Monday, June 9, 2014

Organizing Kid's Rooms ~ Day 1 ~


Okay! Ready? Set? Go!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right! Today is Day 1 of our 22 Days To a Cleaner & Organized Life.
So let's get crackin'! I said....Well okay. We need to have a plan. Don't we?  We don't just jump in head first; I guess. Even though it might feel like that at times.
Today we are going to learn some basics and like the old saying; Rome wasn't built in a day! And it took God six days to complete His tasks. So we will just take baby steps.
First get these items ready because you will need all of them during our 22 days together:
    1. trash bags (I would have the lawn size, cause let's hope there's a lot to throw away & donate)
    2. duster (I use Swiffer Dusters, not the flat sheets )
    3. dust cloth (I use microfiber and flannel type cloths)
    4. furniture spray (Pledge Dust & Allergens is great)
    5. dust mop for solid floors
    6. broom & dust pan
    7. vacuum
    8. bucket (you'll need water in it later)
    9. rags ( handi-wipes or old washcloths work well)
    10. all-purpose cleaner (Mr. Clean, 409, Fabuloso all work well)
    11. rubber gloves (you never know what you might find) 
    12. windex
    13. paper towels 
    14. 1 LARGE bin for each child's room for now
I'm sure there will be other items along the way that your going to need but for now that should do it!
So if you're ready to get started!!!!

Today we will tackle the kids rooms. Now I know you can't be in multiple places at the same time. But if you have older children, they won't need you hovering over them the whole time. That leaves you available for your younger kiddos. Motivation is the key here!

You need to realize that their room, in their minds, is as big of a task as cleaning and organizing your whole home is to you.
I'm not super woman and I don't believe you are either. So organizing your whole home in one day would not be feasible so why should we think a child could do their whole room, cleaning, tossing, and organizing, in one day either.

I want you to break their rooms into quarters. That way they only have to focus on cleaning that section of their room that day. Yes it is going to probably take them 5 maybe even 6 days to get their room clean and organized. Now realistically we both know that they will not be able to organize their room the way you want them too. You most definitely will want to help them when it comes time for this task. But first we need them to get their room clean!

  • Start by having them pick up all their clothes
  • Have them examine the clothes to see if they are dirty or clean. 
    • Dirty toss into dirty clothes hamper. Clean hang or fold. 
      • Don't let them just keep their clothes lying around or on the floor. Teach them to be responsible. If you have gone to the trouble of washing, folding and hanging their clothes for them; then they by all means should be expected to put them away, if they are old enough, and put them where they go. Not just shoved gosh knows where or on the floor. This also holds true for the kiddos that have been taught to launder their own clothes. And a big kudos to you Moms who have been able to let go of this area. After all as parents we're suppose to teach our children to be responsible human beings. Trust me, Moms of boys your Daughter-in-laws are going to appreciate this one for sure. You can ask any one of my 3 kiddos and they will tell you the first time at the ages of between 10 & 12 years old when they got upset because I had not gotten their "whatever" washed.....I took them by the hand and introduced them to the WASHER & DRYER! And that's when they started doing their own laundry and did it quiet well I might add. So all kiddos need to  RESPECT THE CLOTHES!! Sorry I got a little into that section.....Let's move on shall we? 
Now you may need a shovel for this one to clear the space.
  • Place 2 trash bags and 1 large bin into the center of the room.   
    • Since they will only be working on 1 quarter of their room at a time, these bags need to be easy to get to from each section. Take the bag out of the room as it gets full and replace it with a new bag. This will help cut down on extra clutter and also it gives a feeling of accomplishment! 
      • Label each bag and the bin as follows 
        • Bag #1 is for TOSS, Bag #2 is for DONATE or GARAGE SALE, Large Bin is for KEEP (you will deal with this bin after all the room is cleaned).
  • Let them pick which quarter they want to work on first. 
    • Once that's decided, dig in!  
      • Pick up an item only 1 time! Decide where it goes and toss it in! 
  • If there's furniture in that quarter of the room, like an entertainment center, game system, desk, etc. be sure to clean it out as well. And the same goes for the closet too! 
    • Use the same tossing system. 
      • Now of course if it has folded clothes in it leave them alone. And if there are clothes still hanging in the closet and not all over the floor, leave them hanging. We will go through those 2 areas after everything is cleaned up. 
        • But if there is stuff in with the clothes that shouldn't be........GET IT OUT!!!  
        • Keep doing this until that quarter is cleaned. 

And that is the end of day 1!

  • If they feel like they want to continue, by all means do not stop....keep on a goin'! 
    • But let them do the next quarter alone....maybe? At least try! They may still need your guidance on somethings as to which bag or bin it goes into. So don't go too far!!!

  • Continue doing this until ALL 4 quarters are CLEAN! And hopefully it only took you 4 days to do this! 

Whew!! Now the room is cleaned up

  •  It is time to tackle those drawers and the closet too that we talked about a little earlier !! Do the very same thing as you did with the room. Toss, Donate, Garage Sale or Keep. If keeping it put it away NOW or  if it is not staying then TOSS IT OUT NOW!!!

    • Take the bags in the middle of the floor out to the garage or wherever you want to store them until they can be taken to the appropriate place. 
      •  Keep the bin close by because you're going to be going through it soon.
      •  Now there is still work to be done. They may or may not be able to do some of this. Please use your best judgement. But please let them do as much as possible.

