The Life Changing Montessori Magic of Tidying Up: The Children’s Version!

I am honoured to have Jae of Bella’s Casa share her ideas and inspiration for parents of young children in this post. She explains how to create open and clutter-free environment, how to empower children to be successful in keeping their toys and space tidy without constant power struggles and battles over cleaning up routine.

baskets with children's clothes

Children…!
They might be little, but their stuff is EVERYWHERE!
In my home, I have used 5 Montessori magic steps to organize all my children’s stuff – outgrown clothes, school work, pictures, birthday gifts, kids meal toys, and all the other STUFF that is involved in children’s lives.
The Five Montessori Steps to Success
1. Limit the number
2. Basket, tray or bin
3. Rotate
4. Access
5. Order – A place for each thing and each thing in its place

1. Limit the number
• Young children truly enjoy an activity when it is limited in number. This allows them to really explore the toys and inspires creativity to work with them in different ways.
• Limiting the number of items in an activity also gives the child a better chance to put the activity away without any frustration or opposition.
• If a game or activity comes with lots of parts, only put out smallest number needed and put away the rest.

2. Basket, tray or bin
• Once you’ve limited the number of items in an activity, it’s time to place it in a self contained basket, tray or bin.
• Putting an activity on a tray or in a basket puts the focus and interest on the activity itself, not the packaging it came in.
• Easy to carry baskets, trays or bins makes it a breeze for children to clean up and put away!

3. Rotate

• Once you limit items in an activity, use storage bins to warehouse the extra pieces and parts.
• Now that the activities are limited you can rotate the contents regularly.
• Regular rotation keeps activities interesting to the child and keeps them engaged.

A toddler shelf with Montessori materials for toddlers


4. Access
• Homes with siblings can still have activities available for each child within the same space.
• Once the activities have been limited and kept in a tray, bin or basket, keep the older child’s activities in a place where only they can reach and keep the younger child’s materials lower to the ground.
• If your home doesn’t have ways in which to raise the activities of an older child, you can put their toys in a container that the younger child cannot open.

A shelf with activities for toddlers and preschoolers

5.Order
• Once your child’s items are in smaller quantities and in easier to handle containers, it’s important to organize the space and determine where each activity will go. A place for everything and everything in its place.
• A child’s sense of order is strong and providing designated places for activities to be stored will be beneficial to their development and the consistency of putting things in their place will avoid frustration and opposition when clean up time comes around.

My goal is to offer tips and suggestions that are easy to try and can really make the positive change in your home life that you are looking for.
To get a sense for how we have used the above 5 steps to organized our home, check out our Montessori Home Tour Video.

Want a little more Montessori magic in your life?

Visit: Bella’s Casa Store with handmade Montessori materials for babies and young children or bellascasa.com

 Join the Montessori Home Set-Up E- Course coming this fall September – a course designed to help you finally start implementing Montessori at home without confusion and overwhelm. This is a way to get a closer to your wishes into reality in steps 1.2.3 that result in ease and peace. Get professional outlook and receive amazing result creating gorgeous Montessori environment. Environment that will fulfill your desire to remove all distractions, connect with your child, enjoy the simplicity and focus on purity of Montessori based parenting. Aspects of the course that will help you reach these goals:

  • Foundation: Your Child’s Potential – In this module, we’ll give you a clear starting point to apply the knowledge to your home and your children, and we’ll prioritize where you want to focus your efforts.
  • Change and Transformation – After this module, you’ll have an action plan for changes to implement, and know how and when to make changes while working in partnership with your children.
  • Strategy: The Magic 3 – This module includes 3 magical components that guide your changes and the process of implementation – ensuring that you’re ready to adjust and adapt as needed to continue moving forward.
  • Each Room in the Home Tour – We’ll walk through ideas for each area of the house as reference and inspiration – including things to watch out for and a super-handy resource guide for where to get things.
  • The Why Behind It – We’ll help you see the reasoning behind the guidance we’ve provided, so you are empowered to carry on and expand what you have put in place.
  • Maintaining – How To Keep It Going- In this module, we’ll ensure that you are set up for success to maintain what you have done and adjust as your children grow and change, including a final checklist to use as you go forward that summarizes that we coverer.

Would you like to start successfully implementing Montessori at home? Bella’s Casa is giving away one entry to Montessori Home Set-Up E-Course!

Giveaway Montessori Home Set-Up E-Course
A book shelf with books for kids

Amazing Prize:

Free entry to Montessori Home Set-Up E-Course – Helping You Do Montessori at Home

Professional Package – Lifetime Access Worth $299!

Who is eligible?

This giveaway is open worldwide to anyone 18 and older.

How to enter:

Enter your email via the Rafflecopter form below and answer two questions in the comments section of this post:

1. What is one aspect of your home would you like to improve?

2. What’s holding you back?

Other details: 

Entries close Friday September, 15, 2017 at 12.00 am Central Time.
Giveaway is sponsored by Bella’s Casa.
One entry per person.
Your email will only be added to Bella’s Casa newsletter lists and won’t be sold to spammers.
The giveaway is open worldwide.
No purchase necessary.
The winner will be published on montessorinature.com, notified via email by Bella’s Casa, and will have 48 hours to respond and claim the prize.
Bella’s Casa will deliver the prize.

