In between keeping the house clean, making sure everyone is fed, and now homeschooling, it's easy for lockdown to start to feel more than a little stressful. If the mess is starting to build up, why not take advantage of the extra time at home to give your environment a minimal makeover? Don't worry, there's not need to clear everything out and start anew, but this is a great exercise in separating what you use what you don't!
Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her 'KonMari Method' of tidying, which involves going through everything you own, identifying which of your possessions 'sparks joy', and 'thanking' those things you need to let go. We've come up with a list of child-friendly ways you can use a little 'Kondo' inspiration in your own home, starting with the kid's rooms! From decluttering toys to freeing up much-needed space, we've got you covered.
1. Get The Kids On Board
When it comes to decluttering their rooms, getting the children involved will not only give you an extra hand, but will also help them feel included in the decisions being made about their space. Not only can they help you declutter and get rid of unwanted items, this is a great way for them to learn about ways they can help keep the home clean and tidy.
So, we're all raring to go- what's first? Marie Kondo suggests the best place to start is to 'commit' to tidying up. Visualise the way you want their rooms to be and what you want from the space. You could even let the kids plan out what they want from the experience, and see if they have any ideas about ways they could sort out their possessions. This is a great way to bring up responsibility and allow them to have a little bit of control over their environment. Marie recommends that you think of a 'home' for everything, so why not make a game of it and let the kids plan out 'homes' for all their toys?
2. Tackle The Sock Drawer First
If we're going for a true 'Kondo', we want to tidy in the order of: clothes first, then books, papers, and finally miscellaneous items. However, feel free to take on bit by bit, depending on what you feel like! The children are sure to like this first step as it involves making a bit of mess! Since we're going to be going through everything, we need to empty all the drawers. So, (depending on your time frame) empty out all your clothes into the centre of the kids room, ready to sort. If your child has a lot of clothes or you don't have much time, start with just the sock drawer and you can come back as and when.
Once you have your clothes pile (and the children are done playing around with it!), you can get to sorting. All you need to do is take each item, one at a time, and consider if it 'sparks joy'. Do the kids love running around in those socks, or is that t-shirt just never really worn? Make three piles: Keep, Throw and Donate, and be ruthless! Let the kids pitch in, and you'll be done in no time. If the kids are sad they have to get rid of some things, Marie says you should 'thank' items you are throwing away, for all the great memories. Once you've got your pile of things you want to keep, it's time to put them away. (Top tip: Try rolling the socks in the 'Hikidashi' technique to make more room in the drawer). These drawer organisers are also good for storing clothes and other bits you don't have a place for.
3. Kondo-ing Clothes
When it comes to the rest of your kid's wardrobe, it's the same drill. Again, make three piles and take an afternoon to work through them! Try allowing your child to take an active role in sorting their items - this will encourage good decision-making and help them to appreciate what they need and what they don't.
Top tip: Wardrobe organisers like this one are a fantastic way to double up on space. Simply hang one up in the wardrobe or cupboard and fill them with chunky jumpers, shoes, or anything else you like (this is also a great way to deal with toy overflow!).
4. Box Those Books
If your kids love to read, it can be painful to let go of books that they had when they were younger. However, don't feel like you have to get rid of anything you don't want to. If you feel like future generations could get more use out of the children's books, or you just want to free up some space, box 'em up! Under bed storage boxes are a really good way to store things like this, and will also keep them in good nick for future use.
5. Tidying Up After Your Little Picasso
Every parent at some point wonders what exactly to do with their child's precious (yet numerous) drawings, paintings, and various other crafts. If your kids rooms are filled with drawings, no fear! There are a number of ways to organise your child's artistic endeavours. You could try creating a scrapbook, as shown on our blog. Designate a sketchbook or plain book to the artwork and get the kids to help you stick their work in and decorate the book. And there you have it, a memory book you can treasure for years to come!
If scrapbooking isn't your style, you can happily store your child's drawings in a box file. These ones are inexpensive and come in a variety of fun colours. Once all the drawings are all together, they can be easily stored and the file will help keep the drawings safe from damage.
6. Tackling The Toys
Once we've done the clothes, the drawings, and the books, it's finally time to declutter toys. Don't stress though, by now you'll be a pro at prioritisation, and the children will know what to do. Encourage them to think about the toys they really love and use, and those that maybe aren't getting the airtime they once did. The children can try saying 'thank you' to the toys they are getting rid of, and perhaps find somewhere in their room they want to keep the ones that are staying.
Top tip: If you don't already have a toy box and you're looking for somewhere the kids can keep their toys after a long day of playing, a big storage box like this one will do the job perfectly.
- Try giving these printable to-do lists to the kids - they will love ticking off their tasks once they're done!
- Aim to tidy room by room to help split up the work into manageable chunks.
- Kidadler Jennifer says "One tip that's worked for me for a long time is getting kids to tidy up to the Mission Impossible theme tune, i.e trying to beat it before it finishes. What they don't know is that you tube has a 7 min extended version so they always 'win'!"
- If you have a lot to throw out, see if you can upcycle or reuse anything. Check out our upcycling tips here.
- If some of your items are still in good shape but you don't have use for them, consider repurposing or donating them to charity - someone else is bound to have a use for them!
- When tidying kids rooms, remember that there might always be a little bit of clutter, and that's okay!
You can find extra decluttering tips on the Kidadl blog, here.
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