For those of you who haven’t read Vicky Silverthorn’s fantastic book ‘Start With Your Sock Draw’, you really should. It’s amazing! I wanted to share with you some of the key take outs from chapter 6 which is all about Toy Storage and Children Rooms.
Vicky says that according to psychologists our children are increasingly stressed and anxious and she believes that part of this problem is the chaos in their bedrooms or playrooms.
I’d never really thought about it like that, but it’s true. Kids today have so much ‘stuff’ that it must be pretty overwhelming.
It made me think of a recent school trip I went on with my twins to a toy museum, where they learnt all about toys and children in the olden days . The guide told us that in the olden days the children would be lucky to have 1 toy and many had to create their own toys from everyday items they could find around the house, such as wooden spoon puppets like these wooden spoon puppets.
Vicky says that by streamlining children's bedrooms, playrooms and toy storage areas we can help children to reclaim control of their spaces and allow them to play and grow, free from the anxiety caused by sensory overload.
Tim Seldin, President of the Montessori Foundation said:
‘If children are taught where things belong, and how to return them correctly when they finish using them, they internalise this sense of order, and carry it with them for the rest of their lives… Most of us can be overwhelmed by the chaos that quickly develops around the house if we leave things lying around. Children are particularly sensitive to this.’
I know one of the biggest triggers of anxiety for me is when I don’t feel in control of the house. I hate the feeling of being disorganised with clutter building up. It really stresses me out. This is the same for children; a cluttered and disorganised space can lead them to feeling as overwhelmed.
In short, Vicky’s top tips for organising and decluttering your child’s rooms are:
- Have bags for rubbish and bags for the charity shop ready.
- Consider if each toy is age appropriate and don’t hang on to toys which your child has grown out of.
- Pick up all the random parts and bits of plastic that are lying around. If by the end of the declutter they still don’t belong to anything then throw them away.
- Avoid duplication. This can happen if your child is brought the same gift twice. Keep the new gift but give it to someone else. Or keep the new one and pass the other one on to a charity shop or a play school who will really appreciate it.
- If there are toys you really don’t want to get rid of then try doing a toy rotation. Pack some toys away in a box under the stairs for a few weeks and then swap them over.
Once you have completed the declutter Vicky then goes on to tell you how to organise the toys you are left with:
- Organise toys in simple storage cubes, baskets or tubs and keep them in a storage unit.
- Make sure heavy toys are not high up to avoid your child pulling them down on top of themselves.
- Keep items that you want to restrict the use of like games consoles or tablets out of sight to avoid temptation. This also includes things that you will want to supervise like glue and paints.
- Encourage your child to help tidy up. Make it fun and praise them for doing it.
One thing I do to help keep on top of the clutter is by encouraging the twins to only get a couple of things out at a time. I hate it when they decide to empty all the boxes and we end up with lego in the doll’s house, Playmobil mixed in with the Sylvanian Families and pencils in with the tea set! I also have a monthly clear out and throw away sticker books which have been completed and any toys which have come free with magazines, Kinder Eggs or in party bags.
If you want to be in with the chance to win this book, then don't forget to enter our competition currently running on Instagram.
Happy organising. x