I Let My 4-Year-Old Rearrange Our Living Room—and It Was Surprisingly Fun

published Dec 17, 2020
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young girl on swing hanging from living room ceiling

I’ve always loved rearranging furniture. It’s a great opportunity to deep clean and it just feels good to look at everything from a different perspective. My family is a few weeks out from beginning a living room makeover, and the state of the space is currently a jumble of pieces for the redesign mixed with pieces that have found their way in from other rooms—and a little bit o’ Christmas sprinkled in there because at this point, why not? There’s really no rhyme or reason to the design, so I thought it could be fun to let our four-year-old just go at it, and completely rearrange the space any way she wanted.

It wasn’t difficult to get her hyped up—once she realized that she was in charge of telling us where all the furniture would go, she was in! I explained that I like to get my design down on paper before I start moving furniture, sort of like making a map of the room, so I drew her a very basic floor plan and included the radiators as a reference. We talked about the term “bird’s eye view” and I told her it’s what the room would look like if we could fly up above and look down.

To get started, I asked her where we should put the couch and she pointed to the north wall; I showed her where that would be on the floor plan, and she drew it in. If the couch moved, my desk would have to move as well—that was a good way to keep the conversation going.

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Later that night when my husband came home, we all got to work and started moving the furniture around. It took hardly any time at all and was so fun to let her take the lead. Once the TV was up on the mantle (something I would have never chosen myself), she squealed “now our TV is like the one at Nana and Papa’s house!!!”

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When I asked my daughter what she liked best about rearranging the room, she said “drawing the furniture map.” Apparently the part where we moved the actual furniture was “so boring.”

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Like most families—especially city-dwellers with no yard space—we’ve had to get really creative this past year in finding ways to stay busy and entertained. Our little family project was an activity that was like nothing we had ever done together before; it got everyone involved, and up and moving. I loved seeing my daughter get so invested, and I loved that it cost us nothing to do—plus, it helped give our living room a breath of fresh air as we work on more permanent changes. I hope this little exercise will help her begin to understand how fun it is to change something up to get a new perspective.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: I Let My 4-Year-Old Rearrange Our Living Room—and It Was Surprisingly Fun