Hello, Dear Readers!
Today’s post involves some of my favorite things: kids, before and after pictures, and helpful tips!
I love children’s bedrooms! They are magical places filled with color and imagination – rooms parents design carefully for their children to grow and explore art and books. The growth and exploration process can be messy for little ones, though! This is why I love organizing for children.
It was such a pleasure to organize this 7 year-old girl’s bedroom. Her mother told me her daughter meticulously saves every drawing and craft she makes because she honestly believes she will be a famous artist someday! I can definitely relate. It wasn’t until I was organizing my own childhood arts and crafts box a few years ago that I realized how much that same creative passion I used to have has developed into a love of organizing.
As you can see, I had my work cut out for me! Here are the before pictures of this space:
It was sweet listening to her mother’s trip down memory lane as we organized her daughter’s paperwork. It was fulfilling to gather up her old books and toys for donation, and explain to her afterwards that they would be going to other kids. This particular child was very anxious about seeing her beloved items go into the trash and donation bins, so it was a special challenge learning to reason and negotiate with her. We tried to make her feel in control of the process as much as possible, and overall I think it was a great success!
I spent three hours organizing this space, although I feel as though we could have spent all day! As always, I left the family with a check-list of next steps for the space, including purchasing colorful fabric bins for the white wire shelf which will get rid of the visual clutter of her games, activities, and other storage. They also need to organize the hanging clothes. The bins under the desk contain her papers for her to organize into what she wants to keep forever and what will be recycled. The boxes on the desk contain her craft supplies to be organized, many will need to be thrown out.
Here are some tips for organizing a child’s room:
- Explain to them why the space needs organizing. It is helpful to tell them they will have fun finding all the toys they forgot they had!
- Put them to work! Give them a manageable project while you are working. Not only will this help them feel more in control of what is happening to their space, it will distract them from the trash bags and Goodwill boxes you are slowly filling. 😉
- Be the parent… Don’t give in when they dig items out of the trash or beg to keep that stained and torn dress that hasn’t fit them since last summer.
- … but be diplomatic. The parent in this case was wonderful because she created a tentative container between getting rid of and keeping. This container held items in its category (e.g. art supplies, clothing, stuffed animals) for her daughter to sift through later and decide which end of the spectrum they belonged on. Of course she only did this for a small percentage of the items in the space, but it really helped the child feel in control (notice a theme?). It also helped the mama cope with the guilt-inducing process of throwing away such potentially precious items.
- Have fun! Enjoy the trips down memory lane and have fun asking each other, “Remember when…?” It will reinforce within them that organizing can be a chance to spend quality time together and that memories are so much more important than things.
I really hope this inspires you to organize your child’s bedroom. If you don’t have kids, why not take the train home and organize the childhood bedroom your parents have held on for you? At some point, the hoarder child becomes the emotionally-adjusted adult. You may have to wrangle that science fair honorable mention away from your parents, just give them a distracting task… 😉