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Top Tips for Lasting Kid Friendly Closet Organization

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We all know that kids closet organization doesn’t last long. We clean it up, they mess it up. It’s a perpetual cycle of chaos. But I’ve found several hacks to keep my kids’ closets organized! So here are my top tips for kid friendly closet organization they can maintain independently.

Little girls room decor

This post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission on your purchases.

Big Girl’s Room Decor

Before we get too far talking about kids closet organization, I wanted to give a quick update on my little {ahem} big girl’s room. She’s not so little anymore and it is making this momma sad. If you missed it, I recently updated her room with this fresh soft pink and I shared how to paint a room in 5 steps during the makeover.

Addie requires very little fuss in her space. She loves large cats, so lions and tigers are on repeat in her decor. But as she has grown, she is more independently reading and spending time in her room. So I wanted to get her a cozy reading chair that has a back.

Previously, I created a cozy reading corner for her in the closet, which has an odd under-stair space. But she’s outgrown the space and needed something more substantial than a small bean bag poof. So we upgraded to this awesome bean bag chair, with a back. It fits her so much better!

Bean bag chair with a back.

It also comes in multiple colors. I love how sleek and modern it is rather than the traditional bean bag chair. It will certainly be able to grow with her.

Thankfully, while she’s growing up, she is still very much my little girl. I love that she still enjoys playing with Legos and other kid-friendly activities. I changed out the tin we were using to store all her Legos in for this beautiful basket. It has handles, so it will be easy to carry from room to room.

It is perfect because while it is toy storage, it is also pretty and blends well with her room decor!

You can find the rest of her room decor via the affiliate links below.


Kids Closet Organization Myths

Now, on to kid friendly closet organization! Organization hacks are becoming more and more apparent to me as my kids get older. When I used to plan my kids’ closet organization, I was looking at it from an adult perspective.

  • Everything should have a place.
  • Color coding should work.
  • Grouping by like object makes sense.
  • Bins everywhere!
Kids closet organization before organization hacks.

But as time has gone on, it’s pretty clear that was not working. I’d like to say that this was staged. It wasn’t.

So instead, I started asking, “How do I organize my kids’ closets so that THEY can maintain them?”

And that new mindset altered how I planned kid friendly closet organization!

Top Tips for Kid Friendly Closet Organization

There are several closet organization hacks that will go a long way in keeping your kids’ closets clean.

  1. Get down on their level. Physically & Mentally.
    • Consider their favorite and most often used closet elements first.
    • Keep clothes at eye level.
  2. Use vertical space fully.
  3. Utilize quick access organization, like hooks, frequently.
  4. Have a solution for “the tinies”. ALLLLL those tiny pieces need a home, or they will end up lost in the abyss.
  5. Don’t make your kid’s closet a catch-all. If you’re able, use other spaces in the home for storage of toys, books and other more frequently used items.
  6. Purge every three months. Have a bag to donate and a bag for trash and go through it all top to bottom!
  7. The most important part of the entire process, keep reading!
Top Tips for Lasting Kid Friendly Closet Organization

Kid Friendly Closet Organization Ideas

If you think you need a full closet organization system to keep your kid’s closet clean, think again. Even though they can be very helpful and offer great structure, you can get away with making your own or using a kids closet organizer instead!

Here is an elaboration on my 6 tips above, sharing how to create structure and organization in your kids closet without spending thousands of dollars!

1. Get Down on Your Child’s Level

First, physically get down on your child’s level. How tall are they? If you have hooks hung at 60 inches, but they are three feet tall, they won’t be able to hang items on them! That makes them fairly counterproductive if you want your child to be able to maintain a clean closet on their own.

I found this was one big problem in Addie’s room. While I was able to reach across her floor storage bins to reach her back hanging rack, there was no way her short legs could get there!

kid friendly closet organization tips.

So, rather than have that space be wasted, I moved all her clothes to a lower rack at eye level with her. I noticed that she always hung those clothes back up, but never her longer dresses on the back rack. First problem solved!

Next, get in tune with your child mentally. If he is 2 years old, then color coding probably isn’t helpful. The best closet organization system is the one your child will use.

For instance, my daughter is extremely caring for her “pets”. When I provided several floor bins for her, she would often say that they looked uncomfortable being piled in a heap. Truly. She’s got a big heart. So rather than ever expect her to make use of those bins, I decided to find a piece where her favorite toys could have a “home”.

The best closet organization system is the one your child will use.

Now, I can simply say, “Your animals need to go to their homes” and she knows what it means! The big animals have the bottom bins, like stables, and the smaller pieces have little apartments above in the bins. I know, it sounds overkill, but after getting into her head I was able to see why she wasn’t using the storage I had for her previously!

2. Kid friendly closet organization uses vertical space fully

The next tip is to use vertical space to it’s fullest potential. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I organize my kids small closet?”

By going up!

We often tend to focus on horizontal surfaces. The floor. Dresser tops. Floor shoe racks.

But the most wasted space in a closet is vertical space. To make the best use of all the space you have, add shelving, use vertically oriented closet organizers, like this one, and use wall space to it’s fullest potential.

Kids closet organization ideas.

