Teen Room Organizing (The Floor is not a Container)

Whether you have a teen or still feel like a teen, you can take some tips from this teen room organizing project.

Just a note…I hope you are inspired by these articles which arrive daily only in January, many with pretty before-and-afters, all with ideas for YOUR home. If you meant to get organized but life got in the way, there is still time this month to make this your most organized year ever! The rest of the year, you’ll only get (and I’ll only have to write) one or two articles each week. Until then…let’s SORT and Succeed!

Teen Room Organizing- The Floor is not a Container


Today’s teens are busy, so it’s not surprising to find a messy room like this. If you help a young person figure out how to take care of their things and get organized, they’ll have that skill for the rest of their life.

The Organizing Tool You Can’t Buy

Often I find that kids want a change, but they don’t think about moving around their furniture to better suit their needs. They think it’s too hard, or their parents won’t approve. It’s the same with adults, too. If it’s hard to organize your space, maybe your space needs to change. Minor tweaks can lead to pretty big changes.

We haven’t talked this month about re-arranging furniture as an organizing tool, but placement and flow is important in controlling clutter.

This room was actually worse when we started…by the time I took this picture, we had already picked up the things on the floor. This mom and I agree on this point: the floor is not a container. I tell my daughters that I’m not a clean freak; this is a matter of safety. When I have to get to them puking in the middle of the night, I don’t want to break a leg.

Teen Room Organizing-furniture placement


Right away I noticed that she’s got storage space that she can’t get to, with the under-bed drawer (above) blocked by her nightstand. She’s also got a captured corner where laundry and random stuff is getting trapped.

Teen Room Organizing laundry pile


She’s got a closet with few shelves and not nearly enough hangers for her clothes. Not having enough hangers is a common and easy problem to fix.

Teen Room Organizing closet


Teen Room Organizing-After

I’ll show you the big reveal in a moment, but let me point out just a couple of things. The under-bed drawer could be a trundle bed, but without a mattress, it’s a huge storage drawer. It’s a great place for a teen to keep extra linens and stuffed animals…once we could get to it.

Teen Room Organizing- under bed storage


We made a small but very important swap, reversing the dresser and desk. That puts all the clothes next to each other, from the closet to the laundry baskets. The “workflow” is better for getting dressed and taking care of laundry. Now she doesn’t have to walk aaaaalllllll the way around the desk and chair to get to her laundry baskets. The dresser is not as deep as the desk, so it makes taking care of clothes just a little easier. Easier is better, am I right?

Teen Room Organizing laundry baskets


I recommended that mom buy all new hangers for this gal, but buy them in a single color so she can recognize which ones belong in her closet. She prefers the plastic hangers with non-slip patches on the shoulders. These hangers pictured below have so many features!  Although anytime I talk about hangers, I like to give a shout out to Higher Hangers, which is such a space saving solution.

Moving the furniture around also led to creating a little library. That basket off to the side? That’s where her sports and dance gear goes. To her it’s an “activity,” not “laundry,” so it belongs on this side of the room, not with the closet. See what you learn when you talk it out?

Teen Room Organizing bookcase


Putting both of the bookcases together allowed for all of the books being on the same side of the room. Putting similar things together makes it easier to keep them organized.

Use Negative Space for Organizing

When I have two pieces of furniture like this nearby, I often take the opportunity to use the negative space in between to work for us, too. In this case, we set the two dressers far enough apart to store the school backpack safely out of the way. Yes, it’s on the floor, but it’s not in the middle of the floor. (You’ve gotta say that in your mom voice.)

Teen Room Organizing-bookcases


This AFTER photo may not seem amazing…unless you are this gal’s mom. Moving a few things around, adding one extension cord, and buying a pack of hangers is going to make it easier to keep this room organized. Yes, it’ll still be a bit messy on a daily basis, but easier to keep organized with just a couple of minutes attention every day.

Teen Room Organizing-after


Think about your space. Can you move around some furniture, maybe just a few feet like we did here?

Would putting things in a different spot save you a few steps, or mean that you wouldn’t pile things the way you do now?

Are you still thinking of the floor as a place for things?

See all of my January 2021 organizing articles in one place.

Pin to discuss with your messy teen later:

Teen Room Organizing- The Floor is not a Container