Wednesday, August 1, 2012

18 Reader Space: A Lovey Closet for Little Ladies

Last week I showed you a little guy's organized bedroom, and today I get to share the haven of some little ladies.  Although I am not featuring their bedroom which I am sure is amazingly organized, I do have their closet to share.  And I am guessing that they want to spend at least as much time in their awesome closet space, if not more, than their bedroom.  It's that fabulous!

Kathryn wrote:


My girls' closet is a dream closet, space-wise, so I decided to make it organized, too! While I love many things about the space, there are really two that stand out:
  1. I wanted a system that required minimal intervention on my part. As the busy mom of five, I needed a system that my kids could maintain. The lower clothes rods and baskets for socks, undies and pj's really goes a long way in helping my girls take ownership of their space. On laundry day they can easily put up their own clothes {win for the mom of the house!}. They can also quickly and easily access shoes, jewelry and bows. Yet, they know where they belong when it's time to put them up. We even installed a little mirror at the back of the closet, hung at their level.
  2. The Container Store system we used, while more expensive than something found at a big box store, gives us great flexibility in allowing the closet to grow with our girls. I suspect those storage bins of clothes will go at some point and we can create a dressing table area or space to hang long dresses. And, if we need to swap out a basket for a shelf, it's quick and easy. I love the versatility.
Every time I walk in that closet, I smile, and it's not even mine! My girls helped put it together with us and that's the part I enjoyed most of all.


She wasn't kidding!  Check out this great space they had to work with:

Although it was large, it was still important to make sure the new system was well thought out, to ensure all of that great space was utilized in the best way.  I think they nailed it!

Kathryn blogged about all of her closet organizing tips here, however, here are the ones that really stood out to me:
  1. Take everything out and sort it.  Yep, all of it.  Make those three piles you see on TV home shows – trash, donate, keep.
  2. Evaluate the space.  If you have a small closet, just store that child’s clothes and keepsakes there.  We try to think about closet size when assigning our children their rooms.  We knew the girls would care more about that than the boys, so they got the big closet.  We store extra things in there space, like shoes, Halloween costumes, winter jackets and “keepsake” clothes.  The boys have limited space, so we adjusted the design accordingly.
  3. Map out the space.  If you can swing it, you should really take down the manufactured shelving home builder’s put in the closet and start over.  The reality is, vertical space is your most precious commodity.  One shelf and one clothes rod is not efficient storage management. 
  4. Bust out the Kleenex.  During Lent, I got rid of *almost* 40 bags of stuff.  It is hard to let things go – at least it is for me – when it comes to my kids.  For some weird maternal reason, I have such strong memories associated with my children’s clothes.  It is hard, but it has to be done.  It is not right to live in such abundance when others go without.
  5. Set aside a “special clothes” box and create a “keepsake” box.  I have one special clothes box for the girls {combined} and one box for the boys.  In it, I have special outfits like the hospital “going home” outfit, preemie clothes and other special outfits that have the strongest emotions.  It allowed me a compromise.  I could keep some, but they had to fit in the box.  The rest had to go.  For the “keepsake” box I have things like their baptismal candle, baptism/first communion cards and other special keepsakes that don’t fit into their baby albums.  Yes, I actually have one for every child and they are all updated. 
  6. For clothes storage, we do two things.  We have a two-tier clothes rod.  The clothes on the upper rod are from the previous season and/or year and the ones on the lower rack are for wearing now.  Sometimes, we’ll hit the end of a season, but my kids haven’t really outgrown the outfit.  I know they might be able to wear it for a month or two when the season rolls around again, so we keep it in plain sight so I don’t forget about it!  You could always put it at the back of the closet, at the end of the rod, if you don’t have space for an upper/lower hanging system.  The other option is to purchase clear plastic containers and label them by sex/season/size.  I made a handy checklist {Clothes storage} that I slipped into a plastic sleeve and then put in the front of the container so I could easily locate “Boys, Fall/Winter, 4T clothes,” for example.  Just be sure before you put anything in storage that you sort it first.  If it’s torn or damaged, trash it.  If it’s something you want to donate, put it in your donate pile and get it out of the closet.  Only store things you want your kids to wear again, otherwise you’re taking up valuable real estate.
  7. Start loading everything back into the space and LABEL, LABEL, LABEL.  We put seldom used items on the top shelves {sleeping bags, luggage, blankets and their “childhood box”}.  We opted to forgo buying dressers and utilized the basket shelves from The Container Store.  Money. Well. Spent. {or actually not spent!}  We’ve made them eye level so they are within reach and they hold underwear, socks and pajamas.  The girls have extra bling, like the letters with ribbons to hold all their bows {rainbow color order, of course}. 
  8. The best part, is I can send my kids upstairs on laundry day and they can put 95% of their clothes up by themselves.  I do a quick sweep on Monday mornings and spend about 10 minutes putting things back in order.  Truth be told, the kids’ closets look like this most of the time because they know how the system works.
Let's check out the rest of the closet and see how those tips come to life in the sweetest girl closet I have ever seen....

