Your teen will likely spend lots of time in their room. Last week we talked about the importance of working with your teen to create smart bedroom spaces that are functional but that also speak to your child’s interests and personality. We offered some sites to help get you started. This week we will focus on some specific aspects of the bedroom that can be used to promote organization and creativity.
- Closets and Vanity Areas
Provide your child with a closet space that is easy to keep organized. Arrange clothing racks so that long dresses and pants have room to hang without getting bunched up and ultimately falling into the back of the closet (and out of sight for years). Use clear plastic containers or open baskets to store shoes, hats, belts, scarves–keeping them orderly and easy to spot. Reserve dresser space for undergarments and socks, and items are no-fuss like t-shirts.
Encourage your teen to pick out their outfits for the week on either Saturday night or Sunday morning. This will give you time for any last minute laundry needs and will make chaotic mornings a lot easier if everything is already hanging in the closet and ready to go. It will also allow them to reset and mentally prepare for the next week.
Why this is important:
Planning their outfits out for the week means that your child will have to think about:
- The Weather Forecast: teach your teen to check the forecast for the week (surely they can use an app) so that they can choose their outfits appropriately and learn from their mistakes when they fail to plan.
- Their Schedule: Do they need to bring soccer clothes to school on Tuesday? Do they need you to sign a permission slip?
- Laundry Needs: Your child is old enough to be doing their own laundry. If they haven’t learned yet, take the time to teach them how to do laundry correctly from sorting all the way to folding. You’ll save them from living out of laundry baskets for four years or walking around in clothes that are permanently tinted pink. They’ll thank you, eventually.
Smart Closets in Practice: Add an inexpensive over-the-door plastic shoe organizer that can hold shoes, undergarments, belts, and accessories for each day so that your child doesn’t get caught up looking for a matching sock or an earring back.
To cut down on bathroom primping time, consider creating a small vanity space adjacent to your teen’s closet so that they can easily take care of the bulk of their personal grooming needs. A large mirror, some simple shelving, and access to electrical outlets will help speed up their morning routine and prevent any headaches from bathrooms shared with siblings.
- Space for School Work
Though it may not be very feng shui, your teen may prefer to do the bulk of their school work in their bedroom. Assist them in creating an organized work space which can help them to study more effectively, complete assignments on time, and perform well academically. Set up a good desk lamp so that they can see clearly while studying, but can also switch to a softer light when they’re winding down for the evening. Though many teens may like to hang out on their bed to tackle homework, set up a good chair with ergonomic support to encourage them to use their desks–and avoid falling asleep during those less than exciting subjects! If your teen is an avid reader, you may want to consider building a window seat or getting them a plush chair to encourage their hobby.
You may also want to encourage them to develop an organization/storage system for the classes they are currently taking–binders, accordion files, plastic containers, whatever works best for them. Provide shelf or cubby space to help keep organizational items neat and accessible.
- Encourage Your Teen to Explore Their Style Through Wall Décor
Whether you allow your teen to paint their walls, hang photos and posters, or even put up bold removable wallpaper, it will be the most inexpensive (and temporary) way for your child to dramatically transform his or her room. Do you have budding artist on your hands? Encourage her to use her walls (with drop cloth of course) as a canvas. Does your teen have a great group of friends or a knack for nature photography? Help them create an inexpensive gallery wall with washi tape to showcase things that they love.
- Be Mindful that Your Teen’s Room is Ultimately for Sleep
Keep your teen from forming bad habits that will decrease the quality of their sleep like watching television prior to the onset of sleep or checking email or Facebook from their phone while lying in bed. The best way to get a restful night of sleep is to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed. One of the easiest ways to do this is to avoid letting your teen’s room turn into an entertainment center–think televisions, game systems, iPads, and more. Provide access to soft, warm light like a bedside lamp so that their bodies start to relax and prepare for sleep. Encourage them to keep their room neat and orderly so that piles of clothes or various homework projects don’t cause anxiety that disrupts sleep.
Have some fun! Even though rooms should be organized and functional, they are still a personal oasis for young people. Look for ways to spice up the space by finding projects or unique ways to incorporate photos, memorabilia, or your teen’s personal interests into the space.
SHARE A PICTURE OF YOUR TEENS ROOM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
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Article by Danielle Hegedus
Danielle Hegedus currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she nurtures her HGTV obsession by writing about all things home decor for Modernize.com.