Organizing the Kids' Room Checklist

A well-organized children’s room offers two big benefits: Kids can find what they’re looking for fast, and the room stays neater because everything has a place.

  1. Check Make a mess.

    Start by dumping all the toys on the floor.

  2. Check Assess and categorize.

    Group toys by type and then by size: small, medium, and large. Make another pile for anything that’s broken or that your kids have outgrown.

  3. Check Donate or toss.

    Call up local charities and arrange for a pickup of the items in good condition that your kids no longer use; toss anything that’s beyond repair.

  4. Check Consider containers.

    Choose a variety of containers that will work for different types of toys. Invest in see-through plastic storage containers in various sizes, and repurpose other storage devices such as shoe organizers, canvas totes, and plastic shoe boxes.

  5. Check Involve your kids.

    Ask your children to help you choose the appropriate storage containers. They will learn basic organizing skills and also be more likely to remember which pieces go where.

  6. Check Make storage mobile.

    To allow your child to play with toys in more than one room, buy a container with wheels.

  7. Check Control the small stuff.

    Use clear jars with lids to contain collections of items like seashells or small figures.

  8. Check Label items.

    Give anything that’s not plainly identifiable a clear label.

  9. Check Organize art supplies.

    Stash paint and other messy items on a high shelf that only you can reach. For other art supplies, use straightforward Lucite or other plastic containers, which provide easy storage and sensible consolidation (no more forcing crayons back into a disintegrating cardboard box).

  10. Check Store games like books.

    For easiest access, store square-shaped games vertically. (You’ll never have to upend a stack to get at one on the bottom.) Make sure that the side facing out shows the game’s name.

  11. Check Systematize schoolwork.

    Use large loose-leaf binders to hold schoolwork and drawings, organized by year, for each child.