5 must-haves for every small kid’s room from professional organizers

Even if kids are in small bedrooms, these recommendations from the experts will keep the space neat

neutral children's room with artwork
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Kids’ bedrooms are often small, and organizing them presents a challenge with so much to fit into the compact space.

Small bedroom ideas for kids need to make them spaces they’ll love and that you will, too, and that means creating a place for everything they need as well as getting the furniture and decor right.

We asked the experts to share the items vital to include in small kids’ bedrooms to ensure they are practical and ordered despite their compact size.

5 must-haves for small kids’ rooms

When kids have small bedrooms there’s plenty to accommodate in a small area from organizing toys when they’re younger to making places for books, games, the personal belongings they want on show and, of course, clothes. To keep it all available and easy to find, these are the essentials pro organizers recommend.

1. Adjustable closets

Beige bedroom with light wood wardrobe by Sebastian Cox

(Image credit: Project by House of Grey / photograph by Michael Sinclair)

To keep up with kids’ clothing, Caroline Roberts, professional home organizer and Homes & Gardens’ contributing expert, recommends an Adjustable Closet System like those at the Container Store.  

‘My kids have adjustable custom closets by Elfa at the Container Store,’ she says. ‘I love that you can move the shelves and hanging rods to adjust for growing kids.’ A design like this is a clever way to give furniture longevity, so you don’t have to buy again as they get older and their clothing collection changes.

Meanwhile, shoe racks are worth adding to any closet that doesn’t incorporate shoe storage ideas in a small kid’s room. They’ll tidy and keep pairs together. 

decluttering and organizing expert caroline roberts
Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a KonMari consultant and founder of the home organization company The Simplified Island. She and her team help clients declutter their belongings. Then they find the best places for your items so that their family members can find things and put them away. She is also a contributing expert at Homes & Gardens.

2. Under-bed storage

Underbed storage ideas with trundle bed

(Image credit: Little Folks Furniture)

The space below the bed can be harnessed to conjure a whole lot more from a small kid’s room. 

‘Measure up and shop for boxes of the maximum height that will fit underneath the bed but still slide out easily,’ recommends H&G’s Solved editor, Millie Hurst. ‘Choosing a single color for the boxes creates an appealing effect and means kids can pick an accent shade they love but that you might not want to use on all the walls.’

‘Alternatively, a bed with trundle storage will provide a huge amount of space to stash.’

millie hurst news writer
Millie Hurst

Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York. 

3. Drawer dividers

Folded clothes stored vertically in drawers

(Image credit: Getty Images / Rike_)

Drawers are valuable real estate in a small kid’s bedroom, but they need a little extra to deliver all they can, according to the professionals. 

‘I love Drawer Dividers for creating structure,’ says H&G expert Caroline Roberts. ‘We use them in toy drawers and clothes drawers. The drawer dividers keep things tidy even when my kids put away their clothes without folding.’

Don’t save dividers just for small kids’ rooms, though. They’re one of the best ways of organizing drawers all around your home.

4. Adjustable shelving

Kids room with painted floorboards

(Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

We’ve drawn attention to the merits of adjustable closets above, and adjustability is also key when it comes to shelving in small bedrooms for kids once again because it can meet their needs for many years to come.

‘It can suit large picture books, plush toys and games when they’re younger, and novels, schoolbooks and gaming equipment when they’re older,’ says H&G’s Millie. ‘And it will also make space for kids to display their most treasured items at every stage, making the room their own even if it’s a very small one.’

5. Peg rail

It might be a simple addition, but a peg rail is such an easy item to add to a kid’s room that’s small and can be used in a whole host of different ways. We like hanging pegs from Amazon but there’s a world of different woods, colored finishes, and different peg styles you might select from.

Peg rails are versatile, too. Add to a closet to boost its usefulness or position on bedroom walls where they’ll let kids hang everything from a dressing gown to bags, wall decor, and artwork.  


How do I make the most out of my small kid’s bedroom?

Maximizing floor space will make the most out of a small kid’s bedroom. Think loft bed ideas which leave space below for play, reading or homework. Alternatively, with a second bed underneath, they’re great for kids who regularly hold sleepovers. Loft beds can offer built-in storage, which could also help make more of a small bedroom, keeping it tidy and better organized.

Whether it’s a kid’s room or not, organizing a small bedroom can be tricky. What’s key to success is regular decluttering since accumulating items that are no longer needed at all, or those that are no longer required on a regular basis, in the room will overwhelm even the best organization systems. Commit to doing it regularly in the case of a child’s small bedroom since it is a critical area of the home. 

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.