Organizing Ideas
Oct 7, 2008

Organizing your child's room

By: Debra Milne
Style at Home
Organizing Ideas
Oct 7, 2008

Organizing your child's room

By: Debra Milne

Nearly every mother has those "we-can't-live-this-way-anymore" moments, when she wishes she could just roll the garbage bin into her child's bedroom and start dumping. So what's the answer? The bad news is that kids and clutter go hand-in-hand. But the good news is that you can control the clutter and even make the process a learning experience. Set aside an afternoon and start mapping out your game plan. Be sure you and your child work together, and let her or him be the decision-maker as much as possible so that your child will take ownership of the newly organized and clutter-free room. The first step would be gather about six bins, bags or boxes and label them as follows:

    * Garbage
     * Give Away or Sell
     * Put Away
     * Storage
     * Last Chance
     * Repairs

As you sort through the clothing and toys, place unwanted items in their appropriate bins.

Let's take a quick look at some helpful hints to help you organize your child's private space.

    * Consider how you can maximize storage capacity by looking under, over, inside and behind things. A large part of getting organized and controlling clutter is getting it out of sight.
    * Do not go shopping for baskets, bins, hooks or shelves until you determine your exact needs. Often, people purchase inappropriate, and sometimes expensive storage items only to find that the process was backwards.
    * Remove all items, perhaps one area at a time, to sort and purge items.
    * Determine how much of your child's items will need to be stored and/or displayed. Take measurements of the available space then look for suitable containers.
    * Take a look around the house to see what you may already have. Clean, plastic peanut butter jars, shoe boxes and baby-wipe containers are perfect for small toys, and putting them to good use provides a valuable lesson in recycling.
    * Finally, make sure you put things where they make sense and that related items are grouped together.
    * Put your child's favourite toys and games in easily accessible areas.
    * In keeping with the size of your child, low, open shelves are a functional addition to every child's room, whether along a wall or inside the closet.
    * Every item in a household should have a place where it belongs. Add a variety of stackable bins in small, medium and large sizes to give everything its own place.
    * Clear, plastic boxes are an efficient solution to the multitude of little cars, meal toys and other tiny objects that are too small for the large toy chest.
    * Plastic chains with clips are perfect for suspending a collection of baseball hats or stuffed animals in an empty corner.
    * If you put a shelf over the closet door or a window, you can make good use of otherwise wasted space to display collectibles.
    * Plastic three-drawer units organize art and/or school supplies. One drawer can hold scissors, rulers, stamps, glue sticks and tape. Another might keep stickers and sticker books handy, while the third drawer stores pictures from magazines and catalogues.

The most important thing to remember while you are working is that your child's bedroom most likely got in its present condition over weeks, months, maybe years — so you don't have to feel pressured to get it under control in an hour or even one afternoon. And, making sense out of a mess - and then keeping it that way - will be simple if you give your child the right tools — a reasonable plan and a lot of labeled bins. Best of all, cleanup will become routine and will give both of you a real sense of satisfaction. By making the best use of every available inch of space, there will be a place for everything and everything will be in its place.

Image courtesy of Restoration Hardware.


Other storage solutions

  • Under-the-bed storage drawers (especially those with wheels) are great for out-of-season clothes or treasured school/art papers.
  • Don't forget the valuable space behind doors, including the inside of the closet door. Using the backside of a door is a great way to store additional items while getting them out of sight.
  • Shelf units designed for the pantry can work in the bedroom as a home for games and books.
  • Multi-level closet rods are the only way to go in a child's closet. You can empower your child to have more autonomy by giving him or her access to their own clothing.
  • You may also want to use different-coloured hangers for each child, if more than one child uses the closet.

Image courtesy of Restoration Hardware.


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Organizing Ideas

Organizing your child's room