This blog is month 5 in a 12 month organizing series. To sign up to receive this series, use the right hand sidebar form to join the mailing list.
Of all the rooms in the house, kid’s rooms seem to receive the most wear and tear. And that’s a good thing; it means your kid is actually USING their room for it’s intended purpose – to be a kid in!
If your child is choosing to play in other rooms, that’s no problem, but it COULD mean that their room is too cluttered for them to really enjoy or find what they are looking for. If this is the case, a good old fashioned decluttering session is the best way to get organized.
Follow these steps to get your kid’s room organized.
- Talk to your child and let them know that you will be organizing in their room. They should at least be aware of your plans, if not active participants. Decluttering toys is a hard thing for kids to do, but one that we must practice as children in order to learn to do it as adults. Our blog post Giving and Getting Decluttered suggests a great way to frame this for children so that they are ready to participate. If your child is NOT ready, do the lions share of the prep while they are not at home, and then involve them at the end of step 3.
- We recommend heading into this step with a sharpie, post-its for labeling and gallon-size ziplock bags for sorting small pieces. Begin sorting everything in the room into piles. We recommend the following categories: to review with your child, to donate, has missing parts, to repair, goes elsewhere, take a picture / recycle or store (a great way to deal with art projects).
- Once piles have been made, return to them and take action. If kids have not been involved until this point, invite them to review the items that are being kept and donated and help make decisions.
- Review remaining items and organize them into zones. “Quiet” toys should go in one area, dress up and role-play into another, building materials, etc. Involve your child in this process as much as possible. This is their room and they will be much more motivated to help keep it tidy if they helped to organize it in the first place.
- If needed, purchase organizing supplies like bins, wall hooks or shelving. This should be done AFTER doing the work, since you may be getting rid of a lot!
- Take the time to review the new room with your child and encourage them to keep up the new system.
Here are some other ways to keep your kid’s stuff organized
Organize Legos by brick category (still keeping it fairly general), rather than color. Because I ask of you: what kid is going to keep their Legos organized by color?? Some categories we suggest include: bricks, to be built, mixels, cars, people, building plates and instructions. Clear bins are better for Legos than colored ones where you can’t see the contents.
Corral stuffed animals in a bean bag chair like this one from Creative QT. They are designed to be filled with your kid’s favorite stuffed animals. We highly recommend purging these as much as you can, but stuffed animals are a tough one for kids to let go of. This feels like a great solution for a good price as well.
Clear acrylic bins are much better in a kid’s room than colorful ones that kids can’t see into. They make toys visible so they get the most use! We recommend labeling bins (either with pictures for the younger set or words for those who can read) so that kids can learn to put things away themselves. We highly recommend these stick on label pockets from Smead. They are the size of an index card and you can easily change out the contents.