Easy, painless closet cleaning strategies to get your child organized…
Is there an avalanche every time your child opens her closet? You’re not alone. The prospect of tackling it is daunting but here are the payoffs:
• An organized closet will help your kids find what they’re looking for without making a mess.
• A well-planned closet will teach them the importance of being organized.
• You’ll enjoy them getting dressed faster and the ease of keeping their room tidy.
•They’ll appreciate being able to find their favorite things faster.
Here are some ideas to make a kid’s closet both functional and fun:
1. The first step is trimming the fat, plain and simple. Get rid of outgrown clothes and broken or unused toys.
2. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the nonessentials, it’s time to make a plan. Take inventory of your child’s items then start figuring out which items are essential to daily use and which items are seasonal or need to be reached only by a parent. The organizational design of your child’s closet will take shape from here.
3. Make sure the closet can grow along with your child. Create a closet system that has a variety of adjustable components, such as hanging rods and shelves. Then you can reposition them to accommodate larger-size clothes and accessories as your little one sprouts up.
4. Place items that are going to be used daily on open shelves at your child’s eye level or lower. Daily items such as books, toys and shoes should be easy for little ones to see, reach and, most importantly, put away on their own.
5. Reserve high shelves for storing off-season items, extra blankets or for items that only a parent needs to reach.
6. Use baskets and boxes to keep things sorted and stored. Make sure the containers you select are small and lightweight, so it’s easy for children to handle them on their own. Canvas bins make wonderful lightweight storage and are often available in a variety of fun colors.
7. For folded items, make short stacks to reduce the likelihood of clothes ending up on the floor. If you plan to store folded clothing in drawers, use shallow drawers if possible. If you have to use drawers that are deep and wide, add dividers so you can create several small stacks of items instead of trying to make larger stacks that inevitably end up a jumbled mess.
8. Use hooks to hang belts, hats and backpacks. It’s best to place hooks out of kids’ reach so they don’t hurt themselves by running into them. A parent or older sibling can hang and remove items for the child.
9. Create double or triple hanging sections. For toddlers and small children, this is a great way to keep everyday items down low and special occasion items up top. For tweens and teens, double hanging maximizes the amount of hanging space available and offers the opportunity to neatly separate shirts and pants.
10. For kids who share a closet, using labels is essential. Put their names on all of their baskets, storage bins and drawers. It’s also a good idea to divide the closet in half by placing drawers or a bookcase in the middle, then designating the spaces on the left and right to a specific child.
11. Find ways to customize the closet to fit your child’s personal tastes. Paint the closet interior his favorite color, maybe even add wallpaper or hang some of his own artwork. If your little one likes to do things all by herself, create a bench seat on top of a toy chest where she can sit and put her shoes on or lay out what she wants to wear. You could even swap the closet doors for a colorful curtain.
12. Don’t forget to get your kids involved in the organization process every step of the way. Organizing a closet is a wonderful learning experience for small children, as they begin to learn how to sort objects. Older kids will enjoy being able to give their input. Ask them where they would like things to go and once you’ve gotten everything organized, let them do their own decorating.
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