3. Hooks are your best friend

Thankfully, Addie’s closet already had lots of hooks. This rack was the closet organizing system she used most frequently. That is because they are easy! Just drape and drop.

Closet hooks for kid friendly closet organization.

However, her hooks were fairly beat up and outdated. So I decided to update the DIY hook rack with new hooks that have a shallower depth to take up less room as they stick out from the wall.

We have 10 hooks and that is a great number to corral blankets, backpacks, costumes, hats and jackets.

4. Tiny items need segregated storage

Tiny humans have tiny things. I can’t count the number of tiny pieces that we found in Addie’s closet as we went through it.

Jewelry, figurines, beads, legos, doll accessories, even fake dog poop. Yep, one of her toy dogs poops. It’s educational….

So when all of these tiny pieces get tossed into a pile, you may as well kiss them goodbye. While that might sound tempting ;), chances are your child will miss them at some point. Maybe.

So I like to use segregated organizers! They make these with or without lids, but they keep all the tiny pieces in place until such a time as you decide they may not need to live in your home any longer.

I also personally use these in our adult closets, kitchen and mudroom. They are great for all the tiny storage!

5. Your Kids Closet Isn’t a Catch-All

Next, try to think of your kids closet as a dedicated space for things that they need on hand every day. If you’re able, try to store frequently used toys or books in a living space to keep the closet clear for clothes, blankets and shoes.

(If you need to store extra bedding and blankets, I love these fabric bins. They are flexible, stackable, and they hide what’s inside! With a front facing label and handles, they are lightweight to pull down off of shelves too.)

Thankfully, Addie’s closet is deep so we are able to keep her massive amount of stuffed animals in the vertical closet organizer. I do love that it keeps it out of her bedroom, but if we didn’t have the space then the toys would be the first to go!

6. Purge Every 3 Months

Most importantly, purge your kids closet every three months! There are no closet organization tools out there that will be able to organize years of clothes, shoes and toys into a 5×5 space. You must purge the goods!

I like to make my kids a part of this practice. We have one or two bags to donate, and one bag for trash. The first time we did this they had a hard time letting go of things I knew they didn’t use any longer.

So, for that first time I had a separate basket where those items could go. The deal was, if they didn’t use them in the next two weeks then they would be donated.

I kept the basket in plain sight for that timeframe, and guess what? They never got anything out of it. After that, and my logical explanation that I was in fact, correct, (I kid…kind of) they much more easily let go of items that they never used in future purges.

It is also important to wade through the sea of clothes for rips, stains, and too-small sizes.

Keeping the number of items in your kids closets paired down goes a long way in keeping their closets organized.

Top Tips for Lasting Kid Friendly Closet Organization

Bonus #7. Make it a routine to pick up strategically

You may have noticed that my kid friendly closet organization ideas had less to do with buying storage options and more to do with practically living out an organized life. I cannot count the number of times I’ve tried to keep an organized room by using a system that makes sense to me, as an adult. Unsurprisingly, it failed every time.

So I like to focus on the things that give my kids control of their own bedroom and closet organization.

  • Think on their level.
  • Use all the space wisely.
  • Make it easy for them with quick access hooks.
  • Keep the space designated for specific storage, not all their possessions.
  • Get rid of unnecessary clutter so they don’t have to manage it.

And bonus number seven is the most important: make it a routine to pick up. I know I can’t be the only mom who’s been frustrated that I’ve told my kids to clean up 5 times in a day and yet never see it happen. I found that my problem was that I was never strategic.

Instead of haphazardly telling them to clean, I’ve found it works much better when it’s done strategically. Here are a few examples.

  1. At the end of each day, make cleaning up a part of the bedtime routine.
  2. At the beginning of each day, make cleaning up a part of the wake up routine.
  3. Before your child can do xyz, they must pick up.
  4. Once your child is done playing with ______, it must be put away before a new item is brought out.
  5. Add closet and bedroom cleaning to the weekly cleaning schedule. Ex: laundry day = closet day.
  6. Daily chores for earned allowance includes bedroom and closet cleaning.

There are many ways you can be strategic about this! You simply need to find the method that works for your child and yourself jointly in order for it to be most productive.

Diving Deeper into Organization

We all know that organization is helpful throughout the home. Last year I dove deep into organization and took an online course called Love Your Home Again. It’s a 10 module online course that helped me dive deeper into organization on every level. It covers all of the rooms in your home in an easy to follow method. It is all done at your own pace and it includes free printable checklists for each area.

I found it to be extremely helpful and worth the investment to reclaim my home. I’ve continued to work through each space in our house and, as you can see, recently tackled closets. If you’re interested in diving deeper, I found this course to be so helpful!

You can purchase it here and you have lifetime access.

More Kids Spaces

I hope that these 7 ways to keep kid friendly closet organization manageable have been helpful to you! One more tip: make it pretty.

Rainbow in a girls closet.

Do I think it helps Addie keep her closet clean? Nope, I sure don’t. But she wanted a rainbow and it’s nice to look at. Sometimes we make utilitarian spaces pretty just because it can make us smile. You can see more about this side of her closet under the stairs in this post.

Do you want to see more kids spaces? I have lots of them on the blog!

You can shop Addie’s room decor and her closet organization tools via the images below!


Stay Connected

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!

Sarah Signature

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