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!
Step #3: Create Structure
Let’s face it, most closets are not made for kids. Many have a single rod, about 5 feet high, which does no good since your child is probably less than 3 feet tall. Add more hanging space to the closet by purchasing a hanging rod to create a lower bar. You can also move a dresser into the closet, or buy some hanging canvas shelves with canvas drawers. These items are great for storing small items that don’t need to be hung, like pajamas, underwear, and play clothes.
Bins up high in the closet are great for keeping less-frequently needed items. Keep one labeled “Too Small” and you’ll always have a place to toss clothes that are suddenly outgrown. Other bins for bedding, toys that aren’t currently on the favorites list, and too-big clothes will ensure that everything you need for your child is kept within arm’s reach when you need it.
Step #4: Organize the Space
The key to setting up your child’s closet is to keep the most needed items in the most accessible spot. When your child is very young, keep matching outfits hung together in the center of the closet so you can grab them easily, even if your hands are full. As your child gets older and learns to dress himself, keep a small selection of tops, bottoms, and shoes for him to choose his own outfits. In general, the more choices a child has, the tougher it can be to make a decision, so keep only about 5 options at his level at a time, and he will be able to make a much quicker decision on his day’s outfit.
Keep smaller items, like hair bows and other accessories, contained in small plastic bins. Add a small bin or basket on the floor for shoes, and a small hamper for dirty items. This way, everything has its place and you're not forced to go closet hunting every morning.
Step #5: Label
Put both a picture of the items in the bin and the word for the items, and you will be teaching your child how to put away her things as well as how to read. Bonus points!
Once you have found a home for each and every item that belongs in your child’s closet, it’s time to label the storage bins and boxes. Labeling the bins will help you and anyone else helping your child get ready know where to find each item. Likewise, it will help make sure that everything gets put away in the same spot as it was taken out from. There are so many options for labels, from chalkboard labels to printed labels or even homemade wooden tags for your bins, so find an option that you like and label away.
See also: Tips for a Happy Toy Room
If your child is preschool-aged and learning to read, these labels can serve another purpose too. If you put both a picture of the items in the bins and the word for the items, you will be teaching your child how to put away her things as well as how to read. Bonus points for being a multi-tasking parent!
Step #6: Maintain
Now that the closet is organized and looking great, the only thing left is to keep it that way. This is the easy part since you now have an easy system to do that with. As soon as you realize that your child has outgrown a piece of clothing, toss it and all its matching pieces into the Too Small bin. When the Too Small bin gets full, pull it down and go through the clothes to decide if you are going to store them or get rid of them. This is also the appropriate time to pull down the Too Big bin because there are probably items that will now fit your child that can be pulled out and put into the mix of daily clothes.
The other important step is to be committed to putting everything back where it belongs. The labels will help, but establishing a routine of picking up the room at the end of each day will help maintain an organized space throughout the week. On laundry days, start teaching your child how to put away his own clothes, and soon the closet will be (almost!) maintaining itself.
What tips or tricks do you have for getting your kids to keep their closets clean? Tweet me your ideas @thedomesticceo. If you’d like to see some other closet ideas, check out my Closets board on Pinterest.
Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.