How to Declutter and Organize Your Kids’ Closets
Organizing kids’ closets can be very challenging. You have to think about things like the size of the closet, the child’s age, and how best to store certain items.
Below, you will find steps to help you optimize and organize your child’s closet starting with assessing the closet space for any DIY. Next, comes decluttering followed by a second evaluation to determine the best plan for this closet. Finally, you will find tips that take closet size and child’s age into consideration when it comes to creating an organized system for this closet. So, let’s get started!
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
First Evaluation of Your Kids’ Closets
I have found that the best way to organize a child’s closet is to declutter it and then create a system based on the child’s age. So, the first step in creating the perfect system for this closet is to remove everything from the space.
As you remove things, I suggest placing clothes on a bed and keeping these sorted. This will make it easier once we return items for the second evaluation.
Next, get out a tape measure and some paper. Graph paper is better if you want to install some sort of closet system or you can download our project planner ← by clicking here.
Begin taking measurements and jotting them down. Include the door and note the type of door it is. That is, is it one that opens into the room or does it slide side to side on a track?
If there is no door, measure the open space. If the door space is framed out, then it’s possible that the width of the closet’s back wall will be larger than the door space. For example, the back wall of my linen closet measured 6 inches wider than the door space.
Declutter & Purge
Now, that you have your dimensions, it’s time to declutter all the items you removed.
First, have a couple of boxes and/or bags handy. One for donations, one for items you’d like to repurpose, and another for trash. For how best to declutter
Once you’ve purged items into the above boxes, it’s time to deal with the pieces that are staying. Go through those items and separate them into two sections: seasonal and off-seasonal
Now, depending on the time of year, you’ll want to put away off-seasonal
But before you put these items away, make sure that you are not storing items that will not fit when it comes time to switch seasons. Children grow fast and before you know it that top you stored away 6 months ago is way too small now.
If you are unsure if an item will or will not fit, no big deal. Keep it and have them try it on when you switch out their seasonal clothes later.
Dealing with Non-
If you are keeping non-
However, if the closet is large, then go through and declutter these items as well. Decide what stays and what goes. Then check out the tips later in this post about how best to organize these items.
Repurposing Their Items
If you plan on passing down
And if you are keeping clothes to repurpose them, make sure to do so immediately. Making a pillow covering out of your daughter’s tops? Then set a date and get on it. If not, then donate or trash these items before you accumulate a pile of “well-intentioned” clutter.
For some creative ways to repurpose
A Note on How Much
Clothing is Enough
Because kids outgrow their clothes very quickly (I probably don’t need to tell you that), there are stages in their development where it doesn’t make sense to buy lots of
Okay, now that you’ve decluttered your children’s
This evaluation is all about determining any DIY you need to do such as adding another
During this evaluation, you want to also take into account your child’s age (and height). How a 4-year-old and a tween access their closet and items is completely different.
Need Help Designing a Closet for Kids?
Many closet system distributors have a design app you can use to configure this space. Below is a list of sites that provide this service:
Simply add the dimensions you took during the first evaluation and follow the site’s recommendations.
If you prefer to speak to a closet designer try these sites:
And if just don’t have the knack for it, you can hire a company that will send someone to your home. They’ll evaluate your closet needs and provide you with the best options. But be aware that this can get pricey. Below are just a couple of companies that do this:
If you want to go solo on this project, check out the tips and ideas below. You’ll find all sorts of recommendations based on the type of closet you have and the age of your child.
Tips & Ideas for Kids’ Closets
If the closet is small, take advantage of its vertical space. Most closets are as tall as your room’s ceiling, giving you about 8 feet of vertical space. If this is the case you may be losing about 1 to 2 feet of precious space on the top. This was the case in my home.
To take advantage of this space, install an extra
Another tip is to try the sloping method: hang clothes on the closet rod according to the length of the item, from short to tall or vice versa like in the photo below.
By doing this, you’ll gain more space on one side where you can place a drawer organizer like this one or install an extra closet rod.
Another way to save space width-wise is to stack clothes on hangers. You can do this by adding some sort of ring over the head of a hanger. Then
Also, if your door opens into a room, use it for extra storage. You can purchase over-the-door organizers like this one. And they can hold more than just shoes.
