5 Steps to Decluttering & Organizing Children’s Rooms
Do you get “that feeling” when you look around your children’s rooms? You know “that feeling”? The feeling that makes you wonder how you raised children that are so messy? You and your husband are not messy. You set a good example for your children. You tell your children to pick up toys and clean their rooms every day. Yet, you walk into their rooms and find clothes are in the middle of the floor, toys and personal items are scattered and socks and shoes mismatched because one is always missing. Your children just look at you and say, “what?” (as if they had no idea this is a mess).
If this sounds like your home (and I can relate), it’s time to clean up your children’s rooms with these 5 steps for decluttering and organizing children’s rooms.
It’s week 8 of Organize your Life in 52 Weeks. This week we are decluttering and organizing our children’s rooms. We have 3 children (1 boy and 2 girls). They have 2 rooms (the girls share a room). Originally, I was going to write separate posts about organizing for boys and organizing for girls, but the process for decluttering and organizing is the same, so I decided to cover children’s rooms in one post.
In just a short period of time (like just a week or so), my children accumulate so many little things. Do you have these items laying around your house? Papers from church and school (these precious papers can never be thrown away), candy wrappers, missing socks (I couldn’t believe how many lost socks I found in this process) and shoes, little crafts they make, art and coloring, lego projects, and on and on…. Where does a mom start to declutter and organize?
One helpful tip before you start: if you have girls, especially younger ones (between ages 3 years old and 7 years old), I suggest you have them play somewhere else for this process because they never want to let go of anything. My 6-year-old does this every time I am cleaning & decluttering the girls room. She will take things out of the trash and insist they must be kept.
3 Simple Declutter Rules
- Help your children accept they cannot keep everything and they have to let things that are not used or that are no longer useful to them have to go (especially toys they have outgrown). Help your children choose just their favorite toys, only the ones they play with almost every day.
- If they don’t use it or play with it, it’s time get rid of it (i.e. it’s broken, has missing parts, it’s hidden in the back of the closet or toy box), it’s time to throw it out. If it still works or is in good condition, you can donate these items to charity or sell them on Craigslist.
- When possible use baskets, small boxes, and other storage containers you already have in your house to organize each child’s room. Sometimes this repurposing will take some creative thinking, but most of the time you don’t need to purchase more “storage” products, you just need to repurpose the storage items you have. For example, with my son, since he no longer needs “toy bins” we converted these bins to shoe bins to keep his shoes organized and in one place.
Let’s get started decluttering and organizing.
5 Steps to Decluttering and Organizing Children’s Rooms
1. Clean-up – Remove Everything You Do Not Need
Start your cleaning, decluttering and organizing by removing everything you don’t need. Take a trash can or trash bag with you and start throwing out the trash. It’s amazing how full the bag will be after just cleaning out from under the beds. How does so much trash and junk get under kids beds?
Second, get a large box or bucket for items you might want to keep and items that were out of place (i.e. they belong in another room like a hair brush in the bathroom or missing game pieces from the playroom). If you plan to keep it, you put it in this box to sort later.
At this point, your goal is to clear the trash, junk and clutter and get it out of the way.
2. Select Favorite Toys and Personal Items
Next, select personal items and favorite toys to keep. My son (11 years old) loves to build Lego models. We set-up an area where he could display all the Legos he has built. Maybe your child like to build model cars or airplanes, having a special display area will encourage them to build more.
For the girls, they had jewelry and jewelry boxes, lotions and body spray. They set-up their personal items on their dresser areas too.
Be sure to limit how many personal items and favorite toys you keep or you will still have clutter. With the toys, I removed many toys that were no longer played with or did not seem age appropriate. Even though some toys are not played with every day, it’s a good idea to keep the favorites.
3. Rearrange the Furniture
The next big step is to rearrange the furniture (you can skip this step if you already like the way your furniture is placed). Look around the room and decide if your current furniture layout is wasting space. If you moved a bed or placed it against a wall, would it create more play space?
In my son’s room, we rearranged all his furniture. He is very happy with the new look and design of his room.
For the girls, since they have 2 twin beds, the options to move the furniture are limited. We did move one bed and the large armoire. The girls like that we were able to move their beds closer together (I think they like to whisper in bed before they fall asleep).
4. Sort and Put Away Personal Items
In the first step, you set aside some toys and personal items to put away later. Now, it’s time to organize and put those items away. If they should be in another room, move them to the right place. If they belong in this room, organize them neatly.
Here’s an example of a small case a repurposed, previously this case had small books and was in my son’s room. Since he no longer needed the case, I repurposed it as a shoe rack for the girls. They can neatly place their shoes on each shelf and they will be able to find the matched shoes for school and church easily.
5. Clean, Vacuum and Finishing Touches
Whew, you are almost done! Complete your room makeovers by dusting the furniture, vacuuming the carpet/sweeping the floor and any additional finishing touches like arranging all the stuffed animals on the bed or setting up the top of dressers and desks.
Take a step back and look around. All your hard work looks awesome. This feels so much better – clean and clutter free. “That feeling” should be gone. This time your children have fewer toys and things so there should be less clutter and the new organization system should keep their clothes off the floor and their shoes matched. Well, for at least a day or so… After all, they are kids, right?
What tips do you have for decluttering and organizing your child’s room? What is the best way to keep your child organized?