Best of Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  About Anastasia. Anastasia is the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 19 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Learn more here. 

26 thoughts on “The Life Changing Montessori Magic of Tidying Up: The Children’s Version!”

  1. I attended a Montessori school as a young child and am in love with the elegance and simplicity of Montessori methods. One aspect of our living space is that I would like to improve would be to reduce clutter and arrange our son’s belongings in a more orderly and aesthetically pleasing manner. The greatest obstacles to achieving this are a lack of time to organize properly and insufficient storage space.

  2. I would love to declutter more of our home. One obstacle is my 4-year old is very attached to all his stuff – including broken toys and cheap plastic toys given to him as gifts.

  3. The biggest problem in my home is organization. The condo I live in is very tiny and there is not enough room for everything.

  4. I would love to continue to declutter and organize. This is tricky since we have four boys who love different things. I also find it hard to find the space and gather materials to set up authentic and good “work” for my boys.

  5. I would like to have materials more accessible for the kids to use. We don’t have shelving and the children are of different ages/abilities so its been tricky keeping out work.

  6. We have too much stuff and I feel like my daughter doesn’t use it because she doesn’t know what to pick.
    I’d love to have more control about the house. I don’t plan things, but use the things I find or receive, whereas I’d love for the activities to make more sense and to get some kind of harmony , with the things all going together and having a true purpose.

    1. A Montessori rule of thumb: less is more. Take the time to inventory toys and activities. Remove toys that are not developmentally appropriate for his age or in excess and keep them in bins or storage containers!

  7. We are a family of five living in a small 2 bedroom condo. Storage and space both are a challenge. I have tried keeping materials in reach for my kids but because of lack of storage everything seems cluttered. Aesthetics, storage and space are a big challenge.

  8. I would like to have a space for everything.
    Now everything is just kind of put down where it fits, but we’ll move soon so it’s temporary, and in the new place I’ll try to designate a place for everything.

  9. Anne-Laure Schneider

    I am struggling with the bathroom area, I would like to encourage my children to take care of themselves but I dont have much time to set up a space.

  10. we have too many little toys with so many parts. and so many hand-me-downs! i guess i just need a clever way to organize and get a place for everything. thanks!

  11. I really want to improve the playroom we have. I feel like its always cluttered and they don’t play with what they have. I’m overwhelmed in where to begin. I get rid if stuff but it feels like it multiplies.

  12. I would like my home to be more organized. The thing that is holding me back is time and being able to stay on top of my daily household duties. I can get the house cleaned but clutter messes stick around too long. Part of the problem is that I don’t want to work on a clutter mess because I feel overwhelmed by it and keeping my kitchen cleaned and then I don’t do it.

  13. I need to go on this rotating method for my 2 years old son…
    But I find it hard to take toys away from him and also no much space to store them.

  14. I am fascinated by Montessori method however finding it very hard to implement in older children and more then one kid in different ages. Would love to learn more to be more confident:)

  15. I want to get better at keeping things in an orderly fashion. I think I get so excited about certain things that I put out too much at once! Having a newborn adds an additional challenge, I don’t always find the time to guide my older daughter towards returning things to their proper place nor do I always find time to do it myself at the end of the day.

  16. I would love to be more effective in loving, raising and teaching my kids on purpose. I am holding me back:), so getting more knowledge and inspiration would be a huge help. thanks:)

  17. The one thing – I am struggling to keep me 2 kiddies busy with meaningful activities. Once they get bored they either want the gadgets or they turn the house around:D

  18. I’d most like to get our family room redone so we can use it as movement area for our long, wet winters in the PNW. Mostly my health holds me back from getting the room done; I’m disabled and it’s a lot of decluttering, cleaning, and reorganizing mostly on my own.

  19. Elisabeth Paniagua

    Liked to better organize homeschool area which also serves as garage, gym.

    Holding me back is that needs to be total reorganized -painted.

  20. I mostly would like to know how to use what’s available in my home to prepare my twins room, and most importantly to know how to limit their fights . Actually, the budget sometimes hold me back from keeping on achieving my vision about my kids’ room, but I will try.

  21. I have been a teacher for eight years and take pride in how I teach my young students. My classroom is always organized and student friendly. I use the same approach with my toddler, in relation to a child-centered playroom. When she was born fell, I fell in love with the Montessori approach to learning and want to continue to grow as a parent so that she may benefit in the best ways that suit her. I can use help in the area of toddler guided play, that is age appropriate and challenging. I DIY all of our Montessori ideas. I would love for my daughter to be able to explore a playroom that is well organized and our budget limits the ability to get her all that Montessori approach has to offer.

  22. I am an montessori early childhood educator and just loved your idea of Montessori in the home. It think that every parent should try to set up at least one to wto rooms in their homes to help their little ones.
    I have a desire to open up one of my homes using Montessori method of learning andf certainly will use your guiding video.

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