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If your kid’s bedroom usually looks like the aftermath of a tornado, you are not alone. “Messy” is often the default state for most children’s rooms. Kids typically leave clothes and toys strewn about with the idea they will come back to them later. Or that someone – Mom, Dad, a kids’ closet organization fairy – will pick them up for them. At best, stuff is piled on the floor of the closet or under the bed where they are at least out of sight.
This lack of kids’ closet organization can make it almost impossible to find important stuff they need (like clothes) especially on a busy school morning. The majority of parents put off organizing their child’s closet though because the task is so daunting, and they really don’t even have enough time.
The following are some simple tips that will help you tackle kids closet organization once and for all, and then make a plan to keep it as neat and tidy as possible going forward.
Take Everything Out
Kids’ closet organization begins with a clean slate, which means taking everything out of your child’s closet. This will allow you to see exactly what is in the closet, so you can sort the items later.
Make sure you set aside items that do not actually belong in your child’s room, such as overflow clothes from your closet or the extra sleeping bag that could be better stored somewhere else. Once you empty the closet, you should analyze the space and assign areas for specific items such as shoes, clothes, toys, and hampers. You should also take the time to give it a through clean.
Divide Stuff into Categories
Next it’s time to divide the items you removed from your child’s closet into deliberate piles. The easiest way is to start with at least five large buckets, bins, or even extra-large trash bags. You should label the bins with the following categories:
Wear Now: The stuff that is seasonably appropriate and is in your child’s current size.
Wear Later : These are items that you may have purchased or had given to you that are one to two sizes too big for your child, but they are likely to grow into soon. Store these clothes in labeled bins according to size, so you can get to them when your child is big enough.
You should put any currently sized, but seasonably inappropriate items in a different bin. These will also be stored, but do remember to make sure that when it’s time for them to be worn again they do still fit before adding them back to the closet.
Store: You can make use of this category if you have younger children who will be able to use the items later. This bin is for clothes or toys that your child has outgrown. Make sure all items are still in good condition. You can organize things further by dividing them according to age, sex, and size.
Donate: This bin is for the items that your child no longer wears, uses or has outgrown but are still in good condition. You can give the items to a friend or family member, donate to a charity, or even turn them into cash via a site like Poshmark or at a local consignment store.
Throw Away: This stack is for no longer used items that are ripped or too worn to be donated, given away, or stored for your younger children.
Remember, you have to be somewhat ruthless when it comes to the “give away” and “trash” bins. Your child may tell you that a particular shirt or toy is their absolute favorite; however, if they haven’t worn or played with the item in months it is probably time to let it go.
Get Down to Your Child’s Level
You should look at the closet from your kid’s perspective. Often closet bars and shelves are at an adult height, which makes it difficult for your child to put things away on their own. You may want to consider lowering the bar, adding a second bar that is closer to their height, or even adding additional child-height shelves. Bars and shelves can easily be adjusted as your child grows. With a few minor changes to the closet, your child will not have an excuse for not hanging up their clothes.
Group Like Items
As you begin to return clothes to your kid’s closet, keep like items together. For example, all the t shirts should be in one area, all skirts in another, and so on. You can purchase or even download printable closet dividers to help with the process. These dividers will also help your child keep their closet organized by letting them know exactly where stuff is supposed to go.
Other helpful tools include adjustable hangers that grow with your child and closet organizers and shelving units. For younger children, you might find it useful to have a small selection of pre-matched outfits in the center of the closet, so the children can learn to dress themselves.
Organize Items that Cannot Be Hung
The next step is to tackle the items that cannot be hung. You may want to consider adding shelves for things like toys or games. Or getting them out of the closet equation altogether. Hanging canvas shelves or putting a small dresser in the closet is perfect for storing items such as PJs and underwear. Door organizers and small plastic bins can be used for smaller items such as belts and other accessories.
Use Storage Bins and Containers
As you go through the kids’ closet organization process storage bins should become new best friends. It is best to start with clear containers without lids so you and your child can easily see what is inside.
It is still important to make sure each bin is properly labeled. You can use preprinted labels, erasable labels, or even pictures of the contents. This will help you and your child return things to their proper place.
Children’s shoes typically end up in a jumbled mess on the closet floor, and the pair rarely stays together. This can be a major time-waster on a hectic school morning. You can solve this problem by creating a designated area just for shoes. Open shelving, door hangers, or stackable plastic baskets are good alternatives to a traditional shoe rack. You can also use storage bins for out of season shoes and dance or sports gear.
Maintaining Kids’ Closet Organization
A few final touches can help you maintain the kids closet organization that you just achieved.
- Make sure your child has a hamper or laundry basket nearby for dirty clothes. The clothes are less likely to end up on the floor if the hamper is within easy reach.
- Keep a spare storage bin marked “too small” for items that your child outgrows. Once you determine that your child has outgrown an item, immediately put it in the bin. You can then sort through the bin every few months or so to determine what can be donated or given to friends and family.
- Check the contents of the “too big” bin every couple of months. There may be items that your child has grown into that can be added to the clothing rotation.
- Take a few minutes each day to straighten up, and make sure everything is back in the appropriate place. Or better still, assign that task to your child and then ‘check their work’ when they are done.
Kids closet organization doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. However, it can be a time-consuming one, especially if the child the closet belongs to is around to object to half of what you are doing. The Just Organized by Taya team can help here though. Not only can we undertake a lot of the work but we can also help you find the right storage products for your home and create a more formal plan to keep things organized after we leave.
Ready to do a little kids closet organization with us? Book an appointment here.