As most of you know, I spent some time in the Montessori world in Portland before starting my Professional Organizing business, and several years as a nanny before that. This experience gave me invaluable insight on how children move through spaces (as well as my first clients!)
Here are five things to know when you are cultivating a tidy playroom:
Strive for "Good Enough". Remember - your children are practicing how to do things, so they aren't going to do a great job. It is your job to demonstrate how to do things, and then let them make mistakes. Emphasize their effort, not the end result. You can "reset" the playroom yourself once a month (which is also a good time rotate out toys and remove anything that is broken).
Consistency is KEY. You need to hold your children accountable. If your children want their toys, they need to take responsibility for them - which includes putting them away when they are done.
Talk to your child about the "rules" of their playroom. Ask them what they want for their playroom and come to an agreement.
Play with them when you have time to demonstrate the rules. When you are done playing with one thing, you can say "time to put this away before our next game!" and "time to clean up!" when you are done playing.
Children feel overwhelmed when they have too many toys. I will say it again, louder, for those in the back: CHILDREN ARE OVERWHELMED BY TOO MANY TOYS. I know - they don't make you feel that way. It seems like they are always wanting more, more, more. But this is not ultimately true - they will be happier with less.
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