3 Simple Steps For Kids To Successfully Declutter Their Room:
Does the mess in your kids’ bedrooms drive you crazy?
Do you find that even though when their bedrooms get cleaned and tidied up, its not long until its a mess again?
It could be that your kids simply have TOO MUCH STUFF in their rooms!! Too much stuff makes keeping a space organised a lot more difficult.
So rather than going out and buying more storage containers, consider teaching your kids to successfully declutter their room. Their bedroom will become more inviting and usable, and so much easier to keep clean and tidy.
As our kids get older and start to mature, they can learn the skill of going through their own things and deciding what to keep and what to let go of themselves. Our kids can learn the skills to successfully declutter their room!
Here’s the process I used to help my 10 year old daughter successfully declutter their room recently, with just a bit of assistance from me.
Step 1. Take EVERYTHING Out & Put Like Items Together
We had groups of soft toys, craft items, Barbie dolls & accessories, photos, Lego, bags, hats, dress-ups and nick knacks which my daughter renamed “little teeny weeny things that don’t have a category” and a miscellaneous pile.
Create whatever piles are suitable for your child’s belongings.
So all her stuff ended up spread in piles on her bed with a few piles on the floor. When Miss K went to empty a drawer or a large storage box it was simply a matter of taking out the items and putting them in the group they belonged to. See not too difficult at all!
Keep sorting until all drawers, shelves, and storage containers have been emptied.
Are there any personal items kept in different areas around the house?
Don’t forget to include those things in the sorting! Miss K remembered she had a container of colouring-in items in the living area. This then got added to her growing collection of stuff.
Ok now’s the time to stand back and have a look together at how much stuff there is. Wow, that’s a lot of stuff!! Take a photo or two if you want to have some before and afters.
Now parents, you may be tempted to make comments along the way. Like,”Gosh you don’t play with x,y and z anymore you will probably want to get rid of that.” Please refrain! This first step is simply about sorting items into categories.
Similarly to how us adults can find it difficult to let go of our “stuff” so can our kids. So it’s important that they feel a sense of control over the process of deciding what to keep and what to discard.
Ok success with step 1!! ? Hurrah, let’s move onto the next step.
Step 2. Does this item make me smile or is it really useful to me?
Step 2. is the Organised Pretty Home version of Marie Kondo’s, Does It Spark Joy? The important part is that we are teaching our kids to recognise how they feel about their belongings. So no opening items, reading, browsing through, playing with items etc. It’s so much harder to let go of anything that way! Simply hold the item and examine it briefly. Does it make them smile when they see it? Or is this something I find really useful, now or in the last month?
Yes definitely, I am not giving this away!! The item goes into the To KEEP pile.
No this item is not my favourite or I no longer need it!!
-Does it have broken or missing pieces etc.? Yes! Then it goes in the DISCARD pile known as the rubbish bin. (A bag or box will do)
– Can it be sold or given away? Then it can placed in a bag or box ready to donate or sell depending on your preference.
?Decluttering Tip: Start Step 2 with the easiest items first. Maybe a collection of toys they play with often and really love.
Miss K started with her favourites, a collection of soft animals and teddy bears. That made it really quick and easy for her to go through and put aside her keep items. Simply, the toys that didn’t have names and a story about their personalities didn’t get kept.
The benefit of doing favourites first is that later there’s a good comparison when it becomes harder to decide what to keep. For example, deciding what colouring books to keep. I could remind Miss K how she felt happy about the soft animals she decided to keep, and then ask her which of her colouring books did she enjoy using the most.
We chose to put most of the discarded items in a separate box so I could go through them later on to decide what could be re-used and what wasn’t in good condition anymore. It’s a tendency of adults and kids alike to over value the worth of what they own. Sometimes it’s better for a person who isn’t emotional attached to those belongings, aka Mum, to sort through them and decide what can be given away or sold etc.
If you decide that Mum will do the finally sort too of what will be donated or put in the bin, just make sure to respect their choices about what to let go of. Ignore the temptation to run back into their room with toy x saying,” I thought this was your favorite. How can you get rid of this one?” etc.
What about gifts your kids have received from family and friends?
This was probably the area Miss K found the most tricky to make decisions about. Do you hold onto something only because it has been gifted to you?
It is hard because there can be strong emotions of obligation and even guilt attached to the item, and to letting go of it.
Personally, I believe a gift’s main purpose is in the giving. A gift expresses love and affection for the person celebrating a special occasion. Of course, you hope that the recipient will also love the gift and/ or find it useful.
If you don’t, is it ok to pass on that gift? I would say yes!
Natural Limits Upon Number Of Activities, Projects or Hobbies
Unfortunately, time is a finite resource. You cannot spend all your time on everything you find interesting and neither can your kids.
Why did no one teach me this when I was younger?
Your kids will have numerous items that are intended as a play activity, craft or hobby to try. I suggest choose 2 to 3 hobbies or play activities that they really enjoy and want to spend time on. Let go of the rest!
Making choices about what stuff we keep and what stuff we let go of, is not easy! Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many adults that live in cluttered homes. Yet teaching our kids to understand and think through these principles of decluttering and organising, will hopefully lead to life time benefits.
Step 3. The Fun Part! Organising And Displaying All The Stuff You Love!!
Depending on your stamina, how hot the weather is etc. you may want to choose to complete Step 3 on a different day. We left the organising for another day as I was still in the process of finding the right pieces of furniture for Miss K’s room.
Also, completing Step 1 and Step 2 together can be tiring! So we put all the keep items in a vintage suitcase ready to be organised and put away another day.
Now some suggestions for keeping groups of items contained and displaying favourite items:
# plastic or cane boxes
# magazine holders
# small trays or containers with lids for fiddly items
# frames. pinup boards etc for hanging items to be displayed
# wall hooks
# shoe boxes or even cereal boxes
Check Out Some Of My Favourite Etsy Display Shelves For 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
? Organisation Tip: Make sure everything item has a home.
It may take a bit of trial and error to work out the best way of storing items. But making it easy to put things back where they belong is more important than making those things easily accessible in the first place.
When it is all finished and your child can successfully declutter their room, take time to celebrate! Enjoy what a difference it has made and appreciate the effort that has gone into it. Maybe even take an after pic if you want.
Remember, being able to successfully declutter their room takes practice!!