How Do You Organize Your Child's Closet/clothes???

Updated on August 07, 2008
N.Z. asks from Bonney Lake, WA
25 answers

Hello,

I am a working mom of two little girls, 4 and 12mo. I have had a burning question for four years now that I've wanted to ask other moms to see how the do things. For some reason, I've had a difficult time trying to figure out how to organizemy girls' clothes! Isn't that CRAZY?! LOL!!

My question - how do organize your childs clothes? Do you hang all their shirts? Put them all in their dresser? How do you decide what goes in the dresser and what doesn't? I find that I put mostly everything into their dressers and the stuff that goes into their closets go unseen as we forget about the stuff in there. SOOOO...I am hoping I can get some great ideas from Mommy's on here on how to organize children's clothes! :)

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

For my almost 4-year-old son, we have a dresser with 3 drawers - one for socks and underwear, one for pants and shorts, and one for pajamas. In his closet, we recently installed a second bar at his level so that he can reach his shirts. We have all of his summer shirts on the lower level now, and his winter shirts are on the upper level. When fall rolls around, we'll switch. This seems to work pretty well in terms of keeping everything organized and making all of his clothes accessible, both for him and for us. Hope that helps!

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S.B.

answers from Seattle on

I have very little closet space so only dresses go in there, the drawers go like this, underclothing (underwear, onsies, socks and undershirts) in the top drawer, the second drawer is for the outfit sets, the third is shirts longsleeve on one side short sleeved on the other side, in the forth is the bottams, the fifth is swim wear and play clothing. Good luck!!

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L.J.

answers from Portland on

I hang all the clothes. I actually even have the pants section, shorts section, shirt section, etc. In the drawers I keep underware, socks and PJs. Besides being easy to find clothes hanging up vs. putting in a drawer, it saves me time of folding them and keeps them wrinkle free. If shoved in a drawer you have to dig around to find stuff plus they get all messed up and wrinkled.

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Z.A.

answers from Seattle on

We don't actually use a dresser at all.

We have two rows of hooks (the smooth roundy kind you can buy individually at HomeDepot for about a buck each)and a small, colorful, translucent plastic 3 drawer storage "thing" from Office Depot.

The top row of hooks is for his shirts.

The bottom row is for pants/shorts.

The small three drawer storage tower thing (hah...i need to figure out what it's called) holds 1) socks 2)underwear 3)pjs.

We measured for the hooks by holding up a pair of pants so that the cuffs touched the floor, and then laser-leveled a couple inches higher for growth. We leveled for his shirts so that the hems just skimmed the waist of his pants. The 3 drawer thing sits beside the hooks...and his laundry hamper next to that.

He started picking out and putting on his own clothes pretty much immediately, I think because he could see everything that's clean and because HE get's to choose (puffed out little chest)...and he "does" his own laundry ;)

We wash all of his clothes together (although I do sort OURS...his I literally upend the hamper over the washing machine :). He adds the soap. When the dryer's done he takes his basket upstairs and hangs up all of his clothes on his hooks & sorts out his socks/underwear/pjs into their drawers. Since there's no folding/hangers involved he's been able to do this since he was a toddler.

I had to help him 2 or 3 times in the beginning and that was it. Also...we have a sock rule in our house. Matching socks may be one of the most irritating chores on the planet. So we buy all the same kind, so he can just dump them in his drawer and pull them out as necessary.

We've moved twice since implementing this...the first 2 places we lived we had this system in his closet, but in our new house his closet's too small so we have it set up in a corner in his room.

(Clothes he MIGHT still fit in next season -like swim and snow suits- I have in a plastic box up tall in his closet. When I'm feeling energetic I wash, ziplock bag, and label clothes he's outgrown to save/giveaway/donate...but that only happens once a year or so.)

From the girl who HATES folding and hanger-wrangling,

:) Z.

