I am sharing kids’ bedroom organization ideas over on savings.com this week.
Here are the top 5 lessons I have learned while professionally organizing kids bedrooms.
One of my first professional organization jobs was to organize a 12 year old child’s bedroom. I learned a lot that day.
As a former teacher, I believe that organization is a process and it can be taught. Unless you are a born organized person like me, you have gleaned organizational tips from magazines, blogs or friends who are more organized.
Little by little you incorporate these ideas into your own home, schedule and daily routine. The rubber meets the road when you apply these new skills to your child’s bedroom.
Just as with any parenting task, it is easier to “just do it yourself,” but I have found my school-age clients to be the most moldable and easily redirected clients I have!
Today, I will walk you through the process I use to organize a child’s bedroom.
#1 Children Want Their Meaningful “Stuff” to Help Others
I started having my children help me organize their rooms when they were about 3. I would take ALL their stuffed animals out of the bedroom. We counted them -67, and then they chose what animals to give away to the fire station.
Teaching young children to de-clutter AND donate is a powerful thing. If you just ask them to pick what to get rid of, they will eliminate 2 animals. If they know that children whose house just burned down need an animal, they will get rid of 37. Every. Time.
A meaningful place to donate unneeded or unwanted items is key in anyone’s de-cluttering.
I de-clutter my kid’s rooms 3-4 times a year. Within a few years, my kids would walk up to me in the middle of the day and hand me items…
“I’m done with this; you can give it away. Donate this to kids who don’t have toys. This doesn’t fit; give it to our cousin.”
#2 Children Are Overwhelmed by Their Stuff
Many children today have attentional issues. In my teaching and professional organization experience- they have a super hard time “cleaning their rooms.” My kids flat out can’t.
The whole process is too overwhelming.
So, I do the same thing I do when professionally organizing an adult’s home; I break their bedroom into zones and all the child has to do is say, “keep it,” “store it” or “donate it.”
I decide if the donations are donate-able –or just trash.
Just like adults, there are memory items kids want to keep, but do not need displayed in their rooms.
Having boxes in the top of their closet gives them a space to put them and “keep” them, but remove them from their visual daily clutter.
#3 Kids Make Decisions; I Do the Organizing
Again, just like the adults I organize, the child’s job is just to make the decisions of what stays and what goes. I will make organizational systems for what they keep at the end.
If you are organizing your child’s room, you may want to do each section on a separate day. Here are the typical kid’s bedroom zones: clothing, school supplies and old papers, stuffed animals and memorabilia, toys, collections, books, jewelry, makeup, etc.
My goal is to get through a child’s room in 2-3 hours. My professional organization sessions for adults are 5 hours long.
#4 Moms Don’t Help
Sorry. Moms are sentimental about the 67 stuffed animals and the shirt that is 4 sizes too small. They want to keep the object to remember their child’s younger days.
Fine. But not in this bedroom. Seriously, every mom tries to “help me” while I organize their child’s room. And every one leaves within 30 minutes because it is too painful for them to see their child not want to keep the Mickey Mouse ears from the trip 5 years ago.
I remember having the same feelings when I started letting my kids decide what went at the age of 3. Even I wanted to keep a few of the stuffed animals that were being donated.
“Don’t you want the Clifford that we gave you when your sister was born?” I stopped myself. Seriously. He has the sister. Is going to take the Clifford to college one day? Let it go.
#5 Mom Can Keep Anything She Wants
I do not donate or trash anything from a kid’s bedroom. The bags are labeled for mom to go through and decide what she wants to box up and keep- for HER.
Do You Need a RESET DAY?
When my kids get overwhelmed, we stop and have a reset day where we take the day to get everything back where it needs to go and start over.
I shared Why I can’t organize myself like I can organize you. It takes me a week to get my 2 kids’ rooms organized. I could organize someone else’s kids in 5 hours.
Maybe you’d like Carol or me to come organize your kids and hit the reset button for you!