As you may know, I am in the process of a spring cleaning spree. I spent several weekends ago crawling around in my master closet flinging clothes into piles with glee all the while cursing my untidiness. You can check out that fiasco here if you missed it. This week, I have moved onto my kids shared bedroom closet.
It didn’t require as much cleaning out as just re-organizing, or as my freind Carson Kressly from ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ would say, I needed to “tszuj” [zhoo-zh] it up. My main goal was to make it look nice (because my kids rarely keep the closet doors closed) and to make it functional for these two little humans with all the stuff they accumulate.
Here is what I came up with:
We have a surplus of blankets and quilts which I organized into categories (kids quilts, fleece blankets, picnic blankets, guest blankets, etc.) and then placed on the top shelf. The trick now will be for my 5′ self to actually go get a ladder to get one down instead of jumping to grab one therefore toppling the whole pile. I am planning to get some skinny clear bins to put them in to solve any future blanket avalance issues.
Since kids clothes are short and don’t take up too much vertical space in the closet, I decided to use the floor space for more organization. I got a large clear storage bin to keep M’s nice clothes that he’s outgrown in, this way I don’t have to say goodbye to his baby clothes yet (because that results in me holding little onesies up to my chest and sobbing about how he used to be so tiny) and O can use them as she grows into them. As far as clothes that they have both outgrown that I’m not going to save, I keep a paper grocery bag in the closest so I can toss things into it as I notice them getting dingy or too small. Then, when the bag is full, my husband can pry it out of my hands to take to goodwill or the women’s shelter as I sob about how my babies are growing up too fast. The other thing I keep on the floor is a laundry hamper. I am trying to teach both kids (and my husband) to throw dirty clothes into as soon they come off. It is a work in progress, but M is actually pretty good at remembering to do it. His future spouse can thank me later!
Of course I try to hang all their clothes by color, because I just think it looks pretty!
The kids also share a dresser in their room. They each get three drawers and it works out perfectly. O’s clothes are small enough that I can fit a whole bunch in her drawers without it getting too packed. As the kids grow, so do their clothes and I just re-evaluate how I fold them as needed. I like to organize from bottom to top, so bottoms go in bottom drawer, tops in top, etc. This makes it easier for M (and his dad) to know where to find things. I also subcategorize within the drawers to make it easy to find certain types of clothing. I find that this whole system gives M more independence, I can ask him to get himself dressed and he knows that his school pants are in the right side of the bottom drawer and his t-shirts are in the right side of the top drawer. I keep his “dressy” clothes that I don’t want getting dirty hung up in the closet where he can’t quite reach. Everthing esle is within his reach though, so he has the freedom to dress and therefore express himself.
Another thing I put in the closet to maximize storage is a shelving unit that holds 8″x8″ canvas boxes. This gives me extra space to store things that I would normally have to put in the dresser. Each kid gets 4 boxes and they are color coordinated so we can tell whose is whose. Again, I organize them in a bottom to top scheme, shoes in the bottom working the way up to hat’s in the top. This is probably my favorite part of their closet because it gives them so much extra storage and it’s really easy to find things too.
I keep their PJ’s in these boxes at a height where M can easily reach them. This way he can grab his own PJ’s and sometimes will be my helper and grab a pair for O as well.
I’ve noticed (being somewhat of a pajama addict) that it can be really hard to store PJ’s and keep them tidy or find the matching sets. To solve this I came up with what I call the “PJ pack”. I love all the cute little coordinating two piece pajama sets for kiddos (oh who am I kidding, I love them for myself too). To make it easy to find each set, I fold the pants into the shirt, creating a little pack that is easy to grab. Some pajamas come as a set of three (pants, shorts, top or pants, long-sleeve top, short-sleeve top) so for those sets, I just change-up the pack seasonally and store the extra pieces at the bottom of the canvas box.
I highly recommended this method if you are crazy like me and go bonkers when your husband gets your kids ready for bed wearing a completely mismatched set of PJ’s and you end up changing them anyway. However, I also suggest that you don’t be crazy like me and just appreciate that your husband got your kids ready for bed in the first place so you could stay on the couch with your glass of wine and Netflix instead of leaping up to change the clothes that no one will see them in because they will be sleeping…in your bed…kicking you in the shin…at 3am…not that I know this from experience or anything.
Well, that wraps up my most recent spring cleaning project. I feel like I’m really making progress! Maybe I’ll be done by winter? Fingers crossed 🤞.