Organizing Kids’ Closets

Your challenge this week is to take steps toward decluttering and organizing closet space for your kids’ clothes and possessions. Organizing kids’ closets so they can find the things they need quickly and easily is important both for children too young to do it themselves, and for your older kids that need to learn some organization skills of their own.

Organizing Kids Closets

Of course, exactly what you need to do differs depending on how old your kids are. Plus, if you have several children like me (I have three) than you may not be able to get all these closets organized in one week. That’s no problem, just go at your own pace for the little ones’ closets and get your older children to pitch in for their own.

Are you new here? This challenge about organizing closet space for your kids is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).

Organizing Kids’ Closets

Do These Steps Yourself Or Help Your Older Kids With Them

If you’ve got a baby or toddler, for example, the steps listed below are for you to take yourself. However, if you’ve got kids old enough to help I encourage you to have them assist you (or you assist them) in the steps below.

Make an effort to listen to your children’s input about ideas, storage solutions, and ways to categorize items in their own closet. After all, they’ll be the one using it, not you. As long as they can quickly and easily find what they need in there then it is organized, even if you’d do it differently.

Step 1: Declutter Your Kids’ Closet Space

Before you can begin organizing closet space for your kids you need to get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t actually belong in your children’s closets. Some items listed below just don’t belong in the closet, but should go somewhere else in your home, and some of this stuff just needs to be tossed or donated or otherwise removed from your home.

Some of the prime culprits in your kids’ closets contributing to clutter include:

  • Parents or siblings stuff
  • Clothing and shoes which are out of season or too small
  • School papers, arts and crafts supplies and finished art projects
  • Toys, games and stuffed animals
Depending on the space in your closet and in the rest of your house some or all of these things may deserve a space in your kids’ closet. However, honestly assess what the main function of the space should be and make sure there is enough room to fulfill its primary function before adding more things to store in it.

The most common, and typical primary function for a closet is to hold your child’s currently used clothing, shoes, and accessories. If that is the primary goal you choose for organizing closet space for your kids then don’t, for example, try to cram toys in there too unless and until all the clothing, shoes, etc. fits in nicely, without feeling cramped.

In addition, although storing off season clothes in your own closet may make sense kids grow so quickly that often something that fit last winter won’t fit the next winter, for example. Therefore, if you are saving clothes and shoes for younger siblings (like I do) I encourage you to find another area to store those items in, if possible, to make room for the stuff which is currently in use. This is especially critical for shoes, which can take up lots of room.

closet rod doubler organizing kids' closets
Double Hanging Rod


Step 2: Organizing Closet Space For Your Kids

Hanging Clothes: How To Double Your Hanging Space For Kids’ Clothes

One of the primary functions of a closet is to hold hanging clothes. If you have a lot of hanging clothes I suggest getting two closet rods for children’s clothes (such as by using a double hanging rod, such as the one shown on the right), one upper and one lower, because the clothing is much smaller and you can generally accommodate two rods easily. This simple step can double the hanging space available.

The top rod can contain dressy clothing, uniforms, costumes and other items you don’t want little hands to get hold of, while the lower rod can hold the items used for everyday wear. Although small children will reach for these items they like to assist in dressing themselves, and they can learn how to hang up clothes without assistance this way.

Closet Shelves & Drawers: Great Storage For Folded Clothing

On the other hand, if you have more folded clothing than hanging clothes (that is the case in my home) I suggest one high clothing rod, and shelves or drawers underneath. This gives more room for the type of clothing your child has, and is easier for them to retrieve and put away themselves than stuff on hangers. You can use either plastic rolling drawers or storage cubbies to hold their clothing.

Laundry Baskets Or Hampers: Make Room For Dirty Clothes Too

kids monkey laundry hamper
Monkey Laundry Hamper

While organizing kids’ closets don’t forget about the storing of dirty clothing too, along with the clean stuff. That’s why I also recommend making room for a laundry basket or bag that either sits on the floor in the closet or hangs from the closet rod or on a hook so your child can easily put away dirty clothes.

Closet Door: Don’t Forget About This Underutilized Storage Area

If you’ve got sliding closet doors this won’t work for you, but in many homes the closet door just opens up like any other door. If this is the case in your home don’t forget to make use of this space by using an over the door hanging organizer to hold shoes or other small things like a child’s hair bows and hair accessories, pairs of socks, or other small objects they use to get dressed daily.

Alternatively, you can hang some pegs or hooks on the back of the door to hang a robe or bath towel, or their winter coat for example.

Step 3: Utilize Kid Friendly Storage Solutions

Above I’ve given several ideas of ways for organizing closet space for your children, including some specific and general storage solutions. The beauty of organizing your home is that there is no one single right way to do it, so choose the method that fits your home’s layout and the type of stuff you’ve got to store and organize.

However, no matter what storage solutions you use keep in mind the following criteria to make sure your choices are kid friendly and will stand up to tough kid uses:

  • Add storage and organizing solutions at your child’s height, so they don’t have to reach too high and to make sure they can see what the storage containers holds
  • Use pegs and hooks, when possible, since these are easier for young children to use than hangers
  • Use durable drawers and shelving units since kids can be rough on items
  • They won’t be little forever, so try to choose products that can adjust or change function as your child gets older, so it can be used in a variety of ways

Tell Me How The Organizing Kids’ Closets Challenge Is Going For You

I would love to know how this week’s challenge about decluttering and organizing closet space for your kids is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you’ve organized this area of your home below in the comments.

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