I Have 5 Kids. Here’s How I Get (and Keep) Their Bedrooms Organized
One thing I’m doing to manage the chaos and disorder that comes with having five kids is relinquishing control. Messes will be made, and they’ll be cleaned up at some point. It’s not worth our family’s peace to impose order at the expense of relationships. On the other hand, for our household to function smoothly (and for Mom — that’s me — to function smoothly), I’ve found that trying to maintain some modicum of order is essential. This is especially true when it comes to one particular area: my kids’ bedrooms.
My three boys share one bedroom, and my two girls share another. With multiple children and multiple ages in each room, I think you can imagine that they are not always perfect. But, over the course of 13 years, I have discovered a few tricks for keeping them organized. Here are my top tips:
Pick up the room once a day.
It’s so much easier to pick up small messes daily than to do a huge cleanup when things get overwhelming. Make it a habit to pick up out-of-place clothes, toys, books, etc. each night before bedtime or whatever time is convenient. It may go without saying, but include your children in this chore whenever possible.
Plan for a weekly re-set.
Even with daily pick-ups, it’s important to set aside time for a weekly cleaning. Pick up under beds, tidy up closets and drawers, clear surfaces, and put away everything that’s out of place.
Make beds as easy to make as possible.
Making sure that your kids’ beds are as easy to make as possible goes a long way in helping their rooms look neat. Personally, I opt out of top sheets and use a comforter with a duvet cover (which we wash regularly). This simplifies their bed-making.
Put a donation box in the closet.
When kids’ clothes are too small (or you’re tired of trying to convince them to wear that top they hate), they need a place to go. Keeping a box nearby makes it easy to declutter these clothes from the ones that actually fit (and that they actually wear).
Cull clothing twice a year.
Even if you’re diligent about putting outgrown clothes in the donation box, you’ll need to go through all your kids’ clothing twice a year. It’s so much easier to keep drawers and closets in order when they’re not overstuffed and a small, manageable set of clothes also makes laundry more manageable.
I usually do this at the end of summer and then again at the end of winter. I deal with the seasonal items I know won’t fit next year and also keep an eye out for permanently stained or ripped clothes that need to be taken out of rotation.
Keep toys somewhere else.
If you can, consider keeping your kids’ toys somewhere that isn’t the bedroom. Maintaining your kids’ bedrooms as their sleeping zones is much simpler than cleaning up a multi-use space. Plus, having toys in a communal space helps the entire family take ownership of keeping things tidy rather than shutting the door on the mess as we might be tempted to do if playing happens in bedrooms.
Create a special place for “treasures.”
Depending on the ages of your children, they may have trinkets and keepsakes that can quickly clutter up their rooms. Giving them a shelf or even a plastic shoe box for their special items helps keep surfaces clear.
Lean on your local library.
I love a chock-full bookshelf as much as anybody, but too many to choose from can be overwhelming not only for you, but for them! Make use of your local library for an influx and outflux of books to keep things exciting without acquiring too much to maintain.
This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: 8 Tips for Getting (and Keeping) Your Kids’ Bedrooms Organized, According to a Mom of 5