6 Creative Ways to Use the Space in Kids’ Closets

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Design Sponge)

You know what’s so great about kids’ clothes? Aside from the fact they are so darn cute you kind of wish they came in your size too, they don’t take up a lot of room. If your kid’s room has at least one large-ish dresser, you’ve pretty much got storage for their clothing covered.

And that, crafty mamas, means you can use the storage space in your kid’s closet in a fun way. Still organized, sure, but way more playful than the standard hanger-bar-and-single-shelf configuration. In other words, you can transform it into a space both you and your kid will love. Here’s how.

(Image credit: Mama.Papa.Buba)

Make a book nook

If you spend any time on Pinterest (and, really, who doesn’t?), you’ve probably pinned a book nook closet overhaul at some point (maybe even this one, above, from Mama Papa Bubba). So take the plunge! Kids’ books are notoriously hard to corral — solve that dilemma and encourage your little one’s love of reading in one fell swoop by installing a storage-style bench and open shelving.

(Image credit: Designer Trapped)

Create somewhere cozy

I don’t know about you, but nap time in our household is practically a DEFCON 1 situation — I’m talking all hands on deck, callin’ in reinforcements just to get my son to squeeze in a bit of much needed mid-day shut-eye. But my gut tells me that if he had a “special” nap-time spot like this secret, snuggly hideaway on Design Trapped, he’d be much more inclined to slumber.

(Image credit: Two Twenty One)

Break out the baskets

Baskets are the best, aren’t they? You can find them in just about every shape, size, color, material, and texture under the sun, and they make it oh-so simple to hide all of the kid stuff that is impossible to keep tidy (Barbies, I’m looking at you). The uber-organized kid closet from Two Twenty One, above, makes use of an IKEA KALLAX bookcase, too. You can make basket organization even more appealing to your kid by letting them create labels or choose one basket to contain their “secret” stash.

(Image credit: Rain on a Tin Roof)

Play dress-up

When you have a young child, you generally resign yourself to the fact that their room looks alarmingly similar to Katherine Heigl’s in the circa 2008 rom-com 27 Dresses — packed to near exploding with costumes. Here’s an idea: just turn the bottom part of the closet into a dress-up room, complete with a dressing rack hacked from an IKEA bookcase, like this one from Rain on a Tin Roof. Costume storage solved! Add girly curtains, a child’s vanity, and a mirror to complete the effect.

(Image credit: Our Fifth House)

Carve out a tiny kitchen

Raise your hand if you’re tired of trying to track down all of your kid’s play kitchen supplies every.single.day. Make life easier by using part of the closet to create a tiny kitchen with storage for faux food—like this one spotted on Our Fifth House. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can even add a peel-and-stick backsplash. Since play kitchens don’t take up a ton of space vertically, you can still make the most of the upper half of the closet for other storage.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Think lofty

It’s a law of the universe that kids find lofts or bunks inherently cool, and having one makes them feel like tiny rock stars. You can revel in the look of sheer joy on your favorite tiny face when you use the upper portion of your kid’s closet to build a loft bed complete with ladder for climbing into or out of, like in the home seen here from Design Sponge. That look on your kid’s face is the best part, but a close second is the fact that you can then use the space below the loft bed for hanging clothes, storage bins, a small homework “studio,” or any other organization you see fit.