Day 17: Kids Bedrooms
Just like your master bedroom, a kid’s bedroom should be a relaxing place for your child to get a restful sleep. Unlike the master bedroom, children’s rooms often do double or even triple duty as their playroom and/or homework area. In a perfect world, each activity would have its own space, but often we have to make do with the space we have. Helping children divide their rooms into separate areas for each activity can help them become better sleepers, help them focus on homework, and even allow for more enriching playtime.
Kids’ rooms can easily and quickly become a source of clutter and disorganization. Learning, discovering and growing can be, well, a messy job. Helping kids get a handle on their space can help them become more conscientious, better consumers, and more careful in the long run. Like all of us, your child’s life can become overrun with “stuff,” but paring down and clearing out clutter helps them feel more relaxed and in control of their space. It also helps them value their toys and belongings, so they gain a better appreciation for what they have.
If your children are old enough, let them take an active role in cleaning and organizing their own bedrooms. Review what activities they do in their bedroom and what’s most important to them. This can foster some fascinating discussions and really spark some great connections with your child. Encourage them to donate rarely used items to charity—a local women and children’s center, nursery or preschool can be a great option. Adding an altruistic spin on clearing out their clutter can bring enthusiasm and depth to the activity.
Objective: A child’s bedroom that is clean and well organized with “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Assess the current situation: What do your children really use their bedroom for—Sleeping? Studying? Play? What items do they value and what are the treasures that make their room truly their own? Is there proper storage available for their bedroom activities? Is the bed kept clean, made and clutter free (including under-bed storage)?
1. Remove and put away any items that belong in other rooms. If necessary, use a basket to collect items, then distribute them to their proper homes.
2. Sort everything! Assess what your child truly enjoys and loves, and what has outlived its excitement.
Keep only items that:
- Are educational, stimulating, and loved by your child
- Are in good repair and clean
- Should be stored/housed in your child’s bedroom
Do not keep items that:
- Are sentimental, but rarely played with
- Have been outgrown or are no longer age-appropriate
- Are broken, missing pieces or impossibly dirty
3. Create distinct zones. Designate areas in your child’s room for sleep, play, and/or learning, as appropriate.
- Sleep items include bed and bedding, a shelf of bedtime books, and one or two stuffed animals needed for bedtime.
- Play items include learning or building toys, play sets, and items that can be housed or sorted into a type, such as Legos, action figures, dolls, play kitchen items, board games, etc. Each bunch should be sorted into a few bins that can be stored in allotted space.
- Learning items include a table, desk or writing surface, a desk chair, a computer, tablet, easel and art supplies. Sort these items into bins or containers as well and store in a cabinet, desk, or in drawers.
4. Eliminate. Purge all items that do not fit into the three categories you’ve designated, are no longer loved and used, or cannot be sorted and stored in the given space. Discard broken items and box or bag other items for donation.
5. Label everything! Label bins and storage containers clearly, using a label machine or even a snapshot glued to the outside of each bin. Everything should have a designated place. The more clearly your child can see where something goes, the more likely they are to return it to the proper place.
6. Encourage good sleep hygiene. Bedding should be clean and beds should be made each day. Beds should only be used for napping, sleeping and relaxation. Food, toys and electronics should never be brought into bed.
7. Maintain. Reassess the state of items in the room regularly with your child, as their interests change and they continue to learn and grow.
1. Smarter Storage (www.GoodhouseKeeping.com) 2. Clever Kids Spaces (ContainerStore.com) 3. Rooms for Making Memories (Ikea.com) 4. Fresh Solutions for Kid Clutter(BHG.com) 5. Space Saver Desk (MarthaStewart.com)