When you have kids, it feels soooo good to shut their bedroom door and realize you’re about to enjoy a few minutes without running, jumping, screaming, fighting and crying—which can occur in any combination or simultaneously. Re-entering that room can lead to more crying. This time by you when you see the category 4 hurricane that hit while you were gone. Will this blog teach your kids to be neat and saintly? No. Will it help you create a safe space that’s harder to mess up and easier to pick up? Definitely.

1. Make it low, light and bright
To make picking up easy and even fun for your kids, use brightly colored bins for toys and art supplies. They’re affordable and easy to keep on the floor. A colorful wicker chest will hold bigger items while reducing the risk of injury if the lid falls (and a little spray paint will help you match any color scheme).

2.  Eliminate wasted space
Slide storage bins with lesser used items under the bed, and maximize corners with corner cabinets and shelves for books and knickknacks. Space under a window can serve double duty, as a window seat with storage. Safety first! Always secure furniture and shelves, and add childproof window locks if needed.

3. Check the closet
Adjust clothing rods to kid height. Save high shelves for off-season items like winter clothing and older sentimental keepsakes. If you don’t already have one, consider a customizable shelving system to get the most from your closet’s storage capacity.

4. Get down
The only way to experience the space from your child’s point of view is to get on the floor and check it out. What can you reach? What are the potential dangers? How easy or hard is it to put things away? What could you add to make picking up more fun? Have some fun acting like a kid again!

5. Bring in the kidlet
Kids love to help make decisions and they should—after all, it’s their space. Let them choose colors for the storage items you need. Explain to them how they’ll be used and how this will make life easier for them. Do this and they will be proud of their room and have more fun playing in it.

BONUS TIP
If sorting involves getting rid of older toys, explain that those items can go to kids in need, and that will make them happy. If your kids help plan how to sort their stuff, they’ll be more likely to stick with the plan and keep things neat and organized—at least until they’re teenagers. Then all bets are off!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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