9 top tips for organizing your kid’s bedroom

Child's neutral bedroom
Child's neutral bedroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Tidying your kid’s bedroom sounds like an insurmountable task. Every birthday, festive season, or just your average weekend when they need distractions equals adding more toys and items into their rooms. Why do they need so much stuff? It’s not insurmountable though and in our 9 tips for cleaning and organizing your kid’s bedroom, we’re going to delve into ways to get on top of it.

These tips are tried and tested by myself. A caveat, I have a 4-year-old and 1-year-old who have different rooms and very different requirements. For this, I’ve focused solely on organizing my 4-year-old daughter’s room because she has a lot more stuff… and a lot more opinions about it. Regardless of what age your kid is though, tidying their bedroom is always going to be a task best tackled by having a plan, which is where our top tips jump in.

If you need some additional tips on performing a deep clean, we’ve guides to cleaning tools that will but your cleaning time in half, as well as how to clean every room in your home. For now, we’ll tackle the kid’s rooms. 

1. Declutter

Boxes for decluttering your home

Boxes for decluttering your home (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Before I could even begin to think about cleaning or organizing my daughter’s bedroom, it was essential to declutter. If there’s broken toys, they could be recycled, fixed or thrown away. If there’s toys, items, or clothes that no longer get played with or used, they could be donated or sold. I used a touch of the KonMari method here and gathered all the items in the middle of the room, sorting through them based on donation, throw, sell or keep. 

To save time (which is always short when there’s kids around wanting to know what you’re up to), I bagged up the excess items to be sorted in the evenings or at other moments in my day and left anything that I’d decided to keep in the bedroom. Decluttering is a key part of the process if you want to stay on top of everything. I recommend decluttering before any big occasion like a birthday, but I find school breaks are also a great opportunity to start afresh.

2. Involve your kid

Young boy putting clothes in closet

Young boy putting clothes in closet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

This might seem like a crazy idea, but bare with me. When we do tasks like cleaning like carrying out the ultimate spring clean, we like to do it without our kids because it just will get done a lot faster. But, if you want to encourage your kid to keep their room tidy after you’ve put in all the hard work, you should involve them to help them see where items are getting put away. Involving your kid at some point is beneficial for both of you. If they don’t know where anything is once you’ve organized the room, chances are they’ll pull everything out looking for it. Or, they might want their room done a certain way that works for them, it is their room after all and they spend time in it.

I’m not suggesting you ask your kid if they want to keep things, hence putting decluttering first. If you ask, they’ll probably make a compelling case to keep everything. It can just be a good idea at some point to involve your kid in the layout of the room or at least to demonstrate your plan to them so that they get to see where things live. This leads me onto the next tip. 

3. Designate spaces

Organized spaces in kid's bedroom

Organized spaces in kid's bedroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A bedroom doesn’t just have to be one big room full of things. I sat down and thought about how I’d designate spaces in the room to house certain items or types of play. For example, if you’ve got a small play table in the room, make sure it’s clear that that’s where play happens. By designating a play area, it will hopefully help keep toys in one area of the room rather than all over it.

For my daughter’s room, I made sure to organize the toys, books, and clothes on the outskirts of the room, leaving the carpet in the middle of the room for play. The art of feng shui can also help here by making sure you don’t block off the flow of the room by crowding it with objects. It’s also a great idea to keep large pieces of furniture secured to the wall, using the instructions provided with the furniture, to make sure everything is safe.

4. Give things a home

Storage drawers

Storage baskets (Image credit: Shutterstock)

One tip I think really helped my 4-year-old understand how to keep her room tidy was by giving things "a home." When I involved my daughter in the tidy, I told her where things lived and it helped her understand the process a bit better. With the keep pile I’d accumulated, I sorted like items together. I then kept the grouped piles ready to assign them a home. We’ll get into more tips on storing these groups below. 

With kids toys, you have to get a little creative about what you consider a group to have its own home. Small play, for example, can house all small characters and play bits like animals, furniture, cars. Books were simpler, but tiny little bits like LEGO could be assigned a new home somewhere else in your house. Depending on where you’re encouraging your kid to play, you can decide what should stay in the bedroom and what can be taken out. 

