Home Decluttering Tips For Your Children's Safety
When we are considering setting up chores for our children, often the first one we settle on is cleaning their room. Often this is centered around the basics of removing laundry items, putting toys and books away and putting away clean laundry.
We are seldom focusing on the safety aspects of having an orderly and clean environment for our kids.
Of course, the dirty clothes need to be dealt with and organizing a school work space and play area are very important. Involve your children in all the aspects of their personal space.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Show them the basics of clean up
- Involve them in a safety check
- Personalize organization spaces
- Declutter as a team
- Encourage play
- Variety of rewards
Show Them the Basics of Clean Up
Start with the obvious. Have a laundry basket in their room that reflects their personality. If they are into basketball, for example, having a hoop over the opening will help them practice and be a fun way to encourage dirty cloths will land in their proper place.
Show them how easy it is to keep the floor clear of clothes if they put them in the basket daily. It also only takes a few seconds versus more time on a weekend. Demonstrate how easy it is to hurt yourself by tripping over clothes strewn all over the floor.
Ensure there are no dirty dishes or glasses in the room. Perhaps, even go online and show them the nasty insects and critters that spoiling food may attract.
The principle of putting something away when you’re done with it is a difficult lesson for all of us. There’s always the ‘I may want it later’ conversation that happens in our heads. Create a way of organizing their toys, games and books that is easy and logical for them to maintain. Involve them in these decisions.
Involve Them In A Safety Check
Once they have put away the basics, involve them in a monthly safety check of their room. Look for any broken or loosened furniture and shelving. Check that the windows are secure and any openings are too small for them to fall out. Check electrical outlets, electrical cords and gaming equipment for wear and tear. Replace any worn cords and plugs. Replace burnt out light bulbs. Remove broken toys and damaged game cases.
Personalize Organization Spaces
When looking for organizational pieces for your child’s room, take the time to determine if it will be easier for them if it’s based on colour, letters or numbers. Take them with you when you are shopping for ideas. Or even better, go online with them and have them create a wish list.
Make an effort to be consistent in the style of boxes or baskets, shelves or bins and the size of containers needed. Too much variety can increase the look of clutter and confusion.
Declutter as a Team
Children’s attention spans are often short, so when decluttering pick one thing to accomplish at a time. For example, say this Saturday we are going through the clothes in your dresser to see what is too small, what needs repair and what can’t be used. Get them involved in the sorting and take them with you to the donation bin.
Then in a couple of weeks do the same with toys or video games. Encourage them to declutter regularly, especially before making their wish lists for special occasions.
As your children outgrow their clothes or toys you will need to decide what to do with them. If you are passing these items onto your other children you will need the storage space to keep them. If you don't have the extra space needed consider renting a storage unit. Storage units come in a variety of sizes and you can store other seasonal items not being used on a regular basis.
When they are cleaning and/or decluttering, have them choose some music they love and have it play loudly. They can dance while tossing clothes into the laundry basket, practice singing along while sorting toys into bins and generally have a good time while working.
Have a timer for speed sorting a variety of items; setting goals and rewards. This could be great fun for kids sharing a room; especially if they enjoy competing with each other.
Variety of Rewards
Rewards for doing their chores and creating a clean and organized space in their room should include not only monetary, such as an allowance, but other rewards they personally enjoy. The reward needs to be tailored to the child’s personality. For some, allowance is priority, for others it may be a trip to the ice cream shop or a movie night.
Enjoy having your children involved in having a personal space where they feel safe and happy.
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