PS you'll have to cut/paste without spaces...the page didn't wrap it for some reason and the link didn't WORK without wrapping it...so here's the (almost)link to the particular kind of hooks we use. Don't click on the blue.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&Ntt=
hooks&Ntk=i_products&category=Cabinets%20&Ns=p_product_price
|0&N=0+###-###-####&sortOp=lowToHigh

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A.C.

answers from Portland on

Sadly, I enjoy organization way too much! So thanks for indulging me! I will just tell you what I do.... I think it is much easier to hang clothes than put it in drawers, for four reasons: less folding, less ironing, less cramming things in drawers, and it is much easier to see all her options for clothing each day! When they come out of the dryer, I lay them flat on top of each other until I can hang them in her closet, and this flattens them out and gets out wrinkles. So I hang in her closet: all her shirts (t-shirts included), pants (minus jeans), skirts, shorts, dresses, jackets, sweatpants, etc. Here is what I keep in her dresser drawers: underwear, socks, pajamas, swimsuits, jeans, and ragged clothing I keep for playing in the dirt, etc. And then if you want to be even more organized, you can get one of those hanging closet shelves (made out of canvas) then you can label each little shelf for each day of the week, and she (or you) can put 7 outfits in there for the week, and she won't even have to think about what to wear, she will just pull out the outfit on the shelf for the day of the week. This may not work for all children, but I know it is a big time saver! Happy organizing to you! I'd be happy to help further, if you need help, send me an e-mail!

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D.L.

answers from Seattle on

Obviously it's going to change depending on how much hanging vs. drawer space you have, but here's what we do for our 2 3/4 yo. girl:

Small Closet with one rod (I'm guessing 3-4 feet long):
- All shirts, dresses, overalls, tank tops, sweaters, etc. are in the closet. Basically, anything you can hang easily.
- They are arranged by color (that's how my brain works) so it's easier to pick out clothes. When she was a baby I would arrange them with the smallest clothes at the front of the color and the larger towards the back, but we don't have that issue anymore. So, from left to right I have blacks, grays, white, reds/burgundy, bright pink, pinks, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, purples/lavender, and finally brown.

Small dresser with 3 drawers:
Top drawer - Pants, shorts, skirts, undies & pull-ups. Anything that are "bottoms" and used daily.
Middle drawer - PJs, socks (in one of her old shoe boxes), tights (next to the box of socks - creating it's own section), and in the back I have seasonal items like swimsuits and winter hats in the wipes boxes that came in cases of wipes.
Bottom drawer - Sheets & blankets.

Shoes are currently located on her book shelf. We need a better plan for them however, because there are always shoes missing or all around the house (we have a girl that loves changing outfits throughout the day). Plus, I have been saving her shoes as mementos, and the bigger they get, the harder I find them to display. Also, what I would give for books to be put back on the remaining self space everyday. ;-)

Our little girl has a bunch of clothes and we don't have much storage space in her small room and this has always worked. The main thing I've noticed is that as her clothes get bigger, I have to find different ways to fold the drawer items so they still all fit. One day she'll get our old dresser that is a lot bigger. But for now, we still use the changing pad for after baths and need the small dresser.

One thing I do fairly regularly is weed out items that just don't fit anymore (or seasonal items that won't fit by the next season) and give them away to friends and relatives. This always seems to happen right around the time I'm running out of room. So I guess if there's no room for it, she doesn't need it. ;-)

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V.D.

answers from Seattle on

i keep all of my kids clothes in a dresser. i have a seperate drawer for my sons pants and one for his shirts and my daughter has seperate drawers for her pants and shirts. they share a drawer for pj's and summer clothes share a drawer also. Their socks and undies share a drawer too, but i put in a homemade divider (cardboard and tape) down the middle to keep it seperate and easy to find what i need. i have hanging closet organizers for shoes and weekly outfits. every sunday i go through their clothes and set out five outfits for each of them for the workweek and put them in the organizer. it makes mornings run much more smoothly. i try to put together different outfits each week so all of their things get used.

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S.B.

answers from Portland on

Hi N. I think that is a great question. My daughter is 7 and I organize her closet by hanging outfits together. I find that the dresser thing does not work for me. So i hang everything except underwear, p.j.'s and shorts and tank tops. But I can look at her closet and see what she has and it seems to make it easier for her. The outfits that i buy that are made to go together i try and hand them up on the same hanger. This works really well for school that way they match when they leave the house. plus I don't have to fold anything they come out of the dryer on to the hanger. Hope this helps.

