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Stop the labeling and color coding! I’m sharing five must-have kids closet storage items for a space that’s practical, functional, and easy to maintain.
I love a good Instagram photo of kids’ closet storage, but while they look pretty, most of them really aren’t all that practical.
Items are often organized to within an inch of their life, which means the storage solutions aren’t easily adaptable as the child grows.
And while my kids are pretty clean and organized for a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, there’s no way they’d keep those closets neat and tidy. I don’t know many (any?) kids who would!
So what do you do instead? You need to organize a kids closet for functionality, not for an Instagram photo. The best closet organization ideas for kids prioritize make sure the design is practical first, and pretty second.
Simplicity is the name of the game, and in this case, simplicity will most likely also save you money.
How to organize your kids closet
The best kids’ closet design has the everyday items visible. That means no drawers and no opaque bins that require labels. In fact, try to get all the clothes into the closet so you don’t need a dresser in the room.
In a set-up like my kids’ closet below, you can see everything all at once. You know exactly what they have and what’s clean. Your kids (or you) don’t have to open multiple drawers that they most likely won’t close. (Be honest. They won’t close them, will they?)
I won’t talk too much about how to organize, but here are a few basic steps:
1. Think about what your kids do in their room, and plan on storing those items in the closet. They get dressed in their room, so the clothes go in the closet. But if they don’t play in their room, then you shouldn’t store toys there.
Do you want to know what’s in my kids’ closet besides clothes? Extra bedding for their mattresses that I change in their room. A small fan and a space heater that we use in their room. An overnight duffel bag that we pack and unpack in their room. Do you sense a theme?
I have one “junk” drawer of random kids’ things (travel headphones, extra padding for their bike helmets, etc.) that we don’t use often and don’t have a place anywhere else in my house.
2. Sort through what you want to keep, donate, or sell. Try to do this without the kids around, especially if you’re getting rid of things they want to keep. My daughter is super sentimental and wants to keep old, ratty clothes that haven’t fit her for years, so I sort while she’s occupied doing something else.
3. Plan, declutter, and measure before you buy closet organizers. Make sure the items will fit before you buy anything. It’ll save you time, hassle, and money.
4. Don’t be afraid to re-organize. The biggest reason why I advocate for non-permanent storage solutions is that your kids’ needs will change over time. Their clothes get bigger and longer, and then one day that cute double hanging rod doesn’t work anymore.
Plus, as the weeks and months go on, you may realize you use the closet differently than you thought you would. Maybe you decide to store toys in their room when that wasn’t the initial plan. Or maybe you have another baby and have to fit two kids’ items into one closet.
5. Buy less stuff. Kids need a lot less than we think they do. Less clothes, less shoes, less toys. Having less in the closet also means that you don’t have to be so organized all the time.
Kids Closet Storage Items
This is like do-it-yourself closet organization, but easier than DIY. You don’t need Ikea hacks or multiple trips to Home Depot to put together a functional closet design. This design is so good my husband even recommended it to his buddy who’s about to become a first-time dad (to twins!!).
These items are also great for when you’re renting because you’re not changing the closet’s existing shelving and rods.
All you need to do is buy a few strategic items, set them up, and you’re on your way to organizing!
1. Hanging Sweater Organizers
Why I like this item: You can see all the clothes! There are no dresser drawers left open and no need to label opaque storage boxes your kids can’t read anyway.
What works well in here: Tops, bottoms, pajamas, swim suits, hats and gloves, and extra sheets for the kids’ beds. There are so many possibilities!
2. Hanging Shoe Organizer
Why I like this item: This is for smaller items that don’t need a large organizer.
What works well in here: Socks, underwear, bows, belts, accessories, etc.
3. Adjustable Closet Rod Expander
Why I like this item: Kids’ clothes are smaller, so there’s a lot of wasted space with a single hanging rod in a regular closet. This customizable rod expands your hanging space. Both the length and width are adjustable.
What works well in here: Dresses, nice tops, etc. Whatever you need to hang!
4. Large Tint Stackable Storage Drawer
Why I like this item: It’s lightweight and fits under the hanging sweater organizers (at least in our closet), so we’re not wasting precious space.
What works well in here: These are my junk drawers where I keep things like the kids’ travel headphones and extra padding for bike helmets. One of these has keepsake items that I throw in there until I can move them to proper storage.
While they are technically stackable, the drawer pulls out all the way very easily and I can picture it dropping on some little toes. I wouldn’t stack them.
5. Laundry hamper
Why I like this item: It’s a single bag without a lid. Kids aren’t going to sort the clothes into separate bins (unless yours are superstars), and they’re definitely not going to close a lid. Also, the bag is machine washable and made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. It comes in three colors. Hang it on a hook in the closet and you’re good to go! (I would prefer a bin over a bag but I couldn’t find a hamper with a liner that was machine washable and not lined/treated with chemicals.)
What works well in here: Dirty clothes, silly.
What to remember about Kids Closet Storage
Simpler is better when it comes to storage in your kids’ closet! You want practical over pretty! And remember… you can always close the closet door. 😉
Need to simplify more of your life? Then you need to check out my meal planning tips!
Stop the labeling and color coding! These are five must-have kids closet storage items for a space that’s practical, functional, and easy to maintain.