Dalya Goldman is the owner of Space Reborn, a professional home organizing company specializing in children’s spaces. Prior to starting her company, Dalya worked as a nanny, tutor and teacher for many years. She brings a unique perspective to her work, understanding how to most effectively design a space for each child at every stage of their development. Her passion, skills and determination to give children the tools and space they need to succeed, is the foundation of her venture. I asked her to help us get organized and here are a few of her tips….
Happy 2021! A new year is a new slate and the perfect opportunity to set new organizational goals for the upcoming year. Kids organization is a challenge for every family, even the most organized one! Whether you have a designated playroom for toys or not, they seem to spread across the entire house! And no matter how many times you ask your child to put away his backpack, it still seems to never move from the front door. So what can you do to make it more likely that you will keep your resolution to get organized with your kids? The following are a few tips I have when it comes to children’s organization.
- Keep the toys to a minimum- I truly believe children do not need many toys. Toys have a way of taking over and before you know it, you find yourself swimming in a sea of legos and barbie dolls! Children are easily overwhelmed with choice, and a child who is faced with too many toy choices, often ends up playing with nothing. Taking the minimalist approach to toys will not only help you gain back your sanity, but also help your child play better. If you are going to take control of your toy situation, you will first have to get rid of some. Pick a day that you have a couple of free hours and start the decluttering process. Start by taking everything out (yes, everything!) and sort the toys by category. Then go through each pile with your child and figure out what you can toss or donate. If a toy is no longer developmentally appropriate for your child, it may be time to pass it along to a neighbor. If you have twenty cars, it may be time to toss or donate a few. During the process, think about what toys are your child’s favorite and what he actually needs. If even after the decluttering process, you still find yourself with surplus toys, consider a toy rotation. Every few weeks, rotate their toys out with new ones that you store away. There will always be something new and exciting to play with!
- Designate play zones- One of the keys to children organization is giving everything a place. Creating play zones helps children develop an association between a location and an activity and teaches the child that everything has a home. It also helps children find what they want at any given time, and prevent toys from ending up EVERYWHERE!
Play zones can be spread around the house or within one big playroom. Use baskets, bins and boxes to contain all the various toys within a zone. Children can easily find and put away the toys, while also keeping the mess to one specific area. Some examples can include craft/drawing, reading, building and imaginative play. As your child gets older, the zones may change but the concept stays the same.
- Create Practical Solutions- The goal when creating organizational routines in children’s spaces is to create easy systems that they can follow. You want your child to play independently without needing your assistance to locate and take down a toy for them.When organizing playrooms, I also opt for clear bins. When kids can’t see their toys, they don’t play with them. Instead of stuffing all their toys into concealed bins,try organizing them into smaller play stations. You can use clear containers for the smaller toys and keep larger toys on display. Labels are another important step in implementing organizational systems for kids. For non-readers, try using picture labels.
- Have reasonable expectations- The most important tip I have is to have reasonable expectations when it comes to kids organization. I wish I can say that your playroom or child’s bedroom will always look like it does on Instagram. Although it looks beautiful, it is just not realistic. The playroom is built for the kids and we want them to be able to enjoy it. For example, instead of only allowing one toy out at a time, try allowing up to three. That being said, you should encourage your children to clean up their space after playing. For younger children, they may need your help to know where to put back each thing. Organization is a skill, and like everything else it takes time to master. We want to create an organized space for our children to play and succeed, but also teach them to respect their space and belongings.