While many of us would probably love to do our kids' closets with custom built-ins, they aren't necessary for a successful and attractive closet system. Here are what I have found to be the essential components of a very affordable, chaos-busting closet system for children.
Upcoming and Outgoing Bins
On the top shelves of each of my children's closets, I have two bins: one for clothes that are for an upcoming season or are still too big, and one for clothes they have outgrown. Upcoming clothes will eventually be rotated into current clothes and outgrown clothes will be sorted into donation, giveaway, or keep-for-later-for-another-child. It's important that these bins are sorted through regularly so new clothes aren't forgotten and so that old, outgrown clothes don't start overflowing. The overall point of having these bins is to keep only current clothes in actual rotation in the closet.
More than one level of rods
In addition to bins for clothes that aren't suitable to wear right now, I find it helpful to have two levels of hanging rods, at least on one side of the closet. Little kids clothes are, well, little, and having two levels of hanging rods frees up valuable closet space for uses besides hanging clothes. In addition, once children are able to start learning to care for their own things, these lower rods enable them to hang their own clothes. Double closet rods are an inexpensive, quick way to create two-tiered hanging space.
Once you have some vertical space freed up by creating two rows of hanging rods, shelving offers a closet-based storage option for items that can't easily be hung. Folded blankets, swim diapers, tights, extra bedding — all these items that you may not want or have space for in a dresser are ideal candidates for hanging shelving units like this one or this one. Another option is solid shelving: Adding some simple shelves, whether they are tall or dresser-height, gives a sturdier option and the possibility of adding bins, which are perfect for hair accessories, socks, and other small items.
How do you keep the kids' closets organized?