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How to Clean and Organize Children's Rooms

How to Clean and Organize Children's Rooms

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Kids are spoiled for choice when it comes to toys, arts and crafts, and activities. With bedrooms filled to the brim with more stuff than you can poke a stick at, it can be nearly impossible keeping them clean and organized.

Although it can feel like a losing battle, cleaning and organizing a kid's room can be a manageable task with the right approach. Let’s go through some steps to help you effectively clean and organize the space.

Mess and Mental Health

When you’re dealing with constant mess and mayhem in your home, even if it’s confined to one area, it can have a lasting impact on your mental health. For children whose bedrooms are consistently chaotic, it can affect their concentration, focus, mood, and energy.

So, as adults, it’s important that you help them keep their bedrooms clutter-free, so it becomes a place for them to relax and play.

Why Cleaning Kids Spaces Requires More Effort

It might seem like a pretty straightforward task, to clean a child’s room. But it takes a little more effort and energy than cleaning for an adult. Here’s why:

1. Kids Have Higher Activity Levels

Children tend to play and engage in activities in their bedrooms, leading to toys, art supplies, and other items being scattered around. This creates more mess and clutter.

Spills, crumbs, and other messes are more common in kids' rooms due to snacks, drinks, and arts and crafts activities. So you’ll need to get the vacuum cleaner out more often.

2. Kids Are Sensitive Little Germ Factories

Kids, especially those with allergies or asthma, can be more sensitive to dust and allergens. Frequent cleaning helps maintain better air quality.

Children are often more prone to getting sick and spreading germs, particularly those in daycare and school, so regular cleaning helps reduce the risk of illness.

3. It Teaches Them Good Habits

As children grow, their needs and interests change, so they’re constantly getting new clothes, toys, sporting goods, etc. This leads to more frequent reorganization and decluttering.

Encouraging kids to participate in cleaning teaches them responsibility and good habits from a young age.

Why Having Too Many Toys Can Be a Bad Thing

Before you go into a mad frenzy and start throwing stuff away, it’s good to understand the relationship between kids and their toys.

Most adults opt for toys as the main gift they give children. Whether it’s for a birthday, Christmas, or a bribe, most kids have no shortage of playthings in their possession.

But there are several issues associated with having “too many” toys.

1. Distracting

Just like a restaurant with too many menu options, too many toys makes it hard for kids to make a decision about which toy they want to play with. So they play with one for three seconds, and then move on to something else quickly.

Excessive toys also affect kids’ attention spans. So for anyone with toddlers, young children, or kids diagnosed with ADHD, this is important.

2. Overstimulating

Too many toys can be overwhelming to a child. The excess of toys gives children sensory overload, causing anxiety, irritability, and behavioral problems. If you’ve ever seen or dealt with an overstimulated kid, it’s not fun for anyone.

3. Reduced Creativity

Research suggests that more toys can lead to less engagement, a lack in creativity, and less independent play. A 2017 study found that toddlers who played with four toys instead of 16 spent more time exploring and engaged more with each toy.

4. Undervaluing

When a kid is spoiled for choice, they can become, well, spoiled. Because they’re so used to receiving the latest and greatest toys, they can start to place less value on their belongings and often become easily bored and unimpressed.

There are more reasons why too many playthings can be negative, but we’ll explore ways to mitigate the issue a little further down.

How to Clean a Kid’s Room

Like any room in a home, the best way to clean a kid’s room is declutter first, then you can go through and clean without any distractions.

1. Declutter

Start by sorting through all the toys and loose items. You’ll want to get three boxes and label them:

          • Keep
          • Donate
          • Discard

When you’ve sorted through everything, clean the contents of the Keep and Donate boxes. For some hard toys that can be dismantled, you can use hot soapy water.

For anything with a hollow center, fabric, or electronics, avoid submerging in water. Instead, dampen a microfiber cloth with some non-toxic disinfectant spray and wipe them down. Allow them to air dry.

Get your child involved in deciding what to keep and what to let go of. This will not only help your child learn the skill of decluttering, it will also empower them to make decisions about their belongings.

