Recently I talked about the different toy storage systems I have tried over the last 14 years throughout my playroom. You can read all about it here.
Upon writing the above, it gave me the motivation, determination and inspiration to actually go and clean out the mess that had accumulated over the many enduring weeks of the school holidays. You can see the before and after pictures here.
Now I can be unrealistic and say that my new set up is now ‘perfect’ and it will never be disorganised ever again…..well, this is totally WRONG.
How do I know this? Because, I have lots of little kids ~ BOYS in particular and to make matters worse a 3 year old boy!
This 3 year old of mine would make a good Demolition or Construction Worker as he could create chaos and mess in the playroom in the space of 10 minutes quite easily.
Obviously cleaning the playroom every day is the best option so it doesn’t end up the way it did over the school holidays. Keeping it tidy requires the help of many helpers ~ ‘many hands make light work’, therefore I make it a family task or one or two children have this job.
Chores are important in this busy household and with many helping hands, tasks can get done quicker, especially the playroom.
If the kids were home to help me the other day (though I didn’t mind the day home alone to get through the mess), it would have been done in half the time it took me.
The main areas that always seem to be out of order in my playroom are:
Bookshelf and Books
Of course it’s impossible for a child to remove only one book and the whole shelf of books has to be removed as well. As for my 3 year old, he just treats books like they are dominoes (I did say Demolition Worker didn’t I) and throws them all over the floor.
Lego & Blocks
These get tipped out at an alarming rate, WHOOSH and are either played with for days on end or for about 10 minutes. The worst thing about these toys is they tend to hide in the most unique places and during the ‘black of night’ the pieces develop tiny legs which happen to become active the moment you walk up a dark hallway or into a child’s bedroom to check on the little darlings sleeping in their beds. I firmly believe that Lego was invented as a form of torture. If any of you have trodden on one of these, then you will know the experience I am referring too.
Again, these are very similar to the Lego; out they go all over the floor and played with for a short amount of time. I highly recommend parental supervision while a child is using puzzles. After going through my box recently; I found several pieces missing (others found in odd places around the room) and some had just completely vanished.
This as you may have seen from my before/after photos is a hot spot for mess. When the kids are on playroom duty, they seem to think “mum wont know, lets hide it in here” (a bit like in a wardrobe right). WRONG. The toy box is not the rubbish bin *sigh*.
So, cleaning the playroom is something every child can learn to do from a very early age.
From the age of 1 (when they are first learning to stand and possibly walk) they can quite easily pick up a toy and put it in a box or container.
2 year olds can even have a game of picking up toys and putting them away. They often will copy a sibling or parent too.
From the age of 3 – 5 they can also help a lot more and are even quite capable of sorting the toys correctly (cars and trucks together, or blocks into individual boxes).
From 6 or 7 they can sort books in sizes, do the puzzles and give the room a thorough clean (which includes also using a vacuum).
By the age of 10 and above, they can clean the whole thing themselves without the aid of mum or dad.
So when you have tasks or chores to be done around the home, it is a good idea to have a routine or chore chart set up too.
Each family is different and will decide what is required of each member of the family. Our chore charts are pretty simple, and easy to follow for each child. You can take a look here “Where do I begin”?
Don’t be discouraged; with a bit of know how and simple organisation tips your household can be tidy too. As I said ‘many hands make light work’.
Please head over to No Excuses! Easy organising for large families as there are many other great organisation ideas, recipes and household hints you might be interested in.
Otherwise here are a couple of other cleaning and organising tips to get you started: