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Bella's Room: Kid Clean-up

Kids disorganized room

As moms, we know our kids best – but sometimes we know them too well. Here, one smart mom outsourced the job of organizing her lovely and creative daughter’s room. As you can see from the photos, Bella had books, toys and clothes all over the floor of her room. The clutter continued with her dresser. The top of Bella's dresser had attracted stickers, lip gloss, Legos, books – you name it!

Kids disorganized cluttered dresser
kids disorganized cluttered dresser
kids organized room
kids organized dresser
kids organized bookcase

So how did we get Bella's room from One to Zen? Some tips to help kids keep their room clean and make it stick:

Shadow them

Sit with them while they clean up and help them talk through the process of selecting items to throw out, donate, or keep. Bella was more than happy to throw out 75% of her excess items once she told me the story of some of them ("I got this at my friend’s birthday party last year…”). Teach them the process of making organizing decisions by asking, "Do you need this? Do you really care about this?"


Establish a system for nicknacks

From party favors to fidgets, kids really know how to accumulate nicknacks. What do you do with those multiplying Chinese erasers? Create rules and systems around these nicknacks. Bella chose a few nicknacks to display on her two dressers. We put the rest in tiny plastic art drawers purchased from Michaels. Colorful rocks went into one drawer, erasers in another, flavored lip gloss in another (you get the idea). If Bella wanted to show off another nicknack, she had to remove one from the dresser first and put it in the drawer.


Create new habits

Maintaining a clean room doesn’t happen overnight for anyone, particularly a child. Create a reward chart with 2-5 items on a checklist. When the checklist is complete for 5 nights, give your child a prize. For Bella, her mom and I created a checklist that had her pick ten items off the floor every night. She also made sure there were no added items on her dressers, keeping them uncluttered. And NO CLOTHING on the floor!

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