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I walk into my daughter’s room and immediately slip on a book.
As I “gracefully” recover from that incident, I step directly on a forgotten Lego. While squelching the desire to let out a stream of un-motherly profanity, I wonder where I went wrong with the whole “kid’s room organization” thing.
I had such good intentions about the dynamic between my children and the clutter in their bedrooms. My husband and I thought we had a “plan.”
That plan was more or less telling them we expected them to keep their rooms clean.
Given the clutter-induced injuries I mentioned earlier, we apparently lack the skill set to follow through on said plan.
At least we can find comfort that we’re not alone in this bedroom cleaning battle. A shockingly large number of our friends also express the irritation that comes from kids’ messy rooms.
But what are we supposed to do?
Kids have so much stuff, and there never seems to be enough room to store it and easily clean up the messes.
Organizing toys feels impossible, putting away clothes is insurmountable, and don’t even get me started on the piles of random crap that magically appear on their desks, shelves, and nightstands.
If you’re facing similar struggles, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Before you throw in the towel and accept that your child’s bedroom will forever look like the aftermath of a natural disaster, why not try to implement some kids’ room organization ideas to make keeping things tidy, simple, and hassle-free?
Well, simpler, at least!
If you’re over the arguments and stresses over keeping rooms clean, stay tuned for the best tips on decluttering your child’s bedroom and helping them keep things picked up.
Is Keeping Kid Rooms Organized “that” Important?
Let me start by saying I could care less whether our kids’ bedrooms are spotless 100% of the time. That said, there’s also a difference between minimal clutter and an episode of Hoarders.
So, how much harping and arguing is a clean room and closet organization worth?
Are there benefits to keeping your child’s room in tip-top shape?
During a chat about this topic, a friend made a solid point that I was hard-pressed to argue with. She said:
“I think a clean room helps them stay focused and relaxed. They are learning so much, and under so much pressure with school, a tidy room helps relieve a little stress they don’t even know about.”
Neither of us claims to be an expert on the benefits of a clean bedroom, but her logic makes sense, and many actual experts agree!
The team at SelectHealth.org states that organization comes with many health benefits, such as reduced stress levels, improved sleep, and increased productivity.
They also state that enhanced organizational skills can lead to better relationships. This makes sense since most kids probably hate it when their parents have to argue with them about cleaning their rooms.
The First Step in Organizing Your Child’s Bedroom – Decluttering!
Before jumping into any organization, you need to know what you’re working with.
Think about your child’s room for a moment–is it possible there are things they don’t need? Clothes that are too small, half-broken toys, used-up notebooks, etc.? Why waste time sorting items you don’t want to keep?
For a successful kids’ room organization experience, start the project with a thorough decluttering. Marie Kondo that sh*t!
If you’re anything like me, getting rid of things, especially items your little ones use and love, is challenging. It is, however, necessary.
We’ve teamed up with our favorite organization expert, Corinne Morahan of Grid & Glam, to bring you this article full of practical solutions, approved by moms and professionals! Corinne is sympathetic to the challenge of decluttering, but she also says this:
“Purging is the hardest, most sentimental part of the process but also the most important. So go easy on yourself but stick with it!”
Tackle one project at a time to streamline your decluttering process. Need help getting started? Try out the tips below!
1. Sort Through Their Dressers and Closets
Whether shopping for kids’ clothes ourselves, receiving them as gifts, or inheriting hand-me-downs, many of us have a continual flow of clothing items that pour out of every drawer, closet, and shelf.
Why not minimize their wardrobes to start?
Whether it’s the outfits they’ve outgrown, the socks with holes, or the excess items they’re never going to wear, clearing out dressers and closets is an ideal first place to begin decluttering.
2. Get Rid of Books that Are Too “Babyish”
I have a serious emotional attachment to books–my own and my children’s. I want to keep them all and never let go.
My school-aged children no longer need or are interested in the soft-covered books for babies they got when they were born. Make room on the shelves and eliminate anything they won’t look at again.
3. Decrease the Number of Toys They Have
A friend of mine has five children. As you can imagine, when you have five kids running around, they accumulate a lot of toys.
She understandably got tired of dealing with so much, so she purged. At first, she feared the kiddos would flip out, but she quickly realized they just made do with what they had left and didn’t miss the lost toys.
