Organized Closets for Back to School

It’s back to school season and that means early mornings scrambling to get out the door. Whether your student wears a uniform or an outfit of their choosing, you know what the morning struggle can be like when things are not organized in their place. It involves ill-fitting outfits because you didn’t have time to purge old sizes and digging through the laundry that isn’t put away because the drawers and closet are overflowing with clutter.

Organized Tween Closet with Custom Cabinets

August is always our busiest month of the year at Kuzak’s Closet and this August did not disappoint. We had solid sessions booked with smart moms who wanted to get their homes back to square one before back to school began.  Starting off with a clean slate will help build healthy organizing habits that will last all year long.

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One of my favorite sessions was with three amazing kids and their mom in Atherton. Taylor, Kate, Tammy, and I came so we could divide and conquer, each working one-on-one with a kid and also working with mom to help with decision overload. It was a great strategy to tackle all three bedrooms on the same day because all of the items that needed to be passed from one child to another (books, uniforms, etc.) could be processed and put away instead of lingering in a “to-do” pile for months on end.

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We tackled each bedroom from top to bottom, moving in a clockwise direction to keep our little clients on task.  I worked with the little lady of the house, a sweet 10 year old with amazing decision making skills.  At first glance of her room I anticipated that it would be a long day but her purging made it easy to accomplish our goals in record time. We dug through school work from last year, purged her stuff animal collection, and packed up her once-beloved American Girl Dolls so she could pass them on to a younger friend.  It’s always sad when this time comes but it always does.

In her closet we were able to thin out a lot because she has hit a growth spurt.  We had a bit of a style show which is always fun and then we set up the closet with an organizing system that will work for her.  We divided clothing based on purpose, i.e., swim team, soccer, lacrosse, fun swim, basketball, casual clothing, uniforms, etc.  We moved things down so she can have access and become more accountable for being prepared for practice and school etc.

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To create a uniform look we swapped out hangers so they match and picked a folding method and stuck to it! I know that sounds cooky but there are folding methods and they matter! I mean, I can think of 4 different ways to fold a t-shirt just off the top of my head and they all serve a different purpose. I know, total professional organizer talk but folding is a thing! The key to folding is pick a style that looks nice and make it consistent. For this tween space I did a tri-fold because she could see what’s on the front of her shirts without having to unfold it.  When I say tri-fold I mean folding the sleeve behind the neck and then folding the bottom up and the top down…I see a folding tutorial in my future!
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I didn’t take many room shots for confidentiality reasons but I did snag a shot of her ready to read library.  How amazing is it to have so many built ins! This little lady is ready for 5th grade!

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The next closet is her younger brother’s, can you tell he loves the color blue? He worked with Taylor and they were quite the duo.  He has been passed down lots of things from his siblings so they worked on deciding what fit and what he would really wear someday. We had a designated area on a top shelf in the closet for items that he would grow into someday so they would be slightly visible. There is nothing worse than going storing clothing for “someday” just to forget about them until after your child has grown out of them.  He also purged his toys and beloved stuffed animals.

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His closet now has designated areas for uniforms, dressy clothing, casual clothing, and specific sports uniforms like soccer and lacrosse.  Just in case you are wondering Taylor did a “bi-fold” method, looks nice and since he still has some help choosing outfits and maintaining his closet organization it’s easy to use.

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What a handsome little wardrobe! DSC04675

I’ll end this post with a quick question from a reader…

“We are designing closets for our kids rooms and I’m finding it hard to decide the ratio of drawers, shelves, and hanging that we need.  Does storing toys in a closet just create clutter?”

-Jessi

Well Jessi, when deciding the ratio of drawers to shelves to hanging consider for a child’s closet it is important to find a system that can grow with them.  Having shelves that can store bins and baskets for toys and clothing when they are little is a great option.  Down the road you can always remove some of the shelves and add a hanging bar or leave them for shoe storage. Drawers are costly but worth it if you don’t have additional dresser space outside of the closet.  For the tween girl’s closet above she doesn’t have a dresser in her room so her system is a smart option.

Many of my clients don’t want to give up space for hanging because they fold most of their children’s clothing but I think it’s important to always hang some things. It teaches your youngster to the importance of a hanger at a young age and down the road will help them stay organized.  There is a difference between boys and girls when it comes to the volume of items to hang, girls always have much more so that is something to also consider.

One thing not to forget is space for a clothing hamper! Most of the systems that we work with have the option for one inside of the closet and it eliminate the eyesore in the room and also teaches kids to pick up after themselves at a young age.  I hope this helps!

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