Kids’ closets can really become a dumping ground. They grow so fast (Quick! Knock them down!) that there are a constant stream of incoming and outgoing clothes of all sizes. Then you add in toys and all of the sentimental keepsakes and things can really start to get crowded.
So what can you do with a space that seems like it is constantly needing to change?
In all honesty, these closets weren’t completely problematic. You could still find everything the kids needed, but it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing and didn’t provide quick access to clothes for growing boys. The closet floor layout also provided the perfect dumping ground instead of a useful, functional space.
Here’s how we made the space even better:
Unfortunately, the cubes I used are not available online. The link I provided is a similar product.
I splurged a little on these storage cubes at the local Walmart for about $11.50 each. I know what you are thinking. “But Shelly, cube storage bins are cheap!! Why in the world would you spend that kind of money?” I spent a little more on these because they are big (13” x 13”), had built in labels (see after pic), and made from a very sturdy canvas material. That means that between all of the moving, they won’t get bent out of shape as easily. In my younger son’s room, they also are able to hold multiple packages of baby wipes, which get pretty heavy, without making the bottom cave. Because all of the bins between the two boys’ closets match, they can also be reused in one space later down the road if need be.
We were lucky in the sense that, because we have two boys, we could pass all of our oldest son’s clothes down to our youngest. There are so many routes you can take with storing baby clothes. Usually we do a combination of storing clothes in the garage with protected plastic containers and keeping the next size up in the baby’s closet. The problem with keeping all of the clothes in the big plastic containers was that we always had to fish through them for what we needed. Shorts would get mixed in with pants, short sleeve shirts with long sleeve shirts. When it came time to get them ready to use, it always took more time to prep than what I was happy with. These drawer carts allow for easier access and more defined spaces for types and size of clothing.
So how are the closets set up now?
Man Cub #1’s Room
The three storage cubes on top hold an extra set of sheets, pull-ups, and clothes that he outgrows. The drawers have clothes that are one size too big, separated by type. This way, once he’s ready for the next size up, all this laundry pro has to do is take one armful down to the wash for prep. No pulling big boxes in and out of the garage or closet. No spending time in front of “The Bachelor” trying to sort through everything. Now I can just sit quietly with my glass of wine! (If that’s not a good enough reason to be proactive in organization, I don’t know what is!)
Man Cub #2’s Room
We now bring you a break in this regularly scheduled blog to bring you a Mommy break down moment. Can I just have a quick collective sigh that he’s no longer a baby? UGH! Why do they grow up so fast?!
Ok, back to the organizing. Man Cub #2’s closet isn’t all that different from #1’s. He has a bigger closet (don’t hold it against me, my dear first child!), so he gets one more bin. His hold diapers, wipes, diaper genie canisters, and an extra set of sheets. Since we know he’s our last, his extra clothes get donated to our favorite local charity. For sentimental purposes, I’ve kept one small box of the clothes they came home from the hospital in, their hospital beanies, a blanket or two, and some of my favorite little baby outfits. (Yup – that tiny box in the bottom right side of the closet. It is possible!)
One of the drawer carts holds the next size up, 2T, and the other cart holds 3T clothes so that we could make space in the garage for more long-term storage items. We have been able to keep their clothes to a minimum over the last 5 years. Did you know we only use 20% of our clothes 80% of the time? The same holds true for our kids’ clothes. We made a decision to spend money on quality of clothes instead of quantity. The clothes have more than held up for both boys and they don’t completely take over the closets. In fact, both boys have winter and summer shirts hanging up currently.
We already owned the red storage bins that were sitting empty at the top of his closet in the “before” picture. We used those to help organize and contain shoes that he can wear as he gets older.
The best part of these storage systems? They will be easy to move for our next duty station. The cube storage can be put in boxes as is or easily broken down. The drawer carts can be seran wrapped and put on the moving truck just as they are. All we would have to do for those is take off the wheels and put them in a Ziploc in one of the drawers. That way, everything has a home, even when we don’t!
Walmart Cube Storage: $11.50 x 7 = $80.50
Sterilite 3-Drawer Carts: $17.88 x 3 = $53.64
Project Total: $134.14 ($53.38-$80.76 per room)