A while back I posted about how to minimize kids’ toys, and I mentioned how we basically emptied my daughter’s bedroom. It actually would echo in there if I didn’t have curtains up! Now before you go all like “you’re depriving your child!” on me, here’s my thought process.
Bedrooms are primarily for sleeping and also for getting dressed. I keep my own bedroom very focused around these two activities. I rarely spend any time in there other than sleeping or getting dressed. I have a few books on my nightstand for before bed, and that’s it!
Studies have shown that a tidy and minimalistic bedroom improves your sleep. Many parents struggle with kids not sleeping well, and I’m not saying that decluttering their rooms will totally fix it, but it will probably help!
Kids also need calm, clean, and uncluttered space to destress and play creatively. Have you ever felt instantly stressed and overstimulated walking into a preschool classroom or a daycare facility? Have you ever felt instantly calm walking into a spa or a nice salon? I know these spaces have very different functions, but I have always been curious what would happen if we decorated and designed kids’ spaces with the same amount of feng shui that goes into a spa. How they would respond?
My theory is that if we created calmer, simpler, less cluttered spaces for our children that they would be calmer, happier, and more creative.
To my readers who are teachers or daycare providers, try minimizing and redesigning your classrooms for a few weeks and see if you can tell a difference in your kids! I’d love to hear about your results!
Our environment has an enormous effect on our emotions and behavior! I’ve noticed that since decluttering my daughter’s toys she has been so much calmer and more creative in her play. She has her days of course (yay, three-nagers!) but overall the minimalistic approach to her space has had very positive results!
Here’s how I have my daughter’s room organized (for reference, she is 3) and my tips for helping your kids have the “zen” space they crave.
Bedrooms are for Sleeping
The focal point of her bedroom is her bed. A bed needs to be very cozy and inviting. I keep clean sheets on it, cozy pillows and blankets (lately she’s been sleeping in her mermaid tail) and a couple favorite stuffed animals. I deliberately kept the colors light and relaxing. Pastel colors are great for girly girls, or calm neutrals like dusty blue, gray, and beige are also good. Bright colors (red, bright blue, yellow, orange, green) are better in a playroom or school room, but are too stimulating for a sleeping space.
Curtains are also very important. They should be a calm color, and light blocking. Don’t just stick with blinds or a window shade. Curtains are a cheap way to make any room look more homey and cozy. I put curtains up in my cinder-block-walled dorm room in college. My friends would always comment that my room felt so cozy and comfortable. My reply? Oh it’s the curtains. 🙂
Bedrooms are for Getting Dressed
If you’re able to, put your child’s clothes in the closet. Hang them, or find a dresser that will fit in their closet. We are currently using this bin system for her clothes. It’s easy for her to use, and it fits nicely in her closet! Find a system that works well for your child. They should be able to find and put away their clothes with minimal direction from you.
We also have a laundry basket for her, a tall mirror, and some closet shelves for hair accessories and miscellaneous. We store her extra bedding up on the high shelves in her closet, along with a suitcase, sleeping bag, and a box of baby memorabilia.
Other items in the Bedroom
My daughter also has a basket of dress up clothes in her closet. This is emptied out and strewn all over on a regular basis. But it’s pretty easy to scoop everything up and drop it back in the basket at the end of the day. Similarly, she has a basket of stuffed animals in the corner of her room. These add to the cozy cuddly environment! She also has a couple pictures and decor items on the walls, but they are kept very minimal. Only very special things so as not to provide too many distractions from sleeping.
Tips for maintaining your child’s new sanctuary:
- Make picking up toys before bed part of their routine.
- Help them make their bed in the morning, or at least make it right before they jump in at night.
- Encourage them to see their room as a place to feel restful and safe. Personally, I rarely use her room as a time out spot, because I don’t want her to associate the space with punishment.
- Talk to them about the purpose of a bedroom. That it is for sleeping and getting dressed. Help them relish these activities with special cozy items for their bed and streamline their clothing organization so they can be more involved in their outfit choices.
Every household is going to have a different approach to kids’ rooms. This is the approach that has worked best for our family. If your kids are older, talk to them about what kinds of activities they like to do in their room(s). Help them minimize their environment so it can function better for them and help them feel calm and cozy at home. I’d love to hear your strategies! Please share below in the comments!