First step. Take every single thing out of your child's room except the furniture. Empty it. Take everything out of every drawer. Take the art off the walls. Take everything out of the closet. All of it. Put it in your living room.
(By the way, I thought this part of the project would take one day but it takes four so be prepared to go without a living room for a week. And you might not want to have people over.)
Next step. Arrange all the furniture as you like it. Or as your child likes it... this is easier said than done. But I had to let go of how I thought my daughters should arrange things and just let them figure out what makes good sense. It's not the end of the world if the dresser is in a weird spot and they can't open the curtains because they've blocked the path to them.
Final step. Put things back, Marie Kondo style. Start with clothing. Use the spark joy test. Hold it to your heart. If you love it, keep it. If it doesn't fit anymore, you never liked it anyway, etc. then donate it. If it's not in good enough shape to donate, pitch it. Say thank you to your items that you are discarding.
The gratitude for your possessions is a big part of her philosophy. It shows respect for yourself and your things to keep your space nice. These items have been working hard for your child. And they didn't like living in a mess anyway, so it's a win-win for everyone. You're happier and they're happier.
Here is the list of categories, as she suggests them:
School & craft supplies
For everything, don't take it out of your living room unless you LOVE it and want it. The goal is to be surrounded only by what you truly adore. And as you walk it from your living room to your bedroom, put it in the perfect spot. It may seem like overkill to empty every drawer but then there are no obstacles to putting anything away. The work goes swiftly and it is joyful.
I have decided to get my homeschool co-op kids one more thing for the start of the year. I have her daily journal and I love it. It's not too overwhelming for either kids or adults. Just a few lines each day. You write down what sparked joy for you that day. And each page has a section for you to write in it for three years, so you can look back next year and the next and see what you put for today, August 12th. I love the idea of doing this as a kid and being able to look back at the little details of your life and what made you happy at each age. I think we will end our day at 2:45 and tidy up and have a little bit of journaling time. Becca's 4th grade teacher had her keep a daily Gratitude Journal and it is one of our most precious treasures from that year.
So five Life Changing Magic journals it is!