Spring is here soon, which means many are thrilled for warmer weather, flowers and for me spring cleaning. Many say I’m crazy because I am a self-confessed clean freak, however I like my home clean and organized. I stay on track monthly which isn’t possible for some, so if you’re the once-a-year declutterer, now is the time to think about the kids room and play room. Stuff piles up quickly, broken toys are found everywhere and children outgrow toys pretty fast, so throwing away, organizing supplies and getting stuff ready for donations needs to be done. Here are a few tips to help with spring cleaning and organizing the kids rooms.
- Get Organized-Before beginning the big task of clearing out, be sure to buy some new bins, storage totes and shelves to keep toys at bay. We love Toy Tutors toy organizer bins for younger boys & girls and we keep our books organized with the Hearthsong personalized canvas book rack.
- Begin when kids are in school-My 5 year old gets real emotional when she sees me throwing out her beloved toys. So there won’t be any meltdowns, and less stress on you, be sure to start organizing when kids are in school.
- Get bins, bags and boxes-Label each bin; get rid of, donate, keep, sell. Some items have great value, so I like to try to earn some money back for them, but keep in mind, many need things and can’t afford them. Try to keep your sell price fair. You can sell in your local newspaper, Craigslist or even save for the garage sale you’ll be having. Get rid of box is trash and donate box will go to whichever local organization you like. I always recommend checking to see if items have been recalled before donating or selling. Put into use the helpful toy and product recall finder from Parents.
- Dump it all out-Dump everything in the middle of the floor and begin organizing. Toss items into the labeled bins for easy organization.
- Clean-Everything! This means ALL corners, curtains, ceilings and wipe down baseboards before organizing. Dust all furniture, shelving and wipe down books and toys. If you have lighting, ceiling fans and window treatments such as blinds, clean these as well. This is also an ideal time to flip the mattress.
- Wash windows-In my opinion the best way to clean windows is with an equal parts mixture of distilled vinegar and water and wipe with newspaper!
- Go through dressers and closets-You may need your child with you for this to see if clothing still fits. If it doesn’t donate. We always give to a family friend.
- Put Away- This is the time to get organized by placing similar items in organization toy bins. Keep cars, trucks and trains in one bin, Barbie and her accessories in another, Nerf bullets, army men, play food, dress-up and so on. You can even label bins for younger children to try to keep their items together. OrgJunkie has free printable toy labels you can use!
- Sweep, Vacuum and mop- Once everything has been cleaned and organized and put back into its spot, it is time to clean the floor. Sweep first, than vacuum, mop or steam clean the floors.
- Teach kids to keep rooms tidy- Set some rules for the kids. Every night after dinner, my children know their bedrooms must be picked up. This was a challenging task for my youngest, as she is a social child, but she enjoys it now. Buy some microfiber mitts, so kids can spot dust, make a list of what should be done such as putting dirty clothes in the hamper, putting toys away and making the bed. Show them how to make a bed. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and don’t go in after them to remake their bed. Older children can obviously have more chores for their rooms such as vacuuming, cleaning their windows and putting their clothes away.
- Set a good example- If you are not keeping your room or home tidy, children don’t feel they should either. Now would be a great time to begin cleaning.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting task. I have always enjoyed cleaning and hope my kids will like it as well. They know our home is spotless and they also know everyone’s isn’t sparkly like ours. Make a game out of cleaning to see who can clean the fastest but it must also be efficient. Give them a treat by taking them for ice cream in the early stages. If you are one who is for allowances, giving kids a small monetary treat works well. Remember not doing chores and keeping their rooms tidy require consequences as well. No video games, TV or playing with friends if their bedroom stays a mess.