Don’t be afraid to let some of their toys go. In fact, why not allow your kids to participate in the process?
Every year around Christmas, I have our girls go through their toys so that we can donate them to other children who might not have as much. They love giving their things to someone who will love them as much as they did.
4. Schedule Regular Decluttering Sessions
Okay, you’ve finished your initial declutter, and now you’re done, right?
Well, sort of.
Here’s the thing about decluttering; it’s always ongoing. Give it a few more months, and you’ll likely find more things your kids can do without. For great kids’ room organization, make it a habit to go through their rooms once a season to organize, refresh, and reset.
Using Furniture to Increase Storage Space in Children’s Rooms
I’m a big fan of multi-function furniture when I’m looking for household storage ideas. Lucky for us parents, there are plenty of ways to use this technique to improve the organization in our children’s rooms.
1. Popular Storage Beds Your Kids Will Love
We recently redid our youngest’s bedroom to make it more of a “big girl room.” We let go of the toddler bed and got her something larger.
As we started our search, I discovered how many fantastic beds with drawers there are. This quickly became one of my favorite parts of her new room design.
If you’re looking for a beautiful storage bed, here are a few popular choices:
- South Shore Summertime Mates Bed with Storage Drawers
- Tiara Bookcase Bed Set with Storage
- Harper & Bright Full Storage Bed
- Max & Lily Farmhouse Store Loft Bed
2. Add a Desk to Their Bedroom
By adding a desk to your child’s room, they’ll not only have a designated spot to do their homework, but it will also add some more storage solutions, especially if you go for a desk that has shelving or drawers.
This one is a great starter desk.
3. Add a Bookshelf
As a self-proclaimed bookworm, I will always advocate for purchasing more bookcases. When it comes to kids’ rooms, however, having an extra shelf is good for more than just storing their favorite literature.
We use our girls’ bookshelves for everything under the sun – trinkets, craft sets, games, etc. They’re a great way to increase the storage space for better organization.
I especially love the BILLY bookshelf from IKEA for kids’ rooms. This collection offers several different options depending on what you need.
4. Utilize Corner Space
Picking the right furniture for your living area can be challenging, even more so when dealing with small spaces. If you don’t have tons of square footage, buying corner pieces that have a smaller footprint might be helpful.
Here are some other popular options:
5. Make Use of Vertical Space
Have you ever heard people discussing building “up instead of out?” Well, that’s fantastic logic to apply to organizing children’s bedrooms.
Instead of solely focusing on furnishings that take up floor space, look for pieces that are taller rather than wider or that hang from ceilings or walls.
A chest of drawers instead of a dresser, for instance, is a great option for clothing storage.
6. Buy a Nightstand with Storage
While cutesy nightstands that are nothing more than a tabletop might look adorable, they don’t offer much storage.
7. Triple Check Your Measurements
Another piece of fantastic advice from our organizational role model, Corinne:
“Make sure to measure (twice) the space before you buy anything!”
To best utilize the space your child has, you want to make sure you’re purchasing furniture that will fit nicely into the area. This way, you not only won’t end up with something that’s too big, but you can also ensure you’re using as much square footage as possible.
Products and Tips to Help You Organize Toys
Toys are the biggest culprit in childhood bedroom clutter chaos. Before you panic about being chased out of your home by an assortment of blocks, stuffed animals, and board games, consider the suggestions below.
1. Invest in a Cubby Toy Storage System
While Corinne deters parents from encouraging their children to “micro-organize” their toys at home, splitting them into broad categories is helpful. That’s why my daughter loves the bin storage system in her room.
We organize her toys into general categories (art supplies, dress-up, Legos, etc.), and then she can quickly figure out how to clean things back up when she’s finished.
Note: These are the most beneficial for smaller toys and items. Most infants’ and toddlers’ large toys don’t fit into the bins very well.
2. Bag Up Board Games and Puzzles
Have the boxes for your child’s board games and puzzles seen better days? Maybe it’s time to toss them! Before you start stressing over coordinating fifty million small puzzle and game pieces, we have a solution!
We use mesh zipper bags and absolutely love them!
These are conveniently sized to hold a wide range of items and will take up much less space than the ripped-up box your child likes to drag around.
