Kid Clutter

Welcome to the fourth conversation in the Beyond the Car Seat interview series. A house with even one kid can be a hectic chaotic mess and no where does the chaos reign supreme then in the toy department. Professional Organizer Matt Baier offers some solutions to dealing the kid clutter from the bedroom to the playroom.

What are the challenges you see with kids rooms?
Inappropriate storage solutions. It’s not always laziness that accounts for a messy room. Sometimes it’s structural. For example, if a lidded laundry hamper is located across the room behind a closet door, the floor is going to win, every time. This seems to apply, not only to the stage where the child is supposed to put clothes in the laundry, but to the stage where the parent is expected to put clothes in the laundry.

Can you really organize toys?
Sure, but don’t look to the traditional toy box. What makes toys so hard to organize is the wide variety of sizes and shapes. Big cars and trucks may not fit in a toy box, but they can be parked in a garage area. Toy sets with little pieces are easier to store in clear plastic drawers, than in the packages they came in. In both cases, reveal don’t conceal. Not only will kids be less inclined to play with toys that are hidden, they will also be less inclined to put something away, where they can’t see them.

What do busy parents most need?
What I see missing the most is a plan for circulation. Circulation prevents accumulation. Movement, from one reliable stage to the next, needs to be built into every organizing system, whether it’s for clothes or toys. Distinguish between items that need to be easily accessed, items you are keeping just in case, and items whose value has passed.

What about all those crayons?
Again, I like the rolling towers of clear plastic drawers for crayons and other crafts. The storage is as visible as possible. The drawers are a generous size for each category, but set useful limits. The smooth plastic surface make it easy to adhere labels, further assisting you in keeping categories straight. Use a label maker. Post-it notes are too tempting for little hands!

Professional Organizer Matt Baier and his team declutter and organize homes and offices in Connecticut and New York. Clickhere.