Now transpose this to your child’s room: assuming you do not have a designated playroom for your kid (highly unlikely) I’m probably right in thinking that the child not only sleeps in this room and her/his clothes are kept somewhere in here, there will be stacks of toys and school stuff in here as well. You see, it’s multiple personality room! If you are an adult with an idea of decluttering, you might just identify this as a bedroom with added stuff in it, but that is far from true: it is a bedroom, a playroom AND a study, and all those needs have to be met in one single room. A parallel example could be a kitchen with a large dinner table in it: you might use the table for cooking, but by the time the food is prepared, that table has to be emptied and cleaned to be used for serving dinner. Or maybe a guest room that is used to store camping items. It only works for one of those things at any given time.
This multiple personality thing may just be one of the foremost reasons why your child’s room often looks like the result of an air strike! The three mentioned identities have strikingly different demands on a limited space, and it is important to keep that in mind when you intend to clean up or declutter.
You can probably see now why this is a tough order, as each function needs a specific setup for the room to serve its purpose. The ideal situation would be to separate the quieter functions (sleeping and studying) from the distraction of the active side of live, i.e. playing or hobbies. If there is any way you can move the play space somewhere else, I strongly recommend trying it out. If not, ideally there should be some kind of clear separation of the different areas using the arrangement of the furniture in the room. While it is entirely reasonable to have a bed and a desk in the same room, having a selection of toys in the room is a huge distraction and will not help keeping the room clutter-free either! At the very least, all the toys have to be stored out of sight when not in use to minimise the distraction created by them.
A couple of basic tricks to help you get some ideas:
When it comes to decluttering the desk space, similar strategies to other rooms can be applied, but when we look at children’s wardrobes and play spaces, new strategies apply. Those will be addressed in parts 2 and 3 of this short series.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.