The messiest places in my house are, without a doubt, the kids’ rooms. From school papers spilling off of the desk to clothing falling out of the drawers, I know that if I don’t keep on top of them, they’ll let their bedrooms spiral into unkempt conditions very quickly! One thing that I’ve found, however, is that if the kids’ closets are neat and clean, it helps keep the rest of the room more tidy. I think the reason is because if they can get their clothing put away properly, there’s less of a mess with crumpled clothes falling off of hangers and getting tossed onto the floor. As you know, once a room starts to look messy, it can get out of control, so the secret is making it easy to keep at least one area of their rooms clean. Clean begets clean… in theory, at least!
Here are some tips on making sense out of your child’s closet:
- Give it a thorough cleaning. Go through and take out any clothing that doesn’t fit anymore or that she won’t wear. Once you have pared the closet’s contents down to things that are worn, make sure that you have enough hangers for everything.
- Install a bar that is at your child’s level. This is so important, and something that a lot of us forget! If your child can’t reach the bar in his closet, he’s not going to be able to hang items. He’s also not going to be able to get clothing down easily, so he’ll pull on what he wants, instead. This leads to stretched-out neckholes and hangers (with crumpled clothing) on the floor. Move the rod down and it will make a huge difference!
- Consider installing shelving, too. You can do this with do-it-yourself wire kits that you can buy at home improvement stores, or you can have a custom closet company come in and build wood shelving for you. The latter option will be much more expensive, but these systems are also much more durable. Either way, shelves will let kids put folded clothing away easily. You could get bins for a couple of the shelves for her to store her socks and underwear, eliminating the need for a dresser.
- Teach kids an organization strategy. The most common way to organize a closet is to hang all of the shirts together, all of the pants, all of the dresses, and so on. Another way is to put the clothes together as complete outfits and to hang them like that. So two consecutive hangers might hold the shirt and the pants that go together. This can make hectic mornings run more smoothly, because it will reduce the arguments that can arise when kids come down wearing a plaid shirt with striped pants.
- Use the high shelf to store things that your child doesn’t need to access regularly. For example, fill boxes with out-of-season clothing that she won’t use again for several months anyway. Putting toys or games on the top shelf is a recipe for a mess (and possible injury, if she is scaling the shelves to climb up there).
- Make it appealing. While you have everything out, consider painting the closet a bright color, or adding a pretty area rug. If it looks nice, your child might be more likely to want to keep it neat.
As with anything else, you’ll need to keep an eye on how your child is keeping up with her closet organization. These tips should help her to do most of the work herself, once she knows where everything goes.
Do you have any tips for keeping kids’ closets under control?