The next several missions, in the Declutter 365 missions, is to get rid of kids bedroom clutter, and to do it without getting overwhelmed or making a bigger mess in the process. This article explains how to do this.
These several days of decluttering missions are designed to be done while we work through the Kids Bedroom Organizing Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
That's because the first step in any organization project is to declutter, since you don't want to try to organized clutter.
Of course, you can do these missions whenever you need to in your home, such as when it feels like your child's bedroom is starting to get out of control, it's difficult to put things away in the space, or your child is starting to lose things within their room, and the mere thought of wading through to find things is daunting for you and for them.
I've allocated several days within the Declutter 365 missions calendar just for decluttering your children's bedrooms (and I'll explain how I've divided up the tasks for each day below), but it will take you as long as it takes, and that's no problem.
If you have more than one child, and they each have their own room, it's going to take you even longer because I suggest, so you don't get overwhelmed and exhausted, that you tackle only one child's bedroom at a time. Completely declutter one bedroom before moving onto the next one.
Remember, always break your decluttering tasks up into smaller, bite-sized chunks, such as 15 minutes at a time, or just one shelf, or just one drawer, so that you can always accomplish something, not make a huge mess that you don't have time to clean up, and don't tire yourself (or your child who is helping you) out by trying to take on too much at once, and get either you or them burned out.
The first time you fully declutter your kids' bedroom it is going to take a while, and life happens and we can only work on a task so long before we have to make dinner, or run an errand, or it's bedtime, so never pull everything out at once unless you want to cry from exhaustion, overwhelm and frustration.
You'll find an amazing variety of types of clutter within your kids' bedrooms.
In these bedroom related missions I'm making the assumption that you have already dealt with decluttering your kids' clothes though, wherever they may be, from their closet to within the bedroom itself.
If you haven't yet done that yet, no problem! Check out my tips for decluttering kids clothes here!
You may also need to check out the tips for decluttering kids shoes if you haven't done that either.
You'll also find a lot of items that don't belong in your kids' bedroom, that have somehow migrated in their, such as dirty dishes and cups, other items from around the home such as music or entertainment items that should be elsewhere, as well as trash that somehow never made it to the trash can.
As you come across things that are trash, it's handy to have a trash bag handy to throw that stuff away immediately. In addition, make sure, as you declutter, to make regular and periodic rounds around the rest of the house, re-depositing items back to where they originally belonged.
In addition, kids bedrooms often hold a variety of items, like toys, games, crafts, school supplies and homework stuff, entertainment, and more. For additional guidance for decluttering these types of items, as you encounter them within your child's bedroom, check out the site for the appropriate decluttering missions and articles. Here are a couple articles that may apply:
Remember, we'll have a full week devoted to Organizing Toys & Games as part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, but if you want to get everything dealt with in your kids' bedroom now, I wanted you to have the resources available now.
As with any decluttering missions that involve you decluttering someone else's stuff, I encourage you, strongly, to get that person involved in the process with you, and that includes kids as long as they're old enough to help.
Obviously, you're going to have to declutter a baby's nursery yourself, but even small children have (sometimes very strong) opinions about what they want to happen to their stuff, and can help with the process of clearing the clutter and organizing what's left.
After all, you wouldn't want someone making decisions about your own stuff without consulting you, so show the same consideration to your child.
In addition, getting kids involved will help them learn about the process of decluttering for themself, to learn how to make these decisions, to let go of unneeded items, and prepare them for when they've got a home of their own to take care of.
Letting them make decisions also helps you now, to make sure you're keeping the right things, or getting rid of stuff they don't care about. It can be traumatic for them, and for you, if you accidentally get rid of something the child truly loved and didn't want to part with, like a stuffed animal or other toy.
But in addition, I'm often surprised by what my child really loves, versus doesn't care about, and it doesn't always fit my preconceived notions. When I declutter with my child I actually get to know new things about them, as I help them get the clutter out of their room. It adds new pieces of information to the overall picture of the person they are slowly becoming and evolving into, so I understand better what they like and don't, about objects within their room.
So get your child involved, it'll make for a better process for everyone.
One word of caution though, when you involve kids in the decluttering process you have to be even more careful not to take on too much at once, or make too big of a mess than can be cleaned up in a short period of time. Decluttring is a tiring process for everyone, but especially for kids, whose attention spans may not be as long, plus we all know how much making lots of decisions can be mentally draining.
