Friday, January 16, 2009

Organizing Children's Rooms

This is the time of year that we all resolve to be more organized. As the keeper of a small home, I find organizing and simplifying to be essential to conserving the space we do have. I was changing Little Man's diaper last week and took a good look around the kids' room. An image of our nursery for brand new Lady-in-Waiting came to mind, and I chuckled to myself.

The first nursery was equipped with a Diaper Genie, wipe warmer, dresser, changing table and crib. A toy box stood ready for the deluge of the first Christmas and birthday. The closet was jammed with little pink outfits. A Precious Moments wallpaper border and feminine pictures on the wall shouted, "It's a Girl!" As Lady-in-Waiting became more mobile, the room was generally a mess. When we added an extra bed and an extra child, it was not able to be walked through most of the time.

We realized that in order to fit three children into one room, some changes had to be made. Now there is a trash can in the place of the original Diaper Genie which with regular emptying by Crown Prince and a spray of Febreze once in a while works much better than the Diaper Genie for keeping away odors. The wipe warmer is long gone--all it seemed to do was cook the wipes.

We kept the crib and the dresser and changing table, but with a new twist. The changing table became shelves for toys. Now the kids don't dump the whole toy box (which is no longer there anyway) trying to find the stray Legos in the bottom of the box.

The crib doubles as a changing table. There's plenty of room to store diapers and wipes and a small basket for other changing essentials at the foot of the crib since Little Man is still less than 3 feet long.

The dresser had been subjected to much wear by two energetic kids and two of the four drawers had fallen apart. Now, each of the older kids has a drawer for underwear, socks and pajamas and the empty space at the bottom became Little Man's closet. A heavy-duty curtain rod works nicely for little outfits to hang.

A small Sterilite storage box with drawers is good enough for Little Man's other clothes and takes up much less space. Under bed storage bins have become lifesavers for doll and dress-up clothes, stuffed animals and the next two sizes of clothes for Little Man (who is already into 3-6 months!). With a bookshelf and a double rod in the closet (these upgrades are still in progress), the kids' room will be a fairly organized place to be.

As for decorating for a little girl, an energetic boy and a baby, well that's a future post!

What organizing tips and tricks have helped you in your children's rooms?


  1. I'm working on that one! :-) I have an almost 9yod(next week), a 6yod and an almost 2yos(2nd of Feb) and one on the way! We live in a small 2 bedroom apartment and it is tight! So, organization is essential to making this work;-)

    I've been a bit tired, not to mention overwhelmed by the clutter/un-organized problem of our home and so haven't got much of it done. We plan on moving our little man into the room with the girls and new wee one will be with us in our bedroom. The girls will have a bunk bed and Liam will move to the toddler bed. I'm not sure how to do the other organizing..but we will do it somehow:-)

    I am inspired by what you shared though...thanks!

    Lots of love,

  2. My favorite thing, though it can be hard to be consistent with, is a weekly cleaning in the kids' rooms just like we do a weekly cleaning in the rest of the house. They put everything away, dust, vacuum, straighten the closet, empty the trash, clean under the beds and sort their laundry. This is also a good time to change the sheets or air out the room if needed. Doing these things every week keeps bedroom cleaning from becoming a huge job. I usually have a treat of some kind ready for them when they're finished.

  3. I'm very overwhelmed with our clutter problem, too, Sommer. We are remodeling our bedroom still and things are stacked everywhere in the house from that. I love your idea, Sandy! My kids also have their own vacuum cleaner in the room and love it--at least now they do. LOL!

  4. stop by my thriftymama7 blog and see what i have for you!

  5. Not being funny or anything,but I don't know how you guys manage with loads of kids, in small homes. I suppose it's easier to clean, but what you are guys going to do when you're kids hit puberty?

  6. Can't speak for everyone, but my little lady will have her own room before puberty. We don't plan on staying in our 2 bedroom home forever. We will either add on a room for her or move into a larger home. Even if this isn't possible, all the kids do in their room is sleep and play together. They dress and bathe and anything else "private" in the bathroom. However, we hope to give at least Lady-in-Waiting her own room by that time.

  7. Our kids' room made the same transitions... From sweet nursery with all the gadgets, to room-for-two, tweaking the extras and using the crib as changing table. (Those changing tables do make great shelves, LOL.) Today we have three boys in one room, and three girls in another room. Under-the-bed storage helps a lot, and bunk beds are *wonderful*.

    We had a small room in our house that was really only big enough for storage, and we transformed that into a Family Closet. (You can see it on my blog here:
    It freed up a lot of space in our bedrooms. We no longer need those bulky dressers! We love it, and an added bonus is that it's located right next to the laundry room.

    Like your family, ours dress in the bathrooms, not in the bedrooms.

    Not every house can accommodate a family closet, but many can with a little creative arranging.

    ...So that's my favorite organizing idea!

  8. Oh, Tammy, I love it--looks so neat! I've been trying to figure out how to do this in our basement. We already have a clothes rod and an old dresser with drawers down there by the laundry room. We have virtually no closet space in our room, so it poses a big problem for hanging clothes especially. Tell us more how it works for you all.