August 10, 2015
How to Organize and Maintain Kids Closets
If you have children and they have a closet and/or a dresser and clothing, chances are there are some issues regarding clothes, organization, and laundry. While teaching kids to be tidy might be important to you, it’s probably not on their radar. Instead, doing a couple things to set them up for success is probably a better idea. So today I’m going to share some ideas for quickly organizing kids’ closets and dressers in ways that make it easy for them to maintain themselves. What better time than fall and back to school season to give a little thought to the organization in their closets and drawers.
First things first, a couple ideas to keep in mind when organizing for and with children:
- Keep things easily accessible – hang items at their level so they can take them out and put them away easily.
- Group like items together – the key to keeping things organized works SO well for kids. Group everything and it will be so much easier. Label if needed with words or pictures, whatever works for your kids.
- Keep often used items in plain sight so they are easy to find and put away. Storage without lids is great so they can simply see where the item belongs and put it there.
- Stay on top of outgrown clothing. Have a system for storage of outgrown clothing is key. I keep a bin in each child’s closet for anything that’s outgrown. Once it’s filled up it’s either passed down to a younger sibling or cousin or it’s donated. If you have younger children, keep only what you need and know your next child will use. Put the clothing in storage bins and clearly label them so it’s easy to find the clothing when they are needed. I find it really helpful to either have one large bin of clothing for a specific age OR to have one bin for fall/winter and one for spring/summer clothing.
- Teach your kids to de-clutter clothing and toys together so they understand this process. I find that it’s also especially helpful for kids to see how quickly they become disinterested with toys and clothing so they are more selective about new toys and clothing.
Empty the closet and any drawers completely. This is always my method when cleaning and organizing ANY space. Once you have emptied the entire space clean and wipe down any shelves and drawers. Vacuum if necessary.
Sort through clothing quickly – what fits, keep. What doesn’t fit put in one of 3 categories: pack away, toss, donate/sell. Use this simple method for all clothing sorting and organization – it works! If there are outfits or clothing that your child no longer likes or never liked but it still fits, either pack it away or donate/sell it. It isn’t worth taking up space if it isn’t an outfit or piece of clothing that will get worn.
Group like items together – long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, pajamas, undies, socks, etc. Keeping everything grouped together makes it SO much easier to put away and to find certain articles of clothing in a hurry.
Hang or fold (almost) everything. Here’s the thing. If you want to get your kids involved with doing their own laundry or some part of the folding and putting away process and you want to start at a young-ish age (like 3+), having everything hung, folded, and put away neatly may or may not work. When I am doing little ones laundry and they aren’t helping, everything gets folded and put away standing up.
I’ve done this for years for my own clothes and for the kids and it works great for limited storage plus you can easily see everything at a glance. My oldest can keep up with this but my younger two cannot and I don’t expect it from them. I am just happy that one can fold his own clothes and put them away and the younger one can choose his own clothes and get dressed by himself. Point being, don’t expect perfect and figure out ways to let the kids take some responsibility. For example, kids’ socks and undies go in small bins in their dresser drawers unfolded.
If needed, use the door for storage – I put an over-the-door storage hanger over the back of the door for my daughter’s doll clothes – it’s a great way to keep them accessible for her and they’re also easy to put away.
Now for maintenance. Keeping a closet neat and tidy will need some supervision, but start with an accessible laundry hamper and making sure clothes are folded and put away where they belong is key. If the location of the clothing makes sense to your child and it’s easy for them to access, then they will have success! We do a big closet clean out in the spring and fall and this seems to be all that’s necessary.