How to organize kid’s bedrooms and setup a functional kid’s room that is easier for them to keep tidy and organized.
Week seven of ten! Yay! Tackling this week’s challenge means that you are nearly there and I’m sure you are feeling thrilled to have made so much progress in the organization of your home. Room organization ideas for kid’s bedrooms vary greatly based on the stage and age of your child(ren) as well as based on the other rooms you have in your home.
As you purge your home
One thing that can start to happen as you work on purging and organizing all of the accessory spaces in your home is that piles might begin to build up of things to sell, donate, or throw out. That definitely happened to me this weekend as I worked my way through my boys’ bedrooms. There is a large pile of stuff to donate and/or sell that is now taking up space in our garage.
I’m going to try to deal with it this week, but knowing how busy our weekdays can be it may have to wait a few extra days. Be patient with yourself and your home, as there can sometimes be more mess during the process than there was before. Remember that in the long run these room organization ideas will pay off. Before you know it, you’ll be living in a much less cluttered space with efficient and functional systems in place that will help keep you tidy and organized going forward. These room organization ideas and this process will definitely help you achieve that goal.
Room organization ideas for kid’s rooms
Back when I originally tackled this challenge in 2017 my boys were five years younger (at that time, they were 6 and 9). Their needs were different, but there were still several aspects of dealing with their bedrooms that apply today. You might want to check out my original article about How to Completely Organize Kid’s Rooms. I also did some research on the best room organization ideas and wrote this article: Fantastic Ideas for Organizing Kid’s bedrooms.
If you read my original organization article on organizing kid’s bedrooms, you will see that a lot can be done even in a small shared bedroom space. When I look back at it, I’m amazed at how much storage and function I packed into their shared bedroom at the time.
Fast forward five years and the boys both have their own bedrooms with a good amount of space for their belongings. But the steps remain very much the same, despite the change in their age and stage of life. This post is all about the steps I followed to get our boys rooms purged and organized.
Room organization ideas and my favourite process for tackling the chaos of kid’s rooms
Step One: Purge
Clothing is one of the biggest items to purge, because it’s hard to keep your room tidy and put your clean clothes away when there is just way too much stuff in your dresser. This is especially the case for my youngest who gets hand-me downs from his brother as well as his older cousin. He has a large dresser in his main bedroom as well as a smaller dresser in his closet. We went through and got rid of nearly two garbage bags full of clothing that are too small, worn out, or that he doesn’t like and will never wear.
I started by having the boys try on everything to make sure it fits and that they will wear it. From there, we sorted into two piles: (1)things to keep and (2) things to donate or pass down to your brother (for my oldest). Things definitely get messier before they get better!
Keeping on top of clothing changes is one of the biggest ongoing organizational jobs that we have with children, so doing this once won’t be enough. But once you have good systems in place in your children’s bedroom, it will be quicker and easier to switch out their clothing by size and season on a semi-annual basis.
In addition to purging clothing, you will want to go through books, toys, and keepsake types of items. Some children have more trouble letting go of things (cough cough: my youngest) while other kids don’t need to hang on to items. Based on their personality you may need to build in more storage spaces for items that they really want to hang on to.
Step Two: Determine your organizational needs
Once you’ve purged and are down to having those items in the room that you plan to keep, it’s time to think about what you have and how you can store it efficiently. Make a list of all the items you need to create a home for and list all the storage solutions that you already own. Create a plan for what you need by looking critically at what you already have in place, and what things don’t currently have a designated home.
Think outside the box when it comes to storage! You might consider placing a dresser or a cube storage unit inside the closet, or even build some shelving in your closet. Do you need additional furniture? A new dresser, desk, or bookcase? A couple of months ago we ordered my son a new, tall bookcase so that it would fit better and store ALL the things in his new bedroom, as the smaller ladder shelves we had in our previous house just weren’t working in his new space.
I also knew that I needed storage for handed down clothing that does not yet fit my youngest, and these cube bins worked perfectly…
Also consider less-used spaces such as the dead zone under the bed, or the upper shelf in the closet for less frequently used items. Do you need totes? Baskets? Open storage bins? What will work best for the specific combination of items that you need to store?
Step Three: Buy or source storage solutions
I didn’t really need to do this for my boys this time, as we had several bins and baskets that we were able to use from years past. Go back to your list, and source what you might need; whether that’s a dresser or bookcase, or bins or baskets for smaller storage.
I used baskets on the bottom of my oldest’s bookcases to storage keepsakes and other smaller items so they look tidy and are easy to find.
Also… kids have stuff! Most kids and teens really like their “stuff”. This isn’t a public space. It’s not meant to resemble a picture out of a pottery barn catalog. It’s your child’s special place in their home, and they should love being in their space. Being organized doesn’t mean everything has to be locked away in bins where no one will ever see it. It’s okay to display the things that are meaningful to them, from special artwork to books and toys they love.
Step Four: Put it all back together
Organize clothing by category and group it together in drawers. Make sure your child(ren) is part of this if they are old enough so they know where to put things in their own room.
My youngest has a big collection of tech deck toys, so we store a lot of it under his bed in a low plastic tote without a lid. It’s easy for him to access and easy to tuck away.
His bookcase houses his favourite books, displays his favourite keepsake items, and also has a couple of wooden bins in which he stores (1) small toys (2) keepsake items. I know he is a bit of a ‘collector’ but I don’t want to make him get rid of all the things he has collected. We worked together to weed through what he’s collected and then created a bin dedicated to housing those items. This will be an ongoing process as we revisit the bin a couple of times a year to make sure it doesn’t become an overflowing mess.
We placed a dresser in his closet in order to accommodate the extra clothing he owns. The shelf above his hanging rod is used for storing too-large handed down clothing, so I will also have to go back and revisit it in several months time to see what might fit him for the year ahead.
He also has a tall dresser in his bedroom zone that is perfect for most of his clothing.
In our previous house, we even converted our son’s very small reach-in closet with an Ikea Pax closet system to better accommodate his storage needs in a very small bedroom. You can read more about that here.
Step Five: Keep it up
This is, of course, the more challenging part. I find that once the systems are in place, you still need to revisit kid’s bedroom organization a few times a year. Maybe your children are much more naturally organizationally inclined and independent than mine are, but I find that mine need a little review and help with purging and tidying up on at least a monthly basis. I try to think of it as modelling and practicing what it means to be responsible for your belongings and keeping your space functional. After years of ‘reinforcement’ I would say my oldest is getting more independent with this, but it’s definitely one of the parts of our home that needs the most frequent maintenance:)
Good luck this week! If you have more children, you may need more time. Or if you don’t have children but have a spare or guest room that is haunting you, now might be the week to deal with that.
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Next week I’ll be back to share ideas for organizing a family room / rec room / playroom space!
So far in this year’s updated version of the challenge, I’ve shared:
Want this in an easy to digest e-book form? You can learn more about that here!
You can see all of the posts related to my original take on this Ten Week Organizing Challenge by visiting my challenge Intro article here.
AND…the first time I tackled this challenge back in 2017, I shared these posts forWeek Seven: Kid’s Bedrooms
Each week over the course of this challenge, I’m going to be sharing my process of working through this challenge in our new home with updated tricks, tips, and organizing systems. If you want to follow along with my new version of the challenge, sign-up below for my new email list! Ten Week Organizing Challenge 2022.