dishwasher and wash on warm. I suggest using the top shelf. This is great for toddler toys or other plastic items that often go into mouths. You can also fill the sink with warm water and a half of a cup of bleach and let items soak for a little while. Disinfecting wipes are great to get into small areas of toys. These are also great for games, books and other durable surfaces where little fingers go. If you have stuffed animals that are precious, bring them to the dry cleaner for attention. (Most manufacturers provide care instructions on the seam labels; when in doubt, contact the manufacturer.)
7. Kids aren’t going to pick up every thing, every day. Give them a place in their room or a play space to keep items out over night, such as a block castle or a puzzle. However, insist the rest of the room be picked up.
If you want more tips on keeping your kids organized, all year through visit us at www.thejoyfulorganizer.com/blog
. Thanks for reading!