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Tips and Guides

6 Easy Organizing Hacks for Your Child’s Things

Parents, here’s the way out of the endless mess that your child makes everyday

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Photography: Rene Mejia and Jun Pinzon (Main Photos)

When kids make a mess at home, parents usually chalk it up to kids being kids, and ask their house help to pack away or have their parents pick up after them. But when your child gets used to this—being able to wreak havoc and not clean up after themselves—you’re teaching them that it’s alright to have all that “power” to play and leave their belongings anywhere.

Teaching responsibility and ownership—meaning, kids knowing how to take care of and value their things—is incredibly important, and can be started when the child is as young as two-years-old. How do you encourage this in your child, while keeping your home neat and tidy? Let this list help you:

1. Start decluttering.

If you won’t get rid of what your child no longer likes or uses, you’ll just end up organizing more than you should have, and you’ll have less space for his or her things. By decluttering, you’ll be able to get more storage space without buying a single organizer.

2. Create a play area.

Whether you have the luxury of having a playroom or it’s simply a few square meters that you can spare, creating an area means you can also teach them to stay in their space when playing, and their mess will (hopefully) be contained within that space. You can even simply lay out a floor mat and make a play nook in an instant!

3. Clear plastic containers are your best friends.

Using clear plastic containers for your child’s toys and belongings makes it easier for you to organize rather than just blindly throwing stuff in when cleaning up, and easier to find what you’re looking for. Opt for containers with lids to keep your child’s things dust- and dirt-free (which mean less cleaning time for you!). Plastic bags can also work, but you can’t stack them up as easily as you can with boxes.

4. Have a cute “throw everything in” box.

There will always be days when you simply don’t have the time to spare to sort and tidy up after your kiddo, so have a box where you can literally shove everything in and out of your sight, until the time that you can get back to it and sort it out. But, don’t leave the pile unattended for too long or else it will be too intimidating to deal with.

5. Designate specific places for their things.

Give your child a place for all her belongings, from their shoes to their dirty clothes, and let them put their things in the designated areas. It might take a lot of training and constant reminding, but they'll eventually get into the routine and find it fun. You can even turn tidying up into a game, with a little reward at the end of the day.

6. Have what they can use within reach (and those they can’t far, far away from reach!)

Bookshelves, closets, and a chest of drawers that is as tall as your toddler will give them the freedom to take what they need and pack away independently. If they’re not able to pack their things away to your liking, resist the urge to reorganize it the way you like while your child can still see you. It might give him or her the message that he or she didn’t do a good job, or that you’ll be there to, quite literally, always clean up after them. Do it when you’re not within their sight—they’ll forget how they fixed up in a few hours anyway.

PHOTOS: Rene Mejia (1 and 6) | Jun Pinzon (2 and 4) | Marc Jao | At Maculangan

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