Keeping my own clothes organized is challenging enough, but setting things up so kids can keep their clothes organizes (mostly, with a little help)? A much bigger— although cuter— challenge...
1. A Color For Each Category — I love the idea of using multicolored drawers like in this fabulous "big girl room" by Oh Joy. Even before kids learn to read they'll be able to learn that socks go in green, underthings in blue, jammies in brown, and so on. And much like the two closet bar situation discussed below, you can keep off-season items in the drawers they can't reach.
2. Design Within Reach (and Storage Out of the Way) — The 8-year-old's closet is really weird and deep, so there are two closet bars, one behind the other. On the front one I hang his current wardrobe while the far ones holds out-of-season gear, clothes he hasn't grown into yet, and any other rarely-worn items. In most homes it would make morse sense to hang one bar above the other, like in this cute closet from Strawberry Swing and Other Things. That way, kids can choose (and put away!) their own clothes on the lower bar without having to deal with all the out-of-season stuff that hangs above. Play-At-Home Mom recommends doing this as a great way to foster independence.
3. Utilitarian, Stylish, and Kid-Friendly — I wish the 8-year-old's closet looked like this! You've got the double bars, fantastic color coordination among the bins, trucks, curtains, and globes, efficient use of space, and it looks great whether the curtains are opened or closed. If you don't have a dresser (or space for a dresser), the bins would be perfect for holding the usual socks, underwear, etc, within easy reach. Perhaps The Good Stuff Guide has another post on how to store a dozen such trucks?
4. Adorableness On Display — No closet? No problem- what could be cuter than teeny kid clothes?! Of course, it helps if you dress your child like a Russian nesting doll and hang them on a polka dot bar, like in the lucky girl's room featured in Anthology Magazine. Someday this closet shall be mine...
5. Alter-Ego Altar — When I was little I would have loved to have all my costumes on display like in Something For Everyone in Parker, Monty & Elliot's Room (though they might have covered my entire wall). Kids costumes can have such a great aesthetic that works perfectly with the rest of the youthful decor. Besides, superheroes and cowgirls need to be ready at a moment's notice!
6. Cute-As-Get-Out Shoe Shelf — This kicky in-closet shoe shelf from A Bowl Full of Lemons is as smart as it is cute. Boots are lined up on top, shoes on the next shelf, two shelves of bins hold socks and flip-flops, and best of all, "A shoe organizer keeps those messy pile ups from happening at the bottom of the closet. If there is no free space, there are no pile ups!" See the rest of the fun closet tour here.
7. Divide and Conquer, Dresser Edition — Drawers can easily turn into a jumble so I love the idea of subdivided drawers and bins from The Joyful Organizer. If they have an adult-sized dresser, you can make nooks for socks, serious winter socks, underwear, long underwear, tshirts, swimsuits, and more. Again, you could use labels for older kids or differently colored bins for little ones.
8. Divide and Conquer the Closet — I think closet dividers like these from Babies-R-Us would be helpful for older kids— both so they can find their things and so they can put them away properly. The 8-year-old's would be labelled T-Shirts, Baseball Shirts, Worker Man Shirts, Hoodies, Pants, and Pyjamas, but whatever works for your kid.