Organizing with Your Kids: How do you organize all the little things?
The final session of Organizing with Your Kids for 2011 starts today! In celebration of organizing with your kids, I'm doing one more Q + A blog post. Here's today's question:
First, recognize how your child uses these small items. I often tell the story of the countless hours I spent when my son was younger separating the tiny stuff in his room into categories that made sense to me…diecast cars in one pile, Lite-Brite pegs in another, bouncy balls in a third, Legos® in a fourth and so on. However, to my son, these items were all the same—they were toy “trash” that he used to play garbage trucks! Sorting into categories that made sense to me didn’t help either one of us. I was frustrated when my efforts evaporated before my eyes; and it didn’t help Collin play and use his things.
The moral of this story is to start by recognizing how your child uses the items in his room. Then, with this in mind, select a container for them.
Second, divide items into separate containers or compartments if it helps your child use or enjoy the items. It certainly didn’t make sense to separate Collin’s Legos from his Lite-Brites—and it would have made even less sense to sort the Legos by color or size! A big bin for all of his small toys (a.k.a. garbage) made play time and clean-up easier.
Once you understand how your child uses the items, match the storage container to the size of the items you are storing. Put large items into a toy box or large storage bins, and store small items in smaller containers such as plastic food storage containers, canvas bins or tackle boxes.
Display treasures and other small keepsakes on shelves.
Or contain collections in clear plastic jars or glass jars if your kids are older.
If you'd like more ideas for organizing with your kids and helping them create organized spaces that work for them, join me in the online workshop Organizing with Your Kids. We're just getting started and would love it if you and your kid(s) would join in the fun!