How To Organize Your Kids & Their Bedrooms [Mission #48]

Organize Your Kids

Welcome to Mission #48 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

If your kids and their bedrooms need an organization intervention, then read on.

In this mission we’ll declutter, tidy, and teach the kids some fabulous new habits.

If you gained inspiration from the previous mission Get Organized Mission #47: Declutter Your Thinking Habits, then here’s your chance to pass positive habits on to your kids.

Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.
If you’re new, you might like to start here -> 52 Organizing Missions.

Get Organized Mission #48:
Organize Your Kids & Their Bedrooms

Before we start, decide whether you want to tackle just one room in this 30 minutes, or if you’d rather spread your time over more than one room.

Depending on how many kids and how many bedrooms you’re working with, you’ll need to adjust the amount of time you spend on each one.

Okay, let’s get started.

Step 1: Declutter Anything They’ve Outgrown (10 mins)

Quickly go through your child’s bedroom, pulling out anything they’ve outgrownphysically or psychologically.

Look for items such as:

  • Clothes
  • Shoes and boots
  • Hats, gloves, etc
  • School stuff
  • Backpacks
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Games
  • DVDs
  • Computer games
  • Bed linen
  • Pictures on walls or shelves
  • Things in a color they no longer like
  • Anything with bad memories attached
  • Pet accessories for deceased pets.

Step 2: Show Them How To Do a Daily Tidy (10 mins)

Now that some of the clutter’s gone, it’s a perfect time to teach kids how to tidy their rooms each day.

Be realistic – you want to make it easy for kids to do it themselves, and do it every day. Keep the target low and you’ll raise the likelihood of success.

Focus your room-cleaning tutorial on simple, basic tasks such as:

  • Putting dirty clothes in the laundry hamper (have one in each child’s room to make this easy)
  • Putting clean clothesaway –
      • Hanging clothes put on hangers
      • Folded clothes folded and put into drawers or on shelves
      • Coats or rain gear hung on hooks
  • Putting toys away (have large toy bins to make this easy)
  • Clearing things off the floor.

Step 3: Teach Them The ‘OCI-OGO’ Habit (10 mins)

Great – you’ve created some order. But how do you keep things this way?

The answer is to teach your kids the extremely useful habit of OCI-OGO:
One comes in, one goes out

Every time your kids get a new item of clothing, toy, game, book, DVD, etc – they choose an old one to give away.

Teach your children that this is a wonderful way to keep their rooms neat and their lives organized, and to share with people who don’t have so many nice things.

The younger your kids are when you teach them this invaluable lesson, the easier they’ll find it to avoid the clutter and disorganization habits that burden so many grown ups.

Plus there’s an added benefit – you’ll have to set an example and adopt OCI-OGO too!

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t get into a fight with the kids over what to get rid of. Focus on the big picture of decluttering (most) outgrown stuff, teaching tidying skills and introducing OCI-OGO.
  • Do be prepared to give kids a few friendly reminders over the next week about their daily tidying tasks. It might take a few repetitions before they absorb the habit.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Do this mission individually with each child. You’ll be able to tailor your decluttering, tidying and OCI-OGO lesson more personally to each one.
  • Have something fun planned to follow this mission, so you can reward the kids for their attention and co-operation. A DVD to watch, their fave place for dinner, or some other treat in their preferred currency will make this mission more pleasant for everyone.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Start The 30-Minute Timer

Before You Go: Check In!

Please add a comment to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!

Did You Know

You can get your weekly organizing mission delivered to your inbox.
Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

[Image by Andrew Stawarz]

13 thoughts on “How To Organize Your Kids & Their Bedrooms [Mission #48]

  1. Michele Connolly says:

    @Cora: Sounds like you’ve taught your girls excellent organizing skills and also saved yourself repetitive reminding – what a difference that must have made to your home life! 🙂

  2. Cora Dugan says:

    Raising my twin girls to be “neat & tidy” has been a task in itself. I wanted to teach them to be organized without giving them a long speech about why I nag so much about the SAME CHORES- so, being that my girls are going to be 11 this May- I taught them how to put clothes away in “labeled” drawers and bins. The one battle I always heard was: I don’t know where to put this because I was always asking them to just put things away- you can imagine how we all cringed to clean up.
    So, I labeled everything and “showed them” where to put things. Taught them time management, organization, taking pride in their accomplishments and building self esteem. Not to mention Mom was a happy camper knowing my twins could do this and I didn’t have to do it for them- which a lot of Mom’s do because we want it done without fights and yelling! Today- my girls realize how pride comes with ownership in just taking authority over their rooms 🙂

  3. Linda says:

    I’m working on my own bed room which got left in the dust (really dusty) over the holiday season .it is taking way more than 30 minutes but I am working at it 30 min at a time,every chance I get this week. I’m almost done with the main stuff then I’ll work on the closet next. New things in old things out.thanks for the nudge to get to it.

  4. Nicki says:

    Just what my 18-year-old needs. Hopefully, it’s never too late (although she did get a prompting after watching an Episode of “Bones” about a serial horder!)

  5. JAAffiliates says:

    As somewhat of a hoarder myself with 2 growing girls your tips on how to get them organized are fantastic! I particularly like the idea of getting rid of one thing for each new thing–thanks so much!!

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