Organizing Your Child’s Closet

Jon Fesmire |

When’s the last time you had a good look at your child’s bedroom? Whether they’re 5 or 15, many kids have a tough time keeping their rooms organized, let alone their closets. Cleaning is an important skill to teach your kids, and once you have their closet organized, you can work with them to keep it that way. You may even want to involve them in the initial organizing process.

This project may take several hours, so set some time aside for it, then turn on some music and get ready to work.

Empty That Closet

Remember what your child’s closet looked like when you first moved in? Looking at it today, you may not! But the first step in organizing it is to get everything out of it, returning the closet to a sort of blank state. Lay all items on the floor or on your child’s bed, sweep the closet out, and begin the next step.

Sort the Stuff

Sort everything into groups. You can put items into piles or get some large bins. The groups should include things that don’t belong in your child’s room and things that belong in the room but not in the closet. Depending on the closet’s contents, you may also have bins for items such as clothes, toys, books, and shoes.

Sort Further

Next, tackle each bin, and perhaps use a couple of other bins, or sort into piles. Do the clothes first. Sort into clothes your child can currently wear, clothes your child has outgrown, seasonal clothes, clothes that are too big, and junky clothes.

The clothes your child can wear can go partly in the closet, and partly in a dresser. Sort clothes that can be folded and not hung up into them. You may have a drawer for socks, nightclothes, and underwear, one or two for shirts, one or two for pants, and one for extras.

You can hand down clothes your child has outgrown or donate them to charities. Clothes that are too large or out of season can go into your self storage unit. We do recommend having one with climate control to keep your things in good shape.

These days, you can recycle torn or junky clothes. Look for donation bins in your area.

Sort toys by what to keep, what to throw out, and what to donate. Do the same with books and shoes.

Adjust the Closet

How tall is your child? Consider that the closet bar may be too high for them to reach. If so, either lower it, or install an additional, lower closet bar. You can find instructions online, or ask for advice at your local home improvement store.

If there is no shelving down low, consider adding some for books and toys. You can also use bins, but we recommend against stacking bins, as this makes it tricky for your child to get to certain items.

Sort Into Groups

Yes, there’s more sorting! Just as we recommend sorting foldable clothes into different dresser drawers, we recommend doing the same with closet clothes. Hang them in groups, by type. So, long-sleeve shirts go on one part of the bar, short sleeve shirts next to them, followed by dress pants, dresses on another, and coats.

This will make it easier for your child to pick an outfit. You can also prearrange a few outfits and hang them together at one end of the closet bar.

You can sort toys into shelving sections or bins, too. Legos may go in one area or bin, and action figures in another.

Books can go in bins, but they’re much better displayed on shelves, and in the open. If your child doesn’t have a bookcase, we encourage you to get one that’s the right height for them. You can then sort books by type and author.

Sort shoes similarly to the clothes. They should be arranged in pairs, by what fits, what is too small, and what is too large, and what is worn out. Put away, store, or get rid of them the same way you would with clothing in similar categories. If there’s not enough room to put the shoes in the closet in an organized manner, they can look just fine by the child’s bedroom door or the front door of your home.

We hope you find this advice useful for you and your child. After the organization is finished, you can go over the closet every couple of weeks with your child and teach them how to keep it organized, so it will be easier for them to find things they need for school and play.