Clutter Control for Kids
Playing is often times the best way for children to accomplish a task, even when it comes to combatting household clutter. Dirty laundry, abandoned toys, endless refrigerator art work and unmade beds, have a way of creeping into our everyday lives. And, it isn’t fun.
But, we have a couple “fun” tactics for cleaning up the kid-clutter:
FRIDGE OR COMMAND CENTER
Let’s start with the refrigerator or wherever artwork and perfect scored tests are displayed in your house. When your child brings home countless pieces, display them proudly… then it is time to put them away.
- Purchase clear plastic storage bins, one per child. Once a drawing or painting has been on the fridge or bulletin board for a few days, file it in the closely kept bin. At the end of the school year, go through the bin with your child and pick out your favorite pieces to keep.
- Or even better, scan your children’s artwork into your computer. While their masterpieces are being safely stored, you can also use them for screensavers or desktop art!
Need to clean up quickly? Let’s be creative! Here are a couple ideas for keeping clutter to a minimum without yelling or nagging.
- Have a “clutter contest”. Give each child a plastic trash bag. Set the timer for 15 minutes and GO! Walking through the house, the child with the most clutter in the bag when time is up is the winner!
- Are you stuck picking up the clutter? To teach responsibility, let’s play “Swine Fine”. This game requires a child to deposit money into a designated jar to get back a belonging that you had to pick up. No more pig pen!
- Are you still picking up clothes, toys, games and books? Make a “Clutter Jail”. Using a simple box or laundry basket, anything that is left out goes into the “Clutter Jail” until Sunday night… that’s when they can play a fine to cover the handling charges.
So we have the rest of the house clutter free, let’s establish “Room Rules”. Here are a couple rules that will help clothes covered carpets and desks covered with toys:
- NO CRUMBS – No food is allowed in bedrooms!
- Keep ALL dirty clothes in a basket or hamper.
- SAFETY FIRST – Keep all dangerous items like balls, plastic building pieces and roller skates off the floor.
- When playing, always put away one thing before getting out another.
- SLEEP TIGHT – Always go to bed with a tidy room!