Kids and Tweens are very territorial about their bedrooms. For that reason I had to approach the idea of redecorating my daughter’s room with a bit of sensitivity. 1 gallon of paint, some IKEA shelves, a trip to Wal-Mart and 2 solid days of hard work and my daughters room was transformed into a “ Big Girls Room “. Here’s what we did.
My daughter is very attached to every paper clipping and mini eraser in her bedroom. For that reason we were not able to really purge right off the bat. Instead we put everything in clear recycling bags so she could see that we were not throwing things away and got all of the little stuff out of her room. Now we had some space to work. Our goal was to eliminate all of the pink in her room so I picked a nice sage green wall paint from Benjamin Moore. We bought the most expensive gallon ( 40$ ) because 1 coat did the trick over her entire room. It was well worth the dough.
One half of the room at a time, we moved the furniture out of the way and painted the walls. This took about 3 hours and then we all sat down for lunch. Next were the furniture and the shelves. My daughter has open wall shelves because it gives her easy access to her toys. Children need easy access or they will forget about what they have and it will just collect dust. We added 4 more shelves because the stuffed animals needed homes off of the floor. We have 2 simple dressers and 1 plain white bed that, with a little bit of paint, has been able to grow with her. We moved the furniture around and began bringing the small stuff back in. This is when the fun began.
Bag after bag we sorted every Polly pocket doll, American Girl accessory, and piece of craft paper. We categorized them and put the contents into IKEA bins with big labels on the outside. This took the most of our time since we gave our daughter the opportunity to decide what stayed and what didn’t. This gave her a sense of control over a situation that had otherwise destroyed her entire existence. In the end she had a more mature and streamlined room that she can keep clean. Here are some quick tips on doing the same for your precious tween:
1. Keep them involved – It is hard to see someone go through your private things and ask to throw them away. If your child feels like they are a part of this process it will go quicker and without a fight.
2. Paint is your best friend – sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all you need to transform a room. Pick a mature color that easily matches with everything (beige, light denim blue, etc) and let your tween decorate over it with things they like. We bought Max a big bulletin board so she could tack up photos of her friends and concert tickets.
3. Allow kids to be kids – Tweens have a tough time. They aren’t teenagers and they aren’t little kids. They want certain independence but they still want to be babied once in a while. Their room should reflect this double standard. Help display their little kid toys in a mature fashion or help hide them away for when their friends come over.
4. As always, be creative – We cut up old t-shirts and made curtains out of them. I also painted some decals on the front of her drawers so they looked more grown up. Whatever your particular talent is, use it for the benefit of your little one.