11 Tips for Tidy Bedrooms

Since tomorrow’s 4 Moms, 35 Kids open house area is bedrooms (you are going to link up, aren’t you?), I thought I’d share some of our tips to make it easier to keep large family bedrooms tidy.  I’m no expert in this area.  Although I’ve had 15 years experience managing bedroom cleanliness,  the master bedroom has still been known to get out of control.

Many of these ideas have come about because we have multiple children sharing each bedroom, but they can be help in many different situations.  Some of these we implement and others we wish we could.

Tips for tidy bedrooms:

  1. Incorporate hooks – perfect for coats, robes, purses, hats and other often used items, each of the bedrooms in our home has a set of hooks.

    Bedroom Hooks

  2. Keep bed-making simple – (Tip for kids and bed making)
  3. Limit toys, crafts, projects, etc. stored in the bedroom  (I prefer none)
  4. Limit the amount of clothing each person owns – This makes it easier for everyone to manage their own clothing and increases the possibility that drawers and closets won’t be overcrowded.
  5. Implement a family closet – this completely eliminates clothes in the bedrooms.
  6. Keep dressers in the closet – This frees up floor space and helps make the room look tidier especially if you have children who don’t close their drawers all the way.
  7. Shelves at top of the room

  8. Create shelving at the top of the room to display fragile items, stuffed animals, etc.
  9. Use, but don’t overuse the closet  – This is especially true in kids rooms.  If kids can’t get what they need in and out of the closet easily then the closet is headed for disaster.
  10. Give each child (and yourself) a designated space to store their  junk priceless treasures. Keep the space limited, but allow them to keep whatever they wish.  ( I have had to put my foot down and make it clear that organic matter is NOT allowed.)
  11. Use competition – We have a marvelous way to encourage our children to clean their rooms.  They are even motivated to help their siblings clean their bedrooms.
  12. If all else fails, close the door.

What tips do you have for keeping bedrooms tidy or do you just use #11?

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25 Responses to 11 Tips for Tidy Bedrooms
  1. caryn
    August 25, 2010 | 7:57 am

    thanks for the tips. I just went through my 6 kids “stuff” and reorganized. I like the idea of the high bookshelves. Low enough for the bgigger children ut too high for the littles…..


  2. Kimarie
    August 25, 2010 | 8:03 am

    LOL about #11!! And I have definitely experienced #8 problems as I’ve tried to fill every inch of closet… We’ve called the results avalanches. I LOVE the bookshelves by the ceiling…that’s actually been on our project list for years. Looking forward to tomorrow’s linky!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    #11 is nearly always used when we have unexpected company on Sunday. We just aren’t able to get everyone ready AND the bedrooms tidied before we head out the door to church.


  3. Katie
    August 25, 2010 | 8:04 am

    I agree on #3. We have a no toy rule and it keeps their rooms much tidier. They each have a basket of books and a few stuffed animals in a basket. Things they sleep or rest with. Other than that, the room is used for sleeping and dressing in.

    When company comes over, kids don’t go in the bedrooms and turn it into a disaster area, because there isn’t anything interesting in them.

    Can you expound on how your kids “keep their treasures.” We are at the point where we need something like that (#9), but I’m not sure what would work best. Especially when the littles get into the older children’s things. The other day my 3 yr old got into my 5 yr old’s stickers and about broke her heart.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The ‘treasure’ solution that has worked best for us is to give each child a Rubbermaid box with a LID THAT FASTENS. The lid is important otherwise it will constantly be overflowing.

    This seems to be sufficient for our younger children. As our kids get older they accumulate more stuff, but they are more responsible with it and that’s the point. So our older kids have a lot more stuff, they just take care of it, display it, or store it themselves. They all still have a treasure box for things that they can’t figure out another home for.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Oh, I should have added that we keep everyone’s treasure boxes up in the shelf at the top of their closet. If the little ones want their box they just ask someone taller to get it down for them.

    This doesn’t completely solve the problem of other siblings getting into their things, but it helps.


  4. Annie @ Beauty In The Surrender
    August 25, 2010 | 8:08 am

    I really try to limit the amount of toys and clothes in my childrens rooms. I go through the kids’ things about once every few months and purge old toys or clothes that I can give away.
    One thing that I really like are the plastic drawers that you can purchase at WalMart or Target, etc… They are perfect for holding homeschool stuff, LEGO’S, puzzles, baby dolls, and anything that just needs a home.


  5. Alicia
    August 25, 2010 | 8:26 am

    Since my daughter is only 5 months I clean her room because basically I’m the one that messes it up. =P I use #11 for our bedroom though, it’s a battle that I’ve been losing a lot. The biggest thing is too many clothes. So at least I know where to begin.

    If the toys aren’t in the bedroom, where do you prefer to keep them?


    Katie Reply:

    Everyone has different housing situations with different needs; for us it works best to only allow toys in the family room (it’s really a formal dinning room that we reclaimed). I even put masking tape on the floor for a few months while I trained my kids to keep the toys where they were supposed to stay. (Honestly, for the most part they keep the toys there, but I have one little one who is constantly “forgetting.”)

    I’m a minimalist when it comes to toys. We have lots of legos, a small but nice play kitchen, dolls, a wood train set, a small amount of cars (like match box cars),one _small_ bin for miscellaneous toys and a shelf full of books. We also have a small kids table where they have scissors, paper and makers/crayons. The craft table and legos get used the most. We keep some Little People sets in the attic and pull them out for a few weeks every once in a while. And we do have a few dress-ups that are in the girl’s room. I’m in the process of getting them downstairs.

