When Maddy* reached out letting me know that her 13-year-old daughter, Corie*, wanted a professional organizer to teach her how to get and keep her room organized, I was excited by the opportunity. Not only am I usually working with adults, but I was also excited because getting her room organized was something she wanted, not her mom wanting it for her (although I’m positive she did too).
Having a hard time keeping your room organized? Don’t worry — I’ve got you. Here are 7 simple rules for keeping your room organized. These tips were originally written for my 13-year-old client, but they are applicable at just about any age.
1) Group “like with like”
All hair products together, all music related items together, etc. When beginning to get your room organized, start by grouping all like items together. You don’t have to assign a home yet. You first want to see how much of any one grouping you have. Then proceed to rule number two.
When we group like with like, it’s always shocking to see how much of any one thing we own. When I did this to my own house, I found ~20 things of floss in all different areas of the house. In the kitchen I organized yesterday, we found about ten peelers and five can openers.
2) Assign one home for each grouping
Occasionally we’ll have two homes, but that usually only pertains to things we have lots of back-stock of (for example, a few rolls of paper towels in the kitchen, the rest of the pack in a hall closet). This shouldn’t really pertain to things in your room. You should have one home for each of the things in your bedroom.
3) Less is always more
When it comes to organizing, the less things you own, the easier it is to maintain. Your room will always feel more clutter and less organized if it’s packed full with things.
4) Practice a “one thing in, one thing out” rule
With the ease of online shopping, things can quickly get out of hand when we don’t practice parting with our things on a regular basis. After our deep decluttering and organization session, my client’s room has a comfortable amount of things in it. If she were to order a couple things online each week, by the end of the year she’d have 100 new things in your room. This is why we must be diligent about one thing in, one thing out.
5) Things have a better energetic weight when we stand them upright
This is true for most items, which is why I had us stand the books upright, put the pencils in a jar, and encourage file folding your clothes.
6) Your room should feel like a sanctuary
Your room is where you practice music, get your best work done, and unwind at the end of the day, so set it up to feel like a sanctuary. Never wait to burn a nice candle! Make your bed every day. Let some light in through the shades. Vacuum your room once a week. And empty the trash regularly. Do whatever feels right to make your room a sanctuary. This is a true form of self love.
7) Twice a year do a donation purge
I recommend this to anyone regardless of age, but this is even more important at 13 because your life and priorities will be in constant flux over the next few years. Set time on your calendar at the end of the summer and at the end of the winter to reevaluate all your belongings and donate things that no longer work for your lifestyle or don’t make you feel your best. Letting go of things will allow the space for something new, and I mean that in both a physical sense and a conceptual way.
Have I missed any important rules? Get in touch or leave a comment below and let me know!
*The names in this article have been changed for privacy