No matter the size of the closet (or the number of kids sharing it), these tips will help you create a system that will enable your kids to keep their own spaces organized so you don’t have to keep organizing kids’ closets over and over again.
Before I begin today, let me tell you that I am NOT one of those color-coded people. My closets and files are not always pretty to look at; my drawers are often a little messy; my pantry has extra Chick-fil-a sauce packets sitting on a random shelf… In short, my organization is not always photo worthy. 😉 BUT, I believe in organizing spaces and creating systems that enable you (or, in this case, your children) to sustain organization. Actually, two of my most popular posts ever (and especially this time of year) are all about creating habits and building spaces that promote clutter-free living. I don’t want to reorganize my home every year; I want to find something that works and keep it going.
That’s what today’s post is about: some simple tips that can help you sustain organization in your kids’ closets. I redid (painted, cleaned, built hooks, etc.) my boys’ closet last spring, and I’m pleased to say that 10 months later, my 4 and 6 year old boys are still keeping the space functional and organized. The keys to our success are what I’m sharing with you today.
1. Hang a high bar
I often see kids’ closets with the bar down low, but I prefer to have drawers or other organization tools where the kids can reach and clothes up high.
2. Include a step stool
For #1 to make sense, you need #2. My kids can safely stand on a step stool to hang clothes, but I wouldn’t want them trying to get down boxes of toys or clothes from higher shelves. We have a couple of these Ikea ones that get used in their room and closet, and we love how sturdy and safe they are.
3. Use kid-sized hangers
I buy packages of 10 for about $2 from my local Target. They are so affordable and work perfectly for anything from baby clothes up to my oldest who is now wearing boys size 6/7. We may need to get him bigger hangers soon, but so far these have been great and my kids can hang up their own clothes.
4. Have a box for off-season items
This is a perfect item to put up high where the kids may not be able to reach. We rotate swimsuits, soccer cleats, winter hats, and more through that box. It keeps it all in one place so that when the appropriate season rolls around, I know exactly where to find it.
5. Have a box for off-sized items
I say off-sized rather than too small because we obviously hand-me-down from my oldest boy to the next (which is only 20 months younger). Generally, there is a gap, though, of at least 6 months before things from my oldest will fit his brother. The off-sized box is the perfect place for those items. It also works for things that have gotten too small for my younger son when I don’t have time to go to the attic to store them away properly. I just drop them into the off-sized box when the boys aren’t around (because – inevitably – the shirt I try to take away is suddenly their “favorite…” 😉 ), and then I transfer them all to the attic when I have time.
6. Have a box for giveaway
It’s not labeled in our closet, but the brown box is the giveaway. We toss toys, clothes, and anything else in there that my boys really don’t need any more. Having a spot available right there means we actually use it, and I can empty it into our larger giveaway closet whenever I get a chance.
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7. Use plastic drawers (if space allows)
We use something very similar to these. I realize that my boys have an enormous closet. This since is the first home we have owned that was newer than 1954, we have lived with much smaller closets… So I know that not everyone can fit drawers into closets, but if you can, I highly recommend plastic ones like these. Save your pretty furniture for the bedroom; my boys find these much easier to open and close, and I love that I can see inside of them without opening them. It encourages them to keep them neater!
8. Add hooks and pegs
Whether it’s the back of the door, the side of the hanging bar bracing, or even just a blank spot on the wall, hooks and pegs are invaluable. Kids can use them, and they are perfect for hats, belts, shinguards, and more. We also use them to hold our little library bags and even a hoodie or two when the weather is right…
9. Don’t be intimidated about building custom parts
See those hooks above? I searched for a long time for some kind of bar of hooks or pegs that would fit that spot in the closet. Finally, I gave up. I grabbed two packages of super affordable hooks and drawer knobs and screwed them into some 1×2 scrap wood I had on hand. I was able to cut the 1×2’s to fit the space perfectly. It took about an hour (plus paint drying time) and was so much cheaper than the various options I considered buying! So whether it’s a basic shelf, hooks, or even an extra hanging bar, a closet is a great place to try your hand at a little DIY – if it’s not perfect, you can always close the door. 😉
10. Include a laundry basket (if space allows)
It might be that in your home there is a better spot in the bathroom for laundry; if that’s the case, great! But my boys have a teeny tiny bathroom and this great big closet, so a laundry basket is a necessity in here. If you saw my post about teaching my kids to do their own laundry, you know that having their own basket for dirty clothes is an important part!
And that’s it! Those 10 things have allowed my 4 and 6 year old boys to keep a functional, neat closet for almost a year now. Don’t get me wrong, I have to tell them to clean it from time to time (ok, almost daily!), but they know exactly how to do it themselves. There are no issues with items that don’t have a place.
Get the look:
And happy organizing!
You might also enjoy these kid-friendly organizing tips and projects:
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