Is your child’s bedroom messy a lot of the time?
Like stuff EVERYWHERE?
Are you nodding like I am?
Thank goodness there is hope! Let me tell you, it doesn’t include barking like a Sergeant at your kids every day or worse, getting in there and cleaning up their room yourself.
First, two things too consider;
- There is a lack of suitable storage and organisation in their bedroom. OR
- There may be too much stuff.
When there is less stuff, there are less things to make a mess with and so the room stays tidier.
Especially if you have a child who is not keen on tidying up, but seems to be an expert puller outer (there is a couple of those in our family, including myself) then I recommend starting with decluttering first. That is, before any organising happens!
Start With Decluttering >>> 3 Steps To Teach Your Kids To Successfully Declutter Their Bedroom
However if the downsizing of toys and books etc. has already happened, then these 5 tips to organize kids rooms are for you!
5 Awesome Tips To Organize Kids Rooms
6 months after 11 year old Miss K and I decluttered her bedroom, I had a feeling that another big declutter needed to be done.
What gave me that impression?
Oh, maybe noticing how the bed always seemed to have stuff on it, or how the floor had become a storage space, even when the room was tidy. Yes there was also her vintage dressing table that had become a base for piles of stuff.
But I admit, I wasn’t as motivated this time around to help her go through everything. I soon learnt that I needed to offer more encouragement, and less or no advice. Gosh, that’s hard! But Miss K already knew how to decide what to keep, discard or donate. So all I had to do was asking prompting questions when she got stuck deciding.
Surprisingly, this time around the mess on the floor wasn’t a clutter issue. Instead the mess was because one or more of the following home organization principles needed to be followed.
1. Give Everything A Place
The key to organise kids room is to give every item a home. Clearly knowing where their stuff belongs, makes tidying up a lot easier for your child.
Some kids may be able to decide where they want to home their things independently. Other kids may need some prompting with questions and even suggestions to decided where things will fit best.
- Where could you put these items (books, cars, dolls etc.) so that they can all fit?
- Will these items affect how easy the drawer or cupboard will be to open and close?
- Can you reach these items if you put them up high?
- Do you have a suitable size container to house similar items together?
- Is this something you use often or only occasionally?
Sometimes, discovering an item’s home can take a bit of trial and error.
Since our last sort through, Miss K had, had a birthday! So there were a few extra items in her room which didn’t have a place designated for them yet. These were soon found a home!
Reminder to self (and other parents): Talk to my kids about where they want to store their Christmas or birthday gifts! Otherwise they may end up piled on the floor, desk , bed etc.
2. Put Like Items Together
This became the “oh, yeah, of course!” response.
Where do I put these colouring in pages? Oh yeah, with the textas.
Where do I put these empty glass jars that I got from the neighbour? Oh yeah, with the other things that I use for playing games like schools.
Where do I put these beading set? Oh yeah, with other craft activities or hobbies.
The best way to organize kids rooms is by grouping and then storing like items together. One of the big advantages of doing that is that it is much easier to do an accurate stock take of the bedroom contents. You both know whether your child really needs new pencils or not or whether they have enough dolls to play with because all those items are stored together.
This also works really well for kids’ clothing and is one reason I now try to store their off season clothing with the current season’s.
And for the clever kids, items can be “like” simply because they are not similar to anything else. Yes, a miscellaneous drawer!
3. Store Items So Everything Can Be Viewed At First Glance
What does that mean?
It means that everything must be easy to view or see what it is whether in a drawer, cupboard, shelf, closet etc.
To my daughter, “You have to be able to see what’s in all your drawers. Piles are the enemy! There must be nothing kept on the floor.”
Miss K then had a mild panic attack when she realised that I was serious about her not keeping her stuff on the floor, underneath the bed (which was full) or on top of her dressing table. AND it couldn’t be crammed into spaces because it had to be easy to view.
It’s important for our kids to learn now when they are only managing a small area (their room) that “storage space has limits”. That space is not expandable, if you just try to push things into a drawer and squeeze it shut.
Personally I have found this one of the most helpful rules when organising any space in my home. When I can see everything easily, like in my pantry, I am less likely to forget what I have there and so stuff gets used.
Visually I reckon it is prettier as well!
4. Display It Storage!
Do you know what the most frequent question I asked my daughter as we organised her room was?
What is this for? Do you use it for that? Why are you keeping it?
Ok, that’s more than one question!
In essence though, finding out the purpose of the item will determine what kind of storage is best!
Specifically, will be this item have a home where it can be use or displayed. Sometimes both!
For example, we worked out that the main reason Miss K was keeping the stickers below, was not to use them as stickers but she thought they were really cute. Kittens – I think they are cute too!
So we decided to clip them onto her pin up board so they could be enjoyed rather than packed away in a drawer. Who says a page of stickers can’t be used as decor?
Related Post: How To Easily Hang Kids Posters Without Tack
When your child collects stuff…
RUN FOR THE HILLS!! …. Just kidding!
It doesn’t really matter, whether the collection is a pile of rocks from the sand pit at school or snails. Well um, the snail collection you might want to discourage, especially if they are alive and escape the bedroom like we had happen once. But that all said, collections work best when they can be displayed.
The type of area (eg. shelves, frames) used for display provides a natural limit to the size of the collection. For example, only a few shelves leads to choosing what are the best or most interesting items in their collection. An important skill to learn!
Check Out Some Of My Favourite Etsy Display Shelves To Organize Kids Rooms:
Hot Wheels Wood Truck Display CaseMIni Toy Figurine Display ShelfOak Superhero Lego Display ShelfCheerleading Trophy Shelf and Medal Holder DisplayMini House Wall Shelf DisplayShabby Chic Mini Display Cabinet
5. Use It Storage
In Miss K’s room, we ended up creating a to-do drawer. It is what it sounds like! It stores craft activities and other items that are meant to be used rather than kept untouched for a long period of time. Board games, cards, marbles, craft kits, puzzles etc are all items that are intended to be enjoyed and played with rather than put on display.
So it is perfectly ok to store these items out of sight in a cupboard or closet, as long as they are easy to access and put away.
Also locate “use it” items close to where they are intended to be used, if possible. For example, Miss K keeps her Barbie dolls in a drawer of her dressing table because that’s where she mostly plays with them.
Younger kids and toddlers need the toys and books they frequently use, to be at level they can reach. Baskets in a storage cube or low shelving work well!
Check Out My Favourite Etsy Storage Baskets To Organize Kids Rooms:
Customised Toy Storage Paper BagAdorable Personalised Storage BasketRustic Braided Straw BasketMedium Size Black & White Storage BasketSet Of 3 – Felt Wool Storage BagsPersonalised Storage Bag & Play Mat
Progress Is Better Than Perfection
Ok, you have put in a big effort to get the bedroom organized. Well done!
Remember, an organised space may never feel like it is completely finished or perfect. But ditch the expectation of perfection and enjoy the results, that the room will be easier for the kids to tidy up and keep clean.
Well, teenagers… that’s another story!
Update: Since we have decluttered and organised all of Miss K’s stuff (over the course of a year), I no longer assist with tidying up her room. At least once a week, she makes an effort to clear the surfaces aka mess, and put everything back where it belongs. I choose to ignore or close the door on the other days!
Check Out More Awesome Ideas To Organize Kids Rooms Here: