Your challenge this week is your kids' bedroom organizing project. This week's task is important not only so these rooms in your home are not an eye sore, but also so your kids can really use and enjoy their rooms to their fullest.
All of us want a space to call our own, and whether our children share a room, or have one all to themselves, somewhere in that room is most likely "their" space. This week our goal is to make that space both functional and fun to be in.
Just like with last week's challenge the steps below may be something you do all on your own if you have very young children. However, if you have older children these steps really should be taken together with your child, because your kids need to be involved with organizing their own rooms.
Are you new here? This kids' bedroom organizing challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).
In addition, if you've got more than one room to organize because you have several children you may not get them all done during one week. That is OK. Just do as much of this challenge as you can and plan to work on more areas, or other children's rooms later as you have time.
You can't organize a room until you know what you're supposed to be doing in it.
In the case of bedrooms there is typically one obvious function -- sleeping. That is generally the primary purpose for this room, so obviously you need to organize and create a space that fulfills this function.
However, bedrooms often serve many other purposes too, called secondary functions. Another obvious one that we addressed last week was storing clothing in your child's closet. Additional typical functions for a bedroom can include:
There are no right or wrong functions for your child's bedroom, but make sure you know the priority for its functions and make sure all the top priorities are served before trying to accomodate lesser ones.
Also, be willing to move certain activities to other areas of the house instead of having everything occur in the bedroom. For example, perhaps you've been insisting that your child do her homework in her room, but she needs supervision to get it done properly. Then, at this time studying shouldn't be a function of the bedroom but instead this activity needs to be done somewhere more convenient for you to supervise. Therefore, consider moving out the desk, or converting it to an art and puzzle area instead of a study space.
Also, be aware that the functions of the room can change with time, as your children get older. That is why organizing is not a static process, but instead one you must engage in over and over, always making adjustments for changes in situation.
With the functions you've determined freshly in your mind set about decluttering your child's room. Some items should be donated or sold, others are trash, and other stuff should not be in the bedroom, but instead moved to somewhere else in the house.
I would suggest doing this step of the kids' bedroom organizing challenge at the same time that you do step 3 below, because once you set up the zones for your child's room you'll be able to see what does not belong and needs to be removed from the room more easily.
You can check out my full list of bedroom and closet clutter to consider getting rid of here.
Once you've decided what activities should be done in your child's bedroom (and which shouldn't) make sure you create space within the room to accomodate the activity.
The best analogy I've ever heard for these zones is to compare it to a kindergarten classroom, where the room has all kinds of activity centers. The reading zone has a bookshelf and a comfy place to sit, the arts and crafts zone has a nice flat surface to work on and craft supplies at the children's fingertips, etc. Your goal in the Kids' Bedroom Organizing Challenge is to create similar zones in your child's room so they can easily and happily use it for all its primary and secondary functions.
Children need adequate rest, so the most important part of this Bedroom Organizing Challenge is to make sure they have a nice calm, uncluttered area around their bed so they can sleep peacefully each night.
This also includes a wide path to walk through to and from their bed to the door, so it is easy for them to get in and out of bed as needed, even in the dark.
You can use storage bins and tubs to
separate items for use in different zones
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Here are some ideas for other common zones to consider creating when doing the kids' bedroom organizing challenge:
It is important to remove things from your kids' bedrooms that send a conflicting signal about its function. For example, if arts and crafts are off limits within the bedroom for your child then don't store arts and craft supplies in there. It encourages rule breaking, and also makes it less convenient to actually do the arts and crafts in the area you want them done in.
Plus, a large part of feeling organized is having empty space to stretch out in, and do activities without feeling cramped. Just because you can pack a room to the gills doesn't mean you should. If an item doesn't fulfill one of the functions of the room it should be outta there!
The other part of making zones for the activities in your child's room is that everything in the room needs a place to be put away or kept while it's not in use. Again, think back to the kindergarten room analogy. Not only does each activity center have space to actually do the activity in, but there are also storage containers, shelves, drawers, etc. to hold the supplies when they are not in use.
Everything should be easy to get out, and to put back up. This is especially important for kids, who can't be expected to lift heavy objects up high to put them away, or wedge objects into tight spaces to make everything fit.
Here are some criteria and tips to keep in mind when choosing bedroom storage solutions for your child's room:
I would love to know how the Kids' Bedroom Organizing Challenge is going for you. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized this area of your home below in the comments.
In addition, I also love before and after pictures, and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall Of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from your task this week of kids' bedroom organizing.
However, I want you to know that next week we're going to tackle a big part of the clutter in children's rooms, their toys and games, so you don't have to worry about that too much this week. Focus on all the other stuff in their rooms this week.