Organizing your kids’ bedrooms sounds so fun, right? Not so much! I love organizing my room and my clothes. But my boys’ rooms are a different story. It’s a little more of a chore. That’s mainly because I don’t organize their rooms alone, and I don’t really choose what stays and what goes.
I get my kids involved in the process. I think it’s important for them to decide which toys they love and want to keep and which they can part with. It’s also more likely that they’ll keep it organized when they’re involved in the process of organizing it in the first place.
We do a good deep cleaning and organization in their rooms once a year, and then we do a little reorganization from time-to-time as needed. But I find that when you take the time to organize really well and label some things, it makes life easier throughout the year. When each item has a place and your kids know where that place is, they SHOULD be able to tidy up with no problem. I’ll share with you here my tips for organizing kids rooms and then some tips for getting your kids to keep it organized.
How to Organize Your Kids’ Bedrooms
I have two kids – Jackson (6) and Jase (3) – and I organize one of their rooms at a time. I organize their clothes, then their toys, then books, and finally finish any other cleaning that needs to be done in their room.
I organize my boys’ clothes the same way I do my own (you can read about how I organized my master bedroom here) – first their dresser clothes and then their closet clothes.
To organize the clothes in your kids’ dressers, go drawer-by-drawer. Take everything out of the drawer, use your dusting spray (I use my homemade spray made of water, white distilled vinegar, fractionated coconut oil and essential oils) and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the inside and outside of the drawer.
Before you put the clothes back in the drawer, declutter. Put in a pile any clothes that are too worn out, too small, or other clothes your child no longer wears. I like organizing my kids’ rooms in November because both of their birthdays are in February, and they’re starting to outgrow their current size and are ready to go up a size. So this is a great time to go ahead and take out clothes that no longer fit. You can follow my Deep Cleaning Schedule for Your Whole Home and organize your kids’ rooms when I do, when it’s around your kids’ birthdays, or anytime you want. I also like the idea of decluttering before Christmas to get rid of some old things we no longer use and need and make room for some new things.
Next it’s time to put the clothes back in the drawers. I recommend folding the clothes and standing them up like in these photos. This is the method Marie Kondo recommends in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I used this method a little bit before, but got fired up after reading her book. I just went through and refolded everything, and I’m loving it. It makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for. All you do is fold each item of clothing so that it’s the same height as the drawer. For the shorts, I just folded them in half (one leg over the other leg) and then folded them in half again (top to bottom).
For the shirts, I folded the sleeves in and then folded them in thirds. And for the pants I folded them in half (one leg over the other), and then in fourths (top to bottom, top to bottom again).
Make sure to arrange them in the drawers with like items. Each of my boys have a drawer for their underwear, one for socks, one for pajamas, one for shorts, and two for pants (one dressier and one more casual).
The shirts and jackets get hung up in the closets. I go through almost the same process I used to organize their clothes in the dresser.
Start by decluttering. Go through and look for any clothes that are too worn out, too small, or they just no longer wear. Since it’s currently almost winter, we moved their short sleeved shirts to the top rack and moved the long sleeved shirts to the bottom. Jackson also has his school uniform shirts on the bottom rack. They both (mostly) pick out their own outfits each day, so it’s important to have their clothes that they need within reach.
I organize the shirts in color order, which for me is: white, gray, black, red, orange, green, blue, purple, brown.
I declutter their shoes as well, and arrange them in groups with similar shoes – slippers, flip flops/sandals, boots, casual/school shoes, and athletic shoes.
The next part in organizing your kids’ bedrooms is their toys! This is the part that for us takes a little longer. I definitely enlist my boys’ help for their toy organization.
My oldest son, Jackson, has a little more trouble in the tidying department. He’s like a squirrel and likes to hide stuff in corners of his room or under his bed and dresser. We had an actual toy box in his closet, but that was a DISASTER. He would throw his toys in it and, of course, could never find what he wanted to play with. There were Nerf bullets all throughout the big toy box. So it was time for a new solution.
I recently bought this “veggie bin” toy organizer from Amazon and am loving it!
So here’s how I organize the mess of toys:
Put All Toys in a Pile
Before the mess gets better, it does get worse. I have my boys help me take all the toys out of their toy boxes and bins and place them in a pile on the floor. I have Jackson remove everything that’s “hiding” in his room.
Wipe Down Organizers
Then, I take my dusting spray and microfiber cloth and wipe down the toy boxes and bins.
