Sharing a bedroom can create unique challenges, but these tips for organizing kids’ shared bedrooms will help make it easier for kids to keep their rooms tidy, have their own personal spaces, and keep important items safe.
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Kids’ bedrooms tend to be an area of our house that I re-evaluate and re-organize regularly. I’m always on the search for the BEST WAY TO KEEP KIDS ROOMS TIDY, hoping that if I luck up on the perfect combination of minimalism, organization, and shelving their rooms will cease to look like a bomb went off in there.
(This was my mom’s favorite phrase to describe our rooms growing up. True to form, I have now inherited the mom-isms and use them without shame).
The truth is, there’s no magic formula to perfectly organized rooms that tidy themselves every day. The magic is simply in implementing a few helpful principles and following through with habit training.
Which is where regular evaluation comes into play. Recently, I was noticing a pattern in my kids’ rooms of excessive messiness. Clothes all over the floor, multiple types of toys scattered around, and papers and items that didn’t belong in their rooms poking up from underneath. The mess was in part because my kids are slobs, errr I mean because I needed to be better about training them to clean their rooms, but also in part because the organization that I had in place from my last “mom clean up” was no longer working for the space or meeting my kids’ needs.
So, I took a few days to re-evaulate and reorganize. The biggest problems were:
- Too many toys accessible at once. (specifically in the girls’ room).
- Lego bins left in reach meant that anyone could easily play/make a mess, then leave it whenever. Constant access also often meant shorter, less intentional play times. (legos are kept in the boys’ room)
- Clothing bins all on one level (horizontal shelving rather than vertical) making it easier for younger brother to dump older brothers clothing.
- Just needing help getting back to a clean/fresh slate to return to practicing daily tidying habits. (i.e. help them dig themselves out of the hole they are in)
15 Tips for Organizing Kids’ Shared Bedrooms
I shared the “before” of my kids’ rooms on Instagram, basically just to let someone know where they could find me if I didn’t surface again in a day or two.
So many replied that they have similar issues in their house (re: their kids are normal). I asked for tips and ideas on what was currently working for families with room-sharing kids, and y’all came through with some great suggestions.
And because so many also replied asking for me to share the wealth, I’ve compiled the best tips here. Many were repeating the same basic idea, so I combined them into 15 tips for organizing (and keeping clean) kids’ shared bedrooms.
Keep reading to see all the best tips, what I did to solve the problems in my kids’ rooms, and a collection of great organizers and resources!
The “after” in my boys’ room. I put the lego boxes out of reach so they can be brought down with help, played with, and cleaned up again intentionally. I also rotated the storage cube shelves to stand vertically so the older boys’ boxes are higher up. (Each boy has a box for bottoms and a box for tops. Underwear and socks are kept in boxes on the very bottom). I gave each older boy a basket for papers and notebooks (on the bookshelf), and gave my youngest son the bottom shelf for his special items (my oldest son already has a shelf for his personal books, and both my older boys have a shelf just for their lego creations out of reach of younger siblings).
My older boys each have their own cork board and shelves for items they want to keep out of reach. My youngest also has a net for his favorite stuffed animals (almost all dogs).
15 Tips for Organizing Kids’ Shared Bedrooms
- Limit the number of toys stored in bedrooms.
- Set a regular daily cleaning time.
- Incentivize extra/special chores with small rewards.
- Consider a family closet or out-of-the-room clothing storage.
- Designate specific areas/tasks each child is responsible for maintaining/cleaning. (This helps to see who is not pulling their weight).
- Give each child a special box (bonus points if it locks!) in which to keep their special belongings.
- Keep toys stored by types so it’s easier to clean.
- Rotate toys or store toys out of reach until kids learn to clean up before moving on.
- Create a “capsule” wardrobe or simply keep a minimal amount of clothing for each child.
- Set a timer, turn on music, and make clean-up time fun.
- Regularly or seasonally donate/throw away unwanted toys and broken toys.
- A triple bunk gives more free space in the bedroom.
- Daily alarms for cleaning times (so kids can be self-directed, rather than mom-instructed all the time).
- Teach HOW to clean well. Start with trash, then papers, then clothing, and finish with toys.
- Provide individual shelves, corkboards, stuffed animal hangers, etc, by their beds for personal items and favorite artwork.
The “after” in my girls’ room. The biggest change was to move the cube organizer from being on the floor in their closet to being on the closet shelf out of reach. My older daughter can reach the baskets from her bed, but my toddler cannot get out multiple baskets at once. The goal is to continue training them to clean up before moving on to a new activity.
I also shifted the dresser and play kitchen, put some other items higher on the bookshelf (still accessible, but a little harder to get). I also just did a general purge and clean up of unused/broken toys and stuffed animals so there would be less in general for them to tidy.
Recommended Organizing Items ::
- stuffed animal hammock (animal hammocks make cleaning up stuffed animals so easy!)
- corner shelves
- clear floating wall bookshelves (I love these for displaying treasures or current reads!)
- book ends (these are so helpful for keeping bookshelves tidy!)
- cube organizer
- storage cubes
- under the bed storage boxes (we store legos in these because their shallowness makes them better for finding pieces)
- corkboard (a perfect place to hang special drawings and papers)
- hanging storage organizer with pockets (I sewed something like this for my oldest, but this would be a great option to hang on the wall next to a bunk or from the side of a bunk to keep personal items in reach)
- IKEA wooden shelves (we have these shelves in both kids rooms, as well as a large wall of shelves in our dining room. I love how easily adjustable they are.)
- IKEA bunks (we have these in the girls’ and the boys’ rooms)
- kid lock boxes
Do your kids share rooms? Do you have any additional tips to share on encouraging and equipping children to be in charge of keeping their rooms tidy? Please share in the comments!
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I love reevaluating and reorganizing my kids things (okay, I also like to do it to all sections of the house). I am a big fan of figuring out why the current system isnt working anymore and coming up with something new.
Our kids are growing so fast. Things change, their needs and wants change. And right now life is changing and what worked 2 or 6 months ago may no longer be the case.
I have a friend who gets discouraged she, she sets a system in place, it works great for 4 months and then all of a sudden it doesn’t. We often talk about why isnt it working any more, was it that the havit was lost or because life chamged and she justvneeds to tweek the system.
This is a great post as we all head into a new school year that will look different for everyone.