So how are the kids helping? There are lots of ways so today I want to share our first, and most frequent spring cleaning job.
The first job I'm tackling this year is the toy room. Now see, normally I would leave the toy room for last (heaven knows we'll find more toys in every other room of the house) but in our current house the toy room lies in a place where I have to walk through it to get to my office so that means that this is one room that takes priority. Here are our before and after photos along with the top five Kerrific tips on helping your toddlers clean, organize, and maintain their toy room.
Five Tips To Maintaining A Clean Toy Room
1. Avoid Traditional Toy Boxes - Yes, these can be perfect for some things, we have one we keep doll clothes in in F's room, but they tend to be a gathering spot. The biggest tip for keeping things clean is to organize and that is very hard to do in these catch alls.
2. Label - I created my own labels simply by finding a photo of the set of toys and then lamenting and sticking them on the buckets with an outdoor strength double sided decorating tape. This has worked awesome! Not only do the kids know exactly where things go but I also know where I should find a toy when someone makes a request. I have also found that this is a great tool during clean up time because it is easy to hand each child a bucket and tell them to find everything that goes in the bucket and put it away. Sometimes the fasted cleaner, or person who fills the most buckets, gets a special treat too.
3. Don't be afraid to put things up high - If there are toys that tend to cause a fight, or are just too little to be played with without supervision (craft items are #1 at my house) then put them up high, with a lid, and teach your children to ask when they want to play with them. Not only does this help with the mess but it also gives you something that is "special" for when your kids need something that is out of the normal. More on this when I show you the cleaning of the kids' room.
4. Plan ahead - if there is a toy that your child really likes make sure you reserve room to grow when you choose which side bucket it goes in. Our car bucket, for example, was huge when we first got it 2 years ago but now it's three quarters full. So glad I got the big one to start with.
5. Make them do it again - cleaning a toy room can be hard work, just ask my kids. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done right. If you want to keep a clean toy room that you don't have to do yourself then don't be afraid to be a mean mom. No, I'm not doing anything drastic but I do require my kids pick up the toy room once a day, generally right before bed, and if they don't do it right (aka put things in the correct buckets) I dump the buckets out and make them start over. It didn't take them long to figure out it was easier to do it correctly the first time. I'm not saying it's perfect but 90% off the time even my two year old can get things where they go and I know it is easier to teach him now than it will be in a few years.
What is your best toy room tip? Give me a shout out and let me know!