Making Space for Pretty- Decluttering Kids’ Rooms

by Robin Turnipseed

My summer is moving faster than I anticipated. I don’t know about you, but I feel as though I went to be one night at the end of May and woke up in mid-July. With kiddos involved in all the summer camps and sports, it has been a challenge to get a moment to refocus on a decluttering project that I started in May. However, I know that decluttering my kids’ rooms must be complete before all the back-to-school shopping begins, so I intentionally scheduled a few windows of time last week to fully organize their spaces.

A Quick Recap

If you are new here, you may be curious why a site mainly devoted to collecting and sharing the origin stories behind family heirlooms was rerouted this summer. My realization that many of the things filling the areas in my home held little to no value to us anymore, combined with a comment made by my teenage son, launched this entire endeavor.

Suddenly, I glanced around and saw that clutter consumed each free space until no empty places remained for the items we truly treasure. I knew that severe action needed to occur. The goal for me is not to obtain perfection. It is gaining pretty. Pretty means functionality, with ease in maintaining while keeping and displaying the things I love and cherish.

So here we are, in the throws of the largest decluttering project we have ever tackled, but the freedom already gained has been worth the time invested. So far, I have conducted a complete closet clean-out and purged all the books, and this week I conducted a bit of a refresh on both my kids’ bedrooms.

Back-to-School Reset

The start of the school year is just around the corner, and before I begin to purchase new uniforms or school supplies, clearing out the rooms of our teenage boy and a nine-year-old girl is vital. These two individuals could not be more different, and one can tell this the moment they step into each of their spaces.

Our son is organized and neat, so I knew his room required very little decluttering. Our daughter is the complete opposite. Her room is a collection of scrap paper, broken crayons, doll clothes, and stuffies, with which she holds a passionate, emotional bond. Therefore, negotiating any purging is met with fierce resistance. Does anyone else have a child like this?

I knew that a small struggle might occur, but the project needed handling, so once again, I did what I always do, I grabbed several trash bags, a donation box, and my timer and headed to tackle their rooms.

You may be looking to child organize ren’s bedrooms, too. If so, below is a quick tip checklist I created just in case anyone wants to purge these areas but doesn’t know where to start.

10 Quick Tips to Decluttering Kid’s Rooms

1. All Hands On Deck. No one is free from this activity. Even if it is not their designated room, they can still help carry out trash or donation bags. We try our best to foster teamwork situations.

2. Do Not Assume. Once I gathered the kids, I sent them to their rooms with specific guidelines on how to start clearing out their closets. Half an hour later, I went upstairs and found that one had pulled out everything from the closet and sat in a trance-like state in the middle of the clothing pile now littering the floor, without the furthest idea of what to do next.

At the same time, my other child spent the cleaning time crafting a tiara out of pipe cleaners and glitter. After I witnessed this, I knew a more hands-on approach might be the best route.

3. Purge the Clothes. Take the time to try on any clothes where the fit is in question. I found that my son outgrew many items last year but never thought to pull them out of his drawer. I assumed he knew to do this. However, see the above tip. So, as we cleaned, I took a moment to teach both of them the importance of purging. Don’t forget to include all the undergarments, pajamas, and shoes.

4. Address the Toys. This doesn’t apply to my teen, but for years I found myself sitting down with my daughter to help her sort through her toys, and for years, she only tossed a few things into the donation box. This year, I suggested that she handle this project by herself, and I watched in amazement as she filled four trash bags with toys to give to donate.

5. Sort the Paperwork. I noticed that as my kiddos aged, they also started to develop an addiction to paper clutter. When questioned, they swore each article written, each drawing made at summer camp, and each three-month-old homework assignment was priceless. This year I approached it differently and aided them both in setting up a filing system for all the items that were truly worthy of saving.

6. Organize the School and Art Supplies. A new school year is a perfect reason to toss the old to make room for the new. I found that purchasing little trays helped contain all the pens, crayons, markers, paperclips, and other little paraphernalia that creates clutter inside desk drawers. For anything that didn’t fit in the containers or drawers, I purchased a small storage box that slid nicely under the bed.

7. Store Off-Season Clothing. When clearing out closets, I kept noticing that off-season items were consuming lots of space. So, I bought a few larger latching bins that are perfect for clothing storage and rolled these easily under each of their beds. It’s amazing how much room there is now!

8. Purge the Books. I handled this when I purged all the books in the house, but this step often gets overlooked. For example, my fourth grader still had primary readers while first-grade textbooks consumed space on my teens’ bookshelves. Yikes!

9. Donate Extra Blankets. I don’t know about you, but my children have collected quite a few blankets. Some are homemade and gifted to them, and some they have picked up from the various places we have traveled. No matter where these blankets came from, one thing is clear, they seem to have multiplied and now take up a significant amount of space.

My rule with everything is to choose your favorite one or two and donate the rest to a cause or organization that can put them to good use. If you are wondering where to donate, Katie, the owner of Cabin Lane, wrote a great article, including a list of several locations where those blankets will be put to great use.

10. Clear the Items from Your Home. Now that you are finished with the purging and decluttering take all the donation bags, boxes of books, and extra blankets and get them out of your home (yes, this includes your garage) immediately. Do it this week if possible.

If you hold on to the items or drive around with them in the back of your car, as I used to do, it will just add mental clutter to your life. Be entirely free of it all. Now, doesn’t that feel great?

You may also like