A clean and orderly child’s bedroom is of great importance to many parents and of far less importance to most children. Achieving a clean and orderly bedroom is much simpler for the child who has a bedroom that is set up for her to clean easily. As you lay out your child’s room, consider using the following guidelines to set her up for success.
Beds with comforters are easier for small hands to make on their own. Bedspreads require a lot more work. Children can pull a comforter up on a bed and put their pillows on it. A bedspread requires smoothing and tucking of pillows.
Choose open shelves for storage of toys rather than a toy box. A toy box invites mixing up and piling on of toys that result in a child having to pull everything out to get to the toy he wants to use. Toy boxes are also more likely to result in a toy being broken because other toys were piled on top of it. Open shelves not only make clean up easier, but they also promote care of toys.
Small toys, like animal sets and small manipulative sets, are best stored in individual containers on open shelves. You may wish to put a picture of the toy on the container so your child knows which toys belong in the container. This makes clean up and care of toys simpler for your child.
Consider how many toys your child owns. Limit the number of containers on the shelves and store extra toy containers in the closet. This gives you the opportunity to rotate toys so that your child continues to enjoy a variety of toys. This also invites her to clean up the toys in one container to exchange them for a container in the closet. You will also want to consider how many toys your child owns. While toys are necessary and important for children, it possible that you are over-buying when if child has a challenge finding places to store toys when they are not in use.
A clothesbasket is a wonderful clothes hamper for your child. She can easily place her dirty clothes in it for washing. On laundry day she can help by bringing the clothesbasket to the laundry room. As your child gets older, a traditional clothes hamper can be used, but when purchasing it, bear in mind that it is your child, not you, who will be using it.
Establish the rule that food and drinks are to be eaten at a table. Spills are a challenge for anyone to clean up, let alone a child. By having a “no food” rule for bedrooms you avoid the problem altogether.
By setting up your child’s room in a user-friendly manner, you help make cleaning of her room a simple task for her.
©Cindy Walton-McCawley, M.Ed & Kathleen A. Walton. The Courageous Parent. Columbia, SC: Adlerian Child Care Books, 2009.
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