Trunkroom Channel English

The Art of Tidying a Child’s Room to Encourage Independence

[Points for organizing your child’s room]

In nearly all homes that we “clearing up concierges” visit, children have too much stuff to manage alone.
Children are far less capable than adults of organizing things by themselves, and so one tip is to limit the amount of things they own according to their age and personality.

Does your child have any of these?

  • Textbooks or exercise books from several years ago
  • Miscellaneous worksheets which you don’t know are necessary or not
  • Old toys that he/she has stopped playing with a long time ago
  • Artworks that are untouched and just collecting dust
  • Free gifts your child was very excited about when he/she got them
  • Nostalgic picture books he/she read when much younger
  • Game software he/she borrowed from friends but forgot to give back

Criteria for reorganization
(1) Farewell ceremony to give thanks for toys and picture books that are no longer used
→ Not playing with certain toys or reading certain books is evidence of growing up. Say farewell to such things with a sense of gratitude for helping your child develop. And if you have any free gifts that your child doesn’t like, throw them away without hesitation.
When throwing a toy away, teach your child the value of things with a home-style ceremony, saying something like “Thank you for playing with me” and placing your hands together in prayer after putting the item into the garbage bag.
It’s fine to keep those mementos that you just can’t let go and want to treasure in a trunk room. Doing the same with things that you want to keep for your younger children to use later will also make your life less cluttered.

(2) Set a storage life for textbooks, worksheets etc.
  • Textbooks: Two years → Consider reviewing them
  • Exercise books: One year → But let your child master any problems he/she finds difficult before the new term begins!
  • Tests and school notices: Every term
→ Just storing test papers is no good. Before the new term begins, have your child master any problems that he/she got wrong or finds difficult and then throw the test papers away. You don’t need to keep them for your younger children. They will be given new ones of their own.

(3) Fully appreciate artworks with a special gallery, and throw old artworks away from time to time
→ Children want their parents to look at their own artworks and praise them. It’s a pity for artworks to be forgotten and just collect dust. Set up a proper exhibit space and replace the exhibits from time to time. If you want photos of them, don’t just take the artworks, take your child holding them. These photos will become a record of your child’s growth and give you even more pleasure to look at later.

(4) Quickly return borrowed items! Keep your child’s relations with other children amicable!
→ In an untidy room, borrowed items tend to get mixed up with one’s own things. Holding on to borrowed items can lead to a loss of trust from other children. For your child’s social development, make sure he or she looks after borrowed items properly.

[Points on storage in your child’s room]

The basics on children’s rooms

“My child can tidy up properly at preschool or school, but is very messy at home,” laments one mother. That’s because she hasn’t properly chosen places for her child’s stuff to go. First, firmly decide where each item should be kept.


Has your child’s desk become somewhere to just put things on?
One tip to help children focus on their studies is not to have too many things on their desk or in their line of vision. Arrange the environment around your child’s desk to make them clearly understand that it is a place for studying.

  • Arrange textbooks, exercise books and dictionaries on the desk so that they are easily accessible.
    - Give place of priority to study tools by arranging them on the desk so that your child can start studying immediately. Comics and other books unrelated to schoolwork will disturb your child’s studies, so keep them somewhere else.
  • Categorize worksheets and keep them in labeled files.
    - The aim is for children to be able to organize their worksheets by themselves. If your child finds it difficult to use files, start with an A4 size box to put all worksheets in.

  • A portable “study kit” can also be effective!
    - There are probably many younger children who like to study in the living room so that they can be with their parents. In this case, keep everything your child needs for studying in one box rather than leaving them in the living room. Teach your child to always return these things to the box after studying. Understanding that the living room is a shared space is an early step toward learning social skills.

  • Partition drawers according to their contents
    - Store things in partitions so that it is easy to see at a glance what’s where. Most desk drawers come with only a few partitions, so try using boxes available at 100-yen shops, for example. To enable your child to organize things alone, keep the number of tools such as pencils to a minimum. Children do not get higher grades by having many things. What looks like too little to an adult is just the right amount.

  • Creating a place to keep valuables increases a child’s motivation!
    - Children who cannot get the hang of tidying up may feel that they are being forced to be tidy. To foster independence in children, first of all creating a place where they can store their favorite things may increase their motivation.

Clothing and accessories
  • Sort by type into drawers or boxes
    - Set your child the goal of being able to get dressed alone! To help your child understand, sort items out properly and use clear partitions so that items don’t get mixed up.

  • Prepare a temporary storage box to prevent clothes being left lying around
    - Pajamas, jackets etc. tend to be left lying around carelessly on the bed or the floor.
    Prepare a special box for clothes that are not always washed after wearing. Having no lid means clothes can just be tossed in, making it easier for your child to get used to putting things in and out of the box.

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