Keeping the Kids Bedrooms Organized
By Michelle LaRowe, America’s Nanny
Kids need a quiet place to settle down at the end of a busy day. Creating an organized environment in their bedroom will help your child to unwind, whether it is for a short afternoon break or before they hit the hay. This is one room where less clutter means less distraction. If you want well-rested kids, less distraction is what they need.
Creating an organized bedroom for your child will help keep his things neat and orderly and help him develop a genuine understanding of the importance of caring for his belongings. When you tell him to pick up his clothes, he will know that you mean to throw them in the hamper, not under the bed. And when he’s trying to find his favorite baseball card, he won’t have to look far, because it’s exactly where it was supposed to be.
Ideally, the bedroom should be a fairly toy-free zone (except for books and stuffed animals for evening “wind down” time), but that’s only if you have enough room in your home for a separate playroom for the kids. If you allow your child to have toys in her room (or because of space limitations you have no other choice), be sure to have a set policy that all toys get put away before bedtime. Shelving is a great way to store toys, but if your kid’s room is lacking in that department, big baskets or bins are a good alternative
(Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Ross and Marshalls are all great places to purchase oversized baskets at a reasonable price).
Having a hamper in your child’s room will also promote good habits and foster independence. Be sure the hamper is child-friendly and easily accessible. Pop-up mesh hampers and laundry baskets work great for young kids and are often light-weight and easy for them to carry back and forth from the laundry room.
Placing a bin on the floor of your child’s closet will give you a quick way to eliminate closet clutter. Toss in clothes that don’t fit or clothes that your child just won’t wear. At the end of each season, sort through the bin. Store what you need for another child down the road, and donate what you don’t to a friend, family member or charitable organization that collects kids’ clothing.
You can keep your kids’ drawers organized by assigning a drawer for each type of clothing. Put socks and underwear in one drawer; nightwear in another; long-sleeved shirts in one and short-sleeved shirts in yet another; and pants in another. You’ll have to tweak the drawer assignments based on the amount of dresser space you have. Once you get a system in place, keeping up with it is fairly easy.
Hanging clothes in the closet can make managing your child’s wardrobe much easier. Hang clothes in groups, either by outfit or by item; then within each set of items, arrange by color. If you’re dealing with clothes of different sizes, use a hole punch to put a hole about an inch from the top of a piece of 8.5 x 11-inch paper and then write the size on the paper. Slide a hanger through the hole and use it to divide the sizes. Regardless of what method you choose, be sure to select your child’s outfit the night before and lay it out where your child can easily reach it.
When you’re dealing with laundry for two or more little ones, it’s easier to keep up with the volume by throwing in a daily load. But I’m a nanny whose workplace is at the home, so you may find that a twice-weekly routine works better for you. Still, you might consider using the washer as a hamper so that you don’t get buried in dirty laundry. Whenever you change your baby or toddler, just toss the outfit in the washer. When it’s full enough to do a load, all you have to do is add detergent and you’re good to go.
Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.
She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.
Podcast of Interview with
Books by Michelle LaRowe
A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.
Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.
Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
To learn more, visit www.michellelarowe.com
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