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Help Your Kid Organize Their Closet

If you have kids in New York, chances are they’re home for the mid-winter recess. And with the extra cold weather expected this week, it’s the perfect time to get organized at home with your kids.

A child’s room is a hub of great activity: an area for sleep, homework, play, hanging out with friends, and the storage space for all clothes and toys. With all this activity, kid’s rooms easily accumulate mess and clutter, and getting your child to clean their own space can be a difficult task. Kid’s closets, in particular, are often the source of a mess. The good news is that with a few guidelines you can help your child organize their closet in a way that works for them.

Here are a few tips to help you tackle your kid’s closet with them:

Kid Power

Kids love responsibility, so invite them to be part of the process when organizing their closet. They’ll feel more excited to clean up if they feel that their closet is their own space. When working with your child, acknowledge that you may have a different style or different way of thinking than your child. Give them the space to express what they like and what they don’t like, and help them to find solutions that work for them!

Remember that your child will be using their closet every day, picking out their own outfits, and putting things back, so their input is crucial. With a sense of control over the setup and its contents, you child will be more inclined to take better care of their things and closet.

Create Like Categories

Sisi creating like categories for her things.

Ask your child to help you sort through their stuff and create categories according to them. Let them decide which category an item belongs to, even if their categories don’t make sense to you. This way, your child will be able to store things in a way that they can understand.

They’ll also be able to see the volume of stuff they have in each category and decide just how much they actually need. Are they really using all 10 pairs of soccer shorts? Use the quantities in the piles of items to start paring down.

You may notice a few categories of items that pop up here: things that don’t belong to your child and things they do not like, wear, or want. Pay attention to the items in these piles. Try to remove from the room any storage or extra items that don’t belong to your child, like extra bedding. And, look to see what your child no longer wants. Often, a younger sibling receives quite a few hand-me-downs that they rarely use. Try to limit the accumulation of these, and let your kid know that it’s OK to not take things they don’t want.

Store It Their Way

Have your kids choose or decorate their storage solutions!

Many children have trouble cleaning up because they don’t have the right storage solutions. Ask them what they’d like to see in their closet. Let them choose solutions that fit their style, have them decorate items, or choose their paint colors.

When looking for types of storage, pay attention to how they’re currently using things. If your kid doesn’t mind folding clothes, drawers work really well. But if folding clothing seems like too much of a hassle, try to focus on hangers, bins, or open shelving.

Take into account your kid’s height; they might not be putting things back because it’s just too inconvenient. Keep well-used items at a reachable level, and seasonal or occasional items up high. There are plenty of temporary solutions to help a young child use their closet efficiently: shelves and drawers in the closet, tension rods for adjustable hanging, etc.

Create a Drop-Zone

A cubby area used to corral items for each family member.

There’s a reason why school classrooms so often have a cubby area: they give students a distinct place to store their things. Create a similar type of area in your home and let your child know that they have their own space in this area.

When creating a cubby space, think about the types of things that will likely be dropped into this area. Do you need space for an instrument? A cubby to hold sports equipment? Or will a hook for a backpack and jacket be enough? An ideal spot for this is in a front hall or at the entrance of your child’s room, so items can be placed right when they walk in and not trailed into the house. This will help alleviate organizational stress in the entire house, including their bedrooms and closets.

Have you had success organizing with your child? Share in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Maeve Richmond

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at [email protected] or @MaeveRichmond.

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