    We store the legos under the couch in a rubbermaid (under the bed type) container, the rest of the toys fit in bins on a shelf, with the play house stuff in it’s own little corner.

    I have five kids and though they are quick to make a mess of the toys, they also can quickly pick it all up (mostly by themselves). My oldest is 7.

    I put a few picture up on flicker if you care to look. http://www.flickr.com/photos/talbott/sets/72157624806430396/


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We have most of our toys in our living areas. You can see pictures of how we store them here.


  6. chantelle
    August 25, 2010 | 9:06 am

    Thanks for the great tips! I will be adding hang hooks in bedroom on my to-do list! 🙂


  7. Anita Chamblee
    August 25, 2010 | 9:09 am

    Right now we are using #11 a lot!! We are reconstructing the boys’ bathroom this month. The kitchen gets some work done next month and then the month after that we gut and reconstruct the girls bathroom.

    The OLDER my children get the harder it is to keep their rooms to my liking. They do accumulate!! My 22 yod is THE WORST! But you have to let go of some things as they get older.

    I showed dh the pics of your near the ceiling shelves. We have talked about doing that for years. Since he is in major home makeover mode perhaps he will put that on his list as well.

    Hope Savannah is recovering well and you all are getting cozy again at home!


  8. Renae
    August 25, 2010 | 9:34 am

    Helpful tips! It didn’t take me long to realize that while piles of bedding and pillows look so cute in magazines, they are impractical for us. A simple bed that is made looks just as nice. In fact, better than the mess before. 🙂


  9. Cynthia
    August 25, 2010 | 9:38 am

    Rubbermaid containers with lids have been our answer to clutter in the bedroom! The shoebox size ones are perfect for small toy sets that have several pieces. It’s so easy to throw the toys back in, put the lid on and stack it back in the closet. As my mom says, there is a place for everything and everything has it’s place:-)


  10. Courtney
    August 25, 2010 | 2:51 pm

    My kids each have a “special box” a plastic shoe box with a lid (that the babies can’t open). This box is the stuff that they want to save and/or don’t want to share. When the box is full it’s time to de-junk.


  11. Joy Parker
    August 25, 2010 | 3:53 pm

    I am so excited to see a list of the amount of clothes that you keep out. That is the hardest decision for me, so I think I’ll just take the wisdom you have to offer and try it out this year!:)


  12. Jenny
    August 25, 2010 | 4:07 pm

    Wonderful ideas!! We do something very similar with our beds (no top sheet and comforters on top to make them quickly), but I used feather beds and had my mom make covers for them out of some fun fabrics. I really love the feather beds because they are big and fluffy and only fit the tops of the beds (don’t hang over the sides)- and they’re super warm in winter! In the summer, we just roll them back and use a child-sized blanket as well. I started doing this when we switched to bunk beds because they are soooo hard to make, and now they’re easy for everyone 😉


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Jenny, where do you purchase the feather beds? Do you mean the ones that are typically put on top of the mattress and covered with the sheet? Can you purchase covers for those?

    I’ve wanted to do something like that, but haven’t found a good solution. Of course I’m not really a shopper, so maybe I just don’t know what’s available.


  13. Marla
    August 25, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    Stopped by to tell you that you have been awarded the sunshine award.Please check out info on my blog.Keep up the beautiful work.
    Blessings,Marla Grace


  14. Christi Kidd
    August 25, 2010 | 5:28 pm

    After reading your post on how you use competition to motivate your children to keep their rooms clean I decide to try a similar system here in our home. We too have a girls room and a boys room, so I explained the new system to the kids and spent a day in each room helping my kids get all the unnecessary items out, remaining items organized and instructing on what my standards are. We are now in our third week of clean bedrooms and bathrooms. I also require the girls to keep one bathroom clean and the boys the other. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.


  15. Lanna
    August 26, 2010 | 1:36 am

    I do a bunch of the things you listed above. Bed making = just pulling the sheets up (no hospital corners, oof, mommy can’t even do that), if their clothes don’t fit in a single dresser, no dice, etc. So we have a bunk bed and 3 dressers, a triple hamper, and shelves of cloth diapers up on the wall – in one 11×10′ room, and it doesn’t feel all that cramped. 😉
    Now, if I could just keep my own room/closet as tidy… it becomes the dumping ground for whatever sorting/folding/packing project I’ve got going on at the time.


  16. leigh
    August 28, 2010 | 4:49 pm

    we have a family member who wont allow toys downstairs in the “family”room. Children have to go up stairs with the toys. Our poor 5 yr old cant even play his hotwheels when we visit. nope we dont visit much!


  17. […] pleased.   The ‘valance’  is an old shower curtain.In yesterday’s post about keeping bedrooms tidy I mentioned that we use hooks in each of our bedrooms, here are the boy’s set of hooks.  […]

  18. […] of the ways I try to keep our bedrooms tidy is to have hooks available for items that are frequently used.  Here I have some of my […]

  19. Moms of Many Manage Toys | Raising Olives
    December 9, 2010 | 8:30 am

    […] 3. Keep toys in the area you wish the children to play with them.  This prevents some of the toy trail that happens otherwise.  We keep ‘quiet’ toys in our school room and ‘louder’ more active toys downstairs in the playroom and we keep very few toys in  bedrooms which makes it easy to keep bedrooms tidy. […]

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