Who feels overwhelmed by their kids’ closets? Anyone wish Mary Poppins lived with them (at least part-time)?! The thought of refreshing (or in some cases, overhauling) your little ones' closets can be daunting. Fear no more, spring is here, and a new season brings a new beginning. This is the perfect opportunity to accomplish your mission. Below are my favorite ways to create space-saving solutions and keep your child’s closets organized!
Whether you are new to organizing or have been building your organizing muscle, the first step of getting organized is always to declutter! How can you get organized if you don’t know what you have?! Ironically, that’s also the same reason most people are disorganized, because you don’t know what you have!
DECLUTTER, EDIT & CATEGORIZE.
1. Make time. Carve out small chunks or one larger chunk of time depending on your schedule and attention span. Getting it all done at once feels great but it can be physically and mentally exhausting. If that’s not realistic for you, breaking the project into smaller sections can be just as effective (and less overwhelming) as long as you are consistent. For example, go through all pajamas one day and then all shirts the next, etc.
2. Create sorting piles. Get a donate bag and a trash bag. If you are saving anything for siblings or “future babies” create a pile for that too. You can recycle kid’s underwear and ripped socks at Knickey. For where to donate everything else, check out this article.
PRO TIP 1: We have the best intentions to pass hand-me-downs to friends and family but think about how those items are realistically going to leave your home. If the bag for your friend is going to sit in your closet for another 6 months, those items are not serving anyone and are still taking up precious real estate in your home (and head)!
PRO TIP 2: Be mindful when saving items for siblings and/or “future babies” (which is a category Let Laura comes across quite often) – and I get it! However, I often remind clients that there are three things that need to align for the items to be able to be re-purposed.
• The size of the children
• The seasonality
• The gender
In regards to baby supplies you are keeping, if it was expensive, is in good condition and you have the space to store it, go ahead and keep it. Anything you didn’t love or use (you know in your gut, follow that instinct!) or that has been well-loved, consider donating or properly disposing of it.
3. Work in sections and go through your kid's clothing and all the items on their shelves. Pull out what is a definite donate or destined for the trash or recycling. If items are in the closet that is better suited elsewhere, move them to a space that makes sense. For example, do you keep cookbooks in your kid's closet? Think about moving them to the kitchen so you have a chance of using them when you cook next (or think about donating them if you don’t use them)! Categorize the remaining items left to create a proper home for them.
PRO TIP 3: Alternatively, if you have clothing in another area of your home, such as your office or a hall closet (in NYC we are always looking to maximize storage anywhere and everywhere) gather everything in totality before reviewing. Looking at the category as a whole will make your decision-making process much easier.
We often find clients feel paralyzed when it comes to creating organized stations or categories of what should go on closet shelves (if you are not using them for clothing). Here are some categories we often come across and make sense to keep in your child’s closet.
• Supplies (wipes, diapers, lovies, etc.)
• Travel section (kids headphones, travel noise machine, travel accessories, etc.)
• Linens (bed, bath & blankets)
• Next size clothing (hand-me-downs or buying things on sale in advance)!
• Future toys (great for your kids next year but a little too old for them now)
• Memorabilia (each person should have their own)
• Current books and toys (dependent on your space)!
Every space is different and in order to create sustainable systems the next step is sourcing optimal solutions. Below are some of my favorite product solutions for creating a beautiful and functional kids closet. The key is to designate and allocate functional space for each category. Remember to measure before ordering as this will ensure that you are maximizing your space and only ordering once!
4. Storage Cube
6. Shelf Divider (be sure to measure the thickness of your shelf)!
7. Repurpose items you currently have. Odds are you have a bevy of organizational items you can reuse in your home already!
Labeling is essential to maintaining your organizational systems! If someone besides the person who created the organizing system is touching the space, labeling is a must. We love this labeler because it is easy to use, budget-friendly (and so are the label tape refills which is an important factor that most people overlook) and does exactly what it’s supposed to - LABEL! As always, once the designated areas become full or too crowded, it's time to go through and declutter again!
Once you have a system in place, it will be so much easier to manage all the items that flow in and out of your kids’ closet - you will actually look forward to seasonal refreshes! Enjoy the beautiful and organized space you have created!
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