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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 www.lillianvernon.com 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 www.UniKeep.com 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). Read more tips like these at: www.organizedtimes.com.

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