How to organize a kid's room - the expert decor guide to stop toys being left on the floor

Sorting their stuff and knowing how to organize a kid's room is easy with these clever solutions for tots, teens and inbetweens

How to organize a kid's room with plenty of book storage and an orange wall
(Image credit: Future / Chris Tubbs)

When wondering how to organize a kid's room, there are a number of factors to consider. If you take the time to plan it properly, it will reap dividends for them and for you. 

Think of the time saved when they can easily access whatever it is they need, whether it's their school uniform or their favourite games. Clever kid's room ideas  or simple toy storage solutions can enhance their independence too, as they're able to find their things themselves instead of asking you every time. 

Not only that, studies show that when a child's environment is calm and organised, it helps them to stay calm and organised too. The old adage tidy desk, tidy mind is as applicable to kids as it is to adults. 

'Organising a kid's room doesn't have to be complicated,' says the interior designer Caroline Milns of Zulufish. 'Depending on the size of the room I would zone it loosely into sleep, storage, study and play areas.' 

How to organize a kid's room

1. Maximise space for storage

How to organize a kid's room with blue walls and fitted drawers under the bed

Design by Zulufush

(Image credit: Zulufish)

'The more storage solutions the more organised a room will be,' says Caroline, who knows just how to design a kid's room. 'Take advantage of any nooks and crannies, and make them into hidden cupboards, drawers or a secret shelving space that the kids can enjoy.'

'Drawers are better for organisation than shelves as you can pull them out and see everything,' says Caroline. 'And shallow drawers rather than deep ones, where you can lay their clothes out enable them to find their own things too,' adds Caroline.

2. Arrange books for easy bedtime reading

How to organize a kid's room with bookshelves above the bed

(Image credit: Future / Anna Stathaki)

A useful method that can be used in playroom ideas too - sort out their books and pass on any they've outgrown to charity or younger siblings, unless they're collectables you'd like to keep. Separate reference or school books from fiction. 

Building shelves near the bed will make their favourite story books easily accessible when they're tucked up and you want to read with them. 

'Book shelves at different heights, starting low so smaller children can stack books away are useful,' says Caroline. 'For younger kids front stacking shelves so the front of the books are on show helps them spot the ones they want to read.'

3. Hang favorite items

How to organize a kid's room with hanging peg boards

(Image credit: Ben Anders)

Seen here are part of these boy's bedroom ideas, you can always make use of the walls with vertical storage solutions. 'Kids will always have various sports kits, party outfits, dressing up boxes, school uniform and everyday clothes to store regardless of their age,' says Caroline. 'So make sure there is plenty of hanging space, shelves and drawers that are not too deep so items don't get lost.'

4. Use steps for storage

How to organize a kid's room with built in storage in steps

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Small or awkward spaces needn't be a barrier to an organised kids room but you will have to think creatively. These girl's bedroom ideas show what can be acheived.

'If you’re lucky enough to have an attic space above the kid’s bedroom, consider utilising this space to create a mezzanine level where you can put a separate den or study area,' says Caroline. 'Storage in treads for stairs is also a good tip when it comes to maximising any spare centimetres.'

5. Create a cool study area

How to organize a kid's room with a built-in desk to wall to wall storage

(Image credit: Zulufish)

Ideal for use in teenage bedroom ideas is the introduction of a built-in desk. Creating a cool, calm and quiet study area where children can do their homework will encourage them to knuckle down, enhance self-discipline and help them to learn. 

'It's important to separate work and play zones,' says Caroline. 'Adding a dedicated study area once they've started school helps to future-proof the bedroom too, as study becomes more important and more frequent as children get older.'

6. Get kids involved

How to organize a kid's room with palm print wallpaper and built in blue shelves

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

'We show client's and their kids the initial mood boards so they feel involved and can highlight favourite starting point design ideas,' says Caroline. We also always develop the palette with them so they will like the finished scheme.' As witnessed here in this great example of small boy's bedroom ideas, showcasing your kid's personality can truly help them to have a space they want to maintain.

'We’ve designed magnetic wallpaper walls which are hugely popular. They are fun and patterned walls look good too. We make use of the walls with vertical storage solutions, so kids can add their own memorabilia to the walls to personalise their room and keep it organised,' she adds.

7. Build upwards

How to organize a kid's room kids room with bunk beds

(Image credit: Future)

Bunk beds are not a new idea but they've come along way in recent years and any space that's not the floor is well worth utilising as a sleep zone, giving you more space for kids toy storage ideas

'Bunk beds are hugely popular and space saving, giving you the extra bed for sleepovers or joint sibling rooms,' says Caroline. 'Those with a desk underneath, rather than another bed, high bunk beds with stairs to go up and a slide to come down, a den underneath or themed designs are great options.'

8. Make storage easy and fun

How to organize a kid's room with storage baskets Jo Berryman project

Design by Jo Berryman

(Image credit: Future / Paul Massey)

If you'd rather not spend precious time tidying up toys, make it easy and fun for kids to store them, such as these felt buckets in this project by Jo Berryman. You could use any of the best laundry baskets, as they're ideal for lego, plastic bricks and other small items.

'Using baskets and boxes in areas within a room works really well,' says Caroline. 'Label them with what belongs there (a picture label is good for younger children), and make each place accessible to the child so that they can easily get what they want and put it away when they've finished with it.'

9. Keep it simple

How to organize a kid's room with pink wallpaper Zulufish project

(Image credit: Zulufish)

Think ahead and keep the joinery design simple and colors neutral. That way it can more easily adapt as they grow up. 

'The soft furnishings and decor can be updated more cost effectively than bespoke wardrobes or cupboards,' says Caroline. 

10. Utilize awkward angles for shelving

How to organize a kid's room with shelves in an eaves roof

(Image credit: Future / Chris Tubbs)

Wardrobes and storage are key to keeping a kid's room tidy and organised but it doesn't have to be boring. 

'The design can be funky, fun and colourful whilst providing great storage solutions,' says Caroline. 'Don’t be afraid to go bold with colour, especially with paint and wallpaper, which can be replaced more easily. We love funky finishes inside wardrobes and alcoves.'

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.