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Kids rooms , especially, can become jam packed and cluttered with lots of itty bitty pieces. As with all organizing endeavors, having a place for everything will help kids put everything in its place.

First, divide your child’s room into clearly defined zones. This will help your child to easily identify what needs to go where. Here are the main zones you want to create:

Sleeping—This is an obvious one. What goes here: The bed and night stand. Try not to use the nightstand as a “storage” piece but a place to put the bedtime books (which will change from time to time) a reading lamp and perhaps a cup of water.

Changing—If you have an infant or toddler, this area can house the “changing” table as well as the dresser. If you’re short on space, consider a changing table/dresser combo to help reduce the furniture footprint in the space. Place a hamper in this area too to avoid dirty clothing on the floor.

Reading/Play—This area is a great place to put a bookcase where you can store your child’s reading material and baskets of toys. Remember to attach the bookcase to the wall it doesn’t topple over. A tall bookcase is great because you can use the top shelves for decorative items and/or that basket full of toys your child may need supervision when playing with.

Storage—This would be the closet. Best advice here is to use this space to store relevant items. Clothing they are currently wearing or will wear soon, diapers, if that’s the stage they’re at, extra blankets, a bin to place clothing they’ve outgrown (toss clothing in as they outgrow, then label the bin when it’s full and store elsewhere—replace with another bin so there’s always a place to put outgrown clothing).  Use baskets or bins to categorize and keep things neat and tidy.

Children as young as 18 months can handle a simple instruction of putting something where you tell them. Start early, adding more responsibility as they grow. If you find their space is becoming cluttered, weed what’s no longer relevant. Have a process in place for what  you’ll do with outgrown items whether it’s store for another child, donate, consign or give to a friend. Take action though before it becomes overwhelming. Decluttering is a lot like weeding a garden and a child’s room requires the same maintenance.

For more information on What You Need and Where to Put It, check out The Organized Mom book, available on 


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Comment by Sheila Hill on November 21, 2011 at 11:23am

Great tips, Stacey. I have little hoarders who are guilty of collecting lots of those itty bitty pieces to which you refer. Those little things sure do add up quickly. I try to do a monthly purge of those little things. I think compartmentalizing the room sure does help to keep it organized and tidy.

Comment by Hackensack Meridian Health on November 14, 2011 at 3:55pm

Great article Stacey! 


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