Looking for ways to organize kids’ clothes?
Wondering how to organize kids’ clothes so that there is enough room for everything, especially if siblings share a room?
Here are fabulous tips on how to set up kids’ closets & dressers so they can help put away their clothes AND get dressed in the morning.
How to have 3 kids share one room and not go (too) crazy.
Several years ago, my mother-in-law’s dementia was such that she could no longer safely live on her own and moved in with us. We were living in a 3-bedroom rental at the time. In order for grandma to have her own room, my 2 girls and son (ages 12, 10, and 7) all had to share 1 small bedroom that had 1 small closet. Oh, and did I mention the guinea pig? He shared that room, too…
That was a challenge to say the least.
We ended up buying a bunk bed with a trundle that rolled out from underneath for the kids’ beds. But storing their clothes was a challenge. We used hanging cubbies for each child to lay out a week’s worth of clothes at a time at one side of the closet and then added a second hanging rod on the other side to double the hanging space. Tall dressers worked for storing clothes and toys as well. We also used large storage bins to store out of season clothing in my master bedroom closet (because I had a tall ceiling in it and got permission from our landlord to add a top shelf above the closet rod.
It was a tight fit, and we pared down a lot of unused toys and clothes in order to make it work, but work it did, for almost 2 years.
So, today, I’d like to share some tips on how to make the closet and dresser in kid’s rooms more functional, especially if 2 or more children share a room and space is at a premium, as well as tips on how to store clothes that were passed on to you, but are still a tad too big for your kiddos! (I like to call these clothes “hand-me-ups” because they are still perfectly good and I think it sounds better and more appreciative than “hand-me-downs.”) 🙂
So, here we go!
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Add a lower closet rod to organize those kids’ clothes.
- The number one item that helps create space in a child’s closet is to add a second closet rod. Let’s face it, the regular rod is too high for most young children to reach so they can’t take down or hang up their own clothes, which leads to frustration for both the child that wants to do things themselves and for parents who have to do it for them.
- How to: Adding a rod can be as simple as purchasing a thick dowel from the local home improvement store and some nylon cord or rope and hanging the rod from the existing rod. This instantly doubles the hanging space, and a small child can easily reach the clothes on the lower rod. As they get older and clothes get longer, it is simple to remove the lower rod, if needed.
- Store out of season clothes on the upper rod or if siblings share a closet, then hang the older (or taller) child’s clothes on the top rod.
Here is a great example of what I mean:
What if you just need another closet?
Make one from a bookcase!
Sometimes, there simply isn’t room for all the clothes if there are 2 siblings sharing a room and it has a very small closet.
An inexpensive bookcase can easily be re-purposed into a functional closet, especially if it is for infant or toddler clothing. Rearranging the shelves to hold baskets or bins and removing the lower shelving and installing a closet rod is a great way to create a functional and easily accessible closet space.
Create a closet “door” by attaching a curtain panel or piece of fabric to the top of the bookcase with Velcro or a tension rod inserted inside it.
Always think safety first with furniture in a child’s room and add a safety bracket to attach the bookcase to the wall, so there won’t be the danger of it tipping over.
Look at all of the accessible storage in this bookcase:
Invest in a clothes cubby to organize kids’ clothes.
These cubbies saved us from frustrated meltdowns all through preschool and elementary school. Each Sunday, my kids and I would put together an entire outfit (shirt, pants, undies, and socks) for each school day and sort them into the cubbies. The kids got to help choose the outfits, so there was minimal fuss in the morning over deciding what to wear, since THEY had already put the outfit together.
Closet cubbies are a real bargain too, under $10. The ones above are from Ikea (I took this photo recently while shopping there), but we had ones that had the days of the week already printed on them, like this:
Have dresser drawers labeled so even non-readers can find their clothes.
Preschoolers love to be helpers. Make it as easy as possible for them to be big kids and help find their clothes or help put them away. There are so many resources to find free printable labels out there! Search Pinterest for more, but here are two I really like.
These black and white labels have big pictures to help non-readers know where to put their clothes. Click on the image to go to their site for free printable labels.
This set of labels has such sweet graphics, and I also like the idea of putting labels INSIDE the drawers as shown in the image, as well.
And finally, what to do with “hand-me-ups” and how to pass them from child to child.
Storing “hand me ups.”
I loved getting “hand-me-ups” for my kids from friends and relatives. Trust me, it is worth your time to invest in some CLEAR storage bins to protect the clothing from bugs and moisture.
Add a clear sheet protector to the front of each bin and slip in a piece of notebook paper as an easy label with the sizes of the clothing inside. Theses labels can be easily switched out as sizes change. The bins can then be stored in the garage, attic, or top shelf of the closet in the kids’ rooms.
The dot system – a brilliant way to sort your kids’ clothes!
I wish I had known this smart tip when my kids were small! This is something you can start at any time, though. For your oldest child, use a Sharpie and put 1 dot on the labels of all their clothes. For the next child, put 2 dots on all of their clothes, for the third child put 3 dots, etc. Then, when the oldest outgrows an item, add a second dot to the label. Now it has 2 dots and you (and your kids) know it now belongs to the 2nd child, and so on as each child outgrows the size they are currently wearing. How cool is that? (It also makes it much easier to see which items can then be donated when everyone has outgrown them.)
So, I hope some of these ideas helped you find ways to organize your kids’ clothes, even if you have 3 sharing the same room!
Oh, and our guinea pig? His cage sat on top of one child’s dresser, so he had a great view out of the window. So, amazingly, we were even able to have him stay in the space, too. Whew!
It really does help teach your kids to be organized if you make it as easy as possible for them to put on and put away their own clothes!
And if you would like ideas on how to make doing kids’ laundry easier, read another of my posts:
What are your favorite ways to organize kids’ clothes? Did you share a room with siblings when you were younger?
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