We are in a months-long transition to shared rooms for our girls. It has been taking so long because they are unable to go to sleep in the same room. So while we wait on the patience to endure a few less than ideal nights, I have been transitioning aspects of their rooms into a shared space. I just finished their shared closet (check it out here) and I thought today I would share seven tips for organizing a shared closet.
#1 Divide the space as evenly as you can
We have a double sliding door closet so it is very easy to give each girl the space behind one door. Dividing the space automatically sets parameters and limits on your storage space. It also helps each kid know where her space is – an important consideration when kids are sharing rooms.
#2 Explore multiple storage options
We have hanging clothes (shirts and dresses), folded clothes (shorts, pants, skirts, bedclothes), and long term storage (blankets and hand-me-downs) in our closet space. Look at what you need to put in the closet and make sure you get the storage items you need for your space. We added a built in shelving unit at the bottom of our girls’ closet and purchased some under-bed storage boxes to go into the shelving unit.
#3 Leave room to grow
Packing a closet so full it is bursting does not help your kids get dressed in the morning and it is very hard to manage and maintain organization. Leaving some wiggle room will ensure your kids have what they need, what they love and use; without the distraction of unused and unworn items. It also allows you to purchase a few things and get rid of things as they as they grow.
#4 Create an immediate way to say good-bye to old, outgrown clothes
We placed a basket at the top of each side of our girls’ closet for quickly tossing in worn-out and outgrown clothes. Instead of a twice yearly purge of the closets that takes longer; I simply toss in clothes that no longer work for each girl into the basket. Our older daughter’s outgrown clothes basket becomes the first place I shop for our younger daughter as she grows. You will still need to sort through the baskets as they fill, but going through and sorting these clothes will be much easier if they are already in these two baskets. I have some more tips for sorting and storing kids clothes long-term on my blog, Simple.Home.Blessings.
#5 Make the organization simple enough for kids to understand
We do very simple organization so that our girls can help at the earliest possible stage. We have hanging shirts and dresses – our oldest helps me hang them by handing me hangers as I hang the shirts like a genius. We also have pants, shorts, and bedclothes in one easy bin. The girls simply pull out the bin like a drawer, pick what they want to wear and push the bin back into the shelf. When we are putting away laundry, my older girl can help me make stacks in the bins and knows where each item goes.
#6 Take time to recover
Recover is what we used to call cleaning and straightening up at the end of the day in my retail days. A few minutes spent straightening and readjusting each time you put away clean laundry will be all the time necessary to maintain the organization you have put in place. This will also help little ones to have lots of practice organizing their own stuff.
#7 Keep the laundry hamper outside the kids’ room
I keep our girls’ laundry hamper outside their room for a couple of reasons. First, helping my girls to remember to put their clothes in the hamper is easier when I have to tell them to put them outside the door. It is more of a process for them – making it stick more (at least in my mind). And second, so I can easily sneak a load of laundry into the washing machine while they are sleeping at night or first thing in the morning, without having to open their door and go in there.
How do you keep your kids’ closets in order? Let’s hear those amazing tips!
Do you have a picture of how the entire closet looks? I’m working on developing a shared closet for my sons, and would love some additional inspiration! Thanks!
Leah Hudson says
Hi Heather, I have pictures of each side of the behind double doors closet on my blog along with some sourcing information. Here is the link: http://simplehomeblessing.com/shared-girls-closet-reveal/
What type of storage unit are you using that has the drawer like bins? I’ve only seen plastic ones and this one looks way better! My apologies if you mentioned it and I missed it. Thanks for sharing!!
The storage unit is custom made and the drawer like bins are underbed storage bins I modified to fit the space and our needs. Read a little more about it on this post: http://simplehomeblessing.com/shared-girls-closet-reveal/
Where did you get the bins in bottom of closet? Can you talk about them? I love the basket for out grown clothes.
Bethany Davis says
Hi, Conni! I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany. This post was written by Leah and she has more information about the bins on her blog here: http://simplehomeblessing.com/shared-girls-closet-reveal/ Hope this helps! 🙂
Laundry… is their basket literally outside their door? Or is it in another part of the house? I’m about to move my girls from each having their own room (3&6) to a shared sleeping (queen size bed) and clothes space and a toys and tv space with a twin bed for guests. They already share a bed, but it would be so nice to have both of them have clothes in the same room! Their basket is in the room by the door, my 6 year old puts it out the door into the hall way when full.
Leah Hudson says
Hi, Leah here. Yes, it is literally outside their door. That way I can (hopefully) stay on top of the laundry for them. I like your idea to put your girls together and have another space for them to play in. I hope these tips help you!