With clothing, toys and gear competing for space, kids' closets can be particularly challenging to organize. Just ask Sarah Nelson, a professional organizer in Chicago who helps families make the most of precious closet space. Her firsthand wisdom comes from having a son and daughter who share a room. Here are some of her tips for keeping things in order.
• Maximize space with a closet system. I installed an Elfa system from the Container Store in the closet my young children share, and am continually shocked by how much it actually is able to hold. It is easy to install, very sturdy and has been very easy to modify as their toy and clothes storage needs have changed over the years.
• Think vertically. Place toy shelves low, so that toys and books are easily accessible. Lesser used items, like off-season clothes and extra diapering supplies, should be stored on a high shelf.
• Store multi-part toys like blocks and train sets in their own lidded, clear plastic containers. Avoid large toy chests, unless you are using them to store 3-5 bulky items, like oversized trucks or stuffed animals.
• Treat costumes like clothes. Hang them on low closet rods or hooks.
• Label everything. That way everyone in the house (Mom, Dad, kids, caregivers) can find what they need when they need it. Pictures, attached to boxes with clear packaging tape, are great for pre-readers.
• Keep the clutter in check by using containers, including the closet itself, to establish boundaries and set limits. Once the closet is full, only add a new toy or t-shirt once an older one has been cleared out.
Learn more about Sarah at Less Is More.
(Image: Less Is More)