Simple (and small) Living vol.12


Of all of the rooms in the house, my kids’ room is the one that I’ve struggled with the most.

It’s an evolving project and I’m constantly trying new strategies and learning to embrace the organized chaos of this room.I do not have a magic system for organizing a kids’ room but there are a few truths I would defend in the area of kids room organization.


Children enjoy organization

Taking the time to organize and categorize toys and games into tubs and storage is a blessing to children. Doing this is a way of loving them. Children will spend more focused time playing with their toys when they are nicely organized. As they grow and mature they benefit from learning how to organize themselves. Sorting, categorizing, and organizing are skills that must be taught and practiced.

Embrace contrast

Recognize and enjoy the fact that there is an ebb and flow to tidiness. Kids will disorganize the organization. A room that is always pristine or a room that is always a big mess is a room that isn’t enjoyable.


Less is more

Several years ago I conducted an experiment and removed all of the toys from my kids’ rooms. Everything went to the basement with the exception of their books and a few coloring supplies. Without toys, they still kept on playing by using everyday items in new and creative ways. When I did give them a few toys they were content with less.

I’ve often made the mistake of thinking that more toys would help my bored children, but in my experience, they get bored when they have too much.


Children can effectively declutter

For many years, I avoided having my kids around when I decluttered. I thought that involving them would be counter-productive because they’d cling to their possessions. But I’ve learned that they are really good at decluttering. They regularly choose different items than I would choose. I tend to keep toys that were gifts or toys that I know cost more money. They choose the items that truly bring them joy.


Next week I will explore some of the organizational strategies we’ve included in our kids’ room to make it an organized, comfortable and kid-friendly space for my three children.

Be sure to hop over to yesterday’s post about spring sports for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!


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  1. Christy
    May 17, 2016

    Thanks so much for these posts- I’ve been enjoying them! One area I get frustrated in is storing one kid’s outgrown clothes/toys for the next kid. My kids are still very little so clothes etc are outgrown quickly and I have no garage or any storage aside from small closets. So I end up with many bins of things (as well as baby gear like bouncers and walkers!) that aren’t in use anymore but I don’t feel like I should get rid of them. Any thoughts?

    1. Sarah Mortimore
      May 17, 2016

      Oh Christy thank you for your comment, I completely understand your dilemma! Two thoughts. I used to save everything and then when I began having more babies I realized I rarely used all of the clothing I hung onto because of the blessing of baby showers, and my babies were born in different seasons so very few clothes worked for both of them. I would reccommend keeping only the nicest items and look into vacuum sealed bags that will significantly reduce the bulk of your baby clothes. As for the gear, consider loaning it out to someone who can use it in the mean time. Or if you have family or friends nearby with extra storage space ask if they’d mind letting you park your items until you need them again. Place them in a large trash bag to keep them dust free.

      1. Christy
        May 18, 2016

        Those are both great ideas- thanks Sarah!

  2. Amy
    May 18, 2016

    I wish my kids were good at decluttering. Two of me three are awesome. One is a hoarder in training. He sobs when we throw away packaging! Someday, I’m going to have to tell his wife that we did our best but he’s still a hoarder LOL

    1. Sarah Mortimore
      May 19, 2016

      Yes Amy, it can be very hard for some kids who have a hard time parting with things. One of my children ha a harder time than the other two but she’s coming along as she grows and matures. She’s learned through the years that her life won’t end if we toss the bottle cap she found under the slide at the park. Haha!


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