You can also put up a couple of towel bars to hold items like hats, and light blankets, or add s-hooks to hold backpacks.
You’ll want to also utilize the floor space. Add a shoe rack like this one, to keep their footwear sorted and easy to find.
A larger closet can mean a decluttered room. You can place toys, books, a hamper, a small dresser, and other items in their closets in order to keep their bedroom looking tidier.
Just make sure these items are accessible to your kids. If they are out of reach, then it will be you who has to take out their items and put them back.
Place toys in clear bins on the floor and install shelves low enough if you plan to add books to them.
Now, let’s go over some practical ideas for closet organization based on your child’s age.
Infant/Toddler Closets [0 – 3 years old]
Infant and toddler
An over-the-door organizer is also perfect for small items like socks, toiletries, onesies, small diapers, and yes, shoes too.
And because you will be dressing your children, for the most part, the location of items in the closet shouldn’t be a problem. Make it easy for YOU to access their stuff.
Placing items high should provide more space near the floor where you can keep things they’ll want to access like toy bins. To keep their toys organized, use clear bins or label bins using a picture of the toy. This way, they will know where to place a certain toy when they are finished playing with them.
Young Kids Closets [age 4 – 10]
By the time kids reach 4 years of age, they should begin dressing themselves. You may still need to pick out their outfits, but kids should be encouraged to dress themselves.
Consider placing a closet rod or lowering a
One useful organizer you can add to the closet is a weekday vertical organizer. You can pick out your child’s
It lets young kids practice getting themselves ready for the day. As they get older, they will pick up on what clothes they need for the day. This means not needing you to pick out their clothes anymore.
If adding the weekly organizer takes up too much space in a small closet, consider purchasing a small garment rack and keeping it outside their closet. You can pick out their clothes for the week and add these dividers to the rod to separate them by weekday.
Finally, just one more tip. As children’s
Because their clothes are too small for adult-size hangers, there are two options you can try. One, you can purchase appropriate-sized hangers or you can try velvet hangers. These hangers are great for keeping their clothes from slipping off the hanger and ending up on the floor.
Tweens [ages 11 – 12]
By this age, tweens will most likely want to pick out their own outfits. One suggestion I have for this age group is to have their
Tips & Ideas for Shared Closets
If your children have to share a closet, I suggest dividing their belongings within the closet. Label bins and drawers, and use closet rod dividers and shelf dividers to separate their
Just remember to keep items lower for small children. And provide a little more storage for the bigger child as their clothes tend to take up more room as they go up in size.
Now that you have an idea of how you want your kids’ closets to look, go ahead and get started on any DIY. After, replace their items and organize them for both function and form. Above all, make sure their closets are kid-friendly and easy to maintain.
Maintaining Tidy Closets
To keep kids’ closets neat, you must teach your children how to do so. You can start teaching children as young as 2 years old. I’m not referring to folding and storing their clothes yet, but they can match socks and put away toys.
Now if your children are older, you can still teach them what they need to do to keep this space organized. Show them how to fold their clothes and how to hang things properly. I suggest adding these tasks to a chore chart if you use one.
And don’t expect perfection. My son is terrible when it comes to folding but he still does it. My hope is that in time, he’ll get better at it.
Also, teach your children to fold and store their clothes immediately after they have been laundered. Don’t allow them to wait and/or create piles of clothes that they will “get to” eventually. Having them deal with their laundry asap not only keeps their
Final Thoughts on Kids’ Closets
Just to recap on how to declutter and organize your child’s closet, remember:
- Remove everything from the closet to get a good assessment of the space
- Next, go through and declutter all their items
- Relocate items that do not belong especially if their closet is small
- Replace items strategically and evaluate the space again to determine what type of organizers you need, if any
- Do any planned DIY
- After you have all the organizers you need, arrange their items appropriately for your child’s age/size
- Label as much as you can
- And finally, teach your kid how to keep their closet tidy
Additional Articles to Help You Organize Your Kids’ Rooms
Save This Later?
Want to save this post for later? Hover over the image below, then click the pin icon to save it to your favorite organizing Pinterest board.
Leave a Reply