Share Your Space Challenge - My Daughter's Room




I am ashamed to post these photos of my daughter's room.  It is simply awful. As you can see we like Ikea, but with the limited amount of space in this room, we really need to use the space more efficiently. 

My daughter has ADHD and the professionals have recommended that she have open storage spaces to help make it easier for her to organize things.  We need help with everything.  I was thinking a loft bed would be a good idea, with a desk under it so she can do homework and read.  We need more shelves, we have a ton of books in this house and her bookshelf is already overflowing.   And don't get me started on her closet.  It's worse than the room.  She doesn't even know what she has anymore.

I know she would like a more teen vibe and less of a little girl feeling to her room.  She's 9, but shows like iCarly portray these really cool, out-of-this-world sort of rooms and she is totally into it.

And please don't judge me by this mess.  There comes a point where the clutter gets so overwhelming, I just shut down.  But I have finally gotten to the point where I am tired of it and I would like to see everything neat and organized.  I strive for this, but have come up short...very short...over the past few years. 

Please help.  It would be most appreciated and with any luck it would make life easier for my daughter and me.

I would like to make this room over with these pieces:

The STORÅ Loft bed frame $299
The LAIVA Desk - $20
An EXPEDIT Bookcase - $69
The SULTAN HANESTED Mattress - $199
The HELMER Drawer Unit - $39.99
The HEMNES Chest of drawers - $149
The SOLSTA Sofa Bed - $149
The MASKROS Ceiling lamp - $49

These items would be a great start to a new room for my girl!

