The cooler temperatures have finally arrived and that means it’s time for fall cleaning. A clear house makes for a clear mind….and a better sleep! Read on to learn about the science behind it and tips for keeping clutter under control in your child’s room.
I’m a big fan of fall cleaning. Cooler temperatures mean we’ll soon be spending more time indoors, so I think it’s a great time to clean up, organize, donate and sell what you don’t really need. One night last week I just went for it. I honestly think it’s the best approach. If you overthink it then you might end up keeping everything. The most interesting thing about this recent process is that I realized the next morning how much better I slept that night. The only downside is that it can be a little addictive!
I’ve always had a firm belief that toys stay out of the bedroom. Yes, there are some tchotchkes on the shelves, but there aren’t any toys to speak of. It’s been that way since day one for both boys. Here is what my three year old’s bedroom looks like:
There aren’t even storage baskets under his bed. And yes, his room actually looks like this…all the time!
The science behind it
Is there science to support how a cluttered environment can lead to problems? You bet! Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published a report earlier this year regarding the benefits of uncluttered and organized living. The study mapped the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuliFinal Thoughts. The results revealed how clutter can restrict your ability to focus and process information. The findings also demonstrated how clutter can increase irritability and decrease productivity. If an infant or child is distracted by their environment, how do you expect them to sleep?
Tips for keeping clutter under control
- Give yourself enough time to declutter and organize your child’s room.
- Divide the room into zones for sleeping, playing and for clothes. Consider furniture that can hold a variety of items in an organized fashion.
- Address one zone at a time before moving on to the next zone.
- Find new homes for items that are broken or no longer used. Connect with the solid waste management division in your community to understand what is available for curb side collection. Professional Organizers in Canada also has a great resource to connect you directly with charitable organizations and recycling agencies. Encourage your children to participate in the donation process to help recognize the importance of giving back to others and the community.
- Find a home for everything. Use sturdy containers and label them. Pictures on the labels are great for children that are too young to read.
- Don’t forget about the space under their bed for storage.
- Limit how much is displayed by allocating one surface. Change the display regularly.
- Teach them not to get new toys out until they’ve put away the ones they were playing with.
- Encourage your child to get into the habit of putting things away.
- Incorporate room cleaning into their bedtime routine.
- Set aside time to de-clutter and re-organize on a regular basis.
- Evaluate whether or not you need something before you buy it. Does your child really need it? Is there room for it?
The following storage solutions from Ikea are affordable and readily available at most stores.
- Kallax storage system
- Trofast storage system
- Vessla storage crate with castors
- Gimpse underbed storage box
What do you think? Does clutter cause you or your child to stay awake at night? Do you think that toys in your child’s room could be a distraction? What are your plans for keeping clutter under control this fall? Do you have a favourite charity to donate to?
Photos: Diana Nazareth Photography