Removing clutter in any part of a kids’ room is most easily done without them around. Children (and some adults) seem to develop a sudden fondness for things they haven’t thought about or used for years the instant they hear it’s going in the trash.
So, keep in mind that when it comes to kids’ things, it might be best to get rid of small amounts of clutter frequently rather than do a huge purge that leaves them feeling traumatized.
Start by dumping the contents of the dresser on the bed or floor. Grab anything that belongs somewhere else in the house and set it aside in a box to deal with at the end of today’s mission.
Now, grab a trash bag and put in it:
- Obvious trash (papers, food wrappers, broken pencils, etc.)
- Permanently stained clothing.
- Clothes missing buttons or zippers if you don’t sew.
- T-shirts with faded, cracked decals.
- Clothing with holes or torn pockets.
- Items that have shrunk.
- Things that have been stretched out.
Into your boxes for donation, put the following:
- Clothes that your child has outgrown.
- Anything your child refuses to wear (even though you think they should). It’s clutter if they won’t wear it!
- Out-of-season clothes that your child will most likely have outgrown by the next season.
Organizing kids’ dressers is all about making it easy for children to find their clothes and to put them away. If your child isn’t old enough or patient enough to thumb through t-shirts that have been neatly “filed” in the Konmari style, you’ll both be miserable trying to follow it. So, find a system that works for you and your child.
Here are some ideas:
Use drawer dividers, not finicky containers. Inserts with individual cubbies for undies or socks are Pinterest-ing, but kids usually just start cramming things in willy-nilly after a few days. An expandable divider that locks into place can create compartments within a drawer to keep the contents neat without all the fuss.
Store underwear in lower drawers. Since this drawer gets accessed at least twice a day, make it convenient for them to reach.
Fold pajama sets together. Put them where your child can get them independently to make the bedtime routine go more quickly.
Consider hanging long-sleeved t-shirts. Even if you fold long-sleeved shirts, so they remain wrinkle free, kids rummaging through their dresser drawers quickly mess them up.
Keep out-of-season clothing out of kids’ dresser drawers. Use zippered storage containers under the bed or on an upper closet to keep the dresser functional and easy to use.
Clean the dresser drawers with the microfiber cloth and all-purpose spray before returning the clothing to the dresser. Use the Magic Eraser on tough grime. While you’re at it, inspect the clothes as you put them away and launder anything that looks or smells less than fresh.
Now is a good time to pull the dresser away from the wall and dust the back, too. Dust the wall and baseboard behind the dresser. Clean the floor beneath it before you put it back in place. Finish up with furniture polish if you like.
Keep it Clean
Keeping on top of areas we’ve already ROCKed is an important part of this program. We’re not just removing clutter and organizing our homes — we’re developing a habit of keeping them clutter-free and tidy.
Don’t Skip This Step!
You don’t need to re-clean everything again, just buzz through the areas we’ve already covered. This process only takes 10-15 minutes total, but it will keep your home from sliding into disarray.
So, throw away obvious trash and grab anything that’s not where it belongs, and reset each space:
- Entryway: Sweep or shake the mat outside.
- Coat closet: Is everything neatly hung?
- Dining table: Wipe it clean.
- Kitchen: Put away things that belong in the cupboards. Wipe the countertops and cabinet/drawer handles. Sweep spills.
- Family room: Make sure the TV remotes are where they belong. Wipe the table tops. Straighten the pillows and throw blankets.
- Living room: Straighten pillows, throw blankets, magazines.
- Guest bathroom: Check supplies. Use a disinfecting wipe on the faucets and sink basin. Buff water spots on the mirror. Use another wipe to clean the toilet seat and rim.
- Kids’ closets: Is everything hung up? Shoes where they belong?
Finish up by putting away things you’ve found out of place. Or have your kids do it, if it’s their stuff you keep finding. Once it’s all put away, you’re done!
See You Tomorrow
For our next mission, we’re going to organize the kids’ toys. Be sure you have plenty of trash bags and donation boxes for that! If you need to brace yourself by commiserating with other parents working through this series, come join our Do Home Better Group on Facebook.