As designers, my husband and I love to see minimalism when it comes to things around the house.
We absolutely love to see the kitchen counters completely empty and clean. It almost gives us a high.
But with two toddlers running around, it’s kind of hard to keep up with our tidiness.
Lately I’ve barely wanted to enter my kids’ rooms because I know it’s complete chaos in there.
It drives me nuts to see the amount of clutter- I mean toys- all over the place. Even though I’m constantly organizing their rooms and they’ve only barely made a tiny mess in one little area.
Seeing their rooms like this makes me feel claustrophobic, anxious, and exhausted.
Sometimes I have take a deep breath, crank up some music, and take the time to go through sections of their rooms to do my thing- declutter and organize.
3 Steps to Organizing Your Kid’s Things
This organization method applies for people and children of all ages.
The purpose is to declutter and organize, while keeping in mind that things do not have to always look ‘perfect.’ What does perfect even mean?
So, here it is, my genius method for organizing my kid’s things and keeping them organized.
- Affordable Storage Systems
- Smart Organization Solutions
- Involve Your Kids
- Don’t Expect Perfection
Decluttering means removing anything unnecessary from a space.
Marie Kondo, a tidying expert, describes it as answering “does this spark joy for me?” or “do I want to bring this with me in the future?”
It’s hard to ask these questions to our kids because they change their minds every minute. Instead we can focus on “does my child have any interest in this now or would they in the future?”
From there we can decide what to do with items we want to part with. They can be donated, sold, or stored for a younger child or future baby.
Tip for long term storage: Place in clear storage box so that you can see what’s inside, place a few laundry fabric softener sheets for freshness, and label your box on at least 2 sides.
When kids have too many toys they tend to lose things, forget what they have, and have less care towards those items. When kids have less toys and less things they take better care of those items so that they don’t get damaged or broken and learn to appreciate and value them.
It’s not easy to make these changes. I like a clean and simple house with little things but I’m a secret hoarder too. And I’m part of the toy problem, I have a toy addiction myself!
2. Affordable Storage Systems
You could spend hundred of dollars on storage solutions if you go the route of purchasing pretty containers and go on a Container Store spree.
Or you could my tricks to obtain your own storage containers at a low cost to you.
Shoe boxes and containers from cleaning products are some of the best recycled items for storage.
My favorite recycled storage solution is the box for Swiffer’s Wet Mopping Pads. They’re the perfect shape for just about anything. I have them inside drawers all over the house.
I’ve been using ice buckets I got for my first baby shower as toy bins from day one.
You can even turn recycled items into a DIY project and paint them or wrap with pretty wrapping paper.
Another option is to buy clear storage boxes, baskets, buckets, bins, zip-up bags, tupperware, rubber bands.. etc. at low cost at a Dollar Store or local store like Target or Walmart.
3. Smart Organization Solutions
In order to get your kid’s things in order you have to categorize their things into sections and develop smart storage solutions using some of the affordable storage systems in Step #2.
Depending on your closet space in your kid’s bedrooms you may have plenty of hanging space or none at all. Sometimes having a small dresser is ideal but if possible, I’d recommend having a drawer system within the closet.
My favorite method for storing clothes within a drawer is vertical folding.
You can see everything item of clothing from the moment you open the drawer.
Tip: For 2 piece pajamas, place the shirt within the bottoms and fold. This way you have each set folded as one item.
Recycled boxes and small storage boxes are perfect for compartmentalizing the smaller items of clothing.
How I use small storage containers for clothing:
- underwear folded vertically into rolls
- rolled up skirts placed vertically
- small hair accessories
Toys end up everywhere!
The important thing is to teach our kids that things have a place and a time to go to rest- clean up time.
Toys should be organized into designated areas within a child’s bedroom or playroom.
Using your storage solutions with things like storage boxes, bins and baskets, you can begin to decide what goes where.
For toys with many parts I like to keep them together in their own container.
A clear storage box with lid is great for things like wooden train sets or Legos. Kids can easily access and store them neatly. Maybe even in a closet or a cabinet, keeping the room feeling decluttered.
Tip: Remove toys from original packaging to reduce wasted space. I keep all the children’s jigsaw puzzles in small zip-up bags instead of piled into their original boxes.
Miscellaneous items can be tossed into bins and buckets. Cubed bookshelves are perfect for placing cubed bins and keeping the ‘organized mess’ out of sight.
Bookshelves, wall shelves, and wall hooks are also great for keeping things in order.
Wall hooks give kids the independence to hang their backpacks, jackets, hats, and dress up clothes like Superhero Capes.
Wall Shelves are ideal for displaying decorative, keepsake, and sentimental items. Some wall shelves can also be placed lower for storing books for kids to access.
Bookshelves are great for storing both books, toys, and for displaying.
You can even use the space underneath furniture for storage.
4. Involve Your Kids
Once you have your game plan it’s time to involve your kids.
Your child should be part of the decluttering process and the organization process but more importantly in the clean-up process.
They have to understand the system you developed to keep the mess cleaned up.
The best way to encourage this is to show them. Have them clean up at least once a day or when play time is over.
Make it fun!
Turn clean up into a game. Color code your storage bins. Add labels with pictures or colors.
This way they’ll enjoy it and understand it easier.
Set a routine. This way they’ll know when it’s time to clean up. Kids get into the rhythm of pattern and habit.
Before mealtime is always great because it’s usually at the same time every day. “Clean up, it’s time for lunch!” can quickly change to “it’s time for lunch!” and they’ll know its time to clean up.
Once they get the hang of it they’ll have more appreciation for a clean space. You do not want to be the person stepping on that Lego and neither do they!
5. Don’t Expect Perfection
Kids are messy, that’s part of life.
We just want to find a way to live in that mess and feel a little less decluttered and a little more organized.
When we over-organized our children’s things they very easily get messed up.
For example, I sorted the kid’s jigsaw puzzles into zip-up bag, neatly and vertically placed them into a shoe box inside a cabinet. I knew my kids wouldn’t place them back so neatly but as long as they fit into the box they were “organized.”
Oooh… Ahhh Moment
Now that you’re done, you’ve got the kids involved and you can actually see the floor don’t you feel so much better?
I know I do. I always feel relieved and accomplished after going through this process in general, but even more so with the kid’s things.
That’s the high. And then I get motivated to tackle another room.
Now I just need to work on my toy addiction…
My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.