April is a good month to take stock of your children’s closet and figure out which items they have outgrown, which items can go into storage for next winter, which items can be handed down to a younger child and which items they are lacking for summer. But, boy, that can be a big job! Here are some ways to break that big project down into smaller chunks:
1. Know what clothing size your child currently is, so you will automatically know which size clothes to remove from her closet.
2. Set aside a few hours and send your munchkin to a sitter. Clear off his bed so you have a place to sort or consider bringing a folding table into his room. You will need space to make many piles of clothing.
3. One at a time, pull a garment from the closet and ask yourself, “Does this still fit my child” and “will my child still wear this item?” If the answer to both questions is yes, put the item on the bed and start making piles of clothing by type. This will make it easier to put everything back in the closet when you have all of the blouses grouped together, the dresses grouped together, etc.
4. If the answer to your two questions is no, either put the item in a box for donation or in a bin of clothes to be handed down to your next youngest child. If you are making a bin of hand-me-downs, make sure you allocate one bin per size of clothing.
5. Charities don’t want clothing with ripped-up knees, broken zippers, stains or frayed edges, so be sure to throw that kind of stuff away.
6. As you are removing clothing that is outgrown, make a list of items that will need to be replaced as well as clothing that your child will need for summer.
7. It might take a few hours, but eventually you will be done sorting through everything. Be sure to get rid of the discard box before your child has a chance to come home and start pulling items back out of it! Label the hand-me-down box and put it into storage. You should be left with several piles of clothing on the bed that are all the right size, the right season, in good shape and appealing to your child.
8. Before you put everything you are keeping back in the closet, do a little closet analysis. Girls’ closets tend to contain more things that need to be hung than boys’ closets (think of all the dresses, skirts and blouses they wear). Perhaps you need to add a closet rod or lower an existing one so your daughter can hang up her own items. Your boys’ closet might need more low shelves or drawers to accommodate folded items.
9. Try to leave at least 15 percent of the closet empty to facilitate easy retrieval of clothing as well as to allow for growth. Closets where everything fits with barely an inch to spare will quickly become disorderly again.
10. Group like items together on the rods and shelves and then LABEL those spots so your munchkins know exactly where everything goes. Kids naturally like order and are more likely to maintain that order if they don’t have to work hard to remember how you set everything up initially.
11. Leave a donation bin in the closet’s corner so your kids have a place to toss clothes they have outgrown. This will make future closet clean-outs much easier.
12. Maintenance is key once you have finished organizing your kids’ closet! Teach them how to fold clothes and how to hang clothes on hangers. Do periodic closet checks so you can nip the closet messiness in the bud before a small clean-up job becomes a two-day reorganization project.
And there you have it! Your kids’ closet is ready for warmer weather, you and your children know exactly where to find everything, and the whole system is much more manageable. Time to snap a photo and post to Pinterest so everyone can see how awesome you are!
Image courtesy of The Container Store.