Upper-elementary-aged children are in their “peak toy” stage. Their tastes are expanding and maturing, yet they still enjoy most of their toys. Such is the case with Albie. His mom Meghan invited me to help her re-organize his room to better support his big kid needs.
Goals and Prep
- Get rid of the dresser, one bookcase and the toy chest (see floorplan) to make room for Albie’s new desk and reading chair.
- Store all Albie’s toys and books in his room. (Some were in the living room.)
- Make it easier for Albie to get dressed, play, read and clean-up each day.
We allotted one five-hour day for me to help with these goals. Before I arrived, Meghan placed all the toys in the house on the floor of Albie’s room. With Albie’s input she made a pile of toys to donate outside of the room. She then sorted the toys they were keeping by category using containers she had on-hand.
When I arrived, we first placed the family’s wooden train sets in two large plastic bins. These will later be handed down to younger children in the extended family. We found a home for these bins on the top shelf of the closet.
Like many reach-in closets, Albie’s closet had only one high shelf with a hanging rod mounted just below it. As Albie has very few hanging clothes, this meant that the lower 2/3s of the closet was largely unused. We decided to move most of his toys and clothes in here.
In the long-run, Meghan will install a closet system to maximize this vertical space. For now, we moved the toy chest to the closet and re-purposed it for his clothes. This let us empty the dresser so that Meghan can sell it. Then we moved as many toys as we could into small and medium bins with lids. These we stacked on closet floor and toy chest. We hung Albie’s costumes on the rod and placed a few more toys in a large open bin underneath the hanging clothes.
I made labels using index cards for everything in the closet. Meghan attached the labels to the bins with double-sided tape and clips.
Almost there! We put all stuffed animals on the bed, where Albie wants them anyway. There weren’t many toys remaining. We moved these to four matching green baskets set underneath the bank of windows. The largest bookcase could now hold all books, so the smaller bookcase was removed.
Believe it or not, we finished early. Albie seemed thrilled with his refreshed room! He started playing on the floor and treated me to several magic tricks before I left for home.
Thank you for inviting me to help you, Meghan! I look forward to seeing photos once you’ve sold the dresser and installed the closet system.
Kaloumi Small Home Organizing is based in Chicago. If you live in Chicago and would like help organizing your small home, please contact me.