It always amazes parents that the littlest people in our lives can often take up the most space. Kids’ closets can be a challenge to organize, but some simple strategies can make it a little easier. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you set up and maintain your children’s closets.
1. Keep the organizing flexible
The demands on an infant’s bedroom closet are very different from those of a teenager’s, so make sure your set up is flexible. Some closet organizer systems cannot be rearranged once installed, but a product like Rubbermaid’s Configurations closet systems will allow you to add/move shelves, rods and drawers as your children's needs change. If you are looking for a more inexpensive option, free-standing bookcases or shelving units that you may already have in your home can provide extra shelving in a builders' basic rod-and-shelf closet.
2. Keep the organizing easy
Putting clothes away on hangers can be a challenge for full-grown adults – forget kids! Hooks are a great way to help young children take some ownership of their closet organization. Robes, belts, and other items can be quickly and easily hung on a hook. I like the 3M options because the hooks can be moved as time goes on, without a lot of damage to walls.
Open bins on shelves make it easy for children to pop items into their closets. Socks, underwear, small toys, etc., can all be tucked away but are still super-accessible. Part of keeping it easy is keeping it identifiable. Labelling bins and shelves (using photos for your little ones, words for older ones) will help keep like with like.
3. Keep the items within reach
One of the best ways to get your child to participate in organizing their own closet is to make sure they can access it. Keep the day-to-day items down low and the less frequently required items higher up.
A rod extension (the one pictured below is from Bed, Bath &Beyond) can double a closet’s hanging space in a kid’s closet AND make it more manageable for some children to reach their clothes.
4. Keep track of the inventory
Kids outgrow their clothes so fast, it’s important to keep track of what fits and what does not. If you have the space, keep a donation basket or box in their closet so any too-small clothes can be moved out of the regular line up. If the clothes are being kept for a younger sibling, use a plastic storage bin and pre-mark the bin with a label to designate the sex, size and season of the clothes to come. For example, you might write “Girls/Summer/18 months to 24 months” on the label before moving the box to your storage room. It will make is super easy later to pull out the correct clothes at the correct time.
Leave a comment and let us know what kind organizing challenges you face!
Heather Cameron is an Ottawa organizer with Edited Interiors. Contact her to learn more about how you can benefit from her real-life organizing solutions for your home.