Tornado Alley – The Kid’s Rooms

February 12th, 2013 posted by Kelly Huckaby

DESK I love my children dearly, but I struggle with teaching them to be more orderly in their ways. They thrive on routine – on knowing when things will happen – but their rooms often look like a tornado has passed through. I could continue to pick up after them until they move out, but I don’t think my future daughters-in-law (or son-in-law) would appreciate that. Instead, I’ve tried to organize their rooms in such a way that it is easy for them to keep things picked up.


I’ve noticed that the younger the child, the more space they need. Cribs, toddler beds, dressers and other items work best against the wall so that there is an open space in the middle of the room. This open space works well for beginning walkers to get their “land legs” and also for playing with big toys (large connecting bricks, sorting cups and shapes, chunky people in playhouses, etc.) I asked a few friends how their children’s rooms were set up and found some very similar answers. Karen, from Georgia, is expecting her 10th child in December, and her three youngest (5, 4 & 2) share a room. Besides a bed each child also has a steamer trunk to hold clothes. Tammy, from Washington, has 7 children. In the baby’s room, besides a crib and dresser, is a rocking chair and changing table. Cheryl, from Texas, has 7 children in three rooms. She has a child’s bed and baby bed in one room along with two dressers. Corina, also in Texas, has 5 children. The oldest 3 share a room with a futon bunk bed (sleeps two on the bottom and one on the top,) a dresser and a chest of drawers. As their toys get smaller (and fewer) other furniture can enter the room: shelving units, tables, vanities, sofas, bean bag chairs, etc. Older children can be quite creative with their room arrangements if given the chance. Beds can protrude into the middle of the room and desks or trunks can be placed at the foot. A bookcase can be placed at a 90 degree angle to a desk in a corner creating a nice work station. Remember Karen, the soon-to-be mother of 10? Her 6 oldest sons, ranging in age from 8 to 17, share a room (yes, a large one.) In this room you will find 3 bunk beds, 6 steamer trunks, a weight set, a sofa and chair, a stereo and a floor lamp. If her sons are anything like mine, you’ll also probably find a couple of piles of books and school papers, Legoâ villages (which are not to be disturbed) and assorted plastic bins full of “collections” and various toys. (Okay, I’ll admit, the bins are only half full – the other half is spread across the floor!)


I keep telling my husband that we need to stop buying toys. I say it when I sit on a Batman action figure; I vow it when I pull a rubber ball and two army men out of the washing machine; I hiss it through clenched teeth when I step on a block in the dark. As children grow physically their attention spans grow as well. Items like Barbiesâ, Legosâ and Hot Wheels can occupy creative minds for hours. Books and computers become more popular as children mature as well. If you keep toys in your children’s rooms, consider buying a laundry basket, instead of an expensive toy box, to keep toys in. Store the toy basket in the bottom of the closet to free up floor space in the room. Debbie, a mother of six in Indiana, keeps the majority of her children’s toys in a play room, as do Tammy, Corina and Cheryl.

Plastic Containers

These come in such a variety of sizes it’s easy to find one to fit your needs. Be creative. Large flat bins are usually displayed with clothing or wrapping paper inside. Cheryl and Corina found that these also work great for storing toys and clothing under beds. Milk creates are usually displayed with hanging file folders in them. They also can be stacked on their sides to store clothing or books. The shoe box size containers are ideal for building blocks, action figures, plastic figurines (bugs, dinosaurs, animals, etc.) and die-cast metal cars, among other things. Use your imagination, get creative, and check out to see a sampling of what’s available in plastic storage containers. Over all, simplicity is still the best organizing tool. If your children have excess toys or furniture that they’ve outgrown, consider donating the items to a homeless shelter, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. Let your children assist in choosing which items to keep and in arranging their rooms. A sense of responsibility may boost their desire to stay organized, and this will please everyone involved.

Kelly Huckaby (14 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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