My Kids’ Closets Will Never Be Messy Again After Learning These Secrets!
At least twice a year, we all need to tackle the kids' closets in order to help them transition from cold-weather clothes to warm-weather clothes (or back again), to see what still fits and what doesn't, and to just get it reorganized!
Here are some tips on how to clean out your kids' closets, how to store outgrown clothes for younger siblings to grow into, and even how to share a closet between siblings.
The best time to tackle a closet is before you put away the week's laundry.
It is easiest to start cleaning out a closet (dresser, etc.) when some of the items are already removed. So I prefer to do a week's worth of laundry, sort the clean clothes into laundry baskets, and then wait to put the clean clothes away until after I've gone through everything that is remaining in the closet. Chances are that the items in the laundry basket are the ones that definitely fit and work for the current season!
Begin in the closet of your largest-sized child.
If you have a family with same-sex siblings, I find that it is always best to start with the child who wears the largest sizes and clean out his or her closet first. That way, when you pull out half of his stuff to hand down to his younger brother, you will know the total amount you need to store in the younger sibling's closet.
Work the closet top to bottom, left to right.
Wow! When you are looking at a closet full of tossed-in-sloppily, unorganized clothes that may or may not fit, it can feel overwhelming! I suggest that you start at the top shelf and then work your way down to the bottom shelf, moving from the left to the right. Pick up every single item that you find on each shelf or drawer and sort them into piles. Keep these tips in mind during the sorting process:
- If it fits and is appropriate for the current season, fold it neatly and return it to its proper shelf.
- If it fits but is out of season, fold it and place it into a storage bin. Be sure to label the bin with the child's name and the season the clothes are destined for: “Jack – Winter clothes.”
- If it is outgrown but can worn by a sibling, then put it into a laundry basket to be taken to that sibling's closet.
- If it is too worn out and needs to be donated, then put that in a separate laundry basket, which you can bag up later.
Once you have sorted entirely through the contents of the closet and added in items that have trickled down from older siblings' closets (or items from friends who were kind enough to drop off their kids' outgrown clothing!) and the newly washed items are put away as well, it's time to assess what you still need to purchase to outfit your child for the current season. And even if we are headed into the summer months, and I know that they have outgrown every single pair of pants they own, I will shop for pants on sale now in the next size up. The off-season is the perfect time to score a deal!
And don't forget “special” items that you'll need, like maybe dress clothes for your cousin's wedding that is coming up in a few months. It's always smart to keep a list that you can reference later on your phone if you happen to find yourself in a store with a good sale!
Store season-appropriate clothing within reach.
I've learned (the hard way) that it works best if you keep current-season clothing in current sizes in places that are accessible to the kids, such as lower closet shelves or dresser drawers they can reach on their own.
Keep off-season clothes and clothes that are too big for them in places that they cannot easily get to on high shelves, in bins stored away, or in drawers that they can't easily reach. This will help to ward off the meltdowns that may occur if your daughters decide to put on their favorite sundresses and sandals when it is 12 degrees outside!
I have had one too many hissy fits (mainly theirs, but occasionally mine) about wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the weather!
How to organize a shared closet space.
My kids each share a bedroom with one of their siblings. Therefore, they also have to share a closet. What we have found is that it is worth investing in a closet shelving system of some sort to maximize the amount of storage space in the closet. Kids typically do not need a great deal of hanging space, but what they really need are places to put folded items.
We like to allocate at least one shelving unit for each child, giving them 5-6 shelves to organize their clothes. Ideally, if the closet is large enough, they can each have two shelving units and each take half of the total closet space.
One last tip: be careful about using sliding doors with kids who are sharing a closet as they will like to slide them with a great deal of force back and forth to get into the side that is theirs! A great alternative is to use a curtain in place of sliding closet doors!
How often do you clean out and organize your kids' closets? Please leave us a comment and tell us!