Flung over the chair, stuffed behind the door, or left there on the floor where they landed: That's where kids keep their clothes. Shoes, baseball mitts, and hair elastics? They generally go under the bed.
You can help change this tendency toward untidiness, and foster positive lifelong habits, with appealing, kid-size storage. Just a few simple, flexible additions can expand the capabilities of your child's closet.
First, employ a two-rod system. The lower rod allows small arms to reach shirts or jackets; the upper one holds next season's clothes. Since kids have very little to hang up, the closet requires short rods only. To hang lower rod, cut two pieces of strap webbing (each twice the length plus overlap). Wrap both straps over top rod, overlap ends on the bottom, and staple-gun through all the layers.
To achieve an extra-neat appearance, use a single style of hanger (we chose inexpensive plastic) in just one or two colors.
Bookshelves provide at-a-glance storage for pants, sweaters, and T-shirts. Stack sweaters, pants, and T-shirts on their own shelves so your child can find what he's looking for without rifling through every piece of clothing in a drawer. Use the bottom cubby to keep the backpack out from underfoot.
And what to do with belts and skateboarding helmets? Use a peg board to hang them neatly on the wall, where they'll be in clear sight. With a variety of hooks and a few well-chosen containers, you can help things find their way back home, ready to go for the next day.
Paint peg board a bright color to add a splash of energy to the inside of the closet. Affix it to the back wall of the closet with mounting hardware, and use simple hooks to dangle all manner of paraphernalia. Set the bookshelves in front of it and anchor to the wall.
A two-drawer cube provides ample storage for socks and undies. Plus kids can reach high-up things all by themselves.
A useful and lightweight plastic mirror can be cut to any size; ours covers the side of the book-shelves above the cube. Attach easily and securely with heavy-duty double-sided mounting tape.
In the brightly painted drawer interior, baskets intended for kitchen cutlery keep socks in tidy rows. A small jar made for peg boards corrals ponytail bands. A ribbon with a loop for hanging displays hair clips so they're ready at a moment's notice.
Install a hook on the inside of the closet door and reserve it for one thing only: the next day's clothes. Your child can pick them out before bed each night.