8 New Rules for De-Cluttering a Kid’s Room

And Keeping It That Way

If there’s one room you wish you could just keep the door closed and never look at again, it’s probably your kid’s room (Or maybe your basement, or your closet……OK, there are lots of rooms) But thanks to toys, books, clothes, and crafts, children’s rooms can feel particularly disastrous – especially since a certain little guy or gal never seems to be keen on keeping it tidy. Here are some great tips from to help navigate these problem areas.

  1. Involve your kids from the beginning – It’s important to work WITH them, and not around them. Even kids as young a 3 years old really want to participate, and they’re really exited to be involved in the decision making. You might think your kid would get too bored or frustrated – but if you consider it from their point of view: You’re talking about their toys and paying lots of attention to them! Plus they will feel more inclined to keep things tidy if they fell like they are part of the project and they will, at the very least, know where everything should go.
  1. Have the kids give you a “tour” of the room before you start. – This gives you a good sense of what is important to them. Pay attention to their tone and sense of their language. Things that are their ‘favorite’ says that it’s meaningful to them. Repeat it back to them so they know you are listening and they will trust you know what is important to keep.
  1. Talk about how stuff has “a home” – One thing we all heard growing up was to ‘put that away’ which fees so negative. Instead, try ‘Can we put that where it lives?’ It’s a clever language tweak that re-frames the task in a positive light.
  1. Give your kid permission to let go of stuff they really don’t want – Volume can be very overwhelming for children, but most kids don’t know that it’s OK to say no to stuff they don’t want. Try to set up situations in which you can donate items to charity – it continues the idea of using positive language when it comes to de-cluttering. We’re giving the item a new home, instead of just getting rid of it.
  1. Start from the bottom up, literally – With little ones especially. It’s just nice to start on the ground because that’s where they are and where they spend a lot of their time. This strategy takes the process down to their level and keeps them grounded in the task. Plus, if they can see where their items’ new homes are, they’ll make a habit of placing them there.
  1. Reinforce their routine with cubbies – They are a great organization tool for kids because it recreates what they’re experiencing at school. You can place them in the entryway or their room creating a ‘drop zone’ area they’ll naturally maintain. With a cubby they can drip their stuff and not even have to think about it.
  1. Define boundaries with décor – Parents like to put tables against a wall to maximize space, however pulling the table away from the wall allows kids to move more freely and fully around it, and welcome friends. Adding a rug underneath the table anchors the room and their stuff. It creates a mini room within the room. You can get creative with a distinct boundary to make it easier to identify and honor the space (like say glitter crafts) that should only take place in certain spots.
  1. Lead by example – This should come as no surprise but its a HUGE deal. Kids mirror what their parents are doing. Sometime syou need to look at yourself and really see if your kids are modeling your behavior. Even something as small as putting your shoes away can be a mini-lesson in actions.

Just because this blog is about de-cluttering and organizing a kids room, doesn’t mean you can’t take some of these ideas and run when them in other areas of the house.

10 Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen

If you are anything like me, you can’t cook in a messy kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to do the dishes and clean the counter tops before I can start dinner. I also have 2 kids that like to help, but don’t put things away where I would like them, but hey, they are helping right, so who am I to complain. People have different size kitchens and not the same amount of space, so I looked online for some organization tips and found these good ones from HGTV. I’m passing them on to you, just in case you need help too.

  1. Curb your Plastic Container Obsession – I could show you a picture of my unorganized mess of a container cabinet. My husband likes to keep the lid and container together. I like to nest all the same size containers together…… Marriage=compromise… Guess who won? The one that does most of the cooking? The answer is neither. They end up getting tossed in there to and fro with no rhyme or reason. The best way to organize this is to throw away non matching containers and lids. Also go ahead and toss anything that is stained or cracked. The best tip HGTV gave was to throw away ALL the plastic containers and opt in on glass. Great idea that not only helps the environment, but also will lessen the amount of mix and match containers and lids.
  1. Bag it Up – Hands up if you have a plastic bag full of plastic bags? Is your hand raised? Mine is, for sure. A really cool idea that I’m sure any crafty person could pull off is to re-purpose an old coffee container. Cut an x in the lid to pull the bags out of. Now the trick would be to roll the bags up together, so they only come out one at a time. If you are really crafty, you can even decorate the outside with card-stock, paper, felt, stick on letters. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Clean out the Fridge – This is one project you won’t want to put off. Discourage unappetizing fridge smells by tossing last week’s lasagna before it develops a moldy surprise. Make sure you check expiration dates on milk, juice and canned goods. You may need to adjust the temperature levels to keep lettuce from wilting too quickly. You can organize foods by type with the most frequently used items in the front. A box of baking soda can “soak” up some of those yucky smells.
  1. Maximize Cabinet Space – A great idea for space saving for stemware is to place every other one upside down. By alternating up and down you can get more in the cabinet. This is another location that nesting can be a great space saver. More frequently used items should go on the bottom shelves for easier reach. Leaving the top shelves for the special occasion items. If your shelves are adjustable make sure to change levels to make the most maximum space available for your items.
  1. Keep your Coffee Tidy – Stack tea bags, sweeteners and single-use coffee pods in a clear plastic tray for visibility and quick access. Hang coffee mugs nearby to keep within easy reach.
  1. Wrangle Your Utensils – Silverware is organized best if compartmentalized. An investment in a drawer organizer (also called cutlery trays) are well worth it. For serving utensils and such I love my Rotating Utensil Holder from Pampered Chef.
  1. Find Creative Solutions – Water bottles always waiver and fall when stood upright in cabinets. Storing them on their sides, as pictured, makes it easier to grab your favorite without knocking over others. .
  2. Organize by Use – Create zones for food storage containers, cleaning supplies, pots and pans, and cooking utensils. For example, devote counter space or a cabinet to baking. Stock it with cookie sheets, loaf pans, a kitchen mitt, flour, sugar and other baking necessities. If your mixer is stylish, leave it out on the counter with attachments inside the bowl; otherwise, stash it with the mixing bowls.
  1. Purge the Pantry – Take about 30 minutes to assess your storage for dry goods. Starting with the obvious – throw out anything that is expired. Next, check out the boxes and canned goods. Donate any extra foods that you won’t eat, or have too many of. Food pantries are always in need of donations. Depending on how much space you have, a lazy Susan can be a good idea to organize your spices. Extra points if you alphabetize your spices ( Extra points for me) to make them easier to find.
  1. Hook it up – Most people have an empty space above your stove. Utilize that space to hang up some of your more frequently used utensils like spoons, spatulas, or whisks.