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Easy updates for your teen boy's room

Sherri Kuhn writes about raising teenagers, the perils of a clean home, wistfulness over babies, and anything else that makes her laugh (or cry) in the years between changing diapers and wearing them. With a son just starting college and...

Man-up his space

Has your teenage boy left behind the world of dinosaurs and toys? Maybe his room looks like he's still 10 years old. Help him bring it up to teen status with these easy, inexpensive updates.
teenage boy in bedroom

Does your teenage boy love sports? Maybe he's more of a nature lover or a science nut. Whatever his tastes, you can do a few easy updates to his little-kid room, then bring in a theme that reflects his personality.

When updating a teen's bedroom, space there are several things you should consider in order to make sure the space will be functional as well as trendy.

steel trash can

Storage wars

As your son moves into his teens, having adequate storage becomes more of an issue. Collections from his younger years may not be on display, but he's not ready to part with them just yet. Plastic bins with lids can be easily labeled and stacked in his closet for easy access to that baseball trophy collection. An old-school steel trash can ($25, Home Depot) is a hip place to store anything from sports equipment to dirty clothes. This steel shelving unit ($98, Sears), intended for a garage or basement, is sturdy enough to stand up to the heaviest of teen stuff and has a cool industrial look.

locker storage bin

Clothes-minded

Teens are all about their clothes — and teen boys are no exception. Bigger clothes take up more space, so think about how to store clothing items in different ways. Folded jeans can be stored on closet shelves where they are easy to see rather than crammed into a dresser drawer. These metal locker storage bins ($20-$25, The Land of Nod) with open tops are great for socks and underwear, which don't really need to be folded — regardless of what mom thinks. Double-hung closet rods ($20, The Container Store) are great for the unusually excessive T-shirt collection owned by most teenage boys. Be sure to leave a section with room to hang long items, like dress slacks.

Crate

Desk jockey

By the time they reach their teens, most boys will prefer to have a study space in their room. The kid-sized desk needs to go, but don't limit your options to just desks. You can make a large table-style desk from plywood and ready-made legs purchased at any home improvement store. Use permanent markers to doodle on the top for an instant one-of-a-kind art piece, then seal with a clear coat of spray paint. Your teen will also need lots of storage for school books and desk supplies. Mesh pencil cups ($3, OfficeMax) are great for storing pencils, scissors, markers and paperclips. These wooden storage crates ($39, PB Teen) are a great way to store books and keep them handy.

T-shirt pillows

Bedtime

When he's up until the wee hours, your teen will need a cool place to sleep until noon. A platform bed with built-in drawers in the base is a smart way to find a bit of extra space in a small bedroom. If you have room, consider upgrading him to a full-sized bed (also called a double) or even a queen. You can use the extra sleeping space when guests visit and send your son to the sofa for the night. The Maxwell comforter set ($50-$60, jcp) has bold stripes and neutral colors that roll with any theme. These T-shirt pillows ($29, PB Teen) or some comfy cushions make his bed not only a place to sleep, but a place to chill and listen to music or read a book.

Upgrade your teen boy's room with a few simple updates and give him a space to call his own.

More teen decor

Transition your playroom from toddler to teen
10 Quick bedroom makeovers for your kids
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