How to Create a Stylish and Organized Kid’s Closet

06/17/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Lisa Adams

Do a quick search on Lisa Adams and you’ll find the closet designer and organizing guru has worked with everyone from mom-to-be Jewel to reality TV fashionista Whitney Port.

Through her firm — LA Closet Design — she helps whip her client’s wardrobes into much-needed shape.

Lucky for you, she’s sharing her top tips to creating a stylish, clutter-free closet that will grow with your child.

Check them out below:

Get the kiddies involved. If your child is old enough, ask them what they need and want. If they choose a certain theme or color, don’t go overboard. For example, that cartoon character they love now, may not be so cool in the future. The goal is to create a closet that’s both functional and stylish.

Baskets, baskets, baskets. Adding baskets with appropriate labels can help get your children used to organizing at an early age. If your tot hasn’t started to read, use a picture instead of words to let them know what goes where. Another cool trick: Line one laundry basket with a dark liner and the other with a light liner to teach them to separate dirty clothing by color.

Use adjustable shelves and rods. Baby clothes only need about 24″ of vertical space, so you can include quite a few rods and shelves, one right on top of the other. In many cases, you can even triple hang to maximize the vertical space. 

Once your child reaches the age where they can start to dress themselves, put clothing they wear regularly on the lower rods so they are within their reach. Investing in a closet system that easily grows with your child, will save you money and time in the long run.

Tag it. I love to use cool tags to help guide kids to returning their clothing back to its proper place. Plus, you can use color, shapes and types of items to help them learn to organize. You can even change it up weekly to create fun lessons.

Keep everything eye level. Make sure their every-day clothing is easily accessible. Seasonal and less frequently used items can be stored higher.

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Showing 27 comments

Annie W. on

How to creat a stylish and organized kids closet:

#1 Have closet the size of a small room;
#2 Have 10 articles of clothes and 3 pairs of shoes.

The End.

JustMe on

LOL @ Annie W 🙂

Don’t you just love it how they stage the closet with sparse clothing and always color coordinated?

Of course, I could make my closet look stylish and organized that way!

Show some “real life” stylish and organized

Kristen on

Can we see a show of hands for those of us whose kid has a closet that size? If I had that much space to work with I could do wonders also. But can we get some ideas for those closets that are only the size of a small coffin?

Kristen on

See this is the help I’ve been looking for…what to do…what to do.. with all of my kid’s $1000 diaper bags and $250 sweaters. Thanks!

A. on

Lmao @Annie W.!!

Yeah, I would love to have a closet like that for myself! I’m not real sure how many parents are able to have closets like that for their children.

Stella Bella on

omg, too funny.

cn tower on

I love the part about “Baskets, baskets, baskets”. Looking at where they are positioned, my younger child would climb up & have them down in no time – in 10 seconds flat she would dump out the contents and use them for her own purpose!

mommytoane on

LOL Annie, its called move into an old house! We bought a house, built in 1900….with 4 bedrooms and a walk in closet for every one. 🙂 My daughter currently has a dream closet for a little girl in both her playroom (Converted bedroom) and her bedroom.

But show of hands *Raises hand* Yup. I have a closet the size of a bedroom!!

LOL I loved smaller closets tho. Putting a high boy dresser on one side, and using that side to hang shirts. Dresses/pants on the other side. Handy shoe rack on the door to hold little accessories, belts, hair bands, and tiny shoes….works wonders.

Romy on

yep, that looks exactly like my 3 kids’ closets. since they all have walk-in’s just like that it will be great. um no

Romy on

mommy to ane, usually old houses hav VERY small closets

Miss Ann on

Annie… good one.

Mandy on

I have never been in an old house with large closets…usually they are tiny or not there at all. The picture with this article is ridiculous…that closet is bigger than some bedrooms I have had!

meme on

That is one huge closet for a kid. Show us how to organize a tiny closet and then I may be impressed. My daughters just started sharing a room, and we had to add a second bar under the top bar to hang my 3 year old daughters dresses on. Don’t know how that will work for us in a couple of years when they are taller and require longer dresses! Lol

Jillian on

Never heard of old houses with big closets either…..

