Samantha Stermac of Sorted Spruce Organizing Solutions reached out to us, hoping to share some information for professional organizers about organizing children’s bedrooms. As a professional organizer and mom of two, she knows her stuff! We love her advice and checklist!
Organizing Children’s Bedrooms
Organizing children’s bedrooms can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned organizer. If you’re a parent, you probably have a little additional insight into these messy and magical spaces, but if you’re not, it’s often hard to even know where to start.
Kids’ bedrooms are often special cases because they mean so much to their resident — children often use their bedrooms as an extension of themselves and a way to express their personalities. Since childhood is a time of significant changes, it’s also important that the rooms, and organizational systems within them, grow with the child.
Professional organizers working in a child’s bedroom need to factor in routines, systems, storage, and special activities the child participates in, as well as independence and future uses.
Using Routines when Organizing Children’s Bedrooms
Before digging into a child’s bedroom, discussing family routines with a parent. This will help to understand the functional needs of the room.
Most children have a morning routine and a bedtime routine, and, depending on the ages of the children, some may have a quiet time or nap time routine. Starting off with these routines may lead to discussions about other routines the family would like to have and how the new organizing solutions might better support the desired routines.
For instance, if a child often spends an hour of quiet time in their room every afternoon, it’s important you provide access to quiet toys and books.
Storage in a Child’s Bedroom
Understanding the family’s routines will give you an idea of what needs to be stored in the room. Common items in a child’s room include clothing, diapers, books, linens, medication, toiletries, stuffed animals, books, and toys.
Further discussing the family’s expectations of what needs to be stored in the room is a good time to circle back to the desired routines of the family to map out the organizational solutions.
It often makes sense to keep a little bit of an item very accessible while storing additional quantities of the item elsewhere. For example, one tube of a daily medication is a good amount near the changing table, store additional tubes in a designated backstock area.
The same is true for diapers. 20-30 diapers within reach is helpful. Put the remaining quantities of the jumbo box on a closet shelf or tucked in a drawer. Keeping too many diapers out takes up a ton of space, is unsightly, and often leads to a mess.
If the family decides that toys are going to be stored in the room, it is helpful to designate an area of the room for toys and have a realistic conversation about how much and what kinds they can store in the space.
Many children have specific hobbies, collections, or activities (scouting, sports, clubs) that may require unique storage solutions.
Keep an eye out for items in the child’s room showing their participation in activities, sports, or hobbies. Ask parents, or the child, what activities the child likes to do and what items they need to find regularly.
For instance, if the child is involved in scouts, put all the scouting items together instead of keeping the shirt in one place, the hat elsewhere, and the neckerchief in a third location. Keeping these items together will help the child be more independent in finding all the components for his or her uniform.
If a child really enjoys working on puzzles, maybe you can incorporate a large flat surface to keep a puzzle.
Other additional needs a child might have are:
- a homework station
- Lego play
- hot wheels
- sports equipment
- art supplies
- board games
Pinterest is an amazing tool to find fun ways to organize and display kid’s activities and hobbies so their room can really reflect their interests and activities.
Organizational Systems in a Child’s Bedroom
Even if the room is large enough to accommodate all the storage and activity needs the family desires, there is still a need for some systems outside of the room.
If toys are being stored in the room and there are just too many, consider suggesting a toy rotation system.
Since kids are constantly growing in and out of clothing, a system needs to be set up to house clothing that they will grow into and clothing they have out-grown. It is often helpful to have a bin with all clothing that is the next size up, with future clothing in a backstock area. Similarly, it is helpful to have a bin in the room for clothing deemed too small. Once the bin is full, the family can decide what to do with each item (store away for younger siblings or donate).
Unlike clothing, I suggest storing seasonal items by category. This includes jackets, winter gear (gloves, hats), summer gear (swimsuits, summer hats). Jackets are best stored hung up in chronological size order. I suggest a bin for winter gear and another bin for summer gear, as some items may fit year after year.
For some families, they may find it helpful to create a bin assigned to a specific activity, such as dance or karate clothing.
Be sure to label all bins so the family can understand the system you create month or even years later.
Organizing Children’s Bedrooms for Independence
Understanding what the family would like the kid(s) to do independently in the room may come up while discussing routines, but it is worth asking directly. The answers will vary depending on the age of the kid(s), but some examples may include; hanging up backpacks or jackets, putting laundry in the hamper, brushing their hair, putting toys or books away, picking out clothes, and getting dressed.
The storage solutions you implement will need to consider accessibility for the child to accomplish the tasks independently.
For instance, if you’re organizing a space for a 3-year-old who is just getting dressed on his own, you’ll want to put pajamas, socks, and underpants low enough for him to access.
Organizing for the Future
While storage solutions need to meet the immediate needs of the family, it’s worth asking if there are any foreseeable changes to the routines, storage needs, or special activities previously discussed. It is important to create sustainable systems, and it’s helpful to make sure those systems will last for the next few years.
Looking beyond one or two years may mean sacrificing the best storage solutions and systems to support the current needs. An 8-year-old’s needs are going to be a lot different from a 12-year-old’s needs, but you don’t want to forego toy storage because that child will eventually no longer play with toys.
Children’s rooms will need to evolve as their independence, interests and routines change. Storage needs can drastically change when siblings are added to the room. For more storage inspiration in a shared kid’s room, check out the Sorted Spruce blog post Anatomy of: A Shared Kid’s Room.
Organizing Children’s Bedrooms
Organizing children’s bedrooms doesn’t have to be difficult. Use the advice above, as well as the checklist, to help transform a child’s bedroom into an organized, functional space that will meet that child’s needs and serve his or her interests.
About the Author: Samantha Stermac
Samantha Stermac launched Sorted Spruce Organizing Solutions Blog and Social Channels in October 2021 as a creative outlet on an 18 month maternity leave. Sorted Spruce is a collection of organizing ideas, products and real life as a mom of two young children. Samantha holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate and Housing.