Kids Closet Organization Part #2
Happy August everyone! I hope you all enjoyed part #1 of my kids organization blog. I have so much passion for this subject, I just can’t stress it enough. We cannot expect our children to trot off to school and be focused if the day has started off in a chaotic rush to get out of the door. As parents we must make morning time as streamlined and calm as possible. Below I’ve listed the steps to get your children’s closets all tidied up. We wish you every success in the coming school year.
Step #1: Remove Everything
The first step to organize a child’s closet is to remove everything that is currently in the closet. I know I know already but it will help you to sort through the contents much easier. As you pull everything out, start sorting it into categories. You can put all the clothes on the bed, bedding on the dresser, and toys in the corner. Once you get everything out, you will start to see which things logically do not belong in your child’s closet.
Step #2: Sort
After you have everything pulled out, its time to start sorting the stuff that came out of the closet. Grab 5 big plastic tubs, or simply clear enough room to make 5 piles throughout the room. Label the tubs or walls with the following categories: Now, Too Big, Store, Give Away, Trash. Start tossing items into each of the bins or piles.
NOW - The Now bin should collect only items that your child is currently wearing. These are the right size, relatively stain-free, and the right season.
TOO BIG – The Too Big bin will collect any items that are too big for your child right now. They may be one size, or even years too big for your child. Once you are through sorting all the items, you can further organize this bin by size. If you have lots of items, put each size into its own plastic bin, label it, put it on the top shelf of the closet with the label facing you. That way, you can pull it out when your child reaches that size. This will make transitioning your child’s closet into bigger sizes much easier down the road.
STORE – The Store bin should only be used if you are planning on having more children, or already have younger children of the same sex. The items that you can toss into this bin should all be too small for your child, but still in great condition. Keep in mind that grandparents will still likely give your younger children clothes for birthdays, holidays, and whenever something catches their eye, so this bin should only have the best of the best outgrown items in it. Again, it is best to further organize these items by size. Use smaller plastic tubs, or go the cheap route and use diaper boxes, to store items of each size. Label them by size and “Girl” or “Boy,” and pack them out of the way (like in the garage) until you need them in the future.
GIVE AWAY – The Give Away bin will get the remainder of the items that your child has outgrown. These are items that you no longer want to keep in your house. You may want to give the items to a friend who has a slightly younger child than yours. Or, if you are ambitious, you may want to hold a garage sale to see if you can make a little cash on the items. If you simply want them out of the house, bag them up and drop them off at your local thrift store.
Finally, the Trash pile is just that. Any items that are beyond repair, whether clothes or toys, or anything that is obviously trash (like price tags, crumpled pieces of paper, etc.) go into this pile. As soon as you can, bag it up and remove it from the room.
#3: Create Structure
Let’s face it, most closets are not made for kids. Many have a single rod, about 5 feet high, which does no good since your child is probably less than 3 feet tall. You can attain more hanging space by adding a lower hanging rod, add some drawers or baskets and purchase some canvas bins that fit on the shelves for added organization. These items are great for storing small items that don’t need to be hung, like pajamas, underwear, and play clothes. Bins up high in the closet are great for keeping less-frequently needed items. Keep one labeled “Too Small” and you’ll always have a place to toss clothes that are suddenly outgrown. Other bins for bedding, toys that aren’t currently on the favorites list, and too-big clothes will ensure that everything you need for your child is kept within arm’s reach when you need it.
Step #4: Organize the Space
The key to setting up your child’s closet is to keep the most needed items in the most accessible spot. When your child is very young, keep matching outfits hung together in the center of the closet so you can grab them easily, even if your hands are full. As your child gets older and learns to dress himself/herself, keep a small selection of tops, bottoms, and shoes so they to choose their own outfits. In general, the more choices a child has, the tougher it can be to make a decision. Most schools In Southwest Louisiana are wearing uniforms, this makes morning time easier as it is a much quicker decision on the day’s outfit. Keep smaller items, like hair bows and other accessories, contained in small plastic bins. Add a small bin or basket on the floor for shoes, and a small hamper for dirty items. This way, everything has its place and you're not forced to go closet hunting every morning.
Step #5: Label
Put both a picture of the items in the bin and the word for the items, and you will be teaching your child how to put away her things as well as how to read. Bonus points! Once you have found a home for each and every item that belongs in your child’s closet, its time to label the storage bins and boxes. Labeling the bins will help you and anyone else helping your child get ready know where to find each item. Likewise, it will help make sure that everything gets put away in the same spot as it was taken out from. There are so many options for labels, from chalkboard labels to printed labels or even homemade wooden tags for your bins, so find an option that you like and label away.
If your child is preschool-aged and learning to read, these labels can serve another purpose too. If you put both a picture of the items in the bins and the word for the items, you will be teaching your child how to put away her things as well as how to read. Bonus points for being a multi-tasking parent!
Step #6: Maintain
Now that the closet is organized and looking great, the only thing left is to keep it that way. This is the easy part since you now have an easy system to do that with. As soon as you realize that your child has outgrown a piece of clothing, toss it and all its matching pieces into the Too Small bin. When the Too Small bin gets full, pull it down and go through the clothes to decide if you are going to store them or get rid of them. This is also the appropriate time to pull down the Too Big bin because there are probably items that will now fit your child that can be pulled out and put into the mix of daily clothes. The other important step is to be committed to putting everything back where it belongs. The labels will help, but establishing a routine of picking up the room at the end of each day will help maintain an organized space throughout the week. On laundry days, start teaching your child how to put away his or her own clothes, and soon the closet will be (almost!) maintaining itself.
Get Kids Involved!
Let children be a part of the organization process and you just might be surprised by how willing they are to help declutter the space and keep the closet organized. Encourage little ones to tell you how they'd like to sort and store their favorite items.
These steps will help you with the process and hopefully make it a little less pain staking.
We are all in this together, reducing the chaos a little at a time! We will talk again soon, for now, Be Happy, Stay Motivated, and Let’s Get Organized!