This mom and professional home decorator found out how to declutter kids’ bedrooms the hard way. Now she’s sharing her secrets with you!

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As a mom of three, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to organize children’s rooms and their toys. I’ve found that setting children up with kid-friendly, manageable systems is the only easy way to declutter kids’ rooms, and keep the clutter away.

Secret #1:

Set up zones in kids’ bedrooms.

We’ve made a point to set up three zones for the kids’ activities in every home we’ve lived.

Here’s what you do: Create one zone for sleeping, reading books, and dressing. Create a second zone for toys and the third one for crafts or schoolwork.

If we mixed any of those activities into one room or one small area, chaos was likely to break out. Sound familiar?

Next, set up each of the spaces with an organized system.

Zone #1, the reading/sleeping/dressing zone, needs a comfortable bed, a reading light and bookshelf for books, and an organized system for clothes.

Zone #2, the creative/learning zone, needs a child-friendly table or desk and a place to store school and art supplies.

And lastly, zone #3, the toy area, needs an easy system for managing age-appropriate toys, games, and puzzles.

Even in a small house with three kids and not a lot of extra rooms, we were able to carve out a designated space for toys. 

Which leads us to the next secret to decluttering kids’ bedrooms.

Secret #2:

Rotate toys and games.

If we gave the kids too many toys at one time we were asking for trouble. Not only would they get overwhelmed and not know what to play with, but the room would become a mess of toy parts and game pieces on a daily basis. That’s why we used a rotation system for toys and games.

If your kids have too many toys, pack up half of them and put them in a clearly labeled storage box. Keep the box in the garage or another part of the house. (Or maybe don’t label them so clearly to avoid having your children sneak into them upon discovery.) If you’re worried you’ll forget about them, put a note on your calendar to rotate toys periodically. Your kids will be thrilled when they re-discover toys they love. And you’ll be thrilled that there is less for them to clean up every day!

Ways to Organize Toys in Kids’ Bedrooms:

  • I prefer short, cube-style bookcases (bolted to the wall for safety) with pull out bins. Chalkboard labels are easy to update as the interests and toys change over time. 
  • If your child plays mostly with one type of toy, such as LEGOs, maybe set up an entire zone dedicated to that toy. This will make playtime and clean up easier and more enjoyable.
  • Make a rule that stuffed animals stay in bed. Exceptions can be made for one or two fuzzy friends.
  • For collectible toys, hang them in a net or display them on a separate bookshelf away from the regular toys.

Tip: Be sure to weed out little-used toys or stuffed animals regularly. By using the rotating toy system, your kids will become less attached to “stuff” they don’t really need. They’ll likely be more willing to share with others as well!

How to Organize Craft Supplies

I really wanted to instill a love of creativity in my children so we always had a well-stocked craft area. With a designated craft area we were able to break up the day and encourage the kids to focus some time on creative efforts.

This zone can also serve as a homework station. Have a good-sized work surface, ample lighting, and organized supplies.

Once we had the kids’ toys, art, and schoolwork zones set up in other parts of the house, their bedroom organization became so much easier.

How to Declutter Clothes in Kids’ Rooms

Since clothing is the biggest contributor to a disorganized bedroom, eliminating outgrown clothes on a regular basis and setting up an easy to manage system for clean, dirty and outgrown clothing is an easy way to declutter kids’ rooms.

We used plastic totes on the top shelves of their closet for clothes they were not yet able to wear (such as hand-me-downs or things for another season or upcoming sporting equipment). By clearly labeling the bin with the season or age of the clothing, we knew when it was time to take it down and were able to add items to the appropriate bin. We kept a box in the garage for clothes they outgrew. As things became too small, we’d toss them in the box and then when the box was full we would donate them or pass them on to another child.

Socks were the No. 1 clothing item we struggled with losing and organizing, so we made the decision to only buy one type of sock for each child. This made putting socks away and matching up pairs so much easier and less stressful!

Tip: When you put away kids’ school clothes, hang pants and coordinating shirts together on one hanger. This makes it easier for children to pick out their own clothing and get dressed in the morning, and you’ll find less clothing strewn about the floor.

Related: How to Organize Kids’ Clothes: A Hand-Me-Down System

By creating specific zones for your kids’ activities at home, you’ll feel less stressed, your house will be cleaner and more organized, and your kids will thrive with these systems too! How do you declutter kids’ rooms? Connect with us on Facebook to tell us your secrets!

Updated August 2, 2020; originally published March 27, 2013.

About the Author

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Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as HGTV.com, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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