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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    So, this might be a bit dense, but I actually wrote an article about this for an ADHD publication. I thought I would share some of that article. My name is Nicole and I've had ADHD for over 40 years and I'd like to share some simple things you can change in your attitude, your home, your life so that you have much less chaos, much less stress, less arguments, and more peace and balance. There is a secret about the ADHD'er -- we are often perfection seeking and below all the defense mechanisms we learn, we are all filled with absolute fear. We learn early on that we're not towing the line. We're the one who looses their lunch box nearly everyday, and the days we don't loose are only because we failed to remember to bring our lunchbox to school that day. We feel the shame and humiliation right away and we would rather go hungry than admit we forgot our lunch at home. We see the disapproval in your face, and trust me, your disapproval is nothing compared to the self-beating I'll be giving myself. I am well aware how dumb, disorganized, annoying, loud, and stupid I am and I promise you, I will not let myself off the hook for this and I will be sure to feel all that shame every day for the rest of my life. All this self-loathing turns into severe fear, anxiety is probably a good word for it. We're always worried we are going to loose track of something, no matter what we are always running behind and we're late often and so we fear making committments. We fear getting started on a project or on homework because we don't have the perfect plan to finish it without error, so I either don't start at all and get that shame, or I do try, and likely fail, and then have to deal with that shame. I guess not starting is just the path of least resistance. The more you shame me, the more likely I am to pull further and further away from even trying. I want to hear you say that you believe in me and that you trust that I will do my best. I want you to help me figure out some simple ways that I can keep myself, my things, and my thoughts organized. I want you to tell me that failure is part of success and its OK to make a mistake.
    So, with that - let me insert some text..... The ideas I'll present here are all in the spirit of doing those things. Help her to organize her thoughts, her things. Help her to be less critical of herself. Give her tasks she won't fail at -- and grow her skills from there. Confidence builds confidence. You can tell your kid 1000 times that they are fantastic at soccer, but he will believe it more when he scores that 1 goal than the 1000 times you tried to pump him up. Success build confidence. By age 9, I am sure she has heard too many people tell her that 'she is just too....absent minded, or too sloppy, or too non-nonchalant. These are all just paths we can take to avoid the fear of starting and the fear of not doing well enough. I find that chunking things into different designated centers is helpful -- so in my room, I have a work center, a relax sleep center, a play center, a dressing/fashion center. The items related to the tasks and goals of each center are chunked together, and visually separate from all the other centers.. You can have fun in setting this up with her, but she needs to maintain it - so you want to make sure you're not over complicating things. But she needs to know she is capable and you trust her, and if she falls short its really important that she knows that everyone falls short of 'perfect' all the time. In terms of punishment, the natural consequences are normally punishment enough. So, if she does not complete her homework, you aren't the school and you aren't her teacher -- allows her teacher to be the one to correct her. You just tell her that you expect her to do her best work, to be honest, and if she holds up her end of the bargain, that you will trust her. I refused to do hours of homework with my kids -- I know for certain my parents didn't sit with me and do my work with me -- I would just give it a glance over to make sure he wrote his name on the paper and that he didn't skips big chunks of things - but I'm not going to create world war 3 in my home over 3rd grade math - end of story. The best thing you can do is give her the chance to impress herself, or deal with the natural consequences of not meeting expectations. In terms of arranging her room - the idea of 'center's is to visually chunk the room into these designated areas. This is all in an effort to help her relax her mind and rely on knowing that certain tasks happen in certain places, and each center has simple organization that she can maintain all on her own. Keeping things limited (rotate items in/out) and orderly will help her think more clearly, feel more grounded, and boost her confidence. First, in regard to her Relax/Sleep Center and her Work Center. I totally am in love with the lofted bed & having her work center underneath. Its just a great space saver, and it really visually divides the work area from the relax/sleep area. The 'cove' work center will be relaxing and boost her focus factor, at least it would for me. It would be like creating a little cubicle or office for her and you can hang a curtain ,that she can open/close and when done with all her work, she can draw her curtain close and 'leave work' for the day. Then, a play center - so her bookcase (this could also be a work center and also a relax/sleep center item), her rotated in toys (Does she have a toy chest? If not, I would suggest one - and I'll explain more below regarding not just creating a black hole for every toy she has ever owned) I would avoid giving her free access to an ipad or similar device, but allow her to 'borrow/check out' a e-device for play time or for work time. A Dressing/Fashion Center - So this would be her items that store her clothing shoes, and accessories. So, Her chest of drawers (with labeling - explained below). I would get her a high/low bar garment rack and hang her shirts, pants, dresses, skirts in a very systematic way. Just like at a store -- have a plastic divider so you can group like things together. If she has a lot of clothes, I suggest rotate in/out (described below) and for rotated out, keep them in the space bags - labeled and easy to see. I prefer to have my clothes hung up on a garment rack and in plain site, not in one of those zippered up psuedo-closets. It gives me a clear picture of what I have clean, and I can easily pick out what I am going to wear from across the room. Dresser drawers are good for under garments, pajamas, accessories drawer, and even shoes (rotate method if she has a lot of shoes). I would also suggest a 3-bin hamper where she can put her dirty clothes. (1) For non-see through storage (like dressers, etc) I have to label each drawer with 3M StickyNote Tape and with a dark marker I have to label what I am storing in each. I re-arrange a few drawers about 4 months ago and I still need to check my labels to remind myself what is where. I label the shelves in the pantry, and the same in the bathrooom and laundry room . (2) Plastic see-through ziploc bags are my best friends -- I have them in all the sizes imaginable. My brain is most at ease when I know that I have all my similar things grouped together and since I like to see them, I can then put my