JB Organizing Spotlight Tips: Clothes Closet
5 Principles of Organizing
- Small Steps – Break everything down into small steps.
- Decluttering (Give away, Throw away, Put Away, File Away, Hide Away)
- Condense – Put like items together into one area.
- Contain – Put categories of items into a specific container.
- Label – Be clear and specific – You can’t ever over label.
Specifics for a Child’s Closet
A couple important things to keep in mind when organizing a Child’s Closet.
- Make sure the organizing system you put in place can grow and adapt easily with the child. I recommend the ones that have brackets that allow you to raise and lower shelves, hanging bars, etc. In addition, they allow you to add drawers in place of shelves, add an extra hanging bar and change things as needed. Elfa is the Container store brand of this. Rubbermaid also makes a similar system for Menards. Home Depot has one as well. They are the best! Inexpensive, easy to install and easily adaptable.
- Make sure you make it easy for the child to put their own clothes away and pick their own clothes out. (In my experience of 5 children – they will always take the path of least resistance – so do yourself a favor and make it simple!). Do not expect a child to hang things up unless that is a battle you want to have and you definitely want to encourage independence and responsibility. Do NOT make it so you HAVE to do the work. Use drawers, bins, or baskets for kid’s every day clothes. Save the hanging space for dress clothes that are not worn as often. Use a bin, basket or drawer for shoes. They are more likely to toss their shoes in a bin, then to even set them on a shelf. Label the bins- so they no exactly what goes where.
- If you can’t install a closet system, you can use the following: *Over the door shoe organizer for socks, tights, leggings etc. *Second hanging bar (that hangs down from the top bar and requires no installation) *A cube organizer (with the cloth bins) – You can get the in all different heights, configurations etc. and they provide bins for kids clothes.*Hanging organizers that have drawers built in them.
**Now that you have some general organizing principles and specific reminders for Kids – let’s look at some specific tips for tackling a general clothes closet
CLOSET – Clear – Look – Obvious – Same – Exchange – Tools
Clear out the things you don’t wear, want, need.
- What don’t you wear, want, need?
- At the space you have
- What does the closet space look like?
- How big is it?
- What shape?
- Do you have more hanging space and less shelf space?
- More high space and less floor space
- Weird shapes (i.e. angled ceilings, corners, space behind doors, types of shelves)
- At the items you have.
- What items have you kept?
- Shapes of items (i.e. lots of long dresses or short shirts; shoes or boots; purses or accessories)
- At the people using the space. (Are they tall or short, kids or adults, 1 older child and 1 younger child)
- Match items to the spaces
Obvious – Out of sight, out of mind. What we don’t see we often don’t wear.
- Obvious locations – Make things easy to find. Put them in open, obvious locations.
- Label to make it obvious
Same Just like the Condense Principle of Organizing
- Same categories (I.e. exercise clothes together etc.)
- Same colors – Dong this is pleasing to the eye and works with natural tendencies. We put outfits together by color and we often are in the mood for a certain color or an occasion calls for a certain color.
- Same styles – long sleeve together, tank tops
Exchange – seasons, sizes etc. Change out seasonal clothes if you need to for space reasons etc.
Tools Just like the Contain principle of Organizing. What do you use to Contain the items? What do you use to make use of odd or hidden spaces?
******Make sure you make the closet organizer you choose, adjustable!! The best is long metal strips on wall and shelves go into the notches, hanging rods, drawers etc Can move things up and down as people grow or situations change. Makes house more marketable too. Built in might seem good, but it isn’t adaptable and good organization should be adaptable.
****That being said there are tools you can use within that adaptable framework to make the most of your space and keep things organized.
- Hangers matter – keep clothes from slipping and just give appearance of uniformity.
- Flat hangers
- Hangers with multiple levels
- Tension Rods
- What should be hung? Depends on your space and your specifications Personal preference and space considerations.
(i.e. some will say sweaters should never be hung – alters shape, stretches them.) (I like mine hung, because it easier to see them all and get them out) Low hanging rod
- High Hanging rod – If you are tall or spouse is, use height of closet, space higher. Start hanging higher and double it.
- Hanging shelves – Show on display.
- Shelf organizers
- Organizers or separators -Keep items from falling over.
- Using baskets/bins on their side to act as separators also
- Drawers, Baskets, Bins
- Keep things in baskets or bins that do not have to be accessed all the time. (purses, bags)
- Storing Seasonal items
- Drawer units – swimsuits, camis, spare socks, shoes too if small kids. Many other things if you don’t use a dresser.
- Label — This is how you make things stored inside something OBVIOUS!!! Very important!
- Use the hidden space – Use low, high, inbetween, corners etc.
- Hang tension rods in odd corners for extra hanging.
- Put floor to ceiling shelves in an odd corner
- Put an extra shelf near the ceiling for rarely used items (seasonal etc.)
- Shoe organizers
- Tension Rods
- Over the door
- Under the bed
- Hidden door ones
- Cubby styles
- Wire Shelves installed low
- Hanging ones
- Drawers (especially for smaller kids)
- Accessory organizers
- Scarves holder
- Towel Rod and clips (for scarves and for jewelry)
- Ribbon for hair clips
- Hanger with shower rings on it for scarves
- Over the door holder for shoes, toiletries, socks, undergarments
- Over the door jewelry organizer and ones that can be hung) Travel bags are good to store jewelry (the ones that hang and unfold)