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

I personally hang all shirts, skirts, and dresses. Mostly, it is because we don't have room in the dresser for the shirts... they have way too many clothes. I bought a closet extender for my daughter's closet that puts all of her shirts down lower so she can reach them. My daughter likes to pick out her clothes, but has tons of trouble matching them. This way, she can choose her shirt, and I choose for her pants that match it. This is also a way that my daughter can see every shirt. When we put them in the dresser, she would unfold the whole drawer looking for one specific shirt.

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M.G.

answers from Seattle on

My children ages 20months and 4.5years have all their clothing minus expensive suits/dresses/shoes at thier disposal at all times in their dresser. I have thier dresser split down the middle for them as that way they have the same amount/type of drawers. We keep pj's in the top drawer on each side, nice shirts and tank tops in the second drawers, pants and shorts in the third drawers and "play clothes" in the bottom drawers. Play clothes for my kids are clothes they wear only around the house or to events where we do not want to risk the possibility of ruining good clothing. Down the center on their dresser there's four smaller drawers in which we keep socks and underwear, hats and scarves/gloves. My oldest is allowed to pick whatever she wants to wear daily and she often picks out her brother's clothing for the day as well. I don't use the closets too much because my kids are short and it is too difficult for them to reach their clothing and I'd prefer to keep nicer things only away from their reach.

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J.N.

answers from Seattle on

Hi N.,
I hang all shirts, dresses and overalls. Matching pants get hung on the hanger under the shirt. Only jeans, shorts, jammies, onzies, undies and socks go in the dressers.
I have 3 kids who are growing way too fast. Once every 3 months I go through their clothes and pull out what they've outgrown. If it can be passed on to the next kid I put it in a plastic bin and label the size that is in there. If it cannot be passed on, it goes into a plastic bag for the consignment store.

Hope this helps :)

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C.C.

answers from Eugene on

With my son's clothes (he's 5 1/2) we hang his pants and shirts. I keep the clothes hangers with the closing clasps and keep my sons pants on those and use regular hangers for the shirts. His underwear go in one drawer, socks in another, pajamas in another drawer and shorts in another drawer. That's how we've done it his whole life.

Now, my daughter (5 weeks) we don't have as big of a closet in her room so we got an armoir and also a shelving unit which I bought baskets for each shelf. In her closet I have all the clothes she's too small to wear just yet and in her armoir I have her clothes hanging up. In one basket I have socks, another basket has undies/bloomers and on the shelves in the armoir I have sleepers on one shelf, onesies and pants on another shelf and the other shelves have her receiving blankets, towels/washcloths, extra crib sheets, etc.

HOpe that helped! :)

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K.C.

answers from Portland on

I organize by type of clothing. We have smaller drawers for the kids dressers so it helps a lot. I basically do shorts in one drawer, jeans in another, long sleeve shirts in another, short sleeves, etc. Obviously if you have bigger drawers this won't work, unless you buy some drawer dividers. I have seen them at Target and Crate & Barrel. I only hang up the bulkier items, like jackets, the "good" clothes (the ones that would otherwise require ironing if folded and put in a drawer), and special outfits we have picked out for certain days. This helps us to be sure we use everything and don't forget any of the outfits.
It is also an awesome time saver when the little ones want to dress themselves because they know what clothes are in which drawers.

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K.W.

answers from Seattle on

Hi N.,

I have my youngest's clothes organized by drawers: top drawer is PJs, socks, underwear, middle drawer is seasonal clothes(now for summer it's shorts and lightweight shoter pants; winter will bejeans, sweaters, long sleeve shirts), and I match pants/shorts w/shirts and then put 3 or 4 outfits in each of 3 stacks, and the bottom is for play clothes/clothes she can wear to excercise in.

The closet I keep her dressier clothes, costumes she uses for dress up, and her jackets in, and her coats go down in the hall on the hall tree.

Hope that helps, :o)

K. W

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N.W.

answers from Eugene on

Dresses in the closet, everything else in the dresser. Except coats and shoes in the hall closet.

When my girls were little, they only wanted to wear dresses so those were all lined up for them to choose from in the morning. Sort of like shopping. If the drawers are less full, it is easier for kids to find and put away clothes on their own.

