Joy Cho Shares the Easiest Way to Organize Your Home With Children (And Keep Your Sanity)

Joy Cho | Courtesy Clorox

Spring cleaning season is not quite here, but now may be the best time to organize and purge, especially if you have children.

Now that the holidays are over, families find their pile of clutter may have grown. Kids outgrow toys and clothing and when items don’t have a home it can create an area of chaos. Joy Cho, founder and creative director of Oh Joy!, explains how busy families can keep their space neat and tidy, without tossing everything that doesn’t give you joy like Marie Kondo advises.

“[Kondo’s] approach and mine are somewhat similar, but I also look at things that are useful too,” Cho explains to The Cheat Sheet. “My vacuum cleaner may not give me joy but I certainly need it.” She applies this philosophy to not only general clutter but the clutter that often comes with growing children. Considering Cho was named as one of Time’s “30 Most Influential People on the Internet,” she is likely one to be on her game.

Everything should have a home

Throwing toys and crafts into one big bucket may be a quick way to get items off the ground, but it can create a chaotic environment. When children look for a certain toy, they will drag everything out of the bucket or bin, creating a huge mess.

Instead, Cho suggests creating separate bins or buckets for specific items. “So for example, you might have a bin for crayons or paper,” Cho recommends. “Then when it is time to clean up, everything has a specific place.” She adds that having a general toy box or area isn’t a bad idea, but you should have a space for all your children’s items.

Having organized bins or spaces also encourages the child to create and develop healthy organizational habits. “Especially when they get older, they can be helpful, clean up and put things away,” she says. “If you have systems set up for them, from the start it makes it so much easier for them.”

Give small children chores

How early should you give your kids household tasks? Cho’s children are ages four and seven and they have tasks that they embrace. “Last year is when I really started implementing chores,” she recalls. “Some of the simplest things I start with is clearing the table after dinner, putting food in the trash, and then putting their plates in the sink or dishwasher.”

Also, children love to wipe down surfaces, Cho says. “Kids love cleaning counters,” she says. “Whether it’s after you’ve cooked or they’ve done crafts, they love to wipe down counters with wipes.” Cho and Clorox make chore time even more fun with Cho’s first-ever designer collection for Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

And offers a great tip for organizing your child’s things

Any parent knows that purging toys, clothes, and just about any item your child owns can be a chore in itself. In addition to wading through what can be piles of items, your child may never want to give up a toy, even if it hasn’t been played with in years.

Some parents want to avoid this battle, but Cho says you should meet the challenge head-on. “You should go through your child’s toys and clothes about once a year,” she says. Cho shares an amazing tip that will help you avoid the “I want to keep everything” battle with your child.

“Wait until your child is asleep or at school to organize and purge” Cho advises. “Put the items your child won’t use in a trash bag and put it aside. Then wait to see if your child even misses the item. When you are confident the toy [or clothing] won’t be missed, give it away or sell it.” That way you can still organize and streamline your child’s area without the drama.

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