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 showed it. Clothes were strewn around, toys here there and beyond. Don't even get me started on the Lego.
I hated it. 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? Not me.) and "You can't do (preferred activity) until you clean your room" (they found ways to entertain themselves anyway and we were late for EVERYTHING). Gah!
So I sat back, took myself and my mama angst OUT of the equation, scoured the early childhood education sector of my brain for ideas for kids’ rooms, and realized the boys' rooms were missing a few pretty important things! And, not one to leave you struggling too, I want to share these ideas with you! Here are my top 4 organization ideas for your kids’ rooms.
Organization ideas for kids’ rooms tip #4: Routine and predictability are key
You’ve probably discovered that routine and predictability are pivotal for little ones (hello, “I have to use my YELLOW bowl for breakfast!!!”. Even though red is his favorite color and the yellow is caked in goo sitting in the sink). Want to introduce something new? Making that change as consistent as possible is totally the way to go.
Let’s apply it to our new organized room routine!! If toys, books, etc. are consistently in the same container in the same place kids will learn how to get those favorite items and one day (I swear!) how to put them back.
SUPER DUPER EXTRA CREDIT IDEA FOR KIDS ORGANIZATION: Label the containers/shelves/what-have-you with where the toys’ new homes are. For tiny ones, put a picture of the trucks on the trucks box and point this out to them as you get the hang of things. For older readers/ soon-to-be-readers slap a printed label next to the picture so that they can match!
When you’re all adjusting to the new routine, put your clean-up/organization base clearly in their reach. They’ll love having the autonomy of accessing their stuff and YOU don't have to be "on-call" for each new activity. You may still be a lot of the time, but you’ll catch a break soon once this routine kicks in!
Keep in mind, you can always hang YOUR least favorite messy/loud/annoying toys up higher. Or at the back of your closet. No judging here!
Organization ideas for kids’ rooms 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 like toy chests, boxes, etc.). And each option has great uses!
Open storage really benefits kiddos infancy through toddler hood. It encourages the kiddos 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 a great idea for items like dress-up clothes or stuffed animals that can take up a lot of space and visual “noise” when out in the open. Think of the coffee table drawers you shove random papers in when guests visit. Again, having storage that coordinates both with the room and each other is most appealing. To them AND you. Remember, the more the baskets match, the more the labeling will come into play.
Organization ideas for kids’ rooms tip #2: Set them up for success
Clean up time is not really anyone’s favorite activity even at the best of times. But organizing and tidying a kiddo’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-coordinate 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 if your child is just starting out with clean-up (or is just not a fan), put only a couple of containers of well-organized toys out so that the child can a) easily access the toys without dumping out all the contents and b) return the toys to their place without too much struggle. And those small clean-up victories? Celebrate the heck out of them. I’m talking major dance party in the (now tidy and organized) living room.
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 organization ideas for kids’ rooms is.....
Okay, here's where I feel a little guilty, because, like most things early childhood, there are no "one-size-fits-all" ideas for kids room organization. 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 youngster 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 ;)
Still feeling overwhelmed? I’ve got even more ideas for kids’ rooms (organized or otherwise)! Check out my online interior design for kids packages. They range from a little help getting started/finishing up to an entire room done with all the bells and whistles. Choose what you need!
PSST! This? This is the "before" photo. My boys' idea of tidying up.You can see why I was a bit frazzled. And this is only one bookcase!