Storage Solutions And Declutter Tips For Kids: Divan Beds, Shelving And More
April 4, 2018
Let me first start off by saying that I’m not judging anyone here! Some people just naturally lean toward being neat and organised, and others may live in ‘colours chaos’ …or maybe you fall somewhere in between. It’s all good!
But the simple point I’d like to make here is that if you would colours your son or daughter to have a clean and organised bedroom, it’s best to be a role model for your child and set up this type of living environment throughout the rest of the house.
Think about it: what if someone came up to you right now and told you they could tell you the secrets to becoming a millionaire and not have to work another day in your life. You are thinking, “Great! Tell me how you did it!” Then that person says to you “Well, I’m still working in a 9-5 job I hate, but the steps you need are all right here in this ebook I wrote. Just go to my website and buy it for $49.99.”
Wouldn’t your BS meter go off instantly? You would be thinking to yourself, “OK, buddy why aren’t you using the method that you are trying to sell me?”
Kids happen to have the same BS meter as we do. If you seem to be always after your child to clean up his room and keep it that way, but the rest of the house isn’t precisely up-to-par as far as being neat and tidy, then there is a disconnect here. Your child will think, “Why does my bedroom have to be the only neat room in the house?” There will be a constant struggle between you and your child, and nobody will end up happy.
Again, your house may be neat as a pin – or it may not be. In either event, you are still a good person! I swear! I’m just trying to make the point here that we need be models of what we would like to see in our children.
A cluttered living environment tends to weigh on us (and our children) mentally. It doesn’t feel good. Some parents (I was one of them) may need to start with themselves and clear away the clutter in the rest of the house first. Things are more organised when there is a specific spot designated for every item that you own. If you run out of places to put things, then you may need more efficient shelving, or maybe you just need to have less stuff. Donate usable items to charity, and recycle the rest. You will feel happy and light!
Again, I’m not making judgments here, but I have come to realise that life is less about the ‘stuff’ you own and more about the experiences you share with your children, spouse, family, and friends. OK? OK. Let’s go organise your child’s bedroom!
Go into your Kid’s Bedroom and Have a Look Around
The first thing to do is: don’t feel overwhelmed! Remember that you are going to take things step-by-step. Just look around your child’s bedroom and notice what it contains: toys, games, clothes, books, electronics, craft items (markers, paints, paper, etc).
First, group all the like items. Put all the clothes together in one pile, all the craft items together, all the games together, all the polly pockets together, matchbox cars together, etc. You get the point.
Next you are going to go through all those piles you created and break them down even further. Create three piles: keep, donate, and toss (or recycle if you can). Put the “keep” piles to one side of the room (or on the bed – whatever works for you). Immediately donate and toss the other two piles. You will automatically have more space to work in. Ahhh, this room is starting to feel better already! Now you know that all the stuff in the place is here to stay, and you can start to think of how you want to arrange it.
A side note: Some people say that it’s important to have your child involved in the process of sorting through items and getting rid of things. I know that some kids will not handle this very well. I have two daughters, and the younger one falls into this category. She holds onto every little scrap of paper and every outgrown item as though it were a unique treasure. When I organised her bedroom, I knew it would be a huge struggle to have her help out in the beginning stages. I kept her out of the room while I was getting rid of things because I knew how she would react: with tears, most likely.
The bottom line is that she didn’t notice what was missing after all was said and done. If anything, she could now see things in plain sight that she’d forgotten she even had. Not once did I hear, “Mommy, where did you put that shoe box filled with sticks and rocks that I was saving?”
So anyway, other kids (like my older daughter) will be ready to pitch right in and help determine what they no longer use/need. Make sure your children know that they are doing a good deed by donating their unwanted toys and clothes. Build them up! Tell them how proud you are of them and what a great thing they are doing!
Televisions, computers, and video games in the bedroom
About all that media: It is a personal choice, but I would highly recommend removing televisions and computers from your child’s bedroom. This way you can keep an eye on what they are watching on TV as well as with whom they are chatting online. This will also allow them to have their bedroom as a sanctuary rather than just a place to go and “plug in”. Not only that, but it will free up space in the room and lessen that cluttered feeling.
Creating zones within your child’s bedroom
No matter the size of your child’s bedroom, you should create zones for dressing, reading, play, and sleep. The dressing area can be a closet with a chest of drawers and mirror nearby. In the reading area add a bookshelf and comfortable place to sit. Older children may need a desk for homework and studying. Make sure there is sufficient lighting in this area. The play area can hold toys and a nice colorful area rug. If the room is large enough, a kid-sized table and chair set would work well for games and art activities. Make the sleep area comfortable with soothing colors and cozy cotton bedding.
Now that you have set your zones, you will probably need to invest in a storage system for each area of the room. Remember that you can get more efficient storage from vertical wall space with shelving than you can from horizontal space like bins and toy boxes. Also, bins and boxes tend to be less accessible whereas shelving can be easily labeled and items put back in the correct place. Divan beds with drawers are a great solution for added storage in a child’s bedroom – see some cheap divan beds here.
Here are some suggestions for storage in your different zones:
Dressing area: In the closet make sure rods for hanging clothes are at the appropriate height for your child. Don’t forget about the inside of the closet door as a storage area. You can hang a canvas shoe holder there to store shoes, or things like socks and underwear. If the room is really small and the closet is large enough, consider putting a small chest of drawers inside the closet to maximize space, or invest in an entire closet organization system and ditch the chest of drawers altogether.
Reading area: Bookshelves are a must in the reading area. Again, make sure they are the appropriate height for the child. Older children may need a desk with drawers to hold school supplies and a filing system for papers the want to keep.
Play area: I highly recommend vertical shelving in the play area to hold games and toys. If your child has toys with small pieces, put like items in bins then label the bins, and put them on the shelves. If the child is too young to read, use both the word and picture for the label. This will not only help them put their toys in the correct place, it will also help them learn to read.
Sleep area: In the sleep area, put a little night stand next to the bed that can hold books, a cup of water, a cd player or anything else your child needs for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Help your child maintain their new space
The final key to organization is maintenance. Make sure your children get into the habit of putting all of their things away at the end of the day. Picking up should be a breeze because everything has a clearly defined place. Your child will no longer feel overwhelmed at the task of cleaning his or her room because it will become ingrained and automatic if they are prompted on a daily basis. Also, remember to periodically donate and toss out items that your child no longer needs or uses. Being organized will bring a greater feeling of peace into their lives and help them to feel in control of their world.