For young children, itís easy to make a mess and the tidying is all for mom. As children grow older, you can gradually expect more help. By the time they are a teen, they should be keeping their own room clean. The more teaching you do with your young child, the less nagging you will do with your teen.
One of my favorite places is a Kindergarten classroom. Everything has a place to be stored, all boxes are labeled, and if you find something on the floor you immediately know where it belongs. That is your ideal for a bedroom or family room for small children.
Make sure that the bedroom is not just a large storeroom with too many toys. Children like toys, but they also like space. With space comes creativity. Although itís fun to buy toys for children, make sure you purge regularly. Let the child have a say as to what stays and what goes. Even if you paid a lot for something, if the child doesnít play with it, it becomes clutter. Encourage your children to give their unwanted toys to children less fortunate than themselves. If you know of a local womenís shelter, or friends with younger children, you can give to them directly. If not, they can be given to thrift stores or freecycled.
If you donít get rid of toys while the children are young, your children will have problems getting rid of stuff when they are older. Donating what you donít want helps your children have a giving attitude.
Donít be tempted to get rid of their toys when they arenít home. Even from an early age, let them be involved in the process and the decision. Getting rid of toys when they arenít home will make them feel insecure and even from an early age, violated. When you get rid of stuff with them, you are not only reducing their bedroom clutter, but also training them to do this skill on their own at a later age.
Pre-teens will have fun selling their unwanted possessions at a garage sale. And if you let them keep the money, they will be more encouraged to get rid of stuff. If lots of old toys can be sold at a garage sale and the money used for a new toy, they will enjoy the process even more.
Just remember that your job as a parent is to pass your skills to your children so they can eventually cope on their own.
Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play