Does your kids' playroom look like a toy tornado struck – twice?! Get a handle on the chaos by taking time to organize the toys together. If you just tell your kids to "go clean up the playroom," that may not mean much to them, explains Laura Wittmann, author of Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It! and a mother of three.
Instead, Wittmann suggests you work with your kids to help them figure out where to put away all their stuff. If your kids know that each toy or sweater or shoe has a place – and you can show them exactly where that place is, it's easy for them to pick up their playroom.
Wittmann, who blogs at I'm an Organizing Junkie, tries to think of ways to make cleaning up more fun for her kids. One of her kids, for example, likes to cross things off a list. Other times she makes a game of cleaning up by challenging her kids to "find the magic piece." The game works this way: Wittmann explains to her kids that she's chosen one toy as "the magic piece." Her kids then put away all the toys. When they're done, Wittmann reveals which item was "the magic piece" and gives that person a reward.
Ready to start your kids' playroom spring cleaning? This checklist can help you get started:
- Work in sections to remove all of the items in that area of the playroom.
- For each section create three piles: items to toss, items to remain in that area and items that need to be stored elsewhere.
- Toss any items your kids no longer need and/or any items they haven't used in the past year (you may also want to donate these items).
- Reorganize the items they're keeping in that section; space organizers and bins may be helpful for storing items neatly.
- Take down light fixtures and wash (you may be able to do this in the dishwasher).
- Use cleaner to wipe down tables and chairs.
- Wash the baseboards, door ceilings, windowsills, doors and walls.
- Wipe down any cupboard or cabinet surfaces.
- Vacuum and wash vents.
- Wash windows on the inside and out.
- Dust any additional light fixtures and lampshades.
- Launder any window treatments you may have.
- Wipe down any picture frames and mirrors using glass cleaner.
- Dust any decorative items.
- Vacuum the entire room.
- Remove any cobwebs in the ceilings or in corners.
- Give each of your kids a high five and sit back together and read a book or play a board game to celebrate your hard work!