Monday, February 2, 2015

Cleaning and Organizing Kid's Rooms

Welcome to week five!! We are in the home stretch now.  I hope you are slowly but surely getting your home and therefore your life more organized and free from the clutter and chaos that fills your home and also your mind!  I have three kid's rooms to share with you today. Some have been freshly cleaned, others you get to see with "real life" happening.  Just keeping it real for you.  One room I actually remembered to take before pictures - I love a good before/after comparison.

 Let's start with a before picture of my little Miss Boo's room.  Now she is the most clean and organized by nature of all my kids - but this was the after Christmas chaos with trying to figure out new homes for her new things.

And the after.... I have found that sometimes the kids rooms just need a good "mommy clean" as they like to call it.  They are pretty good about keeping things relatively straightened up, but are sometimes overwhelmed with how to keep it that way.  It's a learning process for them and it's important to let them learn it on their own while gently guiding (ask me how I learned the hard way). I firmly believe that kids need a space to call their own, a place to express themselves and decorate the way they want to.   Sometimes they even need to live in their own filth for a time so that they have the motivation in place to keep things tidy on their own. 
Before and After - sometimes you just need to purge a few stuffed animals, blankets etc off their bed. Quick and simple.  See that wall full of crazy stuff right there?? If it were up to me that would not exist. But it's important to her, a place to express herself and keep her favorite memories - so we have to compromise.  I like to let my kids put things only on the wall that I don't see when I'm walking by their room in the hallway.  That way - it looks neater in general, but they still get to express themselves in their own rooms.


Where did the doll stuff at the end of her bed go - you ask?? Here is a fun little tip for those of you with little girls who love American Girl dolls.  Turn the floor of their closet into the doll's bedroom.  A simple tension rod is a great place to hang doll clothes, and the small scale of the closet floor is perfect for a doll's bedroom.  Shhhhh - but sometimes I don't even mind if they draw or put stickers or such on the walls of the doll's bedrooms - we can always paint it if we need to!  She is almost 10 so she is responsible enough to know the difference between the dolls' walls and her own.  Boo is lucky to have her big sisters and her own stash of American Girl "stuff" to play with.  I will do a post soon on how we store it all and keep it organized - that stuff is an investment and we want to be sure to care for it well! (The investment has come strictly from Nana and Papa over the past 18 years!) 
That large box in the middle of her dresser keeps all of her girly things tucked neatly away.  It holds her hairbrushes and ribbons, bows, etc, as well as all the other stuff that little girls love on their dressers - but doesn't it look better than looking at all the stuff? Plus she loves to have her own little secret box  - I often find her organizing all her little things she loves inside.

Before and After!! 

 Every now and then I have to make the kids go through all their stuff and think about what is really worth keeping.  Sometimes it's sentimental things that can be relocated to their memory storage bins in the storage room.  They also have an under the bed box where they can store sentimental items, souvenirs, etc.   Just a quick rearranging of their shelves can do wonders in the appearance of the clutter.  Don't forget to scrub all the dust and muck off those shelves when you empty them!  We took out two full trash bags of garbage the day we cleaned her room. PS) Most of it was found under the bed.

 A desk in a child's room is a wonderful thing! Not only is it a place to create, but this little one also home schools so it's nice to for me to have a place to send her to do some independent work as well. Our space is very VERY limited in her room, but at this stage of her childhood - making room for a desk is a priority!  If you have a tiny room, you need to have a tiny amount of stuff in it.  Make your stuff match the size of your room. 

 Keeping bookshelves neat and tidy make a BIG difference in the visual clutter department! 

