Inside: Overwhelmed by your kids messy room? Here’s 5 simple steps you can take to create an organized kids room, even if it’s a big mess.
You walk into your kids room and are astounded by the mess. 😱
Toys cover the floor, dirty clothes hang from the furniture, and the bed sheets are thrown across a chair as a makeshift fort.
I’ll be honest, clutter is part of letting kids’ imaginations run wild. It’s important to give them the space to play, explore and learn.
But…when there’s so much clutter, you can’t even tell the half of what’s in the room, that’s when it’s time for a change.
In this post, I’ll walk you step by step through the process of creating an organized kids room, even when you’re overwhelmed by all the mess.
You’ll learn how to decrease overwhelm and see progress, even if you only have 15 minutes a day to focus on cleaning up.
#1: What is Your Dream for Your Kids Room?
One of the first things to do to create an organized kids room is to dream a little.
I know this seems a little counterintuitive, but bare with me. You’re eager to jump right in and get rid of the mess already, but do you know why you’re so eager to do that?
You might organize your kids room to give them a quiet place to play, cut down on the morning chaos or to spend less time looking for a matching pair of clean socks.
Before you jump into organizing the kids room, take an opportunity to step back and imagine what you would do with the space.
I know you might be tempted to skip this step and move right onto the tactical tips, but I’m telling you right now that would be a huge mistake.
I went from having a hoarder(ish) home to having one that is decently clean, and I can tell you one thing:
Decluttering is hard. It stinks. There’s no way around it.
I don’t know anyone who would love to spend their time going through old junk on a Saturday afternoon.
It’s not hopeless and I don’t tell you all this to dissuade you from decluttering your home, rather the opposite. I tell you this because so many articles will have you believe you can declutter your entire house in 30 days.
This kind of thinking may give you hope, but if their hacks don’t work for you, it leaves you feeling like a failure.
Friend, I’m here to tell you, you’re not a failure. It’s because most decluttering methods teach you surface-level hacks and tricks without diving into the emotional reason for why we accumulate clutter in the first place.
Take a moment to sit back and dream about what you would do with an organized kids room.
Not only does this give you the motivation to declutter, it also helps give you direction on what you need to work on.
After all, we’re not decluttering to impress unexpected guests or so that our homes are social media worthy. Rather…
Decluttering is the act of removing the blocks that keep you from living the life you love.
#2: Brain Dump
Now that you’ve had a chance to dream about your organized kids room, it’s time to plan out the path to get there.
Grab a sheet of paper or a digital notepad, Write down everything you want to do in your kids room to go from the cluttered mess you have now to the ideal dream you decided on in step 1.
As you write things down, resist the urge to edit or prioritize. Come into this exercise with no judgement. Your only goal is to get everything in your brain onto the paper.
(If you skipped step 1 hoping to dive straight into the strategy, now’s your chance to go back. It’s the foundation for everything we will do in the rest of this post. And honestly, it’s one of the things most decluttering methods completely miss.)
Check it out: Why it’s impossible to be clutter free with kids.
#3: Pick One Project
Once you’ve written out a brain dumped list, pick one project you want to work on first.
Here are some guidelines for picking a project. Pick something:
- that makes the most impact with the least amount of time or effort.
- your child won’t have a fit over.
- that motivates you to declutter.
- Make a decision and then move on.
These are just some guidelines, and honestly, you can pick whichever project you desire.
The key is not to pick ALL the projects. 😉
Pick one project and move onto the next step. Don’t spend a long time selecting which project is the “right” choice or will be the “most efficient.”
Because, honestly, you’re probably going to do all of the projects on your list. It doesn’t matter which one you start with. What matters is that you focus on ONE.
#4: Break It Down…and Then Break It Down Again
Once you’ve picked your one project to work on first, grab another piece of paper and write down all the tasks you have to do for that project, then break those tasks into smaller tasks.
The idea is to break tasks down until they’re so small, you can’t talk yourself out of decluttering at the end of a long day.
You’ll see more progress if you take consistent steps (even if they’re tiny) every day (or most days) than if you try to schedule a big project…but push it off indefinitely.
Let’s say your first project is to pick up all the books scattered across the floor. Here’s an example of a list with small, manageable tasks:
Organize kids room:
- Organize books
- Find a cardboard box
- Spend 15 minutes picking up as many books as possible and putting them in the box.
- Determine an area for the books.
- Clear a spot.
- Neatly arrange books in their spot. (Here are some book storage ideas.)
I don’t know about you, but I feel much more motivated if my task for the day is to go find a cardboard box than if it’s to go organize the kids room.
Breaking down large projects into small, manageable tasks decreases overwhelm and makes you feel like a boss every time you finish something on your list.
#5: Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The kids room didn’t get messy overnight, so it’s not going to get organized overnight.
(And honestly, even if you could declutter quickly, read why you shouldn’t declutter house in 30 days.)
During this time when you’re taking tiny baby steps towards the dream you set up in step 1, remember this very important thing:
Focus on progress, not perfection.
So often, it’s easy for us to expect perfection and berate ourselves for anything less. Had a busy week and didn’t declutter at all? Give yourself grace and pick it right back up where you left.
This is not a race…rather it’s your life. This one precious, amazing life. Focus on progress and give yourself a pat on the back for every step you take to make your life better.
I get so many emails from moms who are overwhelmed and just don’t know why they can’t get it together.
Listen, mama: You’re doing a great job!
Most people complain about their messy homes, but you’re actually here doing the work, which means you’re already ahead of the game.
Focus on progress, not perfection and you will be amazed by how much progress you can make by taking small, consistent steps towards your dream.