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Putting Your Child's Bedroom in Order: Organizational tips and tricks
Cape Cod Parent and Child
April •  May 2006
By Nicole Gabai
President, B. Organized!

So, you want to help get your kids rooms organized? What a joy it is to see your child’s room neat and at the same time have it be a creative and inspiring place to work and play. You may want to ask yourself and your child why you want to get organized? Some answers might be so that every toy has a ‘home’ and can be located quickly and make clean-up a breeze. Also, to achieve a wonderful feeling of control and a sense of mastery over their space which increases their self-confidence and self-esteem. You would have no more broken or lost toys and it would make it a lot easier for the kids to have friends over.

As you embark on this project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

-Involve your child in the process as much as possible and avoid the temptation of doing it all yourself, since, in the long run, the transformation will stand the test of time if they get to participate in the design, creation and maintenance of their own space.

-Kids love to solve problems and basically that’s what organizing is all about. Kids love to put things into all kinds of neat spaces (just watch them at play sometime). If the containers are attractive and a perfect fit for what goes inside, they will find it gratifying and even fun to put things away when everything has a home and is within their reach.

-Observe and listen to what your kids are into. Ideally, your child’s room should be a reflection of who they are and what’s important to them. Make sure their room is set up according to their idea of logic and placement – this is part of making the space intuitive to him or her.

As with other rooms in the house, I recommend dividing the room into zones, 3-5 at the most. Some typical activity zones are:







The supplies needed should be kept in the same area. This includes: scissors, pencil sharpener, glue, paper, tape, stationery, bulletin board, pens/pencils and a stapler.

A place to put files for the subjects at school is key, even for kids as young as 7 years old. This could be in a drawer or a special box, whether with or without a top. When deciding what to do with all the papers, THINK VERTICAL, where all papers and magazines are standing upright. Avoid “piles” of papers laying horizontally since this makes it virtually impossible to find anything.

Archive school work. The best-of for each child can be stored in a single cardboard box with a lid. During the year, collect all your child’s favorite papers and reports in a plastic crate and at the end of each school year in June, sort the box and save the very best-of. Eventually you’ll have a manageable collection of special mementos.


The ones you probably have at home are: puzzles, board games, dolls, blocks and legos, activity sets, dress up clothes and jewelry.

Maximize shelf space, two open shelves or lots of cubbies should suffice. Use various containers, from containerstore.com or potterybarnkids.com. If you have a closet or cabinet, see-through containers are a great option, such as clear shoe boxes that are labeled, either with words or pictures, depending on the age of your child. A great resource for storing legos is box4blox.com.

For the inside of closet doors, use storage racks, hooks or clear shoe pockets to maximize dead space for dolls or stuffed animals or other small items.


Take the most common supplies such as: scissors, beads, fabric, paints, brushes, crayons, markers, buttons and glue and store them in a plastic box with a handle on top so kids can cart it around to create their art. Most likely, they want to be where mom and dad are sitting. This box can be found anywhere from Staples to a hardware store.

Create a memento box where all the best-of projects can be stored – try exposuresonline.com for affordable archival-quality boxes and albums. If the art project is too big or 3-D, consider taking photos of the best ones and creating a photo album to archive memories.

• Always store items at point-of-use.

• It’s OK to increase kids allowance or offer some reward for keeping their space organized.

• Become your child’s organizing consultant – your job is to guide, motivate and stay supportive. Ask questions to understand what will work for them. Don’t be critical or judgmental.

• Make sure to set aside at least 5-10 minutes a day for clean-up.

Remember to schedule time for a tune-up, at least one full day, once a year to update and purge old or unused items. Let your child choose the day and that way they will feel in control of the process and look forward to it too!


In their dresser, organize drawers by function or garment type, based on what’s logical for your child, ie: undergarments on one drawer and use drawer dividers from Hold Everything which are great for socks and undies. Also, PJ’s can go here.

It’s helpful to sort by function, school clothes, dressy, weekend clothes and sports. Sort by garment type, short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t’s, etc…and sort by season, spring/summer clothes are out while fall/winter clothes get stored under the bed or way up high in a closet, out of the way.


Areas to store items such as hair brushes, combs, gels, barrettes, nail polish, jewelry and a hair dryer can be the top of a dresser, cubbies in a cabinet or a drawer in a desk or dresser.

You can use boxes or baskets for different items grouped by type. You can even use recycled boxes from gifts or other packaging for this.

While it might seem like an intimidating project to tackle organizing your child's room, it's certainly worth the effort. Remember to break it down into manageable sized tasks. Maybe do just one or two ‘zones’ at a time. Work for only two to three hours per sitting when working with children. And have fun with it! Try putting a song on and see how much you can get done by the end of it. Find colorful tools (files, boxes, etc) and add fun stickers in themes your kids love, to make it their own. It really can be a project you enjoy sharing with your child. Check back in the next issue for more tips and ideas. Happy organizing!

Nicole Gabai is the president and founder of B. Organized!, a company specializing in innovative solutions for your home, office (especially paper intensive environments)and children’s rooms. The company also handles moves and relocations. She has owned the company for over six years and was previously based in New York City. She is now based in Falmouth and can be reached at nicole@b-organized.net or 508.532.2715. In addition to working closely with her clients, Nicole also presents workshops and seminars on how to get yourself organized. Her work is widely recognized throughout the northeast, from Maine to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to Tennessee and Miami and internationally in Peru and Mexico.

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