  • If there is a ceiling fan now would be the time to dust it. And Venetian blinds too! 
  • You can, but I don't believe it is necessary to keep focusing on the room divided into quarters. 
    • Take and pull each piece of furniture one at a time, away from the wall. Don't give your child or yourself a hernia. If it is just too heavy to shove, scoot or drag then NEVER MIND! But for the furniture that can be moved do so. 
    • Take the broom and sweep at the base of the baseboards. Get all that nasty dust out from between the carpet and baseboard.    
    • Put some all-purpose cleaner & water into the bucket and with a rag start to wash off any finger prints or marks on the wall and baseboards.
    • Also if there is a lot of dust on the furniture I would recommend you damping a rag with the all-purpose cleaner & water and wiping it off. 
      • This will catch most of the dust and cut down of the dust flowing elsewhere too. Now don't do this every time you clean. That wouldn't be good for the wood furniture.
    • Vacuum real good and then scoot the furniture back into place, unless you want to rearrange the furniture. This would be a great time to do that! 
    • Continue doing this until you have cleaned behind and underneath each piece of furniture.
Now smell.....Doesn't it smell clean! And it is clean!

Okay enough smelling we've still got work to do!  You remember that LARGE BIN? Well now we get to go through it! 
      • take each and every item and sort them by likeness. Lego, trucks, dolls, kitchen toys, etc. and make piles
      • once everything is sorted out you need to decide where they are going to go and how they will be stored. 
Here are some ideas that might help you get a visual and come up with a plan that will work best for you and your kiddos.

{From Imperfect Homemaking}
{From I Heart Organizing}
You can help your child help themselves by making it easy for them to reach their own clothes. Otherwise keeping them picked up and put away will be a battle. One way to achieve this cheaply is to measure the existing clothes rod.  Go to The Home Depot to get the proper lengths of both a big round dowel rod  and chain. You also need 4 S-Hooks or you could use metal shower curtain hooks. Put 1 hook at each end of the existing clothes rod & add chain. Now attach another hook to the loose end of the chain and place the dowel rod into the 2 hooks. You now have an upper and lower rod.  Hang your kiddos out of season clothes up top and seasonal clothing on the lower level. This will make your life so much easier by letting your kiddos be in charge of what to wear and helping you put away their clothes too.

 Utilize an under bed drawer in creative ways. Make a "Built-in" Shelving System by using several bookcases together. Mount Coat Rack to hold buckets for storing small items. 
{From: Daniel Sicolo}
Furni Kidz

{From: The Old White Cottage}

{From: Raisin' 4}
I think this is an awesome idea for all those Lego pieces. Another idea is to use one of those upright tool chest like Craftsman makes. So many drawers and I know 3 little boys in my family that could fill each drawer up fast!

{found on Pinterest but no website available}
I'm not sure where to find this item. I tried but to no avail. So my suggestion if you like this idea, I would look at Target or Walmart and get a clear shoe holder. While I was looking for this particular item I saw many uses for shoe holders.  They are usually fairly inexpensive and can store so many small yet pesky things like electronic wires, game software, controllers, computer parts, etc.!

{From: Country Living Magazine; taken by Andrea Wyner}
Using old suitcases or bins to slide under bed s is a great storage idea. They slide easily under the bed. They are great to have out in stacks or even as a nightstand to store things like extra blankets, sheets or out of season clothes.

I know I have given you a lot of information to digest. The list of storage ideas are limitless. Use your imagination to figure out something that will work for you and your kiddos and especially your budget. Remember it doesn't matter how cute or functional the storage is....if you don't teach your kiddos how to use it and to clean up as they go (and trust me I know this is super hard. I have had my years of battling the "CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM!" days. The big thing is you have got to have your kids on board with this to make it work. At first you may have to continue to monitor them. Find a reward or consequence system to try. But DO NOT make it something YOU are NOT GOING TO BE CONSISTENT WITH! If it doesn't work try something else. Everything isn't for everybody!

One blog I came across, the Mom figured out a way that worked for them and it just might for you too. She told her kids that they could get out as many toys as they wanted. The catch was that it all had to be put up before they left whether to play elsewhere or to leave the house. She told them that if she saw anything no matter how big or small out, they had to go to bed 15 minutes early that night. It happened just a few times before they realized how early they were having to go to bed than their siblings were.

So in a nutshell:

  1. Get the room clean
  2. Get the room organized in a way that will work for your family
  3. Find the right storage for your budget
  4. Label everything! Labels work wonders. If your kiddos cannot read yet, find pictures in magazines, cut them out and tape onto the containers, doors or drawers.
  5. Find a consequence system for either good or bad caring of their space
  6. Be consistent 
♥Please if you have any questions about anything I've shared with you or you have ideas that you would like to share leave a note below by clicking on the "Comment" link at the bottom of this post and I will do my best to get you a quick answer. Also I have mentioned many items and locations to purchase them. I do not get any money or kick back for doing so. I am merely trying to make it easier for you to locate the items. Thank you so much for your visit here today and I hope you were able to glean something from it.

Encouragement for the spirit:
"He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way" Psalm 25:9

Blessings ♥

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