[…] The toy library has been a huge hit for my almost 3-year-old daughter and fits perfectly in her reorganized closet. If you’d like to see how I organize the rest of her closet, click here to read the post. […]
Today I’m SO excited to walk you through my daughter’s closet reorganization! At 2.5 years old we are at the point of transitioning away from a baby closet to a little kid closet. I’ve been slowly purging the baby gear as we outgrow it and have started seeing a bit of space opening up. It’s bittersweet to see the baby stuff go… On one hand, I’m super excited about FINALLY regaining some space in our house, but actually getting rid of the baby items makes it feel so real that my babies are growing up. It’s strange and somehow very final when you see these items leave your house for good.
Moving on. I’m trying to think of all the positives. With older kids come new toys, new interests, and no more diapers! All things worth celebrating.
Without further ado, here’s the freshly organized closet!
At 67 inches wide, her closet is the largest in our house (lucky girl!). And like all the other closets, the doors slide past each other on a track (called bypass doors). Supposedly the benefit of these doors is space savings, but man, if you’ve ever used these doors they are super frustrating. You can really only access half the closet at one time and sliding the doors around is a pain.
Maybe someday I’ll take the doors off or rebuild with a custom organizer, but right now the plan is to work with what I have. That’s OK! With a few tricks, we can still maximize the storage space without breaking out a hammer.
I like to think of the closet in two parts. The convenient or ‘open’ side and the inconvenient or ‘blocked’ side. For the open side, I wanted to maximize the storage space for toys, books, and clothes. And since I leave the door open most of the time, I wanted the space to be an extension of her room.
For the blocked side, I focused on storing items I don’t need to access very often. It’s not the prettiest to look at, but it sure provides some much needed storage.
To maximize the storage space above the closet bar, I created a toy library using clear shoe boxes from The Container Store. These boxes are AWESOME! Not only are they clear on all sides, but they come in a variety of sizes and stack very nicely on top of each other.
While it may seem odd to keep toys completely out of reach for kids, it works for us for a few reasons:
1) These are all self-contained toys that can be brought down by an adult. It allows for easy toy rotation and makes it really exciting when a new toy comes down.
2) It’s really easy to pick up and put the toys away. There is a designated home for each toy and a label to help everyone know what goes inside.
3) It uses the top shelf in the closet. This is just an awkward shelf, but I always try to find ways to maximize its use for out of the way storage.
Next, we have a section of hanging clothes using space-saving hangers. While it can be tempting to use the plastic hangers that come with some purchases of kids clothes, it can quickly make a small space look jumbled and messy. A set of matching slim felt hangers are just the right size for little clothes and help all the items hang uniformly. This allows your eye to rest when you look into the closet and give a sense of calm and order.
The MVP of the closet is the Ikea Kallax shelf. This thing is incredibly flexible and can hold anything from toys to clothes to books. It also makes great use of the dead space at the bottom of a closet.
We use the space on top of the cube shelf to store her dollhouse and shoes. This is a great height for playing with the dollhouse and keeps it off the floor. Win-win!
Small Closet Tip: Try adding a piece of furniture to maximize the storage in a closet. A dresser can provide extra clothing storage. Bookshelves can store books, games, toys, or even shoes. If the piece is waist-high or lower, you can usually still hang clothes on the bar above.
In the top cubes, I’m storing books, loosely grouped into board books, paperback, and hardback sections. In the bottom cubes, grey and white woven bins conceal dress-up clothes and dolls.
For the right-hand side of the closet, I know that it won’t be easily accessible right now (since her crib is right in front) so I’m using the opportunity to store lesser used items.
Small Home Tip: Use extra space in kids closets to store things you might not have space for in other parts of your house. These are excellent places to store adult coats, dress clothes, holiday decorations, extra bedding, etc. Anything that you don’t need to access very often is a great candidate.
I’m using the hanging space to store all of our bulky winter coats, suits, and dresses. This works really well since they are out of the way during the off season and we can easily rotate them to the coat hooks near the garage when the weather gets cold.
Above the coats, I store a large plastic bin of toys that are frequently rotated out of play. Again, toy rotation for the win. It’s like Christmas every time I pull it out!
Below the coats in the Kallax unit, I store a few extra blankets and stuffed animals. To the right, there is just enough space between the unit and the wall to store the toddler bed conversion kit for the crib and an Ikea play tunnel. You have to make use of every available inch in a small house!
Last but not least is the labeling. Don’t overlook this step! This is what helps the closet stay organized and not become a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t have a home.
My Brother PT-D600 label maker (affiliate link) is quickly becoming my favorite tool since it is just so easy to make and print labels. The label tape is durable, washable, and repositionable should you need to straighten or move a label.
For this project, I used 24mm black on white tape. (affiliate link) The font is ‘Helsinki’ printed in all caps.
For the toy library, I used a simple square border to make it stand out.
For the grey and white bins, I used these bin clips. I cut the tape using scissors to give it rounded corners to fit the clip better.
The white label blends into the white label and you can’t even see the edges.
Well, that wraps up this closet tour! I hope you are inspired to reorganize a closet in your house to maximize your storage space. Kids closets really are an awesome opportunity to store a lot of things. All it takes is a little planning and organization to really maximize the function of the space.
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