Cleaning the Kids’ Room | Before and After

Two signs it’s time to clean the kids’ room:

1. Everywhere you look is a jumbled mess.

2. You can’t even get to the closet.

The Process:

I started by simply sending the kids (ages 7 and 5)  upstairs to clean their room on their own.  They worked on it for a while and made some good progress, but to really finish the job well, they needed my help and direction. It was a lot of work (because not cleaning it for many months will do that), but we worked together and made great progress! Take a look!

Before – Dare we enter? What is up with the trash all over the floor?

After – The box you see there is for toys.

Before – This rocker-glider was never supposed to be there for more than a week or so. I moved it in there when Mr. RSS was out of town and I was on my own with an infant plus the other 2 and it just made it easier at that time. That was almost 2 years ago… and here sits that chair.

After – The chair is back in the nursery, but really I think it just needs to leave the house soon…

The closet doors can even close. What a concept!

Here are some clothes that are getting donated:



Did you notice that Gabe’s bed grew? He finally has a big boy bed, thanks to my sister. He’s super thrilled!

Books before – No, no, no.

Books after – Yes!

 What we’ve learned:

  • Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Keeping it clean or cleaning it when it’s just a little messy are much easier than waiting for it to be a big stinkin’ mess. Easier said than done. I think I’ll try a Saturday morning room inspection each week.


Other Updates:
  • We finally put up a Christmas tree and started decorating! Christmas music is playing and there is a fire in the fireplace. Bunches of boxes are out of the living room (but just moved to the basement). I’m loving the peaceful atmosphere. I took some before pics. Maybe I’ll take some after shots to show you this week for fun.
  • The kitchen is a mess. I need to tackle that tomorrow.
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Filed under Before and After, Cleaning, Declutter, Kids

17 Responses to Cleaning the Kids’ Room | Before and After

  1. Ohh, that looks awesome, Elizabeth! Great, great job.

  2. Diane

    Wow, I thought it was just my house! I feel SO much better, now that you’ve shared. My son’s hobby is building radio controlled airplanes – and there’s a fleet of them! You think the books are a challenge? Whooeeeee!!!

  3. I love the blue blanket choice for Gabe’s bed. Nice color coding!

    A regular inspection sounds like a great idea! Kids stuff is so crazy. It takes 3 seconds to get out of control.

    I must also comment on the little gallery exhibit over the bed: LOVE IT! I might try doing something like that in my firstborn boy’s room when he’s a little older.

  4. WilliamB

    Awesome! And yes, maintenance. It becomes a habit after a while. I’m detecting signs of momentum in your house…

    How do your kids feel about the change of attitude & behavior in the past few months?

    • Elizabeth

      I wish I could look around and see more momentum! Some people have said that they see a difference, but I think it’s hard to see when I’m in the middle of it all and it’s still a battle.

      The kids haven’t said anything that I can remember, but I did start something with the kids today (big hint: chores) that I’m excited about and will report on in a week or so. 🙂

      • WilliamB

        To look for momentum, look at:

        * how much organizing you did in the 6 months before you started this blog

        * the state of your kitchen island

        * the state of papers on your desk

        * the state of the hall closet.

        Now – and this is important! – don’t compare how they are now with how you want them to be. Instead, compare them with how they were 6 months before you started this blog.

        So what do you see?

  5. I see the momentum too! Yay!

  6. Oh, I love the canopy bed. It reminds me of the one I had when i was little. I only wish mine had been pink though!

    Oh, and the rooms look great too.

  7. Tiffany C.

    Thank you for the kick in the pants I needed! I had gotten so fed up with the kid’s rooms I was ready to give up! But thanks to you I dove in this week and helped them work on their rooms. My son, 7, is still struggling though, I think maybe he just has too much stuff in there, and there is no way to organize it, there is just too much of it.

  8. ISN’T IT wonderful when you get a space all clean and organized? There is nothing like it.

  9. Julia

    Reading your posts made me smile and inspired me to tackle, for what seems the hundred billionth time, my cluttered kids’ rooms, hallway and closets. I never feel like I get very far. Sigh. I feel like their room is kinda decent and then BOOM how did all those heaps come back?? Thank you for sharing your progress! It helps to see the steps you took. 🙂

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