Designing an IKEA organisation system for your child’s bedroom that actually works

IKEA X B Living UAE Professional organisers, Celia and Joti from The Savvy Space share their expert tips and favourite IKEA organisation items

IKEA savvy space organisation
Professional organisers from The Savvy Space use IKEA products to create organised kid’s rooms. Image credit│@thesavvyspace

Beholden to storing toys, knick-knacks, schoolbooks and more, our kid’s room are often, quite happily, left behind closed doors. And with most little ones being notoriously messy, getting it organised and keeping it that way can often be a challenge. That’s why a third of respondents to IKEA’s recent organisation survey said they only spend 19% of their total tidying time in that room, despite the mess.

Here to solve your kid’s bedroom woes are professional organisers, Celia and Joti from The Savvy Space who each know a thing or two about creating systems that not only work, but stick.

Get your kids involved in the organisation process

Start by explaining why a clutter free space is important, then enlist their help in putting the organising system together. Kids are more likely to keep the space tidy if they understand why things are where they are. 

Plus, having your child be a part of the decluttering journey is a great way to teach them about the benefit of focusing on quality over quantity, and that letting go doesn’t have to be bad. For example, when decluttering the craft supplies, we let the kids test each pen and made a game of finding duplicates, so that they understood they weren’t losing out by getting rid. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss the cycle of toys and the kindness of donating to other kids in need. 

ikea bookshelf organisation
Organisation but make it cute! Image credit│@thesavvyspace

Set limits

Limiting the amount of toys and games makes management (and cleaning) a lot easier. What’s more research suggests that the fewer toys’ kids have, the better for their creativity and imagination.

Use designated bins and baskets for volume control then edit them down when if starts to overflow. If you’re finding it difficult to narrow down, try creating a toy rotation system to limit the number they have access to at any given time. 

Create task zones

To help stop the spread of items all over the room, we recommend designating task zones. In this room, the desk area is meant for schoolwork and crafts and the window corner is the play area. As the bookcase was our primary storage means for play activity items, we shifted the bookcase over to the corner near the window bench. 

Inside the wardrobe nearest the play area, we added a drawer storage system to keep dressing up accessories neatly sorted and easily accessible. The desk contains only items related to school work and crafts, contained in light-weight baskets. 

IKEA book shelf organised
Use designated bins to keep things simple. Image credit│@thesavvyspace

Plan your shelving layout

TROFAST storage solutions from IKEA
The TROFAST storage unit is ideal for storing the toys that are non-breakable and often played with. Image credit│ IKEA

Place games and crafts that tend to create mess high up so they can’t be accessed without an adult. Books and soft toys can be left down low for child friendly access. The TROFAST storage unit (available in two sizes) works well, as you’re able to keep toys at in an easily accessible place.

In order to get the activities to fit in the shelving space in this little girl’s room, we swapped games and puzzles with bulky boxes for durable zipper bags and placed them together in light rattan baskets. This kept them organised and streamlined, while still offering visibility to the contents. 

KALLAX shelving units are a great versatile storage option that fit in just about any space and can be used for open shelving or basket storage. As kids grow and the items in their room change, the KALLAX can be easily be modified to accommodate their storage needs.

Give everything a home

Colourful bookshelf organisation
Who knew that colour coordination could look this cute? Image credit│@thesavvyspace

In order to make the system easy enough for a child to manage, use see-through baskets as well as visual labeling cues such as rainbow organising for books and lego boxes to help immediately identify items and understand where they belong.

The BYGGLEK Lego boxes are sleek and practical. The lego mat on the lid makes it easy to keep the lego structures and their accessory pieces contained in one place, plus kids can build onto the box. The style is subtle and yet kids can immediately connect the look of the box with the contents, it’s like a natural label.

Remember to keep it simple – avoid getting lost in the micro-organising that falls apart when a box is dumped out. Create general categories your kids understand. For example, it’s much more feasible for them to scoop all the dolls up into one basket than to sort them by type.

Label boxes

IKEA draws labelled
Labels help to keep toys organised. Image credit │@labelledgeelong

In addition to text labels, visual labeling cues such as rainbow organizing for books, lego boxes and see-through baskets allows kids to immediately identify items and understand where they belong. This makes clean-up easy and even a fun matching game. 

Any of IKEA’s mesh baskets are great because they provide a more streamlined look without completely hiding the contents. We also love the UPPRYMD bins for their fun colors & patterns, and the window front offers visibility of what’s inside. 

Make it cute

We recommend using colour to categorise – rainbow organising is the easiest sorting system for a child to understand and it’s fun for them to match up. Plus, it creates a beautiful and bright look for the space. 

For this organisation system we enlisted the help of home stylist Cynthia Salloum, of White Haven Decor, to help us add chic girly touches to this space. Our little client loved the look so much, and she’s happily working to keep it neat so she can show all her friends.  

How can you help kids to stay on top of keeping their room tidy?

STUVA / FRITIDS toy storage
The STUVA / FRITIDS toy storage is ideal for little hands to access and move around. Image credit│ IKEA

The biggest thing to help across the board, teach kids that cleaning up is not a separate step or activity, but that it’s the final step of play. You can encourage this by choosing simple storage, like the STUVA / FRITIDS toy storage which is on wheels and easy for little hands to use. Getting it out, playing with it, that’s all part of the activity. vs. “ok, go clean up” that feels like less fun. But if that’s part of the activity, it’s not done until it’s put away, then you can really start to build that habit. It will take probably a lot of reminding, but eventually it will become something they do on their own.

For older kids, adding a bit of style to the organizing system helps them feel more mature and inspires them to maintain the space. 

On an organising spree? Here are six lessons we learnt from Get Organised with The Home Edit on Netflix and how to implement them at home

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