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Preparing Your Home for the Holidays: Kids’ Rooms

Tara from Deal Seeking Mom and I have teamed up to bring you a special series over the next two weeks called Preparing Your Home for the Holidays.

Join us as we clean and declutter so that we can fully enjoy the holiday season without being distracted by dirt and clutter. I’ll be sharing tips for each room we cover, and Tara will be sharing her progress. In each post, we’ll also include a printable checklist to help you declutter, clean, and maintain each room.

The holidays are quickly approaching, and none of us want to be stuck frantically cleaning before a family gathering or dealing with clutter as we try to make room for our holiday decorations.

Today, we’re talking about kids’ rooms and playrooms. Kids’ areas are often the most overwhelming and the ones we want to avoid. However, I think it’s important to tackle these before the holidays since you will likely end up with more stuff to sort through. I’m a firm believer in involving kids in the process of decluttering and cleaning their spaces so that they learn the skills they need to do it on their own as they get older. I also think doing it behind their backs can result in them clinging more tightly to their stuff as adults, which is definitely something I want to avoid.


You know I’m a fan of decluttering. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist, necessarily (most minimalists would probably laugh at me if I did), but keeping clutter to a minimum makes our life less stressful and easier to organize.

Here are some ideas to get you started as you declutter your kids’ rooms and playrooms:


  • Sort through kids’ clothes and organize them by size.
  • Set aside any pieces that don’t have a match – skirts that don’t have a matching shirt, etc. – and either purchase a match of give them away.
  • Turn all of the hangars around backward and hang things the proper way after they’re worn so you can see what’s being worn and what’s not.
  • Make a list of any essentials the kids need for the holiday.
  • Pack away seasonal wardrobes to make more space in dressers and closets.


  • Involve kids in the process rather than doing it behind their backs.
  • Purge the toys to make room for new toys.
  • Throw away broken pieces.
  • Group sets together.
  • Give away toys that don’t get played with.
  • Set limits on miscellaneous toys. For example, we have a bag that all of the little toys we pick up from Happy Meals – an occasional treat, birthday parties, etc. go into. When the bag gets full, we go through and choose which to give away and which to keep.
  • If you have a collector, give them a defined space for their collection and then help them make the tough decisions if their collection is too large for the space.

Desks & Homework Areas

  • Repair or recycle torn books.
  • Throw away any empty glue bottles, unusable pencils, etc.
  • Dust or vacuum inside drawers.
  • File or recycle papers.
  • Sort supplies & pack away extras to reduce clutter.


Now is a great time for a deep cleaning because then you will only have to maintain your home through the busier months.

  • Wash mattress covers & replace any old or worn-out pillows.
  • Wash sheets and hang comforters outside to air out.
  • Dust ceiling fans & reverse fan direction.
  • Dust high shelves, window & door frames.
  • Dust dressers/TVs.
  • Dust shelves/knickknacks.
  • Clean blinds and shades.
  • Clean windows/mirrors/screens.
  • Spot clean carpet.
  • Wipe baseboards.
  • Vacuum and/or mop.


I often get asked how we keep our home neat with four little ones. The key is that we literally clean up every single night before bed. We put things back where they belong, wipe down the counters and vacuum/mop any areas that need it. Because we do this as a family, it’s relatively painless and means that we wake up with a clean slate every day.

  • Consider a family closet for kids’ clothing if they’re not old enough to take responsibility for putting things away themselves yet.
  • Follow the one toy in, one toy out rule and giveaway a toy each time a new one is received.
  • Clean up every day and put toys away by set so that the mess doesn’t build up over time.
  • Rotate toys every 1-2 months rather than having them all available all the time.
  • Request clutter-free gifts like craft supplies, experiences and books (you’ll never convince me that children’s books are clutter!).
  • Give kids regular age-appropriate chores and have them help maintain their areas.

Click here to download or print the free printable checklist.

Be sure to stop by Deal Seeking Mom to see  Tara’s progress in her kids’ rooms!

Are your kids’ rooms the hardest areas for you to tackle? How do you minimize toy clutter?