I’m talking all about how we organize our shared kids closet (3 boys in one closet! With no dresser!). From closet organizer to the type of baskets and WHERE we keep all the stuff.
Okay, you guys. Time is FLYING on this One Room Challenge! We have six weeks to makeover a room and somehow we’re on week 4 and I haven’t done soooo many things. Did you catch my update last week? Well the only thing done since then is painting this little stool and swapping out hardware. Shane and I have a date night tonight and I’m pretty sure we’ll end up at Home Depot buying materials for the accent wall and desk- ha!
BUT this post I think will be super helpful if you have kids and are struggling to keep their stuff organized. We have 4 kids. 3 of them are in this one bedroom. Yep!
3 Kids share ONE closet
And they have no dresser. But it’s totally doable with an amazing closet organizer and some mindset shifts. I mentioned in my post about our entry closet that I’d read the Design Mom book a couple years ago and it changed the way that I organize our stuff and this closet is an extension of that. I also have been reading more about minimalism and decluttering (Allie Cassazza is amazing!) and while I’m far from a minimalist, I’ve definitely taken some cues from it and love how it positively affects our spaces. So today I thought I’d share some tips on organizing closets for kids. What works for us and specifically how we’ve organized this shared kids closet for our three boys.
If you missed my updates over the past few weeks- we are participating as guests in the Spring One Room Challenge. It’s a 6 week room makeover challenge and this is week 4 (somehow!?). You can see my original design and before photos right here, tips on removing a valance (week 2) here, and an update as to what we’ve done and what we have left to do (a lot!) for week 3 right here.
Before I get to the tips, I thought I’d give you a little run down of exactly what is stored in here.
ON TO THE TIPS!
If Floor Space is at a Premium, Invest in a Closet Organizer
Last year we partnered with Imagine the Room Kamloops to makeover our master closet. It was a hot mess and they did such an amazing job making it so storage-full (that’s a word, right?!) that we got rid of our big dresser. It fit everything from our closet previously and everything from our dresser. With that in mind… we really didn’t want to have to use precious floor space in the boys shared bedroom for a dresser. They want a desk and we want to have some room for them to play. We partnered with Imagine the Room again on this closet and yet again, they delivered a design that fit all of our needs.
The closet organizer we designed prefers shelves and drawers over hanging space (since little boys don’t hang much!) which means we can fit a LOT of stuff in this standard size closet. If you’re going to be installing a closet organizer, I’d definitely recommend calling an expert if you can and being very clear about what you need to store in your closet!
Keep Stuff Kids Need Within Reach
Here’s the thing about a closet vs a dresser… most of the space in a closet is out of the kids’ reach. We’ve put a stool in here which helps our five year old reach the top drawers. The stool also helps the three year old reach the second drawer and the 18 month old reach the bottom drawer. The stool is my favourite solution to everything lately. We now have 4 in our house- ha!
We took a look and decided what the kids need to reach. For us, that’s just their clothes. We gave each kid a shelf and a drawer (youngest on the bottom, oldest on the top). Each kid has a basket on the right for pyjamas, a basket for socks and underwear, all their shirts in the drawer and pants in the basket to the left. If I get better at this whole minimalist thing one day, I’m hoping to use the basket to the left for the kids to keep whatever ‘stuff’ they want to keep for themselves in there. Rocks, toys, little crafts… whatever. But our 5 year old can reach his nature collection (rocks) on the first shelf above the drawers so for now, that’s where all of our rocks go. JK. I wish this was all of his rocks. We have more.
The fourth drawer (top) is for swim stuff since our kids swim every week. They can reach it to pack their own swim bag. Other than that… there is nothing in this closet that they need to reach on their own. Prioritizing that lower half of the closet is what really added value for our kids. We also put some baskets of their fave toys on the bottom (blocks and a construction train).
Consider Where Else You Can Store Things
I mentioned this tip in my front hall closet organization post as well but… where else can you store some of those ‘things’ that you are constantly trying to shove in your closet or that you’re always tripping over? We have the kids backpacks in the front hall closet and we have a set of hooks behind the boys bedroom door for their every day jackets (one each). We also pack up all our winter jackets and boots in a bin and put it in storage for the summer instead of in the closet taking up space.
Do you notice that we have sheets in here? These are all the boys sheets. We used to keep them in our linen closet but that tiny closet is SO FULL. This closet? Has lots of room on the top half! So we applied this concept and moved the sheets here. Now they’re always ready and within reach when we need to swap sheets in the night.
The Top Half of The Closet Is YOURS, Mama
Okay… hear me out. If you have taken care of all the things that the kids need to store in the closet… they can’t reach the top half anyways. What would make your life easier having stored here? We keep extra diapers and wipes on the very top shelf (hard to see since one of the things Imagine the Room suggests is having the top shelf higher than standard to give you more usable shelves!). This makes my life easier because I can store just a small amount diapers in our living room console and refill as necessary. We also keep the boys piggy banks up high because I was tired of trying to count which money was who’s because they’d emptied them again. What are those things for you?! That top half is aaaalll yours ;)
Measure Before you Shop for Baskets
Measuring the space you have and what size baskets you need to make the best use of your space will help you maximize storage in your closet. Write it down in a notebook and take it shopping with you so you can get exactly what you need instead of having wasted space in between your pretty but not functional baskets.
Also- I have found that certain baskets work better for kids than others. Those cubes from IKEA (you know the ones… we used them here!) are awesome because of how much they hold BUT kids need to pull them all the way out to get things out of them or to see if what they’re looking for is inside. Then you’re depending on them to put the basket back up at their hip or shoulder height. I’ve also tried wicker baskets and kids seem to wreck those- ha! These felt ones from IKEA seem to be super durable and I love that they don’t snag clothes- plus they can see what’s hiding in there!
Let your Kids Help You Minimize
I thought I’d throw this in here as a tip. It’s not organization but it’s been so so helpful for us. Your kids probably have clothes that they ignore in their drawers. So you don’t realize that they’ve outgrown them or that they got paint on them at school or whatever. So ask them to sort through their clothes with you. You’ll probably pull a bunch of things out of there that they haven’t worn in a while. And maybe you won’t need as much storage or drawer space as you thought!
Alright, I’m going to leave it at that! I hope that these help you organize your kiddos closets. If you’re wanting to see more closets (two other kids ones!), you can see allll my closet posts right here.
Big thank you to Imagine The Room Kamloops on partnering for this closet makeover- it’s one of the biggest factors in being able to use the room how we want (yay no dresser!) for this One Room Challenge.