Ever try getting three kids under the age of five dressed right after giving them a bath? Slippery, wiggling bodies that run wild with hooded towels flailing behind them. When you gather one and begin dressing them…the others scatter and hide. If you don’t have the clothes that you are putting on them in hand, then forget it…they are hiding in the basement somewhere by the time you find a shirt that fits and is clean and wrinkle free.
Even if your kids are capable of dressing themselves, a system needs to be in place to prevent the barrage of questions. “Mom where’s my shirt? My socks? No not those socks, the ones with the stripes. Where’s my soccer uniform? I can’t find my leotard!!” With kids and their clothes, organization is a MUST…believe me I know because I learned the hard way. Here are a few time and sanity saving tips that can help you keep your kids closet neat and organized. These tips will allow them to gain independence and be held responsible for keeping their clothing items in order. Oh yeah, and they will save your sanity too.
By everything I mean everything. From shoes to socks, pajamas, underwear undershirts, tee shirts, baby onesies…if it has a name put a label on it. And not just any label, a picture label. By putting a picture label on drawers and bins, you can help foster the independence of even the littlest, non reading munchkins. With picture labels, even my one year old can bring me a pair of of socks…my two year old can put together an outfit ( hey it won’t match ,but at least it’s an outfit). I found these super cute and simple clothing labels at dadand.com. I printed them and glued them to colored construction paper for durability, then I laminated them. I attached Velcro dots to the back of each label and velcroed them to bins and the fronts of their plastic dresser drawers. By using plastic dresser drawers, we are able to fit three chest of drawers in the boys closet. This frees up space in their tiny bedroom.
Assign each child a hanger color. This helps with confusion in the closet and keeps things organized straight out of the dryer. Once the clothing is washed, I grab the coordinating color per child, hang it up, and bring the clothes upstairs to be hung with the child’s other items. No confusion for mom and dad, and no confusion for the kids. This also helps when other friends or family members help out with laundry or dressing the kids. If they know that little Lisa has purple hangers,and little Hanna has orange hangers, dressing the kids will be a breeze.
Have a Donate Bin
Kids don’t stop growing. And to accommodate their random growth spurts I’ve found that its helpful to keep a bin in the closet designated for donation of clothes that they have outgrown. Since we have three little boys, we rarely donate. Instead we keep an “outgrown/donate bin” in the top right of the closet. Whenever we have found that one of our little guys has outgrown an article of clothing, we place it in the outgrown bin to be stored in our basement in our “hand me downs” storage area. Once a month I take whatever is in the “outgrown bin” and store it away with the other clothes that will be used for the next child the following year. The clothes that our littlest outgrows goes to donation or consignment.
Have a Hanger Bin
Don’t you hate when empty hangers become entangled with other empty hangers in the closet, or when empty hangers end up on the closet floor? What about hangers that mysteriously disappear forcing you to have to constantly purchase new ones? One solution: the hanger bin! Place a bin in each closet for all unused hangers. Once an item is taken off a hanger, place the empty hanger in the hanger bin. Make sure the hangers are either stacked or placed neatly in the bin to avoid entangling. Having a designated place for unused hangers frees up valuable closet hanging space and keeps the closet looking tidy.
For our kids closet we used a bin to store hats, ties and belts. We used a compartmentalized bin….pretty much we placed a smaller bin inside a larger bin to create three compartments. One bin access to everything we need instead of fishing around for a tie from a tie rack, a hat from a hat rack or a belt from a belt rack.
Include a Toiletry station
We have a potty training, pull up wearing 2 year old and a diaper wearing 1 year old. Usually when it’s time to get dressed, it’s also time for a diaper or pull up change. We keep diapers, wipes and ointments in the closet to provide a one stop shop for everything we need to get the little ones looking and smelling good. It’s also great to have lotions and powders in there as well.
Now the closet is organized as well as kid and parent friendly. I love it so much I just keep it open all the time 🙂 (i’m so serious)