Clean Your Kids’ Room {Day 10}

31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero.  Freeze your spending.  Change Your Life.  Awesome way to reset your spending patterns or kick-start your budget!

This is the tenth day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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Can you believe we’ve already made it almost 1/3 of the way through this challenge?  If you completed yesterday’s assignment, doesn’t it feel great to start the day with a clean house?

(Side Note:   If you didn’t have a chance to complete the assignment yet then don’t get down on yourself!  The tasks presented during this challenge are meant to use as a guideline and motivation as you make your way through a month of no spending.  If something doesn’t work for you on a particular day or at all, that’s okay.  You can come back to it later or skip it all together.  Our MAIN goal is to cut out unessential spending for the month!)

I don’t know about y’all but if it weren’t for my darling children, my house would be clean all the time.  Okay, maybe not all the time, but almost all of the time.  How can two such seemingly sweet and innocent girls be SUCH incredible mess makers?

I am slightly compulsive when it comes to keeping my girls’ room clean and organized, but (I think) with good reason  First, in our 3 bedroom house, their bedroom is also their playroom.  Just like how I like being home better when my house is clean, they enjoy their room much more when it is orderly.  Second, because they are the source of about 90% of our mess at any given time, I have found that a clean & organized kids room helps reduce messes throughout the house.  And finally, when things are organized they are able to take more responsibility for their stuff.  Even my three year old knows where things go!

Last spring I participated in a Spring Cleaning challenge to revamp my kids’ space.  My plan of attack was pretty simple:  1.) Ruthlessly purge the room of anything they don’t need or aren’t using. 2.) Reassess the space to fit their current needs.  3.) Clean like crazy  4.) Put things back in their proper place and label everything.  Today you will do the same!

This was what I started with:

And this is the end result:

The first thing I did was get rid of as much excess stuff as I could. It was hard for me at first to get rid of their clothes and toys, but once I gave myself permission to only keep the things that are currently useful, despite who gave them to us or how much they cost, it got a lot easier.    That’s where the ruthless part comes in.  As I sorted through their things, I asked myself these questions:

  1. Do they use it or play with it?  Or, for clothes, does it still fit?
  2. Is it age appropriate?
  3. Is it in good working condition?
  4. Does it enrich their lives in some way?
  5. Does it have sentimental value?
  6. Could someone else use it more?

I found it helpful to make 4 piles:  1.) Things to keep in their room,  2.) things to donate,  3.) things to throw away, and 4.) things to put elsewhere (either away for when they get older, a different season, or in a different room).

I got rid of as much as I possibly could, and then a few months later, in July, I took ALL their toys away, and the vast majority of what they had left went in the Goodwill pile or up to the attic.  They still have a few items left in the closet (games, puzzles, Legos, baby dolls, dress-up, and play food & dishes for their kitchen) but those only come down one at a time.

My second step was to reassess the space to fit their current needs.  Kids are constantly growing and changing so what worked last year might not work at all this year.  Once everything had been cleared and rearranged, I got busy cleaning the room from top to bottom.  The last step was putting everything back in its proper place, but then also making sure all those places were labeled properly.  It doesn’t do me any good if I am the only person that knows where everything goes!

Today your assignment is to clean and organize your kids’ room(s) or playroom.  I can’t stress enough how much good it has done our family to get rid of (almost all) the toys.  Sorting through their clothes has helped a lot too.  It feels so good to conquer this space!  Finally, to make things just a little easier on you, I have another cute checklist for you to use:

{Get your Kids Room Cleaning Checklist here}

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How do you keep your kids’ stuff organized?   Do you regularly sort and purge, or is it something you normally avoid?  What is for you the hardest part of getting rid of things?

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{Go to Day 11}

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Denise October 10,

    I am loving all the cleaning tasks this week–it is SO motivating! The checklists are really great too. Thanks Ruth!

  • sandi October 10,

    twice a year i participate in a huge consignment sale (200+ consignors). as soon as something is too short, doesn’t fit it goes in either the winter or summer consignment sale bin. our children range in age from 9 down to 4 so they are interested in different types of toys. we try to do high quality low quantity toys (legos, wooden trains, food for the kitchen set). we do seem to have a large quantity of little people things but they are much loved and played with every day! nope, i have no problem getting rid of things!

  • Martha October 11,

    Love this!!! Thank you!

  • Kristina October 1,

    I think you are so amazing for not only doing this yourself, but sharing how to do it with others! But I’m a little baffled by you giving almost all your toys away–what do your girls do without a variety of toys to play with? Could you explain this a bit more? Thanks in advance.

  • Clare November 6,

    I’d like to do this but I think my 2 sons would struggle.
    I’m going to throw 75% of their things away and then we’ll re-assess at a later date, though I must admit you have inspired me.
    I’m also set to tackle my things shortly to rid my home of all the things I’ve bought but have never used.
    Thank you!

  • Jenny January 10,

    The worst part of getting rid of our kids’ stuff is running across gifts I know people expect us to keep for a long time, if not forever. When I give a gift, I don’t expect any such consideration; I give carefully, hoping that the person will enjoy what they receive, or at the very least not suffer because of it. We often give things we know a person loves and that they will use up. But despite our obviously small, very full house, we occasionally receive bulky keepsake gifts that require storing or, worse yet, a gift that the gifter later checks up on. “So, have you been playing with your ____?” Awkward! It really throws a monkey wrench in my toy purge!

    • AP November 11,

      I used to have trouble with giving away gifts we have received, too. We have a smaller home and sometimes people don’t realize that we cant fill it with gigantic toys. My daughter’s room barely fits her tiny dresser and bed. We just can’t fit a rocking horse or a giant barbie townhouse, etc… I have a few “gift status checkers” as well, which drives me nuts because I would never, ever do that to them. But recently, I decided that I cant worry about holding on to stuff so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings… they certainly arent worried about how I feel to receive a life sized stuffed animal giraffe when my home is under 1,000 sq ft.

  • Jennifer May 9,

    Thanks for sharing this! We just did a major declutter/give away session in my kids’ rooms and now it’s time to clean!

  • Ashley October 9,

    I don’t have any kids for this challenge, so I’ll use this day to clean my car and organize the supplies for my pets.

  • alexis November 12,

    Dreading this.. still a day away for me.


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