I’ve been asked a lot recently how to organize kids’ closets, and I wanted to share my approach and outline what’s been working for our family. Hope these tips will help you whip those overflowing dressers and closets into shape!
Edit Your Heart Out!
My theory is: Less clothing, less stress. As someone who does not enjoy doing laundry, I have streamlined my girls’ clothing down to the essentials that they truly love and wear. They seem to do just fine with roughly 10 tops and ten bottoms if we do laundry once a week. They also each have two jackets and two pairs of school shoes and a party shoe. Creating a capsule wardrobe for your kids of mix and match items makes life so much easier. It’s also good to remember that it’s ok to politely decline other people’s well intentioned bags of hand-me-downs if you don’t actually need them. Once you accept them they are yours to clean, organize and manage. Just say no! (thank you).
Organize By Type
My girls share a six drawer dresser which I have organized in the simplest way possible: The top drawer has tops and casual dresses. The middle has skirts, shorts and leggings. The bottom drawer has socks, underwear, pjs and swimsuits. Their party dresses and seasonal items are hung up in the closet. Since I have yet to meet a child who hangs things nicely on hangers, I always prefer storing daily use clothing in dressers, which enables them to get dressed easily and put away laundry themselves. If you like you can label each drawer with what should go in it or add a photo for young kids. Their clothes may not be perfectly folded, but they will be organized and easily accessible which is a big win in my book.
Most kids are involved in some sort of extracurricular activities that require clothing and gear. I like setting up a tote bag for each activity and hanging them in the closet or by the door for easy access. We have a swim bag stocked with sunscreen, goggles, suits and swim toys, as well as a soccer tote and a ballet bag. Out totes live on hooks in the closet and make it easy to grab and go before each activity. Bonus points if you remember to restock them after each use.
Set up a Donation Basket
You can maintain a streamlined wardrobe for your kids by setting up a simple bin, basket or bag in their closet for donations. As soon as my girls outgrow something I toss it into our donation bin. When the bin is full I donate to my local charity. Toss, donate, repeat.
Set Up a Grow Into Bin
If you have great clothes in larger sizes set up a labeled bin and store it in your child’s closet. These bins often live in garages or basements and don’t get used in time. Limit the quantity you store (I have one bin per child) and make sure to check the bin before you go shopping for new clothes.
If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, try taking it one category at a time and get your kids involved in the process. Put all of their tops in a pile and have them choose their favorite 10. If you break editing and organizing into bite-sized steps, you will be done before you know it!
photo credit: vivian johnson photography for shira gill home