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Kids can tidy, too!

Are you frustrated by the constant chaos in your child’s room? It’s not too late to transform it into a tidy, joyful space while teaching your child some skills that last a lifetime. 


First, be truthful with yourself about the example you are setting. Is your room tidy? Does your child see you cheerfully returning items to their places after use, or are you overwhelmed and stressed by clutter that never seems to be addressed? Our children take their cues from us, so it is imperative that we adopt the attitude that tidying is an enjoyable process. 


In my experience, children love going through the steps to create an orderly room filled with things that make them happy. Even kids as young as three can participate. By involving your child, he or she will learn tidying habits hands-on and can take ownership for keeping their space in order. 


Begin with clothing and determine with your child’s input what will remain and what can be donated or discarded. Repeat with books, then papers (homework, art, etc.) and toys by subcategory. As you encounter sentimental items, set them aside in a designated container. Be vigilant against making executive decisions that override your child’s wishes. This process can be a wonderful bonding experience when children feel heard and validated in their tidying choices. 


Nurture children’s creativity as you plan and execute storage solutions catering to their age and personality. Children will enjoy creating labels with words or pictures. Keep bookshelves at their eye level and mount closet rods within their reach. Hooks on walls can display treasured clothing or anchor a hammock for stuffed animals. 

Consider your child’s own organizing ideas, and try to make them happen. For adults and kids alike, it is more fun to maintain a tidy space that we ourselves have created. 

Heather Young, of Tidy and Calm LLC, is a professional home organizer, certified in the KonMari Method® popularized by Marie Kondo. Reach her at 

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