It’s that time of year! As spring slowly crawls our way, it’s the perfect time to spring clean our homes. Not only does a clean and organized house feel good, there are a lot of great lessons for our kiddos in the process. They can group and sort items and are learning empathy by donating clothes and toys to children and families in need.
How do you normally like to tackle projects – a little at a time or all at once? When you know how you work best, plan your project that way. Block out an entire weekend, or start with just one closet. No matter which way you prefer to work, make sure you map out enough time to get the area you’re working on completed. Doing so will means you’ll have a better chance moving on to another area more quickly.
When you’re cleaning out an area, you’ll have some stuff that is trash, some that can be rehomed and some that you’d like to keep, but just not in that same area. Create a system with bags and bins to make sure your stuff doesn’t get accidentally lost or given away. For example; trash goes in black bags, give away items in white trash bags and items that are keepers but need a new location go in storage bins.
In addition to how you’re going to sort, really think about how you use each space. Maybe you’re using the closet by the front door for cleaning storage, but those items would be easier access if they were in the laundry room. Or rearrange how the items are stored in a space – like moving daily clothing items within your child’s reach so that they can dress themselves.
When you start with a section or area of your home, remove everything – yes everything! Getting every last item out of that closet or cabinet ensures that nothing is hidden behind an item. It also helps to really maximize the space by clearing out anything that doesn’t belong. In addition, when everything is cleared out it’s much easier to give those shelves and drawers a good wipe down. Organizing items in a clean space? That’s a winning combination.
Giving your kids small tasks like sorting items (think crayons and markers), matching socks, or even checking expiration dates on food items are all great tasks. In addition, when making those sometimes contentious give away piles, talk with your kids about other families that may not have toys to play with or clothes that fit. And how giving away toys and clothes that they don’t play with is a nice way to support those less fortunate.
When picking storage items, choose from all the same brand. This will ensure that you’re never without the “right” lid for a storage bin. Line bins with pictures of the items that belong in that bin to make for easier child lead pick up. Lastly, for some storage, look for digital versions. Pictures, artwork, and paperwork can all be scanned into various apps for clutter free storage. Check out these apps for storing artwork. And we like Evernote for all those pesky paper piles.