Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start spring cleaning. Are you wondering how to go about decluttering your child’s room? Before you can really deep clean a room, it needs to be decluttered.

While decluttering your own room or belongings is simply a matter of deciding what you do and don’t want to keep, it’s not quite the same when it’s your child’s room. The belongings aren’t really yours and you’ll need to take into consideration their desires.

How you approach decluttering your child’s room will really depend on their age. A pre-teen or teenager is probably capable of decluttering their belongings with just a little bit of guidance from you. But, you will need to work with a younger child every step of the process.

1. This Isn’t a Punishment!

The first step is to explain to your child that you’re decluttering not to take their things away, but to help weed out things that they no longer want or use. Your child shouldn’t feel like they are being punished. The reason for decluttering is to help them find the things they love more easily by getting rid of the things they no longer want.

Once your child understands the process, it’s time to eliminate things that are broken or unusable. This includes toys that no longer work or are missing important pieces. It also includes clothes and shoes that are too small or in poor condition and can’t be worn.

2. What Don’t They Want?

After this is done, you can work with your child to decide what toys they no longer want. Is there something they were given that they really just don’t play with? Please don’t encourage your child to keep things they don’t want. It doesn’t matter if it was expensive or if Great Aunt Suzie gave it to them. If they no longer want it, pass it on to someone else.

3. Find the Proper Place

Once you have gotten rid of the things that your child no longer wants, all that’s left should be things that they want to keep in their room. If there are items that don’t actually belong in their room, move them to their proper place! Your child’s room should contain only their things whenever possible. This way it will be easier for them to keep it clean.

The next step is to start sorting like with like. Put all of the puzzles together, all of the race cars together, the shirts folded neatly together, etc. After this is done, see if your child appears to have too many of one type of thing. Ask them to consider if they really need 15 puzzles. Are nine pairs of pajamas too many? Give them guidance with this but let them make the final decision as long as everything fits where it needs to go.

4. Make Them Easy to Find

The final step is to return things where they belong. Clothes should be folded neatly and places in drawers or hung up in the closet. Small items like cards or doll clothes can be stored in see-through tubs that are labeled. Explain to your child that from now on, things need to be put back where they come from. With a little guidance, even a young child can do this.