One of the things we did over Christmas break was tackle my daughter’s hot mess of a bedroom. I’m just on a general purging kick over here anyway, but her room in particular (and my son is not far behind, so he’s next) needed an overhaul. So we dove in and took probably half a day to get it straightened up and refreshed.
My kids are apparently hoarders, and from talking to some of my mom friends, I’ve gathered that that’s pretty common. We have all the little stuff. All. Of. It. They keep it all. I know I tend to hang onto things I should give up, so I understand where this comes from, but it’s time to make like Elsa and let it go.
I’m not going to tell you how to clean your kids’ rooms here. Because duh. But I will tell you a couple of very simple organizing tips for kids rooms that worked for us and I think can be applied to probably any room. Keeping it simple makes it doable, and let’s face it: If it’s overwhelming, we’re less likely to even start.
Let me note that my kids’ rooms still look like, well, kids’ rooms. I’m not trying to hide all evidence that we have little people that live here. But I would like it to look like a tornado didn’t just go through. The ‘rules’, so to speak, that we came up with while trying to make sense of my daughter’s room are manageable for her without my intervention. WIN.
So good luck, may The Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and all that jazz. You may need the extra mythical protection as you venture deep into the unknown in your kids’ bedrooms. You’ve got this!
Tip 1: Get It Off The Floor: Children’s Bedroom Storage Ideas
The easiest thing to do to make a room look more picked up is to get everything off of the floor. So you need some storage for all of this stuff. The things most likely to be found on kids’ bedroom floors are clothing, shoes, toys, and maybe some random items you’re going to need to smuggle into the trash.
This shoe storage rack is hanging over my daughter’s bedroom door and is an easy way for her to keep her shoes off the floor. That includes cleats and slippers – all shoes. She also stores her shin guards in there. This is a great storage solution for a lot of things, not just shoes. But that’s what we needed it for. Someone else might fill it with Barbies or Star Wars figurines.
Book and CD Storage
We have SO many books. My kids love to read, and I’m thankful for that so I never try to take too many books away (though we do consign the ones they’ve outgrown). But they can’t be all over the bed, nightstand, floor, couch…you get the idea. These cube storage units are easy to put together and perfect for a little library. The cubes that don’t get filled with books are great for CDs or other keepsakes. I’m not saying we shouldn’t still go through each cube and clean it out (I see some messes in there), but it’s off the floor, giving the room as a whole a more organized look and feel.
A laundry hamper is a must in the kids’ rooms. I have a big mesh one in my daughter’s room so that there’s a larger chance of her actually getting her clothing in it. She’s not too bad with this, actually. I’m just hoping she doesn’t take after me in my teenage years (sorry about all that, Mom). This one is lightweight so she can lug it to the laundry room herself.
There are a lot of great toy storage solutions out there now. I’m still a fan of the cubes that we have. I have another one of these units in the living room and we put toys in these canvas bins, and then slide them into the cubes. The thing I like about these is that it’s really easy for the kids to clean up their own messes, and it’s slim, not taking up a lot of floor space.
I was talking to my son’s 1st grade teacher today and she said each of her kids gets a large bin for their toys, and when it fills up, it’s time to remove something and get rid of it. I like that idea, too!
Tip 2: Group The Wall Decor: Put Down the Tape
My daughter’s bedroom walls were a collage of randomness. Pictures, wall decals, things she cut out from magazines, cards, letters, stuff she wrote, things she colored, all taped to the walls in various places. Put down the tape, child.
My poor husband, too. He has no idea about all the things little girls collect. And I don’t want to take that away from my daughter, but I don’t want her room looking like a tornado went through a scrapbook and plastered the contents to her walls. So we grouped things together to give us some empty wall space. That makes it feel more organized, less chaotic, and just more comfortable.
Group Wall Decor Together
If you have photos on the wall, try grouping them together in one area.
All the little pictures fit on this magnetic heart. I got this at a local craft show but there are plenty of options for magnetic wall boards on Amazon.
These wall decals were spread randomly all over her bedroom…if you can imagine. We lined them up on one small strip of wall space because she didn’t want to part with them, and the empty wall space that just doing that created was a breath of fresh air in her bedroom.
The Star Wars print and light saber are kind of a nice duo, so we paired them together.
We actually had this old cork board in the basement (I think way back when it was in my office at my last job) and it was the perfect solution. Aaaalllll this stuff on it was what was taped to the walls. So we pulled it off the random spot she stuck it to, and got everything on the cork board. When it fills up and she runs out of thumbtacks, it’s time to get rid of some things.
The cork board itself isn’t organized, but this is the work of a 10 year-old girl, and that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to make her room feel more organized and comfortable. This serves that purpose perfectly.
Tip 3: Let It Go: Consign, Donate, Trash, Repeat
Donation and Consignment Bins
When it comes to kids’ stuff, I’m a huge fan of consigning. I consign at Just Between Friends which is a franchise organization you can find all over the country. For me it equals a nice bit of money in my pocket twice a year.
Of course there are things you can’t consign but someone else might be able to use, so donate them. Grab yourself a couple of totes and mark one ‘consign’ and one ‘donate.’ We keep ours in the basement, but while you’re cleaning out a room, have them next to you so you can toss things in it. We filled up an entire consign tote during this overhaul (and I didn’t even get into her closet!).
Make sure your child’s room has a waste basket to encourage them to throw things away. I am constantly telling mine, ‘you can’t keep everything’! I do need to get my daughter a bigger trash can, though. Hers is small and cute, but I’m not sure sure it encourages her to really toss the things she doesn’t need. It’s the same as the laundry hamper concept: make it big enough that they don’t forget to use it!
In the end, my daughter’s room still looks like the room of a 10 year-old girl with pictures of her friends and cards from family and lots of stuffed animals and blankets. But now she chooses to read in there instead of on the couch. Heck, sometimes I choose to read in there. It’s comfortable and inviting instead of messy and chaotic. Mission: accomplished.
What are your best practical tips for organizing kids’ rooms?