Making Room...in the Kids' Bedroom

Is there such a thing as an organized kid’s bedroom? I’m sure there are some out there somewhere. It’s one of the most common battles I hear from clients with children. It’s just one room in the house; why is it so difficult to keep it organized? Take heart. There is a way.

The age of a child is going to provide some direction on how to organize the bedroom. If your child is a toddler, the approach you take to organizing it will look much different than when she’s a tween. Some organizing ideas and tools will be handy no matter the age of your child. However, just as your child will grow, so will the organizing strategies evolve.

One of the first strategies you’ll want to consider is providing a model for your child to follow. Does her bedroom really look so different than the other rooms in the house? Some research suggests that children’s behavioral patterns are set by the age of three. You can count organizational skills among those behavioral patterns. Monkey see, monkey do. As with other behavior you model for your children, your approach to keeping an organized home is one lead that may be followed. Sure, it’s best to begin at the beginning, but new habits can be created at any time. The key is to be consistent.

Before you bring in the bins and baskets (which should never really be done first) decide how the room will be used. Yes, of course it’s a bedroom; it’s a room for sleeping. What else do you envision for the room? Will it serve as a playroom? Will homework assignments be completed here? Is the room where your child will spend quiet time? Your vision for the room will help guide your organizing choices. Let’s break it down by age group.

Toddlers

 If you’re family with toddlers, get down to their level and take a good look around the room. Looking at the space from their eye level will give you a completely different perspective and help determine what will work best for your child to help maintain an organized room. For anything they will be responsible for putting away, like toys and books, storage as close to the floor as possible will be most useful.

During the toddler stage, closet space may be best utilized for anything but hanging clothes. Think about moving the closet rod as high as possible for what does need hanging and use the remaining space for shelving or a bin system that can be easily reached by the little ones. This will help engage your toddler in learning where things go and will be especially useful when it’s time to put it all away.

Make a game out of keeping the room organized. Kids at this age love to help and if it sounds like fun and not a chore, they’ll be happy to jump right in. All of that sorting and stacking of wooden blocks and colorful plastic rings that kept your baby so busy is about to come in handy.

The elementary school years

At this age, kids can take on the responsibility of keeping an organized room. It’s still all about accessibility. Hang a second rod from the top rod in the closet so that it’s at a reachable level. Hooks may also be a good option on the back of the door for hanging jackets, hats and backpacks that are used routinely.

Kids are used to their classrooms being set up in zones, so mimic that idea in their bedroom. Set up a reading nook, a place to store board games and collectables like stuffed animals or action figures. Use the zone method for clothing, too. Store jeans with jeans, hoodies with hoodies, pjs with pjs. You get the idea.

Tweens

Changes happen quickly at this stage, and the kiddie bedroom may be ready for a makeover. The room may now be homework central, so the play space may need to become study space. The focus of the room may be on visual organization vs. clutter control. Containers on shelving, a desk with storage and a pegboard to house everything from baseball hats to jewelry are good options to maximize space.

By this time, an organizing style may have emerged, hang vs. fold for example. Access is still key, so choose organizing tools that best compliments her style. If she’s involved in the choice, she may be more inclined to manage the system.

Is there such a thing as an organized kid’s bedroom? I’m sure there are some out there somewhere. It’s one of the most common battles I hear from clients with children. It’s just one room in the house; why is it so difficult to keep it organized? Take heart. There is a way.

The age of a child is going to provide some direction on how to organize the bedroom. If your child is a toddler, the approach you take to organizing it will look much different than when she’s a tween. Some organizing ideas and tools will be handy no matter the age of your child. However, just as your child will grow, so will the organizing strategies evolve.

One of the first strategies you’ll want to consider is providing a model for your child to follow. Does her bedroom really look so different than the other rooms in the house? Some research suggests that children’s behavioral patterns are set by the age of three. You can count organizational skills among those behavioral patterns. Monkey see, monkey do. As with other behavior you model for your children, your approach to keeping an organized home is one lead that may be followed. Sure, it’s best to begin at the beginning, but new habits can be created at any time. The key is to be consistent.

Before you bring in the bins and baskets (which should never really be done first) decide how the room will be used. Yes, of course it’s a bedroom; it’s a room for sleeping. What else do you envision for the room? Will it serve as a playroom? Will homework assignments be completed here? Is the room where your child will spend quiet time? Your vision for the room will help guide your organizing choices. Let’s break it down by age group.

Toddlers

 If you’re family with toddlers, get down to their level and take a good look around the room. Looking at the space from their eye level will give you a completely different perspective and help determine what will work best for your child to help maintain an organized room. For anything they will be responsible for putting away, like toys and books, storage as close to the floor as possible will be most useful.

During the toddler stage, closet space may be best utilized for anything but hanging clothes. Think about moving the closet rod as high as possible for what does need hanging and use the remaining space for shelving or a bin system that can be easily reached by the little ones. This will help engage your toddler in learning where things go and will be especially useful when it’s time to put it all away.

Make a game out of keeping the room organized. Kids at this age love to help and if it sounds like fun and not a chore, they’ll be happy to jump right in. All of that sorting and stacking of wooden blocks and colorful plastic rings that kept your baby so busy is about to come in handy.

The elementary school years

At this age, kids can take on the responsibility of keeping an organized room. It’s still all about accessibility. Hang a second rod from the top rod in the closet so that it’s at a reachable level. Hooks may also be a good option on the back of the door for hanging jackets, hats and backpacks that are used routinely.

Kids are used to their classrooms being set up in zones, so mimic that idea in their bedroom. Set up a reading nook, a place to store board games and collectables like stuffed animals or action figures. Use the zone method for clothing, too. Store jeans with jeans, hoodies with hoodies, pjs with pjs. You get the idea.

Tweens

Changes happen quickly at this stage, and the kiddie bedroom may be ready for a makeover. The room may now be homework central, so the play space may need to become study space. The focus of the room may be on visual organization vs. clutter control. Containers on shelving, a desk with storage and a pegboard to house everything from baseball hats to jewelry are good options to maximize space.

By this time, an organizing style may have emerged, hang vs. fold for example. Access is still key, so choose organizing tools that best compliments her style. If she’s involved in the choice, she may be more inclined to manage the system.

As your child is growing like a weed into different size clothing, set up a donation box in her room, especially if the clothing won’t be handed down to another family member. Encourage your child to add toys that are outgrown to the box as well. If she’s beginning to make decisions about how she spends her own money, now is a good time to introduce the ‘one in, one out’ rule, too.

The approach to organizing a kid’s bedroom is not so different than how you tackle organizing any other room. With kids, of course, there is a large component of teaching to be done. Kids are like sponges, soaking up all that they can learn, so start as early as you can to build a lifestyle of being organized. Before you know

it, they’ll be heading off to college. Organizing the dorm room will be child’s play.

 

The approach to organizing a kid’s bedroom is not so different than how you tackle organizing any other room. With kids, of course, there is a large component of teaching to be done. Kids are like sponges, soaking up all that they can learn, so start as early as you can to build a lifestyle of being organized. Before you know it, they’ll be heading off to college. Organizing the dorm room will be child’s play.