As a home owner with children, you assume your home has all the space your children need. Then why are there toys, sports equipment and more scattered everywhere? As a home owner and mother, it feels like homes are designed by and for adults, with an emphasis on visual appeal over function. So this article focuses on ways to make your home work better for busy parents.
Busy Parents Can Focus on Where the Clutter Starts
Tradition also rules as we still have elaborate front doors with closets and entryways when most people enter their homes through a side door. Rarely is there a second coat closet so you have to create alternative places for coats, boots, backpacks, etc. If you don't have an easy way for your children to drop things when they come through the back door, you'll keep finding things dropped randomly throughout the house.
Most interior design for children focuses on their bedrooms. It's fun to create unique kids spaces that reflect their interests and personality. Realistically though, how much time do your children spend in their rooms? In fact this social isolation is more troubling today. Children are spending too much time on the computer and texting friends, versus face-to-face interaction where social skills develop.
Young children spend the majority of their time in the same room as a parent/care giver. As children get older they'll spend more time in shared family spaces like the kitchen or family room, playing in their bedrooms more often when friends are visiting or when they get older and want their privacy.
Busy Kids, Busy Parents – Identifying What Happens Where
Consider how your children spend their time at home. Where do they do their homework or arts and crafts? Homework is often done in the kitchen or dining room so busy parents can help when needed. You don't need a special desk for homework but it's more likely that things will be put away (with gentle and consistent reminders) when you designate storage space in these rooms for books, paper and pens.
Dining rooms are for … what? We turned ours into a craft room with an oak file cabinet to match the dining room furniture. Mom's sewing supplies got stored in the top 2 drawers while colored paper, crayons, glue, scissors and more were kept in the lower 2 drawers where children could easily find them, and put supplies away when they finished their art. Adding large bulletin boards and/or chalk boards (you can make your own with chalk paint) for children's artwork and important papers also helps build their identity as valued family members.
Tips for Busy Parents to Make Your Home Work Better
These articles offer creative ideas to make your home work better for you and your children. Children are more likely to paint, sew or do some wood working when getting started is as easy as turning on the computer. They'll also learn that keeping things in their assigned storage area, makes it easier to find it next time.
- Creating Activity Centers for You and Your Children – Maybe you'd like your children to read more? Start by looking at how your children spend their time at home, plus your preferences. Now look at their space for each activity and see where changes can motivate the behavior you want.
- Storage Tips to Reduce Kids Clutter – Tired of picking up clothes, toys and papers around the house? Here are ideas for categorizing lost and found items, and finding a permanent home for everything. Hint: Post a list of what goes where and what happens if you find things where they don't belong.
- How to Get Children to Help with Household Chores – Would you like to teach your children how to cook and eat healthy? Set aside one kitchen cabinet for appropriately sized pots, pans and their own recipe box? Include them in planning meals and have them prepare one dish or desert each week.
- Outdoor Play Spaces: More Than a Swing Set – Parents buy 1,000s of swing sets for their children. Unfortunately they pick a particular set because it's like one their friends have or they see it while shopping for something else. Learn what children need in an outdoor play space. You'll be surprised.
We've got lots of ideas and we'd love to share your stories too. It's easy, just answer a few questions and we'll share your homeowner story here at Home Tips for Women. Hopefully you've got photos you can share too as they tell the story so much better, because a picture is worth a thousand words.
What would you like to change in your home? If you're looking for ideas to help busy parents, we've got boards on kid's rooms and more on Pinterest.