My Kids’ Closets Will Never Be Messy Again After Learning These Secrets!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.
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Shopping off-season.

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!

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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!

Off Season Clothes
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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!

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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.

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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!

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My Kids’ Closets Will Never Be Messy Again After Learning These Secrets!

My name is Sharon and I am the busy Mom of six children ages 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8. People often ask me "How do you do it?" I tell them that my key to success lies in planning ahead, with a whole lot of creativity and organization thrown in! ... More

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3 comments

  1. Natasha says:

    My daughter is only 6 months, & every couple weeks we need to go through her dresser to pull out clothes that are too small(I do it after I have done laundry). Every time I add in clothes in the size she fits & the next size up because she has out grown clothes WHILE she has been wearing them, that way I know there will be clothes in her dresser that will fit her even if she’s outgrown some. When I pull out the bin of clothes she has yet to grow into & put them in the dresser I make of list of what she will need (like pjs) & then we have been storing her clothes in space bags in her grandmas basement in plastic totes if we (or her aunt/uncle) have any kids & need the clothes (some have only been worn once before she outgrew them!) some clothes she is in for her age, & others she’s in multiple sizes higher (dresses, rompers, pjs are in size 12 months or higher)

  2. Danielle says:

    I weed through clothes almost every time I do laundry. My daughter is only two and I’ve never seen anything like how quickly she grows out of clothes and shoes. I bought socks a while back and she wore all of them twice before they were too small. Makes cleaning out the closet easier. I only have to go through seasonal and unliked outfits (my favorite, her reason to melt into a puddle of screams and kicks).

    • It is amazing how fast kids grow out of their clothes! And yes- if I see something come through the laundry that I know no longer fits- I will shuffle that item right over to the donation pile rather than returning it to the laundry basket to put away again!

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