Exhausted just thinking about turning that messy closet into an organized closet?
"Messy kids" can often seem like a redundant phrase. Aren't all kids messy? Well, yes and no.
They are messy until they learn better, and it's our job to teach them when and where to let loose. (And yes, there is a good side to being messy, Mom, so don't freak out if your child struggles a little with organization. .) Even Marie Kondo had to start small.
One of the best places to start is with a messy closet.
Why A Messy Closet Space Makes A Great Classroom
At Sweet Bamboo , we believe the messy closet is a great place to start because it's a small area so not too overwhelming.
It's also a great way to get your child involved in other household chores and to take responsibility for their things. Organizing is a great learning experience.
Clutter Allows Children to Learn About Organization
One of the first skills your child will learn through their messy closet and floor space is how and why it is important to organize. The lessons won't all land at once. However, the practice of repeatedly returning to their closet and seeing what's in there will teach them a lot about what they want and what they don't in their living space.
Help Them Assign Value to Their Belongings
As the lessons of organization begin to set in, your child will realize something about her priorities and preferences. She will start to realize the things that she values and that she doesn't. This poses a great opportunity to teach your child about helping others by donating what they no longer need or want.
Teach Them How to Make Decisions
Which of these two outfits is not like the other? Is there perhaps a better place to keep your stuffed animals and puzzles?
As your child organizes and assigns value, she'll start to grapple with some of these granular questions about what she wants in her closet space and what she doesn't. From there, she'll be able to make decisions on her own about what belongs. It's easy to transfer those lessons into her other areas of life as she gets older.
Now that you know why it is important to bring your child into Messy Closet Cleanup Day, it's time to create an action plan for how the two of you can do it right. There are seven simple steps to taming the beast.
6 Organization Tips to a Cleaner Closet
1. Schedule a Clean-out
Schedule time to organize. This way, you're taking the proper time to go through all the steps in organizing instead of rushing. It's reasonable to expect that you'll need around 1-2 hours. Long enough to get things done, but not too long where boredom slips in.
2. Take Inventory
Like any messy closet, clothing can be found anywhere else but their hangers or shelf. So lean into the chaos and start with an inventory prior to any actual organizing. This will give you an idea for any needed closet accessories such as extra hangers, storage containers, a shoe rack, bins, etc. Having the right amount of hanging space and overall storage is key.
Organizing kids' clothes is typically pretty simple. It's pretty much the basics: tops, bottoms, one-piece outfits, and undergarments. For babies and toddlers, you might want to keep a spot for diapers and Pull-Ups. And for winter boots or special occasion shoes, consider stackable shoeboxes.
3. Remove Non-Clothing Items
Go ahead and remove things that have no business being inside of a closet, such as books, toys, board games, and dolls. There's usually somewhere better to place these items.
The good news is you don't have to decide on an official resting place yet. Just get them out of the closet, even if it means stacking them in a corner. Fight the distraction of cleaning the entire room at once.
4. Create a Donations Pile
As you're clearing out the closet and taking inventory, also take a moment to create a donation pile. This beats throwing clothes and other items away because you can teach your kid about charity while also giving these items a second chance to make another child happy.
Do remember to run giveaway clothes through the wash one more time. Consider a charity’s possible rules regarding clothing donations.
5. Create a Pile to Toss
As you organize your kid's closet, make peace with the fact that not everything can be donated. Sometimes you have to throw items away because they're ripped and torn or badly stained. And if you've invested in hangers, it's time to toss those plastic ones that come with your kids' clothing.
Keep those items separate from your donation pile. Toss them as soon as possible so they don't get in your way.
7. Complete the Clean-up
Your child’s wardrobe is back in its space. Great job! Now it's time to look at the rest of the room and figure out what to do with the remaining mess.
If anything does go back into the closet (possible if you are limited on space), make sure it happens in an orderly fashion. Take this time to explain to your child the importance of putting things back where they found them.
Messy Kids Need to Start Somewhere
The closet is the best place for messy kids to start developing their organizational, prioritization, and decision-making skills. It's also super-simple to do once you get control of the situation. Fortunately, all you need are the helpful tips above, a little time, and the right storage accessories..
Best of luck as you work on this with your kiddos. Also, as your child gets older and bigger, don't forget to replace some of their old favorites with new sizes. Shop our store day - and add to that not-so-messy closet today!