What are some potential storage solutions that may work for your children and your home?
Hereâ€™s a selection culled from one of those home organisation books that you can pick up at the library.
Some of the ideas are good ones â€“ but some arenâ€™t. Judge for yourself and find the ones that work for you.
Hooks are easy for children to hang things on if things are stored in bags, as well as being ideal for clothing such as coats and hats.
Theyâ€™re also easy to install and remove, and you can put them at any height you fancy to suit your children.
However, they’re hopeless for things that aren’t stored in bags for obvious reasons. I wouldn’t store, for example, jigsaw puzzles in bags on hooks.
Sliding baskets made of metal mesh or slots, similar to what you see inside a refrigerator. These work quite well for larger items such as soft toys.
They are self-correcting, to use a Montessori term, if something small is put into them by mistake â€“ the small thing will fall out.
Bookshelves Great for books for obvious reasons, although children will find putting books in properly a bit tricky at first and will have to let the books lie flat, stacked on top of each other.
Other things can be kept on bookshelves if they come in boxes, such as board games.
Shoe or cosmetics organisers of the type consisting of a set of pockets hanging on a panel that can be hung up like a poster inside the wardrobe or on the back of the door (at child height, obviously).
While these are quite good for corralling small objects they have one downside â€“ the pockets are sometimes too deep for small hands to reach.
These are ideal for corralling small objects and can be stored on shelves or in mesh cubes, drawers or cubbyholes.
These have an advantage over drawers in that there tend to be more of them in a set and that children donâ€™t have problems with drawers that stick. Things can fall off them, however.
Toy chests Old-fashioned toy chests â€“ deep wooden things with big lists â€“ may hide all the toys away from view so floors can keep tidy but they get chaotic very quickly, are hard and potentially dangerous for children to use.
If some kind relative or friend gives you one of these â€œfor the childrenâ€?, use it for storing blankets or the like rather than toys.
Labelling things is a great way to help children (and adults) know what goes where. But labels donâ€™t just have to have words on them.
If your children havenâ€™t quite got onto learning to read, then have a picture to show what should go into the box/onto the shelf, etc. Have the word there, too, to encourage your child as he/she learns to read.
Stackable boxes, both the sort with and without wheels and lids. These are OK, especially for containing large sets of things, such as blocks, Lego or craft materials.
Desks with lids
Remember the old school desks? They have gone out in many classrooms but they are great for at home.
Theyâ€™re best for keeping the stuff that will be used on top of the desk, such as drawing paper, pencils and painting gear.
So with this guide, you should be able to deal with kidâ€™s clutter.
Read more Montessori Gold Coast tips at www.fridayschildmontessori.com