  • It is the perfect marriage of pretty meets functional.
  • She organized it in a way that it is easy for her girls to maintain.  This is so important to free of valuable mommy time and to help teach kids good habits at a young age.
  • The entire space was really thought out and all needs were taking into consideration when planning the space.
  • One of my favorite tips ever when organizing anything is to start with a blank slate.  This allows you to have a clear vision of the space and place only the important items back, where they make the most sense.
  • The system she opted for was a bit of an investment, but it will be a versatile system that will work for anyone for the life of their home.  It was a wise choice.
  • Labels make things easy to identify for both parents and kids.  It is especially important when clothes are being swapped out for season or hand-me-downs, to avoid necessary digging and searching.
  • The ribbons and accessories are at child height and an easy to use system.
  • The space utilizes all of the great vertical space, the floor is clutter free!
  • I love the system Kathryn uses to keep those really special items.  We do something similar here, where each member gets a single bin for cherished memories and items.  It allows you to evaluate and keep what is important and forces you to say goodbye to clutter at the same time.
  • Although this space is for little ladies, all of her great tips and ideas can be applied to a closet for anyone of any age.

I highly recommend checking out Kathryn's lovely blog here, where you can find oodles upon oodles of organizing tips.  This mama of five really has it together and offers great ideas and systems.  She is such an inspiration!

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog! 


  1. I love this!!! I need to do it for my own!

  2. Jen, is it wrong to tear up when reading a blog post? Thank you for the feature. I am so honored!

  3. This is inspirational. She has done an amazing job with the space and with teaching the kids how to keep it that way. I love it.

  4. I love this closet! Great job Kathryn! I especially love that you're teaching your girls to maintain the system. As a very busy aunt who helps her nieces organize their closets all too often, I long for a system with this much organization!

    Jen - I was wondering if any of your readers have submitted closets used for both boys and girls? My husband and I will soon be moving in to a house that has very limited closet space. We don't have kids yet, but I'm already planning ahead and figuring that while our future kids are young, they'll be sharing a closet regardless of gender. I'd love to see some organizational tips for this type of situation (and since this is how my brother & I grew up, I'm sure there are others out there who could benefit from the info as well). Thanks!!

    1. Thanks so much, Jen. It was one of my favorite organizing projects. And, I would love to see a combo boy/girl closet, too!

    2. Hi Jen!

      I think many of the systems and ideas outlined in this post, along with many other closet organizing posts, could still apply to a shared his & hers closet. I would maybe use a storage divider up the middle to define each area, however, it's all about creating a space that makes "sense" and is simple to maintain.


  5. I wish my closet looked like this - she could come organize my house any time! :-)

  6. Kathryn did a great job on the closet makeover. It looks great!

  7. Great before and after photos. As a part of my consultations with clients, I take before and after photos for my clients to help them really see what has been done and how far they have come. Great job!

  8. What a great space. She really maximized it too!

  9. It was such a great use of space. I wanted to thank you Jen for always pointing how they my new organizer brain-it really helps!

  10. Beautiful! I would love to see more reach-in closet posts though since we don't have the luxury of walk-in closets.

    1. Ashley, here's a link to my boys' closet (3rd photo down), it's a reach in. Hope it helps!

    2. Great tips, I like the guidelines you've laid out here...helpful!

  11. Love the closet space! The best can actually grow with the girls! What a great and easy way to teach (and maintain) organizing!

  12. Hi Jen:)
    I have just discovered your blog and you have inspired me!! I am a first time mum (to a 2 year old boy) and before he came along my life was organised (that or I was working so much that I was never home to create a mess!!) now with a toddler things are the opposite! So I'm on constant lookout for clever and cost effective ways to improve our household. Your blog will be my bible to getting organized!


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