5 Tips For Teaching Kids To De-Clutter Their Rooms


I love remodeling my kids’ rooms, but they’re getting a little older, so they want to choose what goes into their bedrooms. I would love for them to pick from any of these from our friends at, but it’s their choice. However, before we do anything, we’d have to deal with the clutter. Most kids are born with a slight hoarding instinct. This is especially true for girls. They want to save their ‘treasures’ because they attach an emotional or memorial significance to just about everything. This can range from the seashells they collected last year on vacation, a picture an old friend drew them, or every stuffed animal they have ever received.

Teaching kids how to prioritize what is important to them is a good skill to learn. Helping them realize that getting rid of things can be both healthy and cleansing is teaching them a life skill. It is also wonderful to teach your kids to donate those things (that are still in good shape) to someone who needs it more. Here are 5 tips to help.

Set an example – Let your kids see you getting rid of things. Ask for their opinion and explain your reasoning to keep or get rid of something. Recently, we were inspired to have a major sort out in our home by our friends from the UK. They had acquired so much junk over the years that they actually had to hire a skip! They told us that hiring a skip was relatively simple too. All they had to do was research ‘skip hire sheffield’ and they found a great skip hire comparison website. Consequently, if you want to get rid of any bulkier items in your home that cannot be donated to charity, a skip could be the perfect waste removal solution for your needs.

Start with clothes – Have your children help you sort through the clothes they have outgrown and decide what to do with them. This is helpful later for convincing them to get rid of an old toy they don’t play with anymore by comparing it to the shirt that just didn’t fit.

Tackle one project at a time – If the whole room needs a clean out it can be overwhelming for a child. Start with one area at a time. And require your child to be part of the process. After each area gauge how your child is doing. For them these are big decisions and can be very draining, they won’t last as long as you will. If you push them to make too many hard decisions in a day eventually you will get hysterics and tears.

Use a box – This method works great for older children who have been through the process before and don’t require as much guidance. Place an empty box in their room and tell them it has to be filled with donation items by a certain time or you will choose what goes into the box.

Name that toy – When a collection has gotten out of control (thanks to well-meaning grandparents), a great way to thin it out is with this game. Often they have collected more toys than they can play with or even remember. While they are out of the house gather up the collection and put them in black trash bags (this works great for most things like stuffed animals, Barbie’s, cars, small plastic animals, my little pony, etc.). And when the child comes home tell them they can have back all the toys they can name. They will be surprised by how many they forget. The rest get donated.

Teaching kids how to organize on a small scale will help them with organization their whole lives. Yes, there may be tears and tantrums. Remember that one of the great benefits of doing this with your children is that it strengthens their relationship with you and teaching them a valuable skill. They will be able to prioritize better as adults and make better decisions by learning how to do so now. This is a great way to start.

Oh kids and clutter! Do you have any tips to add?

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