I tried to keep things neat but not overly organized. My goal was to make things easily accessible so my girls could find their clothes and dress themselves as much as possible.

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S.M.

answers from Eugene on

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO ORGANIZE!! I too have a 14 mo old daughter and here is how I organize her closet/dresser.
If the outfit comes with a top and bottom, I hang all of her clothes up in complete sets...using the hangers with pant clips on them, so it is easy to find both pieces. Then, I organize them by size, with the smaller sizes on the left and the larger sizes on the far right. It is also helpful to put all short sleeve (summer) outfits together and all long sleeve shirts together. All of her shoes are paired in a single layer so they are easy to see and grab quickly.
Her dresser: the top drawer is all of her socks, tights, swim suit and sun hats. The second drawer is pajamas and one stack of onsies that don't have matching pants. The bottom drawer is a stack of cotton skirts, pants and shorts.
It may seem overwhelming to tackle this project the first time, but once you get things organized, it makes your life so much easier. I hope this is helpful.

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G.H.

answers from Richland on

Every 3 months I go through my kids closet & drawers. I pull each item out to see if it still fits or is in poor condition. If they grew & can't wear it anymore, I donate it. If it's still good for them, I fold it and put it back. If it hasn't been worn for awhile, I ask them if they want to donate it. If they want to keep it, I put it on the top to be worn again in the near future. A good rule of thumb is when you bring a new item in, get rid of an old one. That way you never have too much!

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K.L.

answers from Spokane on

What I did when my son was little even younger than 4 yrs. I used to buy mix and match cloths like Garanimals and such and I used to either hang his cloths as a set or I would put shirts in one drawer and pants in another and tell him something like you can pick a shirt from this drawer and then you can pick any pair of pants out of this drawer to go with it. Knowing that anything he picked together would match. If there was an out fit that only went with a particular pair of pants and shirt I hung them in the closet. Then of course his underwear and socks in one drawer and his pj's in another folded and put in as a set, when I folded the shirt I put it between the fold of the pants that it went to. You can teach your child how you want it done by having them help you put them away and they will eventually start putting things together and knowing what goes where. Oh and of course hang all their pretty little dresses :-) hope this helps

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C.G.

answers from Eugene on

Just an idea from me (with two girls, 3yr and 4 mo)

Dresser:
Drawer for underwear/socks
Shirts
Pants/shorts/skirts
PJ's
Easy to put on Dresses

I hang up all the clothes I don't want her dressing herself in, like hard to put on dresses and costumes and anything not in their current size, and then rotate them out every couple months.

Good luck!

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T.W.

answers from Portland on

I use those hangers that kids clothes come on that have a hanger for shirts and pants all in one. that way I can put outfits together. I can just tell my 6 and 3 year old to pick out something and get dressed. all I put in their drawers are socks, underwear and pjs. I'm a sahm with 6,3 and 1 year old.

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J.G.

answers from Portland on

I reserve one side of the closet for "buy aheads" items I saw on sale that are too big now but will be fine in time. I check that side regularly and have arranged by size.
In our house, for my daughter who somehow alsways has more clothes than brother, her dresser goes like this..
Top drawer is leggings, sweats, -- casual items
Next drawer is tanks, and shorts
Bottom drawer is nighties and misc. jammies
Closet for "outfits", dresses, jeans, nicer tops that I dont' want to wrinkle. I try to keep those separated so that all gets worn, shirts together, pants together, dresses together, outfits together. -- My husband clearly is not on board with my organization suggestion so every weekend, I go in, and quickly sort back..

M.B.

answers from Seattle on

N.,

My son is almost 5, and my daughter almost 17 months. We do basically the same thing with both of them.

My son's church clothes get hung, his shoes in the bottom of his closet. We then have all his underwear, socks and jammies in the top drawer, t-shirts in the next, sweatshirts in the next, and pants/shorts in the bottom.

