I tend to go through the same cycle over and over again with the kids’ rooms. Okay, the whole house, but that’s not what this is about. Here’s how it goes:
1. I get things organized, hung up, and put away.
2. It lasts for one afternoon.
3. Everything explodes out of the closets.
4. It stays messy for too long until I can get to it again.
5. Rinse and repeat.
It drives me crazy. I know part of it is just the simple fact that when you don’t put things away as you’re done using them, well, they don’t get put away. I’m trying hard to apply this principle (clean as you go!) to the rest of the house, but we are hardly ever in the kids’ room, and it just seems like there is so. much. stuff. in there all the time.
We had guests staying with us off and on for a good chunk of December and January (which was wonderful!), but because of that I decided to combine the kids’ clothes in Dustin’s closet so that I didn’t have to keep bugging whoever was staying in the nursery (I use that term loosely… there was a crib in there, queen bed, and Chloe’s clothes.) with getting another diaper and change of clothes (because obviously, it’d be 437 times a day). All that to say, Dustin’s closet was pretty packed with toys and clothes, except when they all spilled out into his room (see step 3 above).
Today was the day to clean it out. Here’s the before (it was worse than it looks!)
It didn’t take long, especially when the kids discovered how fun all the extra hangers were that I was throwing on the floor. Seriously. They played with them for the whole time basically. Happily. Without hitting each other. I may get them out as a special activity next week .Though you know it won’t have the same effect!
I started by just going through all the clothes and anything that I realized I never dress my kids in (because too short or too sparkly :/ or too short sleeved for winter, etc.) I threw in the crib to be organized and packed away in the appropriate tubs. We were handed down so many clothes when our kids were born (and continue to be as they grow!) which has been one of the biggest blessings. I’ve had to remind myself, though, that that doesn’t mean we have to use all of them. Just because Chloe has seven size 18 month zip up hooded pink jackets (ehm), doesn’t mean we have to keep them all out.
Here’s all the clothes I pulled out of their closet that they never wear. Crazy!
I already have their toys on somewhat of a rotation, so cleaning that up was more of putting them back on the shelves, putting away the stuffed animals they never play with, and grabbing a tub for their dress up clothes they got over Christmas.
What I’m really realizing is that it’s less about organizing the mess, and more about simplifying what we have so that there’s not so much excess to make the mess. I mean, it’s only day one, but I’m hoping we can put off the everything exploding back into the room step a little longer.
With my little knight helping out.
(sorry about the grainy pictures… we’ve been living under clouds over here!)
If you’re remotely interested in the setup that works best for us, in the top shelf of the closet I now have Dustin’s puzzles on the far left, a basket for all socks looking for a partner (so many socks), basket for shoes we every day, library books, other books that I’ll rotate down later. Dustin’s dress shirts and sweat shirts are hanging in the closet, along with Chloe’s jackets, shirts, and dresses. We have a hanging organizer on the right for their pajamas and pants. Dustin’s daily shirts and underwear are in another drawer on the other side of the room. This way, he can reach all the clothes he needs to get dressed most days and now he pretty much does that by himself.
Have you found any difference between organizing and simplifying? How much of keeping their room clean or getting dressed is your kids’ responsibility?