 The teacher in me would like to take this opportunity to remind you how crucial it is to instill a love of reading in your kids - I believe it's one of the most important aspects of sending them off into a lifetime love of learning.  Encourage them to love the classics - introduce them to REAL literature. Read out loud to them every day.  Give them books they are interested in and encourage them to read every day! Okay - back to the organizing....  One of the only real organization systems in place in Boo's room is that I store her out of season clothes in an under-the-bed storage container.  Other than that - the only things in her room are things that are used on a regular basis.
Speaking of desks in kids rooms - this is a GREAT solution to make better use of your space in a teenager or older kids room.  My middle girl Banana received this loft/desk bed for Christmas this year.  It was a small investment but so worth it! Plus, there is a little sister waiting in the wings who is already counting the days until she can inherit it, so we will certainly get our money's worth out of it.  Banana absolutely LOVES it and it is an amazing space saver.  BONUS - mom doesn't actually have to look at the unmade bed.  I hesitated for years knowing that the bed would be very difficult to make and would only serve as yet another excuse as to why she couldn't make her bed every day.  But since it is out of my line of vision, it doesn't bother me a bit! 
 It has just the right amount of storage space so that she can keep all of her art supplies right at hand, and she can keep her current art work out where is doesn't interrupt family life (it used to always be on the kitchen counter or table).  Of course - it's also the perfect spot for homework. And yes, that is a full garbage can waiting to be emptied, homework mid process, nail polish waiting to go back to it's home and shelves in somewhat disarray - like I said, keeping it real.  Her chair came from Ikea, as well as the fun color changing lights we installed under the shelf that any teenager would love! 
 This picture above makes me get a little sentimental about Banana's childhood.  With her baskets of stuffed animals and American Girl dolls still lingering in her bedroom, her own artistic expression painted on the walls, with books about the ministry of Christ on her desk - it's such a picture of leaving childhood behind and becoming a young adult.

Moving on to the last kiddos room in our house - the college kid....

 This room serves two purposes right now while Punkin lives the majority of the months of the year at college - it's also our guest room.  I think it's crucial that our college kids still have their own space and that their room is always waiting to welcome them home.  I want to be sure that this room still defines her - we keep the quilt her Nana made for her made up of squares where her friends and family wrote a special note to her at her high school graduation party. (This actually goes to college with her during spring and fall, in the winter she uses heavier bedding.)
 I think it's important to keep her special things on display - her horse-loving passion, sketches of her travels, her first flowers from her boyfriend, and a special teacup that means so much to her.

 Her special achievement awards still grace the walls, even though she sometimes removes them, momma is still so proud of her and I want to display them.

Anytime Punkin comes home on breaks, she ends up living out of her suitcases.  Not only is it frustrating for her, it makes momma crazy to see all the bags and clothes all over the floor!  This past winter break, I took everything out of her dresser drawers (which was mainly all off-season clothes) and organized them into this storage system from Ikea in her closet.   Of course, labeling really helps keep it all organized.  Now her dresser drawers are empty so when she comes home, she can just toss all her clothes in there and tuck the bags away.  It helps her feel more at home too. Every time I open her closet doors, I am greeted with the pungent smell of her leather horse tack hanging there on the door - it makes me miss her so much.

While I was snapping pictures in her room, her horse boots caught my attention so I just had to capture them.  Even though her childhood is nothing but a vapor now - there are still little glimpses here and there that take me back.  Like horse boots lined up neat in a row.  I picked up her show boots that she hastily tossed in the corner one day, to zip them up so they would keep their shape better.  It was then that I noticed the horse hair still stuck to the back of them.  I may or may not shed a tear or two as I moved one step closer to letting her go - it's a daily process that no one ever warns you about in all the parenting advice.   It's a healthy process of her becoming independent while I gently nudge her out of the nest.  Yet then I want to fly down and swoop under her and take her right back up to the nest again and keep her there forever.  Sigh....... we give them roots and give them wings.....

Okay - not sure how I got all sentimental while chatting about organizing and cleaning kids rooms - haha!! I hope this has helped and inspired you to want to simplify and organize your kids rooms too! I was tucking my littlest Boo into bed the day we got her room back in order after Christmas, and she said something I will never forget.  "Mom, it feels soooo good to go to bed in a nice clean room, it's like I don't have any worries at all - everything is just so happy!" 

Doesn't that just say it all? Clutter in our lives just clutters up our minds.  Let it go and experience the freedom for yourself - getting started is the hardest part - just do it! Then you will get hooked and want to organize the next thing....and the next thing.....and the next thing.  

Happy Organizing! 

Follow me on Instagram here and post your pictures using the hashtag #organizeeverything You can follow along and catch up on all the organizing in the links below.  It's not too late to get started! 




Organizing the Bathroom


Anonymous said...

Looks great! Love the idea of having an American Girl bedroom in the closet. How fun!