First off, I have the boys throw away any trash they can find. Then, they look through the mess and decide on any toys that they no longer want to keep and want to let another kid play with. We put these toys in bags to either sell or give away. There will mostly likely be more to add later. But we go ahead and get some things out of the way.
Put Toys Away in Groupings
Next, we start putting their toys away in groups with similar items. I give them one mission at a time, like “Find all the Nerf bullets and put them in this bag,” while I sort out other toys.
In Jackson’s organizer we made one bin for his Nerf guns and bullets, one bin for “survival gear” (he’s really into going outside and playing survival right now!), one bin for Hot Wheels cars and tracks, one bin for vehicles (bigger trucks and some tractors), and a bin for miscellaneous toys.
I labeled each bin in his organizer to help him remember where toys need to go when is done playing with them (I’ll label my youngest son’s when he can read too – if he needs it.)
Jase has a basket for small cars, another for other small miscellaneous toys (which I just noticed has a pencil in it for some reason), one for emergency vehicles (firetrucks and police cars), one for tractors, one for other vehicles (my boys like their vehicles!), and one for bigger miscellaneous toys. He also has a basket in his closet with play swords and dress up clothes.
We made sure that as we were putting toys away into the containers with like items that we only put away things they wanted. If we came across more things that they no longer wanted, they went in the bag of things to give away/sell.
Remind them that Christmas is coming soon, and they have to make room for new toys they might receive. Some other boys or girls would love to play with the toys that don’t get played with anymore.
Label Bins and Baskets
Like I said earlier, it helps your child remember where things go when you label the organizers. If your child can read, label with words, if not, you can use picture labels.
The way you organize books should kind of depend on the child. Jackson’s books I organized by genre, because he’s older and knows what genre books belong to. Jase, on the other hand, does not.
So for Jackson’s books, we put all the nonfiction on the top shelf (tallest to shortest), fiction on the bottom two shelves, and on another bookcase next to this one we placed holiday books, puzzles, and coloring books.
For Jases’s books I just organize the regular reading books by height and then have a separate section for coloring books and a section for puzzles.
Clean the Rest of the Room
After everything has been put away neatly, it’s time to clean the rest of the kids’ bedrooms. If you’ve been following my Deep Cleaning Schedule for Your Whole Home, you’ve most likely already done these things. If not go ahead and do them now.
- Dust the ceiling with a broom,
- Wipe down the switch plates, outlets, light fixtures vents,
- Dust the fan,
- Wipe down the walls, baseboards, doors, and the trim around the windows,
- Clean the windows,
- Wash all the bedding and the curtains.
Even if you did do these deep cleaning jobs already this year, some may need a little touching up. I wiped down any spots I saw on the walls or doors, and I washed all the bedding again.
Finally, vacuum the floor well!
Getting Your Kids to Keep Their Rooms Organized
I have a whole post about kids’ chores here, but I believe most kids 1+ can at least help to pick up their rooms. Once you’ve spent all this time organizing your kids’ rooms, you definitely want them to keep them that way so you don’t have to reorganize several times a year.
Here are some tips for that:
- Get your kids to help you in the process of organizing. When they experience all the time and energy that it takes to organize their rooms well, hopefully they’ll be more likely to keep it organized so they don’t have to organize it again a week later. It also helps them learn where things go when they put them there in the first place.
- Show your kids where things go and practice with them. If your kids didn’t help you with the organizing, this tip is essential! Go section-by-section through their room and show them where different things go. The first few times they get toys out to play with have them show you that they know where they go. Try to make it fun. “Alright, let’s see if you can remember where this toy goes when you’re done!” “Yay! Great job!”
- Do weekly (or daily, if needed) checks. Once a week or so check the bins, baskets, and drawers to make sure they are still putting their things away neatly. When I started folding their clothes this way, I showed Jackson how to fold clothes and how to stand them up in his drawers. He usually puts his own laundry away after I fold it. I check every once in a while to make sure he is in fact putting them away neatly. I check pretty much daily under his bed and dresser to make sure he’s not hiding away trash.
- Remind them that when they’re done playing with something, they need to put it away first, before they get another toy out. I do not like to go in their room and see the floor covered with toys that they’re not even playing with. It’s a rule in our house that whenever they’re done playing with something, they need to clean it up before they move on to the next thing.
- Praise them when they do a good job keeping their rooms organized. Try to keep cleaning and organizing a positive thing and provide encouragement.
I hope these tips for organizing & cleaning your kids’ bedrooms will be of help to you. Let me know what tips you loved and if you have anymore tips to share with us!
Watch the videos below to see how I clean and organize my kids’ bedrooms and how I get them involved in the process!