Summer is almost here. I love summer. When my children were young, we spent the summers swimming, sailing, and playing tennis. Being outside and active was the rule. We lived in our bathing suits, t-shirts, shorts, sandals and sneakers. This is a perfect limited wardrobe for hot summer days. Summer clothes are the best. Use the summer to spend time organizing your children’s closets bit by bit. All you need is a short 10-minute span of time to organize 1 small section. Everyone has 10 minutes to dedicate to a little organizing.
Here’s the best way to tackle organizing your children’s closet
Start with the top shelf
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget what I have tucked up onto the top shelf. These things are out of sight so it’s easy to forget what’s up there. Start by removing everything from the top shelf.
Dust the shelf and decide what to put back.
When my children were small, I sometimes bought clothes in multiple sizes and put things that they would grow into on the top shelf of their closet. Do you do that, too? If you do, are your children ready for the next size?
Think about containerizing the clothes that are either too big or too small. Label the outside if the container with the season and size (for example: Summer clothes, size T4). The Container Store has great bins to use for this purpose.
Maybe you use the top shelf to stash away gifts or new games/toys to pull out on a rainy day. It’s a great hiding place as no one thinks to look up there. Dust everything off as you put it back. This is a great reminder to yourself as to what you have hidden up on the top shelf.
The top rod is next
The top rod is a terrific place to hang clothes that are out of season, little too big, or only for special occasions since it is not as easy to access as the lower hanging rod. Engage your children in this part of organizing the closet.
Let them help you decide which end of the top rod is for special occasion clothes.
Move the clothes around so that one end of the rod is for hanging clothes that are too big and the other for special occasion clothes. If there is room, put out of season clothes like their winter jacket or heavier clothes all the way to one end. Check these clothes first to make sure they are big enough so that as your child grows, they will still fit.
If there is not room to hang these out of season clothes, consider storing them under your child’s bed. You can use Ziplock space storage bags or an under the bed container from The Container Store or Target.
Engage your children in this process. They can help by trying on some clothes or by telling you which clothes are a little snug.
The lower rod
When organizing your children’s closet, the lower rod is the best place for everyday clothes. Sundresses, t-shirts, and collared shirts belong here. I like to hang t-shirts and collared shirts in addition to sundresses because it’s easy for the children to find the article of clothing they want to wear when they are hung up.
Look at each article of clothing and assess it. Does it fit? Ask your child if they will wear it. Sometimes we buy clothes for our children thinking the item is just perfect, but they won’t wear it because there’s something about it they don’t like. Don’t keep what they won’t wear unless it is something specific for an occasion.
Shelves or cubbies
Are you lucky enough to have some shelves or cubbies in the closet? This is a great place to store bulky items like sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. It is also a good place for extra sheets and towels as well as pants.
Are you familiar with file folding?
File folding is a wonderful way to keep folded clothes because they stand beside each other in a container instead of one on top of the other on a shelf. It’s easier to see the item you want when clothes are file folded. Plus, it’s easier to maintain a tidy space.
Take 10 minutes and organize one shelf or cubby at a time.
Decide what you want to store in each cubby or shelf. Then start at the top. Remove the things from that one space. Clean the space and put back only the things you want to store there. Put the things that do not belong in a bag and deal with them another time.
Schedule time with yourself to clean and organize the next shelf or cubby.
If you are motivated and have the time available, consider organizing all the cubbies or shelves in one session.
The last place to work on when organizing your children’s closet is the floor. Remove everything that is sitting on the floor. You may be surprised by what you find there and will probably need a garbage bag for things that need to be tossed.
Examine the shoes. Are there any that don’t fit? Can they be donated? If so, put them in a bag and schedule time with yourself to drop them at a donation center.
Only put back shoes that your children wear. If you store other things on the floor of your children’s closet put those things back too.
Just as with any project, chunking it out into small actionable tasks makes it easier. Before you begin, gather your supplies and set the timer on your phone. Work in short 10-minute segments of time. Start at the top and work your way down to the floor. Engage your children. They can help you. Involving them teaches them how to organize their closet and clothes.
This project can be done in a day, over the course of a week, or a month.
If you would like accountability or guidance with this or any project of your choosing, consider joining the Clear Space for You clutter support group.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia