This is the year you're going to make it happen—you will conquer your child's messy closet. Never again will you find yourself squeezed into the back of the closet looking for your kid's missing shoe five minutes before you need to leave the house. Every item will have its place, and every piece of clothing will be neatly hung.
But as you begin the arduous task of sorting through a sea of clothes, figuring out where to put it all, you'll be tempted to close the doors and put if off for another day....or year. You must remind yourself of how much easier it will make all your lives. Finding what you need with ease every time you go to the closet will lessen daily stress, frustration and save you time. You may even find it saves money because you'll have better insight into what your child already has and can avoid buying duplicates. So roll your sleeves up, it's time to get some closet organization going with these simple tips:
Cashing it in for a good cause
Did you know you can donate old clothes and raise money for your child's school? Schoola Stitch is a smart new program. Parents donate their child's gently used clothing to a stylish online consignment store. Schoola Stitch sends you a prepaid shipping bag; you fill it up and send it back to them. Shoppers then get great deals on brand name clothing (as much as 80 to 90 percent off retail) and up to 40 percent of the proceeds go right back to your child's school. It's a win-win-win.
Two pile method
Abide by these quick rules: 1) If it's ripped or stained, throw it out; 2) If it's in good shape but too small, donate it or hand it down. Get two piles going and you can zip through the closet in 10 minutes. Added tip: If you live in a major city, you can hire online sources, like Task Rabbit or Gigwalk, for $10 to $20 to make that run to Goodwill for you.
Organize in 3 simple steps
1. Divide the closet by season on the clothes rack. It makes it easier for kids to find an outfit each morning.
2. Use bins! It's hard for kids to fold clothes neatly. Instead, use bins and buckets where they can store their undergarments, socks, pajamas, accessories and shoes. Added tip: Kids love labels. You'll be amazed how much more ends up going where it belongs when you just put a tag or label on it. Having your kids pick out cute, fun labels with you can help them get more excited about organization.
3. Divide and conquer. Simple do-it-yourself drawer dividers can multiply space for shorts and pants. Added tip: Use a silverware drawer organizer for storing extra buttons, belts and other small clothing accessories.
A place for the little things
Give kids a junk drawer or bucket. There they can keep all their rocks, seashells, stickers, vending machine prizes and more.
Once you're finished, pat yourself on the back and savor the accomplishment. You never know, you just might feel inspired to tackle other closets in your home in need of your newly found organizational skills.
Stacey Boyd is a national parenting expert and founder of Savvy Source, a website she created to help parents find the right preschool programs for their children.