Let Kids Make A Mess! 4 Organizing Hacks That Will Keep Everyone Happy
It's all about changing your perspective when it comes to your kids' mess.
Children can be such fascinating little creatures, but there’s no way around it: kids and a lot of mess go hand in hand.
With all the stress, worries, and issues you, as a mom, have to contend with every day, seeing your kids getting dirty and making a mess sometimes just pushes you over the edge. During these moments, you can't help but judge your own children.
But those times spent in the mud, those upended boxes of blocks on the floor, or those paint-streaked hands? These are crucial for the growth and development of your children.
According to child experts and studies, messy play is an avenue for discovery, exploration, and for fostering creativity and the imagination. Not only are your kids having fun, but their senses are engaged and make them curious about the world around them.
The mess makes the kids better at cleaning up, too, as long as you lay down guidelines and be consistent with them. So put a pause on your clean-freak tendencies for just a minute, and try to adopt a more relaxed approach to stains, toy-strewn floors, and sticky fingers.
Follow these organizing hacks to help you embrace every glorious, kid-made mess.
1. Designate a drawer specifically for play and ‘mess-away’ clothes.
One of the reasons parents don’t let their children get dirty is for fear of ruining clothes. A solution is to put all play clothes (these can be inexpensive T-shirts or old, worn-out hand-me-downs) in a drawer, and give your child instructions to wear them before stepping to play outside. Stains, rips, or tears won’t really matter if the clothes your kids are wearing don’t hold as much sentimental or monetary value.
2. Provide a separate hamper for your kids’ dirty laundry.
It’ll be easier to deal with your kids mud-streaked clothing if they were all in one pile and not mixed up with your less-soiled pieces. This way, dirty clothes can go straight to the wash, and you won’t have to scold your kids for happily romping around in the dirt.
3. Give kids their personal storage containers.
Use lightweight bins or upcycled shoe boxes to teach kids how to clean up their clutter (e.g., paints and crayons can go into one box, while toys and trinkets go into another). Create a simple system using colorful labels that they can even help make. This helps kids realize that they have autonomy over their belongings and that they are likewise responsible for them.
4. Create 'mess zones.'
It can be a small corner in the living room or a more prominent area in your backyard. Fill this area with toys and materials that encourage creative and constructive play. The goal is to give your kids space to engage in messy DIY activities without having to worry about cleaning up right away. It’s also one way of putting boundaries between clean zones and messy areas.
There’s beauty behind your kid’s mess. It’s all about changing your perspective and rewiring your brain into thinking that dirt is good. Sometimes, as this video from Breeze’s “Seeing the Good” campaign shows, there may even be a touching story behind the stains on your child’s clothes.
Let kids be kids, encourage their fun and play. After all, it is easier to remove stains than to raise a good, happy child.