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Just for Moms

Conquering Kids Clutter
By Debbie Williams

Lack of storage space is the #1 complaint I hear from parents, especially in their kids' rooms. But organizing a child's room is just like de-cluttering any other room in the house: you have four choices: hang it, put it in a drawer, store it on the floor, or shelve it.  Use those same options when organizing your children's' rooms.

Here are a few of my favorite tips for storage solutions:

Create more floor space:

~A bed with drawers provides extra storage space and eliminates the need for a bulky dresser or chest

~Invest in loft beds for the kids with space for a desk

~Place a bulky chest of drawers in the closet to save wall space  

General Organizing Solutions

~Footlockers or old-fashioned steamer trunks hide extra bedding. Be sure to make safe for small children by installing locking safety hinges

~Under the bed storage bins hold craft items

~A plastic garbage can topped with a table round makes a bedside or chair side table, and doubles as hidden storage.

~Over the door shelving makes a nice place to store books, children's videos, and audiotapes.

~Hang a vinyl pouch organizer on the bedroom door or closet door for desk supplies.

~Shoe bags hang on a closet door and contain all those beanie babies, Barbies, and action figures


~Purchase drawer dividers for socks, underwear, lingerie and tiny items to keep items segregated.

~Install inexpensive closet organizers for clothing, which can double your closet space

~Hang another clothes rod in your closet for clothing to utilize hanging storage space

~Place a laundry basket or hanging bag on the door for each family member.

~An under bed box is great for outgrown kids' clothes and frees precious closet space. Store or take to resale shop when box is full, then begin again (I recommend buying a plastic tub rather than inexpensive cardboard, which doesn't last very long)

~Stash out of season clothes in boxes, label, and store in the attic or garage

~Wicker trunks or footlockers make excellent places for out of season clothes

~Hanging storage closet systems colorful and create an instant chest of drawers


~Two file cabinets can be used to support a desktop for a workspace

~Filing cabinets for your kids provide a spot for all those papers that seem to take over the house:  school work, pictures, cards, awards and certificates, art projects, report cards

~Lillian Vernon Catalog sells a corrugated chest with pull out box "drawers". The unit holds six boxes, one for each school year, and provides a safe place for all those school year treasures. Visit their website at for ordering information, or to request a catalog.

~Corral papers and keepsakes safely by storing in a plastic binder. UniKeep ClearView Binders come in a variety of colors and sizes, and fit right in your child’s backpack or locker for safekeeping. Visit for more information

These are just a few ways you can contain the clutter in your kids' rooms.  You probably have several tips of your own to add to the list. I almost forgot the best tip of all: have your children sort through their toys and give to those who are less fortunate.  What a great way to make room for those new toys and help another child at the same time.

Debbie Williams is a professional organizing strategist and author of Organized Kidz:E-Z Solutions for Clutter-Free Living (By the Book Media, September 2005).

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