How to Organize Your Child's Closet

Is your child's closet bursting at the seams? Follow these 6 easy steps from Domestic CEO and learn how to create and maintain order in your child's closet!

Amanda Thomas
7-minute read
Episode #82

As a huge fan of organization and order, I have to admit that organizing kids’ closets is one of my favorite projects. However, I’ve worked with enough parents to know that this is not the top of most mommies and daddies to-do lists. Most parents are so busy trying to keep up with their children throughout the day that the thought of going through hundreds of pieces of tiny clothes is more than a little overwhelming.

If you are a parent, or about to become a parent, today’s episode is for you. I’m going to give you 6 steps to creating a system of organization in your child’s closet that will help it always stay organized. That’s right, with these 6 steps, and just a little effort as your child grows, you’ll be able to keep your child’s closet in tip top condition for years to come..

I will warn you, if your child’s closet is currently a mess, these steps are going to require a little extra effort up front. Send the kids away for a play date so you can have a good chunk of the day to work. And if you need a little extra motivation, invite a friend over to help. By the end of the day, the closet will be ready for your child to outgrow everything in it.

Step #1: Remove Everything

The first step to organize a child’s closet is to remove everything that is currently in the closet. I realize that this seems tedious, but it will help you to sort through the contents much easier. As you pull everything out, start sorting it into categories. You can put all the clothes on the bed, bedding on the dresser, and toys in the corner. Once you get everything out, you will start to see which things logically do not belong in your child’s closet.

Many times the closet in a baby’s nursery is doing double duty as storage for some of the parents' old stuff. This may seem innocent enough; after all, baby clothes are super tiny, right? What happens 3 years down the road as the clothes get bigger and your schedule becomes much busier? All that stuff is taking up valuable closet space that your preschooler now really needs. If you find your high school memorabilia, old computer hardware, or anything else that is obviously adult in the child’s closet, pull it out immediately and put it into the hallway. As your child grows, you will need the entire closet for storing kid stuff, so kick the habit of storing random stuff in your child’s closet right now.

Step #2: Sort

After you have everything pulled out, it’s time to start sorting the stuff that came out of the closet. Grab 5 big plastic tubs, or simply clear enough room to make 5 piles throughout the room. Label the tubs or walls with the following categories: Now, Too Big, Store, Give Away, Trash.

Start tossing items into each of the bins or piles.

NOW – The Now bin should collect only items that your child is currently wearing. These are the right size, relatively stain-free, and the right season.

TOO BIG – The Too Big bin will collect any items that are too big for your child right now. They may be one size, or even years too big for your child. Once you are through sorting all the items, you can further organize this bin by size. If you have lots of items, put each size into its own plastic bin, label it, put it on the top shelf of the closet with the label facing you. That way, you can pull it out when your child reaches that size. This will make transitioning your child’s closet into bigger sizes much easier down the road.

STORE – The Store bin should only be used if you are planning on having more children, or already have younger children of the same sex. The items that you can toss into this bin should all be too small for your child, but still in great condition. Keep in mind that grandparents will still likely give your younger children clothes for birthdays, holidays, and whenever something catches their eye, so this bin should only have the best of the best outgrown items in it. Again, it is best to further organize these items by size. Use smaller plastic tubs, or go the cheap route and use diaper boxes, to store items of each size. Label them by size and “Girl” or “Boy,” and pack them out of the way (like in the garage) until you need them in the future.

GIVE AWAY – The Give Away bin will get the remainder of the items that your child has outgrown. These are items that you no longer want to keep in your house. You may want to give the items to a friend who has a slightly younger child than yours. Or, if you are ambitious, you may want to hold a garage sale to see if you can make a little cash on the items. If you simply want them out of the house, bag them up and drop them off at your local thrift store.

See also: How to Have a Successful Garage Sale


TRASH – Finally, the Trash pile is just that. Any items that are beyond repair, whether clothes or toys, or anything that is obviously trash (like price tags, crumpled pieces of paper, etc.) go into this pile. As soon as you can, bag it up and remove it from the room.