So yesterday I received this message on my facebook page:
“Tell me how to keep a kids room clean.. living in Karachi everything gets so dirty.. how to maintain cleanliness? Any tips?”
And I thought to myself, while it does seem like an impossible task, I have noticed that ever since I organized my kids’ room better, it does a pretty good job keeping itself clean! So how did it come about?
1. Keep furniture to a minimum: Furniture gathers dust. If you can minimize it and find more effective storage spaces, your work will be halved. For example, the bedsheets for my kids’ room are stored in the drawers under the bed. The bed itself is a day bed which can be folded up allowing that space to be cleaned easily, and make more space for play.
2. Label the toy boxes and go transparent: The way kids clean up is, they dump toys from one place to another. So to facilitate them, I purchased one of those square IKEA shelves which have spaces for boxes. I labelled each of the boxes, (for example, blocks and puzzles) so the kids know where they should dump the toys right after they are done playing. Another thing that really helps keep the room looking clean is using transparent boxes that allow the kids to clearly see their toys.
3. Keep quick cleaners on hand: A kid’s room doesn’t really stay clean for very long, even if the maid cleans it once a day. They’re bound to eat food, drop it, paint the walls, you name it! But, there are so many options out in the market these days that allow you to clean things up on the spot. Keep a small dust pan and broom for the dry things. If you keep one especially for the kids, they can even pick up the mess themselves! Also keep a wet wiper handy. I use a wet Swiffer, which allows me to squirt detergent on the floor and then picks up the mess with the attached wipe.
4. No hoarding allowed: I keep a very small cupboard in my kids room, and they only have that one toy shelf. You know what that does? It forces me to chuck things out. All their clothes are hanging in their closet and when there is no more space to hang, I know it’s time to do some cleanup. Same with the toys, when the box starts brimming, I know they have too many useless things that are simply gathering dust.
5. Movable furniture: For the very dusty cities, like Jeddah and Karachi, let’s keep the furniture movable. It doesn’t necessarily have to have wheels, but if its very light, you or your cleaning lady can easily move it about to get at the dust in the corners. And let’s stay away from carpets! They’re like dust traps! Small rugs and play mats should do!
6. Make an art station: Have a corner or wall in the room dedicated entirely to their craft supplies. This will not only keep all their stuff organized, but it will also inspire them! I chose to hang these chalk labelled buckets to hold their art supplies but there are plenty of other methods to choose from. Now add a soft-board or magnetic board of some kind to hang on the wall where your child can pin up all their school and home creations that you, of course, adore but do not want displayed on every shelf of the house. That way you can be appreciative and have the house of your dreams at the same time!
7. The last bits: And the last two tricks to keeping the room sparkly at all times are; first, keep two or three small baskets to store all the little things kids gather out of kinder eggs and happy meals and hither and thither. Wicker baskets look adorable and they’ll keep those beloved little junky trinkets safe too! You can also use them for keeping your little girl’s hair accessories. And finally, dump the stuffed toys into the washing machine every now and then. When they sparkle, the room will sparkle!
And of course, let us remember, this is a kid’s room. They NEED to make a mess to learn and grow. But hopefully, these tips will help you keep it spotless for at least an hour a day, and probably make it easier to clean up if some sudden guests arrive!