Feeling overwhelmed with all the toys scattered around your home? Our home organisation expert has got you covered with useful tips on organising toys and de-cluttering your family home so you can breathe a sigh of relief!
Kids and clutter don’t have to go hand-in-hand, mama! Professional organiser Nathalie Ricaud of Get Organised & Beyond is a big believer that clearing clutter can improve health, reduce stress and increase productivity. Basically, she helps mamas (including our very own Sassy Mama editor) regain control of their lives and get a pretty home to boot!
Nathalie recently shared her organising wisdom and top tips on how to create a kid-friendly, clutter-free home at the Smart Kids Asia Fair last month and, lucky for us, we’ve got all the deets for you right here, mama!
Benefits for the entire family
Firstly, by getting the whole fam involved in de-cluttering, you can teach the benefits of organisation to your kids. It’s been shown that an organised child is more focused, productive, punctual and independent. Kids are less distracted by chaos at home and can focus on things like homework and improving their grades!
An organised home benefits parents, too, in all of the following ways:
- Saves money: Now that you know where things are, you can eliminate duplicate purchases and stop needing to replace things that get lost.
- Saves time: Reduce time spent looking for things and reduce housekeeping time so you can spend more time with your fam and friends.
- Increases enjoyment and happiness: Less clutter means making better use of a beautiful space.
- Improves self-image: Be proud of your home and be more open to arranging dinners, playdates and other social activities.
- Reduces stress: According to a study conducted by Extra Space Self-Storage in 2014, 88% of Singaporeans say they are bothered by clutter at home and almost half of them say it impacts their stress levels.
7 steps to organising toys
Now, let’s get started! Try out this handy dandy 7-step approach to clearing up your home, which is applied specifically to toys organisation here:
- Define the role the toys play in your family, like how much they are used and accessibility.
- Analyse the place allocated for the toys and examine what’s working, what’s not working and the cause of the problem.
- Create categories that make sense to your bub, such as ‘building blocks’, ‘board and card games’, ‘figurines’, ‘dolls’, etc.
- Purge by category. Keep only what your little one uses, needs and loves, within the storage space you’ve assigned for toys. The rest is just clutter, mama!
- Assign a home. Each and every item needs to have a dedicated “home” so that kiddos know where to find it and where put it away.
- Place in containers and label. If your bub can’t read yet, label the containers with a picture or drawing of its contents.
- Fine-tune. It’s not always possible to get organisation right the first time. There is a lot of trying, failing and learning involved. It’s just about making progress, mama!
Maintenance is key
Get some regular chores and tasks in place to help your kids (and you!) keep stuff organised.
- Return things where they belong after use.
- Do a daily tidy-up.
- Set up a schedule for purging, for example around Christmas, birthdays, the end or beginning of the school year, etc.
- Do not put broken things back or return toys your bub is no longer interested in. Get in the habit of throwing out stuff that isn’t in good condition or giving away or selling things that may be useful to another family. Keep a “giveaway” box in the closet and when the box is full, donate or sell!
- Play the numbers game: for every one toy in, chuck one or two toys out!
- Rotate toys regularly.
- Review your system when circumstances change, such as the arrival of a new baby, the need for a study area, etc.
Remember, organising is a choice and not something that can be forced on someone. Be sure to explain to little ones why the house needs to be de-cluttered and get them involved! It should be a group effort (read: not mama cleaning up after everyone’s mess)! Take it day by day and set reasonable expecations for yourself and your bubs to organising a home for YOUR family.
To give you some organising inspiration, we thought we’d let you know about a fab social initiative here in Singapore called Invisible Spaces, which seeks to get more people to understand the connection between organisation and well-being. Check out this video to see how Nathalie helps a mama and her eight year old son de-clutter and organise toys so they can get back to enjoying life with each other!