3. Consider Adding a Toy Box
Does your little one’s bedroom contain a surplus of Montessori toys for babies? Are you overrun by a collection of educational toys for your toddlers? If these items are too big for a bin system or basket, why not invest in a good old-fashioned toy box?
This provides lots of extra space and makes it easy to help teach your littles how to clean up after themselves.
4. Purchase Stuffed Animal Storage Solutions
I had a heart-to-heart with my daughter today about why we don’t need forty different stuffies in her room.
She vehemently disagreed.
While we did eliminate some of them, plush toys are her love language, and she refuses to let go of most. So, what do we do? We start searching for better stuffed animal storage options!
Here are some of the most popular choices:
- Creative QT Stuff ‘n Sit (This is a popular product in our house, so I was thrilled when Corinne said it’s one of her favorite options for storing stuffed animals!)
- Stuffed Animal Hammock
- Over-the-Door Stuffed Animal Storage Unit
- Basumee Hanging Stuffed Animal Set
5. Don’t Forget About Dress-Up Storage
Whether you use a clear, plastic bin that slides under your child’s bed or a full-blown dress-up storage unit, remember to carve out space for those princess dresses and superhero costumes.
They’ll have a great time and you won’t have to worry about the mess later.
6. Get Rid of the Boxes
Most toys come in large packing boxes that take up too much space. Here’s a tip: you don’t need the box!
Store larger toys on their own or use mesh bags like the ones mentioned above for smaller pieces.
7. Ensure Every Toy Has a “Home”
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” If you’re in the middle of a kid’s room organization project, you can and should pay attention to these words.
Organizing your child’s room, and keeping it that way, will be much easier if you know exactly where you want things to go.
General Kids Room Organization Ideas You Need to Know
Beyond decluttering and toy organization, there are plenty of other tips and tricks to eliminate the mess in your little one’s bedroom.
1. Make Labels for Everything
Tip: If your little one isn’t reading yet, you can always add pictures to the labels so they know what goes where.
2. Set Up a Blanket Storage Space
When babies are born, blankets tend to be a go-to gift. I’ve noticed, however, that even as our girls get older, they still get tons of throw blankets for their birthdays and other holidays.
Make sure you set up an area in your child’s bedroom for them. Whether you get a storage bench, basket, or something with open shelving, find a product that offers easy access but keeps the blankets off the floor.
3. Utilize the Space Under Your Child’s Bed
Does your little one have open space underneath their bed? If so, put it to good use!
Many functional, rolling, under-the-bed storage containers are perfect for games, toys, blankets, and more.
4. Use the Backs of Doors
These are a favorite of mine because they offer fantastic storage without taking up extra room.
5. Add a Shelf Above Their Window
As a child, I remember my mom putting a simple shelf over the curtains on my window.
While this location wasn’t great for items I needed quick access to, it was ideal for anything I wanted to keep but didn’t necessarily need to use.
Whether your little one has photos, sentimental knickknacks, or other mementos, adding this extra shelf above their window is an excellent solution.
6. Create a Space for Clothes that Are Too Small
Donating clothing items is a fantastic way to declutter your child’s room. Unless you have much better time management skills than me, I’d say it’s a safe bet you’ll wait until you have a decent number of donations before you drop them off somewhere.
I like to keep a basket inside our daughter’s closet for clothing she’s outgrown.
Once we fill it up, we’ll take it to a local thrift store or donate the hand-me-downs to a friend.
Helping Kids Keep Their Rooms Clean
So, now that you’ve worked hard and organized your child’s room, how do you keep it that way?
Well, our organization guru, Corinne, has two great tips:
1. For the Parents: “Remember that by teaching your kids organizing skills, you’re preparing them for adulthood. Think ahead to their dorm room or first apartment: Wouldn’t it be incredible if they knew how to maintain an organized home from day one? Yes, it will take time to teach them how to maintain their organization, but it’s so worth it.”
2. For the Kids: Corinne’s suggestion is to encourage children to tidy up every day. Remember not to force them into micro-organizing their belongings, especially when they’re young. This can be stressful and overwhelming to a little one.
Your children will look to you to determine the “correct way” to keep rooms clean and organized. Show them how to put things away and ensure they understand where everything is supposed to go.
Eventually, you’ll see habits forming and changes in the overall messes inside their childhood bedrooms. We love to see it!
Do you have any kids’ room organization ideas that you love? Please share!
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.