As I mentioned above I have several different missions within the Declutter 365 missions, during the week we focus on organizing kids bedrooms, just to the tasks of getting rid of kids bedroom clutter.
I did this because I know it's a huge task, and I wanted to suggest a way to break the task up into more doable and manageable chunks, for you and your kids to tackle.
So here are the three suggested decluttering missions, to declutter your kids' bedrooms. Break these missions down even further, if necessary, and always make sure to take lots of breaks to clean up, deal with disposing of clutter (by donating, trashing, selling, etc.) so the mess keeps getting smaller, not bigger, as you move forward.
First, I suggest decluttering shelves and cubbies in the bedroom. Limiting the focus to this one area allows you to not lose focus, deal with one small thing at a time, and make some easy progress. Break down the task further into one shelf, or one cubby, looking through everything and deciding what will be kept, and what should be gotten rid of.
When all of the shelves and cubbies are stuffed to overflowing, there's no place to put anything on flat surfaces, or on the floor, so that's why I suggest doing this area first.
You may find after doing an initial decluttering pass through of these shelves and cubbies, you can move things around, combine like with like, and then declutter more. That's fine. Decluttering is like peeling the layers off an onion, so you may do a couple of rounds of decluttering of a space before you're completely happy with it.
Here's an example, sent in by a Declutter 365 participant, Donna, of what she accomplished when doing these missions. She stated, "Here’s my efforts yesterday decluttering my kids bedroom. Feels soooo good to finally have it done. I donated 2 bags of toys and had 1 large box of garbage."
Next, declutter the flat surfaces in your child's bedroom.
While you don't have to declutter everything off of every single flat surface, it is true that flat surfaces are clutter magnets, and you can often find things placed on them that have assigned home within the space, so you want to clear off as much of these surfaces as possible, and either find space to store this stuff elsewhere in the room (or somewhere else in the house) or get rid of most of it.
You can get general tips for how to declutter a flat surface here.
In addition, here are some Declutter 365 mission articles that we did previously, when working on decluttering adult bedrooms, that may also be useful here, since these are prime flat surfaces within kids bedrooms as well.
A participant in the missions, Marlo, sent in the photos below, saying, "My daughters bedroom no longer looks like a crime scene!"
Finally, declutter your kids' bedroom floor.
As part of the missions I also have you declutter underneath the bed, which while technically part of the floor, I tend to find, especially in kids rooms, needs its own mission, if for no other reason than to clean all the dust bunnies you can find under there, even when there's no clutter, at all.
But in addition, decluttering the floor is crucial to do in any child's room, for the simple reason that there needs to be a clear path for your child, you, and anyone else going into the room, to walk on without tripping and stumbling over things.
This is also the time to examine items that have been stacked in corners and forgotten, or piles of junk laying in the middle of the floor, and see if you can get rid of them, put them away somewhere else, or at least put them into some type of storage container to keep the mess from spreading.
Priscilla, a reader participating in the missions, sent in the photos below, saying, "Re-did my daughters room with declutter and organization. This is just one corner."
The first time you really declutter your kids' bedrooms, if it has been a while, it can be a big task, so it's helpful to see before and after pictures to get you inspired, so you know what a positive result doing these missions will have.
Shelly sent in the photos below. Before she started, and when she sent in the before photo, she bemoaned it would take a month to clear all the clutter, but working a few minutes at a time she and her child did get it done, and no, it didn't take a whole month! (But if it had, it still would have been fine!)
I hope seeing these pictures, and these instructions for getting rid of kids bedroom clutter have inspired you to tackle your kids clutter in your own home.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
Once you've got the bedroom decluttered, you know it won't stay that way for long without some regular (daily) maintenance.
I've got a couple articles that can help with this maintenance. The first is how to get your kids involved with cleaning up their own rooms, without a fight, by using a bedroom cleaning checklist (and it comes with a free printable). (This article is on the sister site, Stain Removal 101.)
In addition, bedrooms, like every room of the house that is lived in, need to be tidied up regularly, with stuff we use in them put away regularly, so clutter and messes don't pile up. You can learn more about how and why to adopt a daily tidy up routine here.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!