Deciding how to set up a montessori bedroom that grows with your child doesn't have to break the bank or feel overwhelming. I'm going to walk you through each section of a montessori bedroom with practical (+ real life) tips to grow with your child from 12 months old, through the toddler years, and into preschool.
- WATCH HOW TO SET UP A MONTESSORI BEDROOM
- What is a Montessori Bedroom?
- Closet / Montessori Wardrobe
- Montessori Bookshelves
- Montessori Floor Bed
- Self care station
- Wall art / decor
- Dirty clothes
- Clothing throughout the home:
- Shop this room:
- Final thoughts on a montessori bedroom
What is a Montessori Bedroom?
A montessori bedroom essentially follows Dr. Maria Montessori‘s beliefs around child development with a primary focus on fostering independence in the child to help develop their self esteem.
In short: everything in the room should be accessible to the child, neatly organized, minimal, and age appropriate. You'll often find low montessori shelves, art placed at the child's eye level, montessori floor beds, and montessori wardrobe and self care solutions that allow the child to get dressed themselves.
Below you'll find the foundation of how to set up a montessori bedroom with my own children's bedrooms as examples.
Closet / Montessori Wardrobe
A montessori wardrobe offers a limited number of choices (depending on the child's age), at the height and skill level of the child.
You can read my full guide on the best montessori wardrobes to grow from baby to toddler to big kid here!
Montessori wardrobe through the ages:
1 to 3 years old:
At 18 months with my daughter we would often just bring two outfits for the day to her playroom (which is where she got dressed) and let her choose. Pajamas went into a basket kept on the “dressing” bench and it was extremely simple. I show it in this video on how to set up a montessori playroom here:
We also utilized a vertical hanging shoe cubby in her closet, and each pocket held a few like-items.
My daughter's closet was TINY as you can see, so we folded the lower half of the hang system to fit into the shelf space. But this is an example of limited choices for a 2-3 year old.
As she got older (around 3 years old), we added a dresser to the room with these honeycomb organizers. Essentially it was the same concept as the shoe cubby, roll a single item per hole, and we themed each drawer. My son at 2 years old uses this system currently.
4 years old and beyond:
Finally at 4.5 years old my daughter has A LOT of clothes. Probably more than she should (we get a ton of hand me downs) and we've graduated her system to include this closet system.
Basically I took a single closet system, split it in half, put one in her closet and the other downstairs in our entryway. The rails are low enough for her to manage her hanging clothing herself. I use the top hanging wire in her closet for out of season things, or clothes my kids are growing into.
I added bins to the shelves with labels to theme them. And we added an Ikea Trofast for her “drawers” which are also labeled and themed. One row for tops, one row for bottoms, and one row for shared clothing.
This is great if you want to do the “no fold” method or have multiple kids. We have some “shared” drawers for shorts and shirts between my two kids.
As you can see, as my daughter got older, we gave her more options and spaces that required more skills.
A note on labels:
A key component of montessori wardrobes working well in my opinion has to do with labeling everything. Often when you set out so few options, you forget where things go, labels fix that. Additionally, labels with pictures allow your child to learn more responsibility and have more confidence in where things go.
In montessori, it's recommended books are displayed in a forward facing manner. Children can easily see what's available and choose what they are interested in. I have an entire blog post reviewing the best montessori shelves here.
For my daughter's updated room, it was kind of a tight and tall space, so I ordered two of these bookshelves. I don't love them as much as others I've reviewed in the past since the lower shelves are pretty short and better suited for board books; which my daughter has mostly grown out of. But for now it works. We use the lower short shelves for my 2 year old's books and the upper tall shelf for books better suited to my 4 year old.
Montessori beds are an entire post in themself (which I have here and cover all the FAQs and top recs!).
Basically the idea here is to give the child freedom of movement and learn bodily autonomy by allowing them full access to their bed. Since the bed is on the floor they can independently access it and while minimizing safety hazards.
You do NOT want to directly place a mattress on the floor though for health reasons (re: mold and allergens), instead you want something on slats like this or a proper frame. You can dive deep into montessori beds here where I talk about the best age to introduce, types of beds to grow with your child, placement in the room, and more.
For our bedroom, my daughter is currently 4 years old so she sleeps in the top bunk, and we are working on my son transitioning to the floor bed. He still struggles to sleep through the night though and we don't want him waking her up early.
Self care station
“Care of self” is a core principle in montessori which basically means getting yourself dressed and ready for the day. A montessori bedroom should have a mirror at the child's line of site, with a brush, and anything else they will need to get dressed for the day (hair accessories, toothbrush if there's water, etc.).
My daughter and I share a bathroom with a step stool, but she also has a little vanity she set up on a second Trofast shelf in her bedroom. She uses one of the trofast drawers for overflow of her hair accessories, and has a little jewelry box.
Montessori bedrooms typically do offers a few toys for children. Basically the idea here is that children can get out of their floor bed when they awake in the morning and engage with a few toys until it's time for them to come out of the room.
Typically three to five toys are offered on a low, open shelf for the child when first starting out.
Now that she's 4 years old, we have a whole trofast in here. One drawer is for dolls, one for overflow books, one for a play mat, but these all switch out fairly often.
She also has her beloved dollhouse and a crib for her baby doll.
Wall art / decor
In montessori, the recommendation is art hung at the child's line of sight. It's often recommended parents get on their tummy or all fours to “see the world” through their child's eyes when deciding where to place art.
We personally never did this; it just wasn't my vibe (see: How To DIY Easy Wall Mural) and those low walls were often coveted space for shelves or toys in our montessori home.
Instead, we always prioritized extremely personal art once our kids are old enough to have a say.
At 3 years old, my daughter became pretty adamant she HATED white walls. I had plans to paint a beautiful mural, but when I showed it to her, she said no. She wanted to paint the room herself and choose the colors. So we went to the hardware store, she chose a ton of colors (which we narrowed down) and purchase little samples of, then got to work. This was the end result:
Naturally this fell at her eye level as she helped paint it!
Now that we are renting, we obviously can't paint the walls. Instead a tradition we started was hanging art on the walls wherever we went. So in my 4 year old's room today, we have these and these + these flower wall stickers on one side, and all of her cherished art that she's drawn or are from friends and family.
The big thing I will say, that parents often forget about in a montessori room is to include them in the theme!
Lastly in her bedroom is a hamper for her to put dirty clothes away.
Clothing throughout the home:
While this section doesn't technically have to do with the bedroom, it does fit “bedroom things” into it and I wanted to talk about a few efficiency things we do in our montessori home.
Here we hang seasonal outwear with some bins for “quick grab” things like bathing suits and socks. All set out at my child's height.
I love this set up because I can also use the extra space as a drying rack for the laundry.
We live in a small beach town so I decided to have a “no sand” upstairs rule. To support this, we have everyone come into the downstairs bathroom with a big walk in shower. I used these suction hooks for my kids to hang their bathing suits after rinsing in the shower. In the linen closet I keep one bin for my daughters underwear and “cozy clothes,” one shared bin for kids bathing suits, and one bin for my sons clozy clothes. Again, all at their height.
Since our entry is so small, we decided no shoes in the house and got this shoe bench which came with two hanging hook rods. One we set at child height for the kids to hang their helmets and toddler backpacks.
The other we use for us. I loved the affordable price point and customization for our families needs.
Shop this room:
Final thoughts on a montessori bedroom
Setting up a montessori bedroom can be extremely budget friendly and easy. When starting out, remember less is more. Keep things accessible to the child with limited choices, and add on as your child grows. Also be sure to let your child have a say in their space!
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