1. Keep lidless containers at your child’s shoulder level or below. This will allow him/her to easily put away items. You are also teaching responsibility and respect for things in the process.
2. Rotate toy containers every week, keeping only 3 – 5 different toys out at one time. By rotating containers, you keep toys more interesting and limit the potential mess. Store your child’s unused toys in containers with lids, in a storage closet. Out of sight, out of mind is always best.
3. Hang a clear pocket shoe organizer on the back of your child’s door, labeling each pocket to make replacing items quick. Best used for organizing hats, hair ribbons, sunglasses, belts and shoes. However, small toys can also be stored inside as well. Store items your child uses frequently at the bottom.
4. Keep floor space open by using slender furniture whenever possible. IKEA has items on a smaller scale. You can also build your own narrow bookshelf using rain gutters.
5. Store children’s clothing in low drawers or the lowest closet rod so they can help dress themselves every morning.
6. Children learn color order in preschool, if not first by their parents. Keep hanging clothes in color order. This allows you and your child to quickly pair outfits each day.
7. Keep one small laundry basket in your child’s bedroom. This will encourage you to do laundry sooner and not let clothes pile up.
8. The bedroom should be a place of rest. Avoid storing toys in the bedroom unless you lack the space elsewhere. This will also keep the bedroom open.
9. When making your child’s bed, only use a bottom sheet and a comforter. Your child will be able to make their bed if there are minimal steps.
10. Heighten your child’s bed by placing it on bed risers. This will give you added storage space. If you purchase containers on wheels, it makes sliding containers in and out manageable for anyone in the family.
Tips submitted by Jill Graham, author, professional organizer and owner of Operation: Organize! in Chandler, Arizona. For more information on her services or receiving her monthly newsletter, visit www.operationorganize.net.