Toy Tip: If you can’t bring yourself to reduce the amount of toys your child has, split them up into equal bundles of around 10-20 toys, and store them all away except one. Let them play with those toys for several months, and then rotate to a new bundle for the following few months.

Repeat the process until you’ve cycled through all their toys, and then start all over again. You can also rebundle them into different groups so they feel like new toys each time.

Doing this allows your child to keep all their toys, but use them more intentionally and hopefully not get bored of them so easily.

2. Deep Clean

High Dust

Working from left to right, top to bottom in the room, high-dust ceiling fans and light fixtures, window frames, and crown moldings.

I recommend using a microfiber duster wand that attaches to a telescoping handle so you don’t need to use ladders or stools to dust up high.  

Wash Walls

As already mentioned, children are more prone to allergies and illness, so you want to clean every surface of their room, including their walls. You won’t need to wash walls every time you clean, but it’s a good habit to do them a few times a year.

Washing the walls will remove any allergens, pollen, dust, and dirt. You can do it by hand with a microfiber towel, a bucket of soapy water, and a ladder. Or, to save time and energy, use a Microfiber Wall Wash Mop and a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle.

For stubborn soils, spray liberally with your cleaner and allow it to soak in for several minutes before buffing off with a clean microfiber cloth. Or use a magic eraser.

Wipe Surfaces

Next, wipe down shelves, tables, and any other surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth and your all-purpose cleaner. For things like TVs and computers, use a screen cloth, and for glass and mirrors, use a glass polishing cloth.

Floors

Remove rugs from the room and shake them outside to remove loose debris, then vacuum any carpet and hard flooring.

You can either mop the standard way with a bucket of water, or use a spray bottle of your floor cleaner. Then spray your cleaner liberally all over the hard floors, and using a microfiber flat mop, mop using an S or figure-8 motion.

Use a carpet stain remover for any small stains, or rent a carpet cleaner for larger stains.

How to Organize a Kid’s Room

When organizing kids' rooms, you want their belongings to be easily accessible and within reach. This is so they’re able to get their toys down to play with them without assistance. It also means they can reach everything to tidy up afterwards.

1. Storage Solutions

Bins and Baskets

Bins and baskets with no lid are great storage options in kid’s rooms because tidying up is a lot faster and easier. Open bins built-in to shelving are practical and fantastic for sorting and categorizing toys. While baskets are more decorative and can make a space look more aesthetic.

Shelving Units

Shelves are another great option for kid’s rooms because you can store things off the floor, but are still accessible. Shelves also utilize vertical space and take up very little area so they’re perfect for rooms tight on space. Opt of freestanding, front-facing bookshelves to encourage reading, or install wall shelves to save more space.

Toy Chest

A kid’s room wouldn’t be complete without a toy chest. There are so many types available, from collapsible animal chests, to minimalist storage chests, to chests on wheels, and storage ottomans. They make tidying up easy because you can toss everything in there quickly, and some can double up as seating.

Other Storage Options

Some other storage options that are perfect for kid’s rooms are:

2. Categorize and Label

Once you’ve sorted out the storage situation, the next thing is to label and categorize items. Sort them into categories such as blocks, dolls, cars, art supplies, etc.

Label the storage containers with either adhesive single-use paper labels or clip on reusable labels. Labeling things makes it easier to find things and put things back where they belong.

3. Designate Zones

Rearrange the room so there are designated zones. These specific areas can be different activities, such as a reading nook, an art station, and a building area. Use rugs or furniture to define these spaces.

4. Smart Storage

Kids will often have their favorite toys, and then there are the toys they barely touch. Place frequently used toys and items within easy reach of your child to encourage independent play and clean-up. Then store the less frequently used items in less accessible areas.

You can also move the least frequently used toys out of circulation and put them in bundles like I mentioned earlier, and bring them out at a later date to see if they pique their interest.

Their Favorite Place to Be

Maintaining a clean and organized children's room can significantly enhance a kid's well-being and development. By decluttering, implementing effective storage solutions, and establishing consistent cleaning routines, you can create a space that is not only tidy but also conducive to creativity and play.

Involving your child in the process can also teach them valuable organizational skills and responsibility. With these tips and strategies, you can turn their room into their favorite place to be.

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