How to Get Your Kids to Keep Their Closets Clean
When clients have custom closets installed in their children’s bedrooms, they often have some doubts that their kids, who seem to like their rooms messy, will be able to keep their closets neat and tidy. While a children’s custom closet makes it much easier for your child to keep her room clean, it’s not a panacea for every bit of messiness! Here are some tips to help you and your child keep her bedroom under control after her custom closets are installed.
- Put everything away with his help. This is important whether your child is a toddler, a teenager, or somewhere in between. In order for him to keep his room neat, he needs to know where everything is supposed to go. The older your child, the more input he should have on what goes where. It might not make sense to you that he wants to keep his bowling trophies on his nightstand and his alarm clock across the room, but as long as it makes sense to your child, that’s what matters.
- Make your expectations clear, and be specific. If you want the room neat every night before bed, let her know exactly what you mean by “neat.” If your child tends to be recalcitrant, try instituting a consequence: If, for example her room isn’t done before school, then she’ll have to spend the time in the afternoon getting it up to par instead of playing a game, going outside or watching a television show.
- Label the shelves and drawers if necessary. While a teen won’t need this sort of help, your preschooler might. If your child isn’t reading yet, draw pictures or take photos of his underwear, socks, shirts, pants and shoes to label the areas of the closet where they should go.
- Have clothing-folding lessons if your child does not know how to do this yet. Shelves will look messy if sweaters are thrown haphazardly; they need to be folded neatly. If you don’t care about unfolded sweaters, assign them a drawer, where they’ll remain out of sight.
- Show her how to use all of the accessories that came with her closet. She should be able to store all of her belts, jewelry and other accessories on her own. Also, if she has a valet rod, show her how to use it to set aside an outfit for the next day. This is a good habit to get into each evening to cut down on rummaging around for the perfect pair of pants in the morning.
- Remember your child’s custom closet is able to grow along with him. Don’t be afraid to move shelves and clothing rods up as he grows in height. Depending on your child’s age, you might need to do this every year or so; tweens don’t want a closet that was obviously built for someone the size of a kindergartener!
The habits that you instill in your children now will help them manage their own homes someday. Get them in the routine of keeping their custom closets neat and tidy so that it comes naturally for them as they grow into adulthood.