plastic bags into see through bins of other like-minded items and be totally at ease that I have all my office supplies in my see-through office supply bin. A storage bin alone can be a black hole of scattered disasters, so don't buy huge bins. If your daughter plays barbies and she has 5 dolls, then buy 5 shoebox size plastic see through bins (Its always good to get the bins that have a lid that stays attached). Each barbie has her own storage box and each storage box has a plastic ziploc for clothes and another for misc barbie items. Since the shoe-box bins aren't huge, she is forced to be deliberate in choosing what clothes she wants to keep with each dolls and anything that is overflow can go into in/out rotation (explained later) All her toys should have a home - like a toy box. No packing it full of junk - so you might have a toy box Daily Do - that has her check that she has't just thrown a bunch of markers or checkers into the toy box and if she does find any rouge toy spillage that she should tidy it up right then and there. Daily Dos are explained below. (3) Never Leave my Side 'backpack' -- this is where I keep all my everday items I need (phone, wallet) plus the books I am currently interested in, a notebook journal, a sketchpad, my sticky notes, my mini calendar, my timer. And whatever other gadgets and things I am into this month. I have a wide variety of interests, so it sometimes amazes me what is in my backpack these days. So, the idea is that this is literally my 'nerve center' -- I go nowhere without the backpack. I think of it like the President and the Nuclear Launch Code Briefcase - it just doesn't ever leave my side. There are a few rules regarding the backpack - It doesn't become a trashcan. It does not spill out onto the floor. I literally think of it as my #1 most important thing I need to keep clean, orderly and with me. If I take something out, I repack it before I pull out more things. If I take something out and can't put it back in (charging phone, headset, etc) I will sticky note my backpack with little reminder that 'headset charging in bedroom'. So, hours later, when I go out for coffee I won't forget my headset, or if I do, it will be b/c I decided I didnt' need to take it with me. Now, I don't want to forget that my headset is still missing from my backpack, so I will keep my breadcrumb sticky notes in my backpack in the mesh/zipper area where I can see them. (4) Books - I love books and I am a bit of a collector. I don't have enough shelf space to keep them all out in the open, so I have milk crates where I store my rotated out books. You don't need 100 books on your shelf - and actually if I do, I become less curious b/c its a bit overwhelming. Rather, I choose the 20 books I want to have on my shelf this month. Now, if something comes up, I can always go grab one out of rotation - so its not like I chain myself off from my rotated out books. But, the fun part is -- when its time to rotate my books, I usually forget about a few that I had in Rotate Out storage, and I have the joy of re-discovering them all over again. (5) The same idea holds true for toys, clothes, collectibles, games, e-games,, dvds/cds -- the less 'active' items I have in my centers or in my back pack the better -- and I always know my rotated out items are just a few steps away, and I can always swap something out (swap, not add) I can not tell you how much stress relief this will be for your daughter. When you see her room messy, you know she has too many active items and shes having trouble managing them. Don't present the idea of limiting rotating to her as a punishment - The teaching moment to this is to show her that its better to treat 20 books or toys with respect and love, rather than to abuse 100 of them scattered all over the place, none being enjoyed by her. Most ADHD'ers are pretty worried all the time that we're going to loose track of something and this worry can be dramatically reduced by limiting the number of things that she has active at any 1 time. So Less is Better! (6) Color coded/laminated Daily Do Lists. Chunk them -- tasks/chores to complete - (a) Before School, (b) After School/Before Dinner, (c) After Dinner/Before Bedtme, and (d) At Bedtime. Each time block should have the tasks that she normally completes during that time block. You can make some tasks 'flexible' and allow her to add them to the timeblock that feels the best for her today. Since she is still young, you may want to not do that just yet -- and just get her in the habit of completing her daily dos. Don't make these STRETCH goals - make these things that are within her range. You can add to the lists as she grows in maturity, and confidence. Something else for you to keep in mind -- ADHD kids are usually off in terms of sleep cycles. I am a night owl and I hate mornings. I find that I do my best work at night. Most people would be asleep and I am writing dense technical notes, perhaps some of the most focused work I have to do, and it will be 3am. Unfortunately the world is wired for morning people. I happen to have a job that allows me some flex in my start/stop hours, but kids that attend school are not often afforded this. So, keep in the back of your mind that your daughter may do better in a non-traditional classroom. There are so many options now that were not there just 10 years ago, so don't get hell bent trying to fit a square peg into a round hole (7) Each timeblock should have a 10 minute scramble. The idea is to set your timer for 10 minutes and pick a tidying up chore and for 10 minutes, you see how much of that chore you can get done. The goal of a 10 minute scramble is to show her how much she can complete in 10 minutes if she focuses 100 percent on task and strives for high productivity versus perfection. The 10 minute scramble after school might be 'Pick up all untidy items in your room and put them in this temporary storage bin' Then the next time block 10 minute scramble will be - for her to put the items in the temporary bin into their real homes. She may need to repeat this 2nd part of the scramble a few times, depending on how many things she has to put away.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    good luck! i know the brother is ADHD. they need open spaces and things that they like to keep them focused. good luck! :)

    hello i know you told us the bedroom set you would like to get her, not to be rude or anything but because the storage needs to be more open and cluter free maybe you would like this dezing better to see it go to... (its beautyful). also it is very easy to use for many things like what you were looking for but dosnt take up as much space wich makes the room look bigger and tidy. and just for the extra glitz move the bed infrount of the window and keep that wall purple paint the rest white and get hard wood floors this will look cleaner and older for her enjoyment. hope this helped


    You are welcome! By the way, I noticed that you are a new member! Welcome to our wonderful world of creative people! If you have any questions I am happy to try and answer them for you or send you to someone that can help. I remember when I first joined how it was a little confusing and I did not know who to pm. I am still learning! Have a splendorous day!


    Okay, so just to confirm, I have done this correctly or incorrectly? I apologize for my ignorance, I am new here.