Kids’ closets are definitely one area where clutter-free = hassle-free. Different organizing methods work for different families, so here are some of my best tips on how to organize your child’s closet.
If they’re old enough, get your kids involved in organizing their own closets, since they’ll be the ones ultimately in charge of keeping them clean.
1. Start by taking everything out of the closet, and purging anything that no longer fits or is stained, torn or otherwise damaged. Sort the keepers by type…
- toys, books, etc.
Once you know what you have, then you can plan how to store it all.
Some children do well with their clothes folded on shelves and in drawers, while others prefer their clothes hanging up. Organize the clothes according to how your child prefers them. My son likes to flip through his shirts to choose what he wants to wear, so hanging his clothes is simpler and minimizes the messiness of pawing through folded items in search of that one favorite shirt.
2. Add a lower hanging rod in the closet so children can reach their own hang-up clothes. Divide hanging clothes by type, with short-sleeve shirts together, long-sleeve shirts together and so on. Put out of season hang-ups in the back of the closet, with current season clothes hanging front and center.
3. Hang clothes on matching hangers facing the same direction so children can find what they need easily. Ditto’s Recycled Cardboard hangers are not only a more eco-friendly option than plastic, their thin design takes up less room in a closet.
4. Consider using rod dividers to notate types of clothing, season or size.
5. For school-age children, separating school clothes from play clothes can simplify mornings. My son knows he can wear anything in his closet to school, but shirts and sports shorts folded in his dresser are for after-school only.
6. Small drawers, baskets and bins are particularly good for storing underwear, socks, hats, girls’ accessories and even pajamas. Place big bold labels, with pictures for nonreaders, on each bin so kids can find what they need. Choose containers without lids to make them easy to use.
7. Keep clothing in short stacks in drawers or bins so kids don’t have to paw through large piles to find what they want.
8. A hanging closet organizer with seven shelves can be used to store a complete outfit for each day of the week. Include undergarments and accessories too.
9. If you use wire shelving, consider placing heavy shelf liner on the shelves so small objects don’t fall through.
10. Add a row of hooks on the wall for hanging bags and hats, or use a hook on the inside of the closet door for hanging the next day’s outfit to simplify the morning routine.
11. Keep shoes organized and off the floor. Older kids might like hanging shoes organizers, while younger kids might fare better with stackable baskets that can hold several pairs.
12. Store off-season clothing, as well as hand-me-downs from older siblings, in labeled containers on the highest shelf in the closet. Containers can be labeled by season, by size or both. I usually label mine with both, such as 4T fall/winter. If you have both boys and girls, make sure to include the gender on the label.
13. Keep a box or bag in the closet for outgrown clothes and periodically empty out the box by donating unneeded clothes or storing them for a younger sibling.
14. Keep a hamper or laundry bin on the floor of the closet and encourage your child to put his dirty clothes in the hamper daily.
15. If you keep toys in the closet, have a designated bin, basket or shelf for the toys so they’re not thrown on the floor randomly.
Sandy Kreps is a writer, graphic designer/art director, and mom to two little boys.
Through her Modern Simplicity blog, she is committed to teaching others about choosing a greener, simpler lifestyle. She has been writing, teaching and speaking on green living and simplicity subjects since 2007.