As my son gets older, his bedroom seems to have got messier. He used to keep it very tidy but since turning ten years old, he puts things down and just leaves them. His Grandma and I have spent quite some time tidying his room over the past few months. It had got to the point where we had had quite enough of doing this for him though. We decided that he needed to take back the responsibility of keeping it tidy himself. We just had to figure out a way to motivate him to keep his room clean and clear.
Here are some of the pictures of my son’s room after his recent bout of not being bothered to keep his room tidy. This was one week after we had last tidied it. As you can see, it was a struggle getting his clean clothes into the wardrobe. His dirty clothes were under the bed and strewn all over the place. He insisted on keeping his wardrobe doors open for the simple reason (as he admitted later) that he could not get them shut. He loves reading but his books were getting tatty and damaged. Overall, the room was getting out of hand and he was starting to ask to sleep in the living room because he couldn’t get to his bed. Absolutely frustrating when it had been clean and clear only a few days previously. This messy room to homework station bedroom makeover was absolutely necessary.
My son’s bedroom has had the same layout the whole time he has been in that room. We decided to clear the room, leaving only the bed and the wardrobe in there. Sorting out everything from his room and throwing away anything that was broken or not needed any more. We soon realised that his bedroom mainly consisted of science sets, Lego, books as well as the clean and dirty clothes. It all needed sorting out. All of the Lego went into a large, sturdy box, every single last piece. My son was told that from now on, all Lego had to go in this box by the end of every day. His books were sorted and his bookshelf was put into the hallway so that they could be accessed by the rest of the family. All clean clothes were put away in the wardrobe and dirty clothes were washed, dried and put away too.
Discussing How to Arrange His Room
We discussed the new layout of his room and my son was happy for us to arrange the room in anyway that we wanted. He did say that he wanted all of his posters back on the wall but that he had an idea about where he wanted each one of the to go. I gave him a small box to put things in that he wanted to keep near his bed. He put in the book that he was reading at the moment and some other nic knacks. I think it is important to talk to children about how they want their own bedrooms arranged. After all, it is their own personal place that they should feel they have a choice in deciding what goes where. It also helps them to feel part of the process and automatically gives them the responsibility of wanting to keep their room as they decided they wanted it to be.
Making the Space into a Homework Station
As my ten year old is about to enter Year Six, he is slowly getting more and more homework. We looked around a local Secondary School the other day and realised that his attitude to homework needed a boost to get him prepared for the transition. Having an inviting space to work is always great motivation.
A Homework Station Needs and Office Desk
Luckily, we received an office desk from Kit Out My Office that was perfect for this messy room to homework station bedroom makeover. The desk really made his bedroom look much smarter. The position of the desk was just right for my son. He wanted to be able to sit on his bed sometimes to write notes if he thought of a story at night time. His post-its are wonderful for jotting notes down. It was also in the best place for having as much natural light as possible shining through the windows. I think natural light always helps with motivation levels. When arranging his precious items on his office desk, we discussed clutter. We decided that his desk was to stay as clear as possible and that his bedroom was to be kept exactly as it was when we spoke. After a quick talk, we decided that my son would spend five minutes before bedtime everyday just tidying everything up in his room.
Messy Room to Homework Station: Feeling Motivated
He mentioned that he wanted to start by doing some artwork on there with big sheets of paper, as the desk is quite deep. The science notebook also found its way onto the desk, all ready to do some more experiments. By this point, he was feeling very inspired by all of the exciting projects he could get stuck into now that he had his own space to do them. We decided that homework was to be done straight after school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Even if he had no homework, he would need to sit and read or write something at these times to keep in routine. This quiet time will be useful for when he starts secondary school and has more homework than he has now.
It was important to him to have everything he needed within reach. His fine tipped pens, biros and pencils were all put close by. As he finds that he can concentrate better if he has a fiddle thing, we arranged his magnetic toy, robot stacking dolls and one of his Lego creations so that he could just pick them up whenever he needed to. His 3D pen was put into the handy drawer ready for even more creations. Healthy snacks are very important so we talked about taking a bowl of fruit or vegetable sticks with houmous or any other healthy snack into his room to do his work. Usually, he is not allowed snacks in his room. If he keeps it on his new desk and eats while doing his homework, I have said that having a snack may motivate him to keep working.
How This Bedroom Makeover Helped My Child
The process of changing messy room to homework station had a big impact on my child. He felt really inspired to use his homework station to start some creative as well as some scientific projects. After realising that his messy bedroom had got out of hand, he promised that he’d never let it get like that again. He told me that it had helped him to think more clearly. Thinking about where to find his clothes was not a problem any more. They are all in the wardrobe. His Lego is all in the Lego box. He says that he now knows where to locate what he is looking for as everything has its own place.