Keeping Your Kids' Closets Organized

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.

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Organizing tip: Keeping kids toys organized

by Karen Don’t be fooled into buying a big toy box for your little ones…smaller, manageable containers are so much easier for children to handle.  Large toy boxes are just a dumping ground for all things large and small and make it impossible to find anything.

Invest in some small, medium and larger Canvas or Rubbermaid type bins to house all those toys that seem to accumulate over time.  Find containers that are opaque  and have manageable lids for little ones to be able to pry off.  Categorize your toys into bins, mark the bins for what belongs inside, or paste pictures on the container for the non-readers, and cleanup will be easy for both the child and parent.

Although I have teenagers now, I still have those see-through containers filled with the better quality toys that stood the test of time (such as Lego) and they are easily accessible for when small children visit!

Karen is the mother of a large and busy family with  2 sons in their twenties, 2 teenage daughters and a 17 year old foster child!  As the wife of a retired RCMP officer, she has moved this family 8 times! She recently joined the team of Smart Space Organizing as a professional Organizer because she loves helping others tackle their organizing challenges!

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Noodle Box

by Sara

On February 14, 2008 I bought a Rubbermaid container and 4 bags of alphabet pasta.  It was our Valentine's day present for the, then almost-two-year-old, firefighter.  We filled the container with the noodles and several of his favourite construction vehicles and voila, our very own construction site!  Eight years ago the total cost for everything was less than $20.

Many years later we still have the same box and the same noodles.  Although many have been sacrificed to the dog and vacuum. 

The noodle box is a toy that is kept behind closed doors.  I bring it out for the firefighter when I am working.  He will put the lid beside him and take out all the toys he doesn't want to use.  He will play happily for 30-45 minutes.

The monkey also loves the noodle box but he needs be supervised as noodles usually end up spread far and wide.  I find the fewer toys I leave in the box, the more creative (and less disastrously messy) the play is.

It makes for a great rainy day or "I need 15 minutes to get dinner ready" activity).  We also have a rubbermaid container filled with Moon sand and assorted scooping and digging toys.

Do you have any sensory box activities at your house?

Sara is a photographer and mom to three boys - find her at Sara McConnell Photography