5. Storage bins/baskets

Storage baskets

Storage baskets (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Storage bins and baskets are the perfect companion to a kid’s bedroom. You can pick out colors and designs to match the bedroom aesthetic, use a label maker or stickers to assign the home for the items that will live inside, and distribute them in places like under the bed or on the shelves. 

It’s important to remember though that while storage bins are a godsend for becoming the keeper of many various bits, don’t become reliant on them as your way of keeping your kid’s bedroom clean. One too many bins and you’ve replaced toys with bins. I decided when tidying my daughter’s room to get neutral, see-through storage boxes. I don’t want her to suddenly go off a color, but I also wanted to make sure the storage boxes could live anywhere in the house with multipurpose. I did involve her in decorating the boxes though, because stickers can be peeled off (thank goodness). 

6. Utilize wall space

Mario-themed Amiibos displayed on a floating shelf

Mario-themed Amiibos displayed on a floating shelf (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Depending on the amount of space you have, using the wall space creatively can really help with tidying things up. You can use a variety of shelving solutions from floating shelves, cabinets, bookshelves, easels etc. It’ll vary depending on what you’re after storing and organizing in your kid’s bedroom. For me, I needed more shelves for books, but I also used our guide to clever ways to display books. Whichever solution you choose, it’s important to make sure anything you use on a wall is secured tightly and to not display anything heavy within arm’s reach. 

For using wall space, we’ve also got some tips on how to clean painted walls and remove stains for any smudges and wayward pencils that may have marked them. It’d be a shame to use the wall space for organization while leaving messy marks on display too.

7. Introduce toy rotation

A selection of children's toys including a xylophone and building bricks

A selection of children's toys including a xylophone and building bricks (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Toy rotation is a clever technique for continuing to breathe new life and play into existing toys, rather than buying new ones. Organizing the toys you have and deciding which ones to donate is one way to clean up your kid’s bedroom, but hiding away toys in storage boxes or even in other rooms and then rotating them in while removing ones that have been in play for a while keeps them feeling fresh.

It’s simple. Keep some toys out, but hide others away. Then, when you rotate these toys in, they’ll seem much more exciting instead of being played with until boredom strikes. It helps limit the amount of clutter in the room while also saving money.

8. Get creative with the space

Child's bedroom jungle theme

Child's bedroom jungle theme (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Storage bins, baskets, shelves  and organizing your kid’s items into groups/homes may well be enough for you. I felt like I had some more energy left in me, somehow, so I explored how to get a bit more creative with the newfound space I’d achieved from decluttering and organizing.

I researched different ways to use the space that are fun for kids and there were a few recommendations I found. Cubbies are a fun way to incorporate the organization they learn at school into the bedroom. Hammocks for cuddly toys is a genius solution for keeping them all together rather than taking up room on shelves or in the bed. Collapsible bins mean you can tidy them away when they’re not being used and they also double up as a great way to store dirty laundry, or even clean. 

Rolling carts for books, arts and crafts, or general items that don’t have a home are a fun way of creating storage that can be moved between rooms in your home. And finally, a storage bench doubles up as a home for toys and a place to sit. Depending on how creative you’re feeling or where you think your storage might be lacking, these are our top tips for providing even more space.

9. Freshen up bedding and mattress

A reed diffuser in a bedroom

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

So, you’ve organized your kid’s bedroom. Items have a home. Surplus things have been given away or recycled. Now, it’s time to freshen up a little more. Decluttering leads the way for a deeper clean in your kid’s bedroom and one piece of furniture that can always do with a good clean is the bed. 

Use our guide to cleaning your mattress to see the best way to perform a thorough clean on the bed. Then, refresh the bedding, replace the cuddly toys, and you’ve got a fresh bed for a fresh bedroom. This is a task you’ll want to repeat on a quarterly basis to keep away bacteria and dust, but once it’s done, your kid can enjoy a lovely clean bed.

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Grace Dean

Grace is a freelance journalist working across homes, lifestyle, gaming and entertainment. You'll find her writing for Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Space.com, and other sites. If she's not rearranging her furniture, decluttering her home, or relaxing in front of the latest streaming series, she'll be typing fervently about any of her much-loved hobbies and interests. To aid her writing, she loves to head down internet rabbit holes for an unprecedented amount of time.