Professional home organiser and mom of two, Saskia Wild, has this advice to get (and keep) your child’s room organised.
Teach them to make the bed
When you walk in your child’s room, the bed is the first thing you’ll notice because it’s the biggest thing in there. When the bed is made, the room already looks neater. You can already teach your child from a young age to put their pillows and soft toys neatly on their bed when they get up in the morning. As they get older, you can move on to teaching them to smooth out the sheet and tuck it in (if it’s not fitted), and put the duvet on the bed.
Use storage containers that your child likes to look at and are easy to use
Great looking storage solutions that have clear labels or simple pictures to help them identify contents can help motivate your child to keep their space organised. Keep things simple by using storage that’s not complicated to access. You can even keep lids off containers if they’re in the way when your little one is trying to find or put toys away.
Don’t put things down – put them away
Teach your childthat it takes only a few seconds to put something away. So, instead of leaving their books on their bed, for example, teach them to put them in the bookshelf. Finished a drawing or a craft? Put the paper and crafting supplies back in the box or container where they belong.
If you buy your child a new dress, T-shirt or sweater, encourage her to give one away that she hasn’t worn for a year, or has outgrown. The same goes for toys – encourage them to select and donate another toy in their room to a child that doesn’t have one or a charity when she gets a new one.
Close the circle
Encourage your child to complete the cycle of the task they’re busy with from an early age. So, when you ask them to bath, for example, they need to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket and hang up their towel, too, to finish the cycle. When it comes to homework, to complete the cycle, they need to get you to sign their homework diary and notices, they need to pack their books away in their bag and put the bag on its “launch pad” (a designated area at the entrance of your home) for the next day – cycle finished.
Have a donation station in your home
Pick a spot that you and the kids will use to put things that you no longer use, need or want. It could be a box or a bag in your garage or in a cupboard. This way you are always reminded to keep clutter at bay. When it’s full, take your kids with to drop it off at your local charity. This approach will encourage generosity in your family too.
At the end of the day, go through your home with a basket, collecting everything that’s not in its place and put it where it belongs. You can teach your kids to do the same – that is, collect their things and put it away where it belongs in their room before jumping into bed at night.
More about the expert:
Saskia Wild is a mom of 2 teens and owner of Simply Sorted. She offers customised, hands-on decluttering and organising for your home. For more info visit: www.simplysorted.co.za or follow her on Facebook for more tips.
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.