Q: what about kids’ rooms perpetuating clutter / toys / mess… any tips?
A: little kids are wide-eyed from digesting information all day long because everything is a brand-new experience. from their perspective, the world is very yang: it feels big, sometimes alarming, and certainly reprieve-worthy. by natural instinct, they self-soothe by creating nests of their own with stuffed animals, found treasures, toys and trinkets. while their collections might seem like clutter, it is how they nourish and nurture their systems and souls.
so, instead of editing through their things, begin having regular conversations about their stuff and they will learn (while they’re young!) not to rely on things for confidence.
a few other helpful hints:
TIP ONE: a good rule of thumb to start early: everything has its own place, including toys. this effort requires your consistency initially as you will have to guide and help your little adapt to a regular clean-up process. one of my favorite tools for this is the toy box (hello, throw back!) – it creates a defined space for their stuff, and it establishes a firm boundary. when it is full, there isn’t room for more toys without an edit! however you “house” their belongings (baskets, boxes, trays, etc.), the real win here is if you make order a priority now, it’ll provides you tremendous convenience later.
TIP TWO: at young ages, kids are drawn to vibrant, loud colors which are highly stimulating. balance that “yang” out with a softer palette. otherwise, they will LOVE playing in their rooms, but they will have a hard time calming down, self-soothing, and resting / sleeping.
TIP THREE: keep things at eye level as much as possible – this will help reinforce their ownership of the space.
TIP FOUR: consider art or murals as a substitute for toys – if there is something they love, can it be expressed in a poster / on the wall instead? (be mindful of imagery, of course!)
TIP FIVE: clean up every day. i know the kids will be right back in it all, but it provides your kid a ritual, and rituals are great for countering uncertainty and confusion – an important life skill that will remain with them all their lives! xo