First, make sure you have ample storage. Kids (and husbands!) won’t put things away if there isn’t plenty of room to do so. Add a dresser or bookcase if needed. Don’t buy these items new! Peruse craigslist and local classified for good quality used items.
Keep the clutter down. As we discussed in The Habits of Highly Organized People, don’t allow a lot of things to pile up on the flat surfaces of dressers or desks. Add bins or baskets – my stand-by of dishwashing tubs or even decorative ones if they will sit exposed – for small or frequently used items.
Consider adding over-the-door shoe organizers to closet and bedroom doors for items like toys, hair accessories, socks & underwear – whatever your particular room needs.
Utilize under-bed storage effectively. Don’t put items that you need everyday under the bed. Make things accessible by purchasing bins on casters or that will roll easily all the way out from under the beds to gain access to things like extra sheets, seasonal decor, memory boxes, or other less-frequently used items. For children, consider keeping things used at bedtime – pajamas, Bible or storybook, favorite animal or blanket, etc. – in bins at the edge of the bed. This can be easily pulled out regularly for daily use but hidden away so it doesn’t matter if the 4-year-old folds his blanket neatly.
In dressers, sort clothes based on use. Add dividers (spring rods or bins) for each type of clothes – one for athletic socks and another for dress socks – that you store in the same drawer. Consider wardrobe style furniture with stackable bins for items you use daily.
For kid’s rooms remember to factor in storage for stuffed animals and toys that aren’t kept in the playroom.
Remember, open floorspace and clean dresser tops makes the room look tidy!