If your child’s closet is the bane of your ability to keep a well-organized home, you are not alone. Many parents struggle with keeping their kids’ rooms in good condition. Children of all ages, toddler to teen, need specific places to keep their items if they (or you) hope to have any semblance of organization in their bedrooms and closets. If your budget is tight, all hope is not lost! Here are some low-cost ways to help your child keep his or her closet neater, which will oftentimes lead to a neater and cleaner bedroom.
Purge What’s Not Being Used
Part of the problem that many kids face in keeping their closets organized is that they often have clothing that they’re not using mixed in with the items that they wear regularly. They might have items that have been recently outgrown, along with items that are a bit big and that won’t fit them for a while.
Small clothing needs to be taken out of the closet regularly. Young children (as well as older children!) grow like weeds, so this should probably be done every three to six months. As soon as something is uncomfortable or looks too small, just take it out of the closet and either put it away for a younger child or pass it on to someone who can use it. Utilize your local thrift shops if you don’t know anyone with a child a year or two younger than yours who will put the items to good use.
For larger clothing, it gets tricky, because you don’t want to put it away and totally forget about it! Make an effort to go through bins of larger clothing at the same time that you are purging the smaller items. This will save you money, too, because you can avoid needless shopping trips to replace too-small jeans if you already have a few pairs put away. Try stacking bins on the very top shelf of the closet, where your child can’t reach.
Use What You Have
Take a look around your home to find organizers that you can use in your child’s closet. The best types for young kids are clear plastic bins, particularly small or shallow ones. Because they’re clear, there will be less rummaging around looking for items on the part of your little one! Older kids can use a label-maker to label their drawers or bins with what’s inside.
Other good organizers to look for are laundry baskets, a short shelving unit, or hat boxes. Anything that can contain items will keep clothing and accessories off of the floor, which makes the closet look neater and function more efficiently.
Involve Your Child in the Process
Even the youngest children often have an opinion on how their things should be arranged. A toddler might have certain stuffed animals that need to be within reach at all times; a large basket placed on the floor or on a low shelf can accomplish this goal. Older kids might prefer to keep their clothes folded, rather than hung, or maybe they have certain items or accessories that they wear all the time; these need to be at the front of the closet so they’re not pulling everything out looking for them.
Also keep in mind your child’s height and dexterity. Young kids often have a lot of trouble with hangers, so hooks on the wall or shallow drawers can work better. They also can’t reach very high, making most hanging rods unusable. If you are hanging clothing, try setting up a rod just a few feet off the ground. One idea is to hang a few full outfits together on a low rod so small children can simply grab one hanger with a full outfit all laid out. This gives them the choices that can help avoid tantrums while not being overwhelming. If you don’t want to install a second closet rod due to cost or a lack of tools, just get a tension rod, such as the type you’d use to suspend a shower curtain.
Make It Kid-Friendly
While you might have your closet painted a neutral color with neutral carpeting and regular wooden or wire fixtures, your child might not be inspired by understated design. Try making the closet pop so that it’s something fun to use! This does not have to be expensive at all.
For example, painting the walls of the closet can go a long way toward sprucing it up for a child. While you might be hesitant to paint a whole bedroom bright raspberry or lime green, these are perfect shades in a small area like the closet. You won’t need a lot of paint, either, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money (or time) to get this small job done.
You can also hang posters or paint a mural to liven up the space. Maybe your child would even like to try stenciling or sponge-painting. Remember that paint is temporary and that you can always change it later with little hassle.
Favorite toys or trophies can also decorate the space. You can hang stuffed animals and teddy bears using a net suspended from the ceiling. A narrow shelf can hold trophies and other treasures. Small items like hair accessories can even be pinned or otherwise attached to a bulletin board or an over-the-door rack. Using your imagination and your child’s sense of decorating style can make the closet seem worth keeping neat to your little one.
Getting your child’s closet organized will take some legwork in the beginning, but the tradeoff is that he or she will gradually be able to handle more and more responsibility when it comes to being neat and tidy. Also, this will teach your child valuable organizational skills that will last a lifetime. Working together on a project like cleaning out a closet can even bring the two of you closer together and create good memories of doing chores. In all, it’s a win-win situation! Call us today for a free consultation.