I have two busy, bustling boys (if you think I can't fit more "b"s into sentences, just try me). They go twenty thousand miles a second and their rooms were reflective of these hurricanes. Clothes strewn around, toys here there and beyond. Don't even get me started on the puzzles.
And it was exhausting! I was battling myself between, "Don't tidy up for them, they'll rely on it" (but I did, because who can stand that mess ALL. THE. TIME?) and "You can't do (preferred activity) until you clean your room" (they find ways to entertain themselves during these times and we were late for EVERYTHING).
I took myself OUT of the situation and realized the boys' rooms were missing a few key components. And because you and I are buds, I want to share these ideas with you. How to organize your kid's room.
How to Organize a Kid's Room Tip #4: Routine and predictability are key
You may or may not have discovered yet that most children absolutely thrive on routine and predictability (if you don't, PSST! It's important!!). As much as you can, give the youngsters these two things and they will garner a sense of security from the familiar.
The same idea applies to toy storage and organization. If toys, books, play items are consistently in the same container in the same place children will quickly learn how to get to those preferred items (and in time how to put them back). EXTRA CREDIT: label where the toys go. For tiny ones, put a picture on the box, the older ones can see a picture and accompanying text so that they can match!
Choose a space that is at child-level to provide that independence most children seek. Plus, you don't have to be "on-call" for each new activity. You can always place YOUR least favorite, messy, loud toys up higher for occasional use. Or at the back of your closet. No judging here!
How to Organize a Kid's Room Tip #3: Open versus closed storage
Now that you've decided where to park your kiddo's toys, you need to think about what type of storage will work best for tiny and what they're developmentally able to do.
There are basically two types of storage: open storage (baskets, containers, etc. that visually displays its contents) and closed storage (containers you can't see through. These may or may not be open at the top. Includes toy chests, boxes, etc.). And each option has great uses!
Open storage really benefits kiddos infancy through toddler hood. It encourages the children to explore the contents, but doesn't necessitate the need to dump out the container to see what treasures are inside (I'm looking at you, two-year-olds!). Some families struggle with the "cluttered" look of open storage, but there are some really cute options out there, and coordinating the storage goes a long way to a cohesive look.
Closed storage is great for school-aged children and for items like dress-up clothes or stuffed animals, that take up a lot of space when displayed openly. Again, having storage that coordinates both with the room and each other is most appealing. To them AND you.
How to Organize a Kid's Room Tip #2: Set them up for success
Clean up time can be a harrowing experience for all involved at the best of times. But organizing a child's room becomes easier for everyone when the room is set up in an age-appropriate way.
Magazines and ads are filled with gorgeous children's rooms with bookshelves neatly sorted with books, puzzles and more. And, yes, even I swooned a bit with some of the color-ordered books. But children, especially younger ones, don't have the foresight to look ahead and realize, "wow, this will really take a long time to clean up if I play with ALL my toys". They just plow in head first!
So set up their room organization so that they can succeed. Because, really, when they succeed, we all succeed!
So if your child is just starting out with clean-up (or is just not a fan), just put a few containers of well-organized toys out so that the child can a) easily access the toys which they'd like to play with without dumping out all the contents and b) return the toys to their place without too much struggle.
Not having all the toys available to play with also has the advantage of swapping out for "new" favorite activities when the current toys get stale.
The #1 Secret to Organizing a Kid's Room is.....
Okay, here's where I feel a little guilty, because, like most things early childhood, there is no "one-size-fits-all" key to organizing a child's room. But the great news is that you already hold the key to a successfully organized room. Because you know your child best!
With your unique child in mind, go through the above steps and create a room that's perfect for you and them. You already have all you need to organize your kid's room, it's just stuck in your subconscious. There's some good stuff up there! Just wait until you catch up on your sleep and rediscover it ;)
PSST! This? This is the "before" photo. You can see why I was a bit frazzled. And this is only one bookcase!