As you and your child plan a room redo, be sure to factor in storage needs and functional demands.
Does your child do homework in his or her bedroom? Plan on a desk along with space for books and homework projects. How about overnight guests? Consider twin beds or a trundle. Closet organizers can also make space more efficient.
The box-style approach shown in the photo to the left provides a great storage solution for a less organized child. Labels can define each space, and these boxes work well for books and other items.
If space is limited and functional and storage needs extensive, consider using vertical space. Take a look at the photo to the right. The raised bed provides extra play space and a storage shelf underneath, and the three-foot raised floor in part of the room holds storage containers including one box-style shelving unit, with lots of room underneath for extra storage or a special kid hideaway.
A simple desk and chair match the style and colors in the room while working well as a homework center. There is plenty of room under the bed’s platform for extra shelves or hooks for clothes. Colors and pattern integrate all the storage and functional pieces to make the room feel creative and exciting.
These options may or may not work for your child. But no matter what, it’s important to determine what storage and functional capabilities are needed when planning the renovation. Look for extra space under the bed or on the walls. And think outside the box to make the space inviting as well as productive.
Before you get to the fun part of redecorating, the first step is getting rid of those things that no longer belong in your child’s room. Old clothes, toys, papers, and other items that your child has outgrown need to leave in order to clear the way for the new space you and your child are designing. There are many ways to approach this – here are a few suggestions.
Empty the closet: Chances are that there are scary things toward the back of your child’s closet. The best way to start over is to empty the closet and determine what will go back in piece by piece.
Sort into categories: Label one box give away and one throw away. If there are younger siblings, add a box for toys, books and clothes that can be passed down. One more box is a good idea – things that are no longer used but that your child is not ready to give up. Put the box away for six months or a year, and then revisit it.
Organize what’s left: Is your child growing out of shoes or clothes? Make a list of things to shop for as you discover them. Sort the clothes into like piles and plan to organize the closet around these categories. Take the time to determine any containers or organizing tools that will help that closet stay in shape.
Continue with shelves and drawers: Use this same strategy to clear out the rest of the bedroom. You and your child may even decide to eliminate or replace a piece of furniture.
This can be a tough process, but it’s a good life lesson for your child and a helpful approach for you. If you repeat this once a year, it will get easier and easier over time. And by the way, how is your closet looking?