Making Room in a Child's Bedroom

Neat and Tidy

Kids tend to generate lots of possessions, which is why they have so much trouble keeping their rooms neat and tidy. One way to make it easier for them is to make the switch from closed closets, drawers, and cabinets, to open compartments: the more, the merrier. The aim is to make this space as clutter free as possible, and that means less stress for everyone involved, parents not excluded.

An Easier System

Kids hate hanging clothes on hangers. So give them an easier system. Wrap a strip of four inch wide molding around the perimeter of the room at a height equal to the top rail of a chair. Paint the molding a color that blends in with the décor of the room and insert round wooden pegs, painted for contrast at intervals of 18 inches. You can repeat this idea inside a closet, by putting up as many pegs and hooks as space will allow. Ditto in a child's bathroom, where hooks tend to get more play than towel bars. If the room is well-ventilated, you don't need to worry about mildew.

Beds offer many opportunities for storage space. Storage headboards can be fashioned from linked wooden cubicles, mounted high enough above your child's head so he doesn't get a bump if he sits up. There's also under bed storage, which keeps kids from shoving and kicking stuff under there in any case. A captain's bed with drawers built into the base is a way to make practical look good. Or, you could always get some storage drawers ready-made and set on casters. These are made to fit under beds and are lightweight and easy to use. If you have any carpentry skills, consider creating an alcove bed with storage above and below, based on a ship's design.

More Storage Furniture Ideas

In terms of other storage furniture to bring into your kid's bedroom, try to think outside the box. Two-drawer file cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and small carts on wheels with trays that swing out (called an artist's tabouret) are all examples of unconventional furniture pieces that can be used as interesting and useful storage pieces in your child's bedroom or playroom. If you're going for a warm look, wooden pieces are terrific, but if you want to go for a more modern look, metal can be painted to match the walls or décor.

You can take things a step further and turn that two-drawer file cabinet into a work surface by placing a sturdy board across the top. Or take a round table and drape a cloth from tabletop to floor to create room underneath for stashing toys.

If you can spare 3 feet or so at one end of the room, hang a rod from the ceiling and use a sheet to curtain off this space so your teen can use it to hang his/her ever growing wardrobe.

Other handsome storage solutions include wicker hampers, woven baskets, and hampers made from canvas and wood. These blend in better than plastic storage boxes when you're going for a more traditional or warm look. Toy chests do double work as both toy space and benches, but make sure they have safety hinges and remove the front lock.