My daughter has a built-in armoire (sp?) thing. Her sun dresses and coats get hung, her top shelf has hooded towels, washcloths (we don't use them) and her crib sheets. The next shelf has jammies and the one piece body suits/outfits. The third shelf has all her set outfits (matching shirt/shorts that were bought together). The bottom shelf has all her pants/overalls/. The top drawer has her gerber type onsies we never use anymore, and all her long, and short sleeved shirts. These have their own piles of just a shirt, and the onsie type with the snaps in the crotch.

Hope this helps,
Melissa

Just do something that makes sense to you/your daughters

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B.S.

answers from Springfield on

Get a couple of three drawer clear plastic dressers. Put underwear, socks, and PJ's in the top drawer.
Shirts in the middle drawer
Pants/shorts/skirts in the bottom drawer.
Hang up any dresses above the dresser in the closet. The best tip is to only put clothes that are appropriate for the season in the clear drawers, and rotate them out as the weather changes.

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

I just saw my friend's son's closet and was so impressed. She doesn't use a dresser and the clothes aren't hung up either. She has 4 shelves and has everything seperated into style and size and then lays them flat, folded long way in half, just right on top of each other. It's sounds weird but she said it's so easy to find whatever she needs because it's all so organized.

Anyway, just a thought. I may do that for my girls. :) Good luck!

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K.R.

answers from Portland on

I organize at several levels, and they change depending on the child and their age, but the two keys are:

1) All the things that won't wrinkle too much for the wrinkles to fall out in the first hour of wearing (all knits, also all pants-type clothes, which are generally thicker/tougher fabrics), I toss (literally) into their assigned drawer-space. (I fold (some of) _my_ clothes, and I fold or lay-mostly-straight my son's slacks.)

2) hanging items: I bought the ($30-ish each) single-bar adjustable-height clothes racks ... originally because we have almost no closet space, but actually they turn out to be GRAND to just put right on top of the kids' dressers (we have the long low kind, not the tall kind), so all the kid's clothes are in the same physical space! (boys' button-down shirts, girls' dresses, blouses, and I also put some sweaters/light jackets on the racks). The one real problem on this for me is that I have to let go of being stressed about them climbing on their dresser to get to the hanging clothes once they get old enough to dress themselves ... with the smaller kids, I make more of an effort to be in the room so I can get stuff down for them ... but really, I have yet to have a kid actually fall off. And the racks are too light to hurt the kid if one landed on them.

most of the sweaters/coats/light jackets live on hooks in the entry hall (with hats, goves, etc.) ... I am in the middle of revamping that whole area ... I just finished a discussion with a wall-system company about making their modular product a nice dark furniture-y color instead of 'cool guy grey' (the systems are of course designed for garages, but they said they were planning to come out with "walnut" later this year)-- I want a system that lets me move the coathooks up a couple of inches every year without having to fill the previous year's drill-holes! ... and get the shoes off the floor more effectively that the current spinning shoe-rack ... and with nothing within six inches of the floor so I can easily sweep away all the dust that falls off the outside gear! ... and wouldn't it be great to easily move sports stuff between the garage and the entry-way, seasonally? ... . (Anyone who reads this can feel free to contact their favorite modular-wall-storage company and add their voice! I was talking to Flow Wall, which just got picked up by Costco ... mainly they need to add hooks with bulbous ends to protect the hanging coats/sweaters ... they already have sports-gear racks and wire shelves. And I strongly encouraged them to make hardware that was darker and more matte than their garage-cool steel hardware.)

I sort things by what I require of them before they walk out the door. For instance, my oldest two need to wear layers for school, because their school puts a priority on being outdoors every day (yay :)! ). So they have either separate drawers or separate sections for short-sleeve shirts and long-sleeve shirts ... then in the morning I can look at the weather and say "today you need a long sleeve over a short sleeve" or whatever. I'm frankly repeatedly tempted to put my daughter's tights in her pants-drawer, because as it turns out my requirement for her is frequently "you need two long layers on the bottom"--and despite the fact that tights are "socks," really they function as long underwear/pants ;). But she knows they are 'socks' and is somewhat offended that I would put socks someplace besides the 'sock drawer' ;).

... (this has all reminded me that this month would be a great time to start formally teaching folding, laundry-sorting, and laudry-putting-away (our family stresses haven't allowed for mental-space to do that before now ... but now I probably could ... woo hoo :)!!) ...

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