Tips for Functional Kids' Spaces
It's been a while for me, but I remember very clearly the constant balancing act between keeping my home looking nice and allowing my kids to play in fun, messy, and creative ways. We all have our own tolerance levels...and that even varies day by day. Here are a few thoughts from a seasoned mom for those of you still in the thick of it!
Keep your sense of humor even when you can’t keep your sense of style! These years DO go by quickly!
- Hanging hooks are your friends!
- Labels with words (or pictures for little ones). Have fun with it…let it suit your aesthetic as well.
- Train them to store like items together…you can use broad categories for little kids, such as things that go…building toys…and then get more specific according to your child’s age.
- Involve them in the process - kids are born sorters.
- Put a clothes hamper in their room and train them to use it when young. (Hampers are also a great option for containing stuffed animals).
- Create a comfy reading nook for them to retreat to.
- Make it easy for them to succeed (closet at right height). Everything within reach.
- Function is the goal...aesthetics may need to suffer. Think big picture here!
- Too many choices can actually discourage your child from wanting to be in the space.
- Try to avoid the giant toy box...it just becomes a catch-all.
- Rotate items as your space allows…kids lose interest, retain the novelty factor.
- Periodically purge items. Enlist your child here. Sometimes it's harder for parents to let go of items when kids are fine with it. (I've been guilty of this myself).
I have so many fond memories of the amazing playroom we had when my kids were little. It looked like a preschool classroom - complete with zones for reading, music, puzzles, building, dress-up, arts and crafts, etc.
A few playroom basics:
- Create zones and depending on your kid’s age and interests.
- Make it easy for them to put things away…label and easy access.
- Big bins for dress up..baskets for books…hooks…individual boxes for puzzles, separate craft items in their own clear bins.
- Only provide access to the items you want them to get into! (a.k.a. I hate glitter glue)
- Dump the boxes and containers for everyone’s sanity. Makes more room too.
- One of my favorite things…the clear shoe, sweater, etc boxes from Container store .These are great for kids who need to SEE everything.
- Make it inviting and warm so they will want to be there.
- Just because you have an organizing unit, doesn’t mean success…it has to make sense.
- Kids do really want to please you!
Do you need help figuring out your kid spaces?
I regularly work with clients to develop customized systems that make sense!
I’d love to work with you to come up with creative solutions for your kids' spaces – or any room that needs attention. Never worked with a professional organizer before? It’s not as scary as it sounds – just call me to discuss any projects you’re considering. We can chat, strategize, and see if we’re a good fit. The call is complimentary – so you have nothing to lose.
What are some of the systems that work for you? Any tips to share? Chime in! We all need tips and tricks...
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