I am having my soon-to-be college freshman purge his room this week. I can’t wait for his two brothers (and roommates) to no longer have the excuse that the mess is his fault!
Every little bit we can do this week in the kids’ rooms will be a sanity saver this fall. So let’s get started!
#1 Declutter toys and treasures
Spend at least 15 minutes with your child’s help choosing toys and treasures (rocks, stickers, and unidentifiable items–I’m honestly afraid to identify them) that belong in the trash or giveaway pile. If your child isn’t ready to part with something, you might consider putting it in a box for evaluating later.
#2 Sort seasonal clothing
This is one of the tasks I like least, but it’s gotten better since I don’t try to hand down everything to the boys. Invariably, the styles change or my younger boys just don’t like the items I’ve saved.
I prefer to sort fall clothing this time of year. Starting with the oldest child makes it easier if you do want to keep hand-me-downs. I go through the items purging items that are stained or torn. Then I have each child help me determine what still fits. Finally, we limit their clothing items to 9-10 bottoms and tops each. That may sound like a lot, but it allows for the inevitable destruction that occurs and a wide range of temperatures we have in the fall and winter. I have about three church outfits for each boy for the same reason. My daughter gets hand-me-downs from a friend and has her own closet, so I allow her more items. (The boys don’t complain!)
Put clothing that is in good enough condition to give away in a location that will remind you to drop it off ASAP.
#3 Organize a reading or study space
I don’t have a study space in my kids’ rooms, but if you do, this is the time to organize it. Purge broken or excess items. Make sure it’s well lit and basic school supplies are accessible to encourage learning.
It’s really important to me that my kids read. It’s THE most important thing our kids can do to grow academically. If it’s comfortable to read in their rooms, they’re very likely to grab a book.
The kids may like a bed pillow to help them read sitting up or a comfy chair if they don’t like to lie down to read.
Finally, make sure books are accessible in your children’s rooms. Each of our bedrooms has an ample bookshelf and our oldest son had a shelf on the wall parallel to his bunk. Featuring books in your child’s room (as opposed to toys) encourages reading. But I’m not knocking audio books! Put a good sound system in the kids room and teach them how to use it, whether they are playing CDs or accessing books from Audible.com or another application.
#4 Make a shopping list
List your children’s clothing needs and items needed to make reading accessible on your shopping or to-do list. I usually just use my Reminders (Grocery List) app on my iPhone or give myself a task on ToDoist.
You might enjoy seeing the organizing I did in my kids’ rooms a few years ago and here. We’ve updated their rooms since then. When I’m finished with this challenge, I’ll post pictures.
What’s your biggest kid room organizing challenge?
Here is the August Organized Homeschool Calendar and a list of previous weeks’ challenges: