Recently, I received a plea for help from a frustrated Mom. “Kelly, how can I organize my kid’s bedroom and keep it that way?!” Girl, I feel you. I have two boys, their bedrooms are visible from the main hallway of our house. You walk by them on the way to the kitchen or bathroom. Somedays, I just close the doors. Problem solved, right? Organizing kid’s rooms doesn’t have to be painful.
Kid’s rooms can feel particularily disastrous thanks to clothing, books, toys, crafts and the odd collections of tiny objects that seem to accumulate. Like magic. Don’t despair, there are a few tips and tricks to help deal with the detritus. And good news, these simple strategies don’t take hours to implement! Depending on the depth of the disaster, kid’s rooms go from cluttered to clean in a short time. No guarantees on how long the complaining will last, though.
Participation is Key!
It’s important to involve your kids in the decluttering and organization process from the beginning. You should work WITH them when organizing their room. I know this part may be difficult. Resist the urge to make decisions on their behalf. Afterall, it’s their space, their stuff. Your perception might be that your kid(s) will be bored but if they are involved in organizing, they’ll feel ownership over the endeavor. They may be more inclined to keep things tidy. Maybe. Lol.
Show and Tell
When I help my kids organize their bedrooms I ask them for a tour. I like to get a sense of how they use their space and what areas or objects are most important to them. For example, my oldest has a small desk in his room. The surface is typically a jumbled chaos of craft supplies. To me, anyway. When I asked him about how he uses the desk he said that he likes to have his stuff visible so he knows exactly where it is. Fair enough. Together we tidied his desk in a way that makes sense to him. He’s in control of what stays and what goes. This method establishes trust when you do ask kids to part with items.
Everything has a Place
You’ve likely heard the adage, ” A place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s the idea that everything should have a “home” and that it should be returned there when not in use. Introducing this concept highlights that objects need a place to live. Try asking things like “Where would you like this item to live?” Or, “Does this home make sense for you?” It’s a positive spin rather than “Put your sh*t away!” Language, Kelly. Language.
It’s Okay to Let it Go!
With younger children in particular, the sheer volume of stuff can be overwhelming. Teenage children may experience this with clothing. Encourage your kids to declutter by letting items go to another home or charity. Many kids don’t know that donating or passing along gifted objects is an option. And, that it’s OKAY to let go of unwanted or outgrown stuff. No guilt necessary, even if Great Aunt Mary had the best intentions with the bedazzled sweatshirt.
Get on Their Level
If you are working with little ones, start on the floor-it’s where they feel comfortable. Work on surfaces from the bottom up. For older children, I’ve found success with working from the top down-dresser tops, closets, shelves etc. Think eye-level. Or, you can start in a specific area and work from there. For example, a disorderly reading nook with bookcase, sleeping space (don’t forget UNDER the bed) or clothing storage (dressers, closets).
I’m a fan of having a spot to drop everyday objects. Why fight it? Place a cubby or basket where stuff and things tend to naturally accumulate. It’s actually reinforcing their experience with organizing at school or the workplace. Often times kids are given a specific hook, shelf space, locker or desk to store their belongings. If laundry tends to pile up on the floor at the end of the bed (or wherever), put a laundry bin in that location. When organizing kid’s rooms, drop it like it’s hot!
Anchor the Space
Children are visual critters. Kid’s rooms are often set up as one big space and inevitably get very busy. Toys mixed with clean and dirty clothing. Books and papers scattered about. Why not define boundaries with easy decor solutions? Add a whiteboard or corkboard close to a desk to create a homework zone. Place an indoor/outdoor rug under a crafting table to anchor the space and ease cleanup. Tuck a chair or large pillow next to a bookcase for a cozy reading area. You get the picture. Designate mini sections to reflect the appropriate use of the space.
Don’t Ask of Them What You Wouldn’t Do
I mean, this one is fairly obvious. If you are a packrat, clutterbug or disorganized disaster you can’t expect your children to learn good organizing habits from your example. Kids are mirrors of our behaviours-both good and bad. How many times have I heard myself come out of the mouth of one of my boys? Daily. Lucky things. Sometimes we have to reflect on our behaviours in order to demonstrate a healthy relationship with our stuff. You know, lead by example. Start small. Picking up misplaced garbage (Ugh, gum wrappers, the bane of my existence) or, taking your dishes to the kitchen. These little acts signal organizational expectations for both you and your kiddos.
Kid’s Room Clutter Still Driving you Bonkers?
Is your kid’s room still not as tidy as you’d prefer it to be? Reach out to A Sorted Affair Inc. for practical decluttering and organizing solutions for your space. Need a little help organizing kid’s rooms? Check out the 5-step SPACE technique I use to organize pretty much everything! Let’s sort it out together! Contact Kelly at (902) 209-3939 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in All Things Sorted,
Psst! Check out some of my FAVOURITE Storage Solutions for Organizing Kid’s Rooms
I love this toy bin organizer with the built in shelf. Great for quick pick up & in neutral tones. Colourful versions also available-https://www.homedepot.com/p/Humble-Crew-Inspire-Grey-Toy-Organizer-with-Shelf-and-9-Storage-Bins-31-3-in-H-x-34-in-W-x-11-in-D-WO463/311804330
Ikea’s Trofast family of organizers. Affordable & adaptable for kids as they age-https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/trofast-storage-combination-with-boxes-pine-light-white-stained-pine-white-s19102659/
Underbed storage for small spaces, on wheels! Other styles available-https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/malm-underbed-storage-box-for-high-bed-white-00252719/
Add instant hanging space! Great for linens, clothing and toys-https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/rassla-organizer-with-5-compartments-white-10421340/
This convenient utility cart. Great as an alternative to an nightstand or for craft supplies-https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/raskog-utility-cart-gray-green-90443135/
Go vertical! Make the most of high spaces with shelving and hooks-https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/tjusig-hanger-black-80291707/