When your kids were babies and toddlers, life at home was centered around keeping them safe and providing enriching toys for them. But what about now that they are growing up? If your toddlers have grown up to big kids and tweens, it’s time to reconsider an update to their playrooms and bedrooms.
Most importantly, you should start with decluttering by getting rid of all the toys they have outgrown; many times, these toys just get buried under other toys and simply forgotten. Gather all the toys together and work through them piece by piece with your child to determine if they still play with the toys or would rather discard them. Children tend to be very cooperative with discarding when paired with a positive attitude, which is contrary to most parents' beliefs. Also, it's likely that after decluttering their outgrown and/or broken toys that there will be excess storage space; don't feel that you need to hang onto any excess storage/organizational units as they will likely be filled with clutter soon.
Then consider what your child(ren) enjoy doing and center their space around those activities (unless your goal is reduce certain activities - such as video games - in that case making those activities less accessible or desirable is key) Does your child play a musical instrument? Consider creating a space just for their instrument and supplies so that they always know where it belongs and have a regular space to practice. Also, they are likely to be spending more time on homework now that they are older, so having a personal space to focus on work is important, and make sure it is stocked with the basic necessities such as pencils, paper, etc. Having a zone that your child can hang out when friends come over is a good idea also; it doesn’t need to be any thing fancy, just a cozy space with games and activities easily accessible.
Always remember to group like items together in zones, such as a "board game zone", "lego zone", or "art zone" so that they always know where items can be found. Each child and family is unique, so consider what suits your child best and remember to keep it simple!
Judi Natareno is the Owner and Lead Consultant of Clutter Free Families.