It’s Back to School season in the Chicago suburbs, which means we parents have a little more breathing room during the day… that is, until we walk into our child’s bedroom and find an explosion of papers, clothes, books, and more!
Getting organized isn’t just for your pantry, bathroom, or home office — your child’s bedroom can benefit, too. Of course, expecting their room to look clean all the time probably isn’t realistic (at least not in my house!), but thoughtful systems of organization can boost their clarity of mind, save time for everyone, increase productivity, create less stressful mornings and evenings, and even make play-time more enjoyable.
Today I’m sharing my 9 favorite tips for organizing a child’s bedroom with school success and household happiness in mind. We’re still only a few weeks into the school year, so now that all the papers, books and schedules are in, it’s the perfect time to get started.
Tip 1: Decide what is and isn’t working in the room
Take a look around your child’s room and ask yourself what is and isn’t working for them. (Or ask your child, if they’re old enough to weigh in.) The biggest areas where I see disorganization are:
- Cluttered homework zone and desk
- Disorganized closets and dressers
- Overflowing bookcases
- Messy night-stands and bedside tables
- Scary under-the-bed situations
Take a few notes and then keep reading for more tips…
Tip 2: Maximize desk space and function with organizing products
When if comes to desk organization, inside and out, you’ll want to maximize space and ensure that items can be found quickly. For desktop organization, I like to use trays and bins. Inside the desk, you can use small bins or dividers to separate the drawers into zones, such as homework supplies.
In this day and age, a charging station for electronics is also a great idea. Simple velcro wraps are helpful for keeping cords at bay. I think we’ve all tripped over at least one of those!
Tip 3: Organize closets and dressers
If your child (or you) has a closet without a system, you’re not alone. This is one area of a bedroom that I love giving tender loving care — because you and your child will feel amazing after! For your child’s room, you could:
- place dividers in dresser drawers to keep clothes organized
- have proper short/long hanging space
- use slim hangers for a closer, less crowded fit
- for open shelving, utilize bins to create “pull out drawers”
- add rod tags that separate categories or sizes of clothes
Tip 4: Have a bin for keepsakes and memories
Still on the topic of closets, one of my favorite suggestions, especially for kids who are still growing, is to have a bin for donating outgrown clothes and one for memories and keepsakes. The items that go into the keepsake bin should be limited by the size of the container, so kids are only keeping their favorite things. If the bin gets too stuffed, something needs to go before something is added in.
Tip 5: System for night-before prep
Now, let’s move into some systems that can help set your child up for success this school year… and keep you feeling peaceful, too. Depending on the age of your child, you could create a routine around setting out clothes the night before. Involve your child, or make it a game if necessary, and designate a place to put the next day’s clothes. Additionally, if you want to get uber organized, set aside a section of the closet and hang a week’s worth (Monday through Friday) of ready to go outfits!
Tip 6: Set a time for clean-up each day or week
Another system you could establish at home is setting a designated time for your child to clean up each day or week. This one depends on your family, schedule, and your child’s personality, so it’s up to you when you have clean-up time and if you want to set up a reward system.
You can also add in regular purge sessions (remember those closet bins?), seasonally or after birthdays/holidays when their possessions start to grow.
Tip 7: Create a system for school papers
Papers should be separated into “Action” (needs attention now), “Reference” (may need to see occasionally), and “Archive” (generally not managed by your kids, but rather by you) and stored in zones. Again, effective organizing products, bins, trays, etc. will help with this process. Older kids (5th grade and up) don’t have as much paper thanks to iPads/Chromebooks. In this case, it’s really more an issue for you to track and organize electronic data and communication that comes home from school/sports/etc.
Tip 8: A tasks chart
Of course, it depends on your child and their age, but I’ve found great success with tasks charts and think they’re worth a try. A tasks chart shows which tasks are to be completed in the morning, after school, and before bed. If you create a routine around the chart, use colors, add stickers, or keep it fun, your child might just be excited about tidying up their room, setting out their clothes, etc.
Tip 9: Get kids involved and keep it fun
I’ve touched on this idea in a couple of the other tips, but it’s important enough to mention on its own: you will see a huge difference if you can get your kids to be part of the organizing process and take ownership of their space. Let them be part of the decision-making process, and if necessary, make it into a game for them. A little enthusiasm will go a loooong way.
Well, there you have it — 9 tried-and-tested tips for organizing your child’s bedroom for the new school year. I hope this advice will bring functionality into your child’s room, peace into your daily routines, and above all, a GREAT school year to come. They grow up so fast!
If you decide that you need some help putting these systems into place, please don’t hesitate to reach out. This is my passion, and I’d be delighted to help you and your family!