Let’s face it: life is hectic. Add children to the mix and sometimes it can seem impossible to keep your home orderly and organized. Recently we provided some tips and pointers on how to declutter in the New Year. Here we will expand on some of those suggestions. If you’re looking for ways to streamline and organize with kids, you’ve come to the right place.
Organizing With Babies
For some, this might seem like a no-brainer. After all, how much of a mess can babies make when they can’t even walk yet? While infants may not be able to make a mess in their room yet, there are still plenty of opportunities for organization when you have a baby in the house.
- Consider having a few diaper changing stations around the house. Organizing is always easier when you have dedicated spaces for activities. When it comes to changing diapers, it may help if you have a changing station on every floor of your home. This way, if you’re with the baby in the basement, you’ll have everything you need for a diaper change already at hand. If this sounds like something that might be beneficial for you, you may also consider a diaper disposal system on each floor.
- Don’t procrastinate washing bottles. If your little one bottle feeds, you’ll know that it’s all too easy to just toss the empty bottle in the sink for washing later. Not only does this promote bacterial growth, but it can also leave you in a lurch if you need a clean bottle and have none. For convenience, keep a bottle brush and dish soap on the counter by the kitchen sink and be diligent about washing used bottles promptly. Allowing them to air dry on a bottle rack can also save time.
- Keep stain fighters handy. If you have a baby, you know they can be very messy. Make it easier to pre-treat dirty clothes by keeping stain fighters near the clothes hamper (out of the child’s reach, of course). This can save you time and money in the long run.
Organizing with Young Children
It’s no secret that children thrive on consistency and many parents find it easier to relax when there is order to their home. While it can be challenging keeping your home clutter-free with the many toys out there on the market, these tips can help:
- Have a dedicated play space for kids. For some, this means having a play room. For others, this may mean designating part of an existing room to play. Even in the tightest of quarters, you can benefit from having a dedicated play space for your kids. Your children will feel special knowing they have their own little space. Likewise, you can relax easier when toys are not laying all over the house.
- Sort through toys often. It’s amazing how quickly kids can collect toys. You may consider keeping a storage bin in their play space. As your children outgrow certain toys, toss it in the bin. Once the bin is full, it’s time to sell or donate the toys. Some also consider a “one-in-one-out” strategy: for every new toy, have your kids pick an old toy to pass along for someone else to use.
- Store clothes intentionally and sort through them often. This follows the same philosophy as toys. Having dedicated storage for clothes is vital and will help you keep clothes off the floor. Additionally, make sure you have a spot for dirty clothes that is in the same room where your kids remove their clothes. Find a storage method that works for you and stick with it (i.e. hanging all shirts and folding all pants). Make a point to go through your child’s wardrobe as season’s change. Consider having separate bins or baskets for clothes that no longer fit and clothes that will fit soon.
Organizing with Teens
Older children present an entirely different set of challenges for several reasons. If you’re struggling to keep your home organized with teenagers, read on:
- Create a quiet space for homework to be completed. This is beneficial for several reasons. Having a specific place for homework to be done provides consistency. A quiet, distraction-free space will allow your child to give their homework the focus it needs. Additionally, a separate homework space means that your kitchen, living room, or other spaces are not invaded by books, binders, and pencils.
- Keep sports equipment contained. Sports gear can be bulky and difficult to store in a house. For this reason, many people dedicate a portion of their garage to these items. Keeping this equipment in the garage also makes it handy to grab as you’re dashing out to practices and games. The key to this solution is remembering to put the equipment back in its storage place after using it so that it’s not laying around the house.
- Consider a family contract. A few months ago, we recommended the use of a family contract. This can be an especially useful tool for teenagers. The best part about a family contract is that it can evolve over time as your teenager gets older. Teaching your teens about organization and responsibility will benefit them well into the future.
Remember that organization is an investment that pays out over time. Coming up with and sticking to a reliable system will allow you more free time to spend with your kids. If the thought of coming up with a workable system makes you anxious, give us a call for a free estimate. We would love to help you!