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Article: Top Tips For Getting + Staying Tidy With Kids

Top Tips For Getting + Staying Tidy With Kids

Top Tips For Getting + Staying Tidy With Kids

- Number 1 :: Only tidy up ONCE a day, preferably at the end of the day. Ideally this is something you do with your age appropriate children. [This IS possible to start as early as 9 months, but you can choose to wait until you feel they are more physically coordinated and verbally developed.] Create a pre-bath, pre-bedtime, or pre- or post-dinner ritual - whatever makes sense for your household and your ideal schedule. This ritual involves putting everything back where it belongs. Make it special by playing a favorite song, or maybe singing one together while you tidy up. Perhaps dessert is presented after the task is complete. Maybe you have a sticker system that gets the young ones pumped up. Motivate them by telling a story about how the Leggos learn new ways to connect when they are together in their bag, or how the construction trucks need rest to prepare for tomorrow’s hard work. You can keep it as simple as a cookie for your cutie’s completed chores, or as complex as a disco ball-lit dance battle in space where the invading aliens can capture any toy that is left out of its home overnight.

Kids love to feel empowered and even babies enjoy putting things in baskets or bins. Yes, they also love taking things out just as much! If the latter happens more than the former, be patient and redirect them. If it becomes too stressful or time consuming for you to continue to involve them, you can end the activity with an exclaim like, “All done! Great job putting things back in their place. Thank you for helping me!” and later return to it on your own before laying your head down for the night.

Some nights you may not want to complete the tidying up session, and that’s okay! If you need to take a night off, then listen to yourself and honor where you are at mentally, emotionally, physically. I strongly encourage you to do your best to make a habit of the evening tidy up, as you’ll find it takes less time and effort than you think and it definitely takes less time and effort than tidying up a bigger mess later, all the while after carrying the mental load of it with you for however long you put it off. The days are long but the years are fast - your babies will soon be teenagers and the habits you instill in them now, the example you set and maintain now, are what help build their character for the long run.

- Number 2 :: Assign bins, boxes, baskets and bags for everything. You don’t need the stunning, vintage-inspired ceramic storage set from Crate & Barrel. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the toy storage space to fit with your aesthetic vibe. All I’m saying is, even if you are a billionaire and can afford to replace nice things, it’s just straight up silly to set your kids up for “failure” in this way. No one feels good about breaking things, and kids truly need to feel safe to express themselves freely with their things - without the guilt, responsibility or hesitancy that comes along with maneuvering fragile housing for their tough-loved toys. Solutions exist that are a healthy, practical compromise for both you, the tender-loving Martha Stewart of your home, and your child, the all-destroying Tasmanian Devil who resides rent-free.

When it comes to toy storage, it’s as simple as designating a box, a bin, a bag or a basket for all like items, then teaching your children to put all their coloring tools in a box, all their books in a bin, all their stuffed animals in a bag, all their hot wheels in a basket, etc. etc. There are cute, affordable canvas bins, woven baskets, or clear acrylic drawers, all of which are wonderful options for storage. You can also simply cut the tops off of Amazon boxes and label them with a sharpie. You can up-cycle shoe bags or grocery bags and label similarly. I personally love a good painter’s tape label as they come in all sorts of fun colors and a sharpie or marker works perfectly to classify.

- Number 3 :: Rotate your child’s toys. This is a tried and true technique for keeping kids excited about their play things and to limit the amount of toys that are out and therefore have to be cleaned up after use. Keep a large enclosed bin for the “hidden" toys in the closet or under the bed and rotate them out once every two - four weeks, or whatever makes sense for your manageability and the developmental phase your kids are in. Cutting down on the number of accessible toys can have a positive affect on your child’s decision-making skills and attention span.

- Number 4 :: Donation Station Contemplation Regulation Consideration. Okay so I may have cluttered up the title but your kid might enjoy the rhyme so much that they look forward to this activity each time you do it! One or two times per year, sit down with your child and display all of their toys in one area - maybe on the bed, the dining table, or a cleared floor space. Let them see just how many toys they have all at once. Ask them how they feel about each toy [you can do this with clothes, shoes, accessories, outdoor toys, etc. too]. Explain to them that if they feel they no longer enjoy playing with certain toys, the toys can be donated to other children who might find joy playing with them. Let them decide what to keep and what to discard. This is a fabulously empowering decision-making exercise for your young ones to practice. When putting the kept toys back in their respective storage places, encourage your child to help or if they are old enough, allow them to take on the task themselves.

Kids are the most annoyingly painful loving stress and joy inducing creatures on this Earth. Plain and purely simple. Help them help you as much as you can. Having order and organization within the home can have a positive effect on the parent-child relationship. As messy as they are, kids appreciate knowing where things are, they feel good when they can do things themselves, and they love knowing their place in the world. Guide them into their place within your tidying system and recognize them when they participate in it. Follow just one or all of these steps and find yourself living in a more joyful, balanced and peaceful home that everyone can benefit from.



Bear Method Organize provides in-person declutter + tidy sessions for Los Angeles, California; Orange County, California; Malibu, California; Denver Metro, Colorado and all of the United States. We are available to travel to you. We offer virtual declutter + tidy sessions worldwide.

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