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
As you embark
on this project, here are a few things to keep in mind:
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
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:
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.
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.
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
CRAFTS – ARTWORK AND MEMENTOS
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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 email@example.com 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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