Indira on

My house is about one hundred years old give or take and, it’s a 5 bedroom/three bathrooms. Only two of the bedrooms have closets and there are 3 small closets outside of the bedrooms two being shallow wall closets and the other being a cedar closet. It really sucks because people back then really didn’t have as much, so we have to compensate by having a lot of chest of drawers.

I think walk-in closets are relatively new to houses so perhaps this extra space was something different or, the walk-ins were added later on.

Kristen on

Why would anyone have needed a walk in closet- let alone four walk in closets- more than 100 years ago? What woman lived in that house? Any 100+ home I’ve ever seen had either no closets or closets small enough to hold a few items of clothing.

My grandparents lived in a 150+ year old house that was originally built to be a girl’s school- not one closet on the entire top floor where the bedrooms were. You’d have thought that a house built to house young women and girls would have tossed in a few of “mommytoane” walk ins.

But getting back to the point of this “expert” while her advice may be relevant could there have been a more realistic example of an organized closet used for the story? I am like “meme” show me a closet that is built for one but being used for two. Show me how to make that efficient and organized.

J on

“Lucky for you, she’s sharing her top tips to creating a stylish, clutter-free closet that will grow with your child.”

Yes, lucky indeed… (rolls eyes)

Heidi on

Yes, I agree with the posters on older homes. Our house was built in 1918…so it is 93 years old. We lucked out and actually have SMALL walk-in closets (the size of a coffin). By walk-in, I mean you walk in, turn around, and walk out. Most old homes have little to no closet space. I have lived in several and usually the closets are after-market additions by owners who desire closet space. I think mommytoane is referring to an old home that has been completely refurbished: walls knocked down, rooms consolidated, and huge walk-ins sectioned off from what were originally smaller closetless rooms. I have seen houses like this, but the walk-in closets were always added as an afterthought when someone flipped the house.

This article reminds me of all the ridiculous shows on HGTV where every 20-something first-time homebuyer has these high demands of stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, porcelain tile floors, and such. Let’s get realistic about our expectations of what to own in this tight economy. Then we wonder why there is such pressure to spend on credit. With articles like these that make ignorant young people think this is the only way to live, it’s no wonder people are in debt over their heads. It’s very unrealistic.

Lisa on

LOL, good one Anne!

My house was built in 1922 and we have no closets at all. It forces you to be more conservative though, seems like the more space you have the more junk piles up. I wish the media would do stories for real people living in this economy.

JM on

the readers’ posts here have actually been more interesting than the actual article 🙂 it’s so interesting the different definitions in different places. i love that in america it seems an old house means a house built in the 20th century. where i live that wouldn’t be considered particularly old at all.

having said that the houses here that are generally considered old are themselves really expensive. so if you can afford THEM then you can afford to have the kind of closets and outfits shown above.

Carrie on

I’m with Mommytoane in college I lived in three different houses that were built in the late 1800s and everyone of them had walk in closets (although not quite the size of the one in this picture) but I think that a more realistic sized closet would have been better to organize as most of us don’t have that sized kid’s closets and still need organizing.

Kat on

Where are these old houses with large closets? I’m a historian, and almost every pre 1900 house (and often up to the 1940’s) I’ve seen has little to no closet space. One main reason, people before then had very little clothing (average 3 dresses for a woman – one church, two everyday). What you had hung on a hook or was stored in a chest/trunk.

That said, I agree with most posters. If you have a closet that big, you don’t really have to worry about organzing for space!

Miss Ann on

We’re so funny. It never dawn on us that within those 100 or so years one of the owners could have updated the house(s). Hence the bigger closets. LOL.

Jillian on

Miss Ann, that could be true for some, but that is not what she said in her original post. So, I don’t think we are wrong in our thoughts 🙂

Sara on

What well thought out tips. Thanks Lisa, this closet is fabulous!

Sara on

These are really helpful tips. I really like the idea of having adjustable shelving – very smart. I think everyone can interpret these tips for their personal space. Small adjustments can make a big impact sometimes!

Sasha on

Great article! Great tips! Even if you don’t have a walk in closet for your bedrooms, you can apply these helpful hints to any space! Thanks Lisa!