What are your tips for organizing a child's closet so that you can stay ahead of growth spurts and seasonal changes?
With my first son I organized Ikea bins by clothing age and labeled them as such (in 6 mth increments) and would rotate them in the cupboard with the size he currently was and was going to be next at the front. I then move all sizes he's grown out of into my youngest son's closet ready for him to grow into. Its made finding the right size clothes for my second son much much easier!
I actually did a blog post recently about how I organize baby/kids clothes. I have two girls at home, who are two years apart in age, and it feels like I have all sizes of clothes all the time!!
I just hang the pretty and good clothes according size- 6mths, 9mths, 12mnths, 24mnths, 2T, 3T etc
The everyday clothes, I fold and sort together in sizes.
Here is how I manage two different closets for my Boy-Girl Twins. I've been doing this for 9 years and it's fail-proof :
1. I only have in-season clothing in each closet.
2. I organize the closets by clothing -- pants with pants, shirts with shirts, etc.
3. I always buy transitional clothing, layering pieces, and coats in a slightly bigger size so we are always ready for growth spurts and also can get more wears out of each piece.
4. When I change clothing out (winter to summer for example), I do an inventory of what we will need and make a note of it for future shopping.
5. For undergarments, I buy the current size I need and the next size up -- I can't have my babies wearing tight undies!
6. Finally, we fill in with hand-me-downs whenever we can from our big and generous family.
usually i'm a disorganized mess...except when it come to my toddler's closet. i have bins for everything: clothes that are too small for her, clothes that will fit soon-ish, clothes that will fit in over a year, and clothes that aren't too girly for her baby brother on the way to eventually wear. :)
My daughters are now 16 and 21, so the growth spurts are basically over (except maybe for my 16-year-old). But I always cleaned out their closet, toy box, etc a few weeks before Christmas and few weeks before school started. If I didn't get to clean out before Christmas, I would go through their closet right before or right after their birthday, which are both in January. This helped me clean out clothes & toys they had outgrown just before new items came in.
We have a little one quickly approaching toddlerhood on our hands, and it seems that I'm always picking the item that's too small when I'm in a hurry to get her dressed. Instead of only clearing things out seasonally, I keep a bin for too small items so that I sort those away immediately in the moment, rather than adding them back into the pile to get mixed up again.
I organize my child's drawers with all the latest sizes that she wears, current season only. Everything else that doesn't fit or is too big (or a diff. season) goes on the shelf in the closet (to get ready to donate or for when she outgrows the current ones).
I think that since kids grow so fast you don't really need to put clothes away to use for next year, because odds are they will be out grown. I like to keep all of the current sizes in the drawers and in the closet, organized by type: sweaters, sweatshirts, tshirts, shorts, pants. This way if the weather changes often you can just grab what you need. I would also recommend keeping a storage container in the closet, this way as soon as you notice that your child has out grown an item you can put it in the storage container so it does not take up space in the drawers/closet.
For younger kids, buy closet separators, and use them. Most I have seen go up to 24 months, but I have actually seen some go up to 4T. Also, I put clothes for the upcoming season in the far corner of the closet. That way once it is time to wear them, I just slide them over.
Lastly, go through the closet often (every 6-8 weeks, if your kids are still young and growing quickly) to remove clothes and shoes that are too small and overworn. Donate or sell these items to others. In some cases, if they are really worn, you just need to throw them away.
We use space bags. I know what you're thinking. I thought it too. I did not believe that the 'as seen on tv' space bag would work but my husband wanted to try them for our winter clothes and we found a box on sale at the store so I picked them up and tried them. The really work. I now use them to keep my sons clothes organized by season and I label them with masking tape and a marker so I can read them easily. This system has allowed us to buy early as well and store them with minimal space used. We all love it and it's cleaned out everyone's closet!
I buy clothes for my son at sales that are a year or two too large, and I store them in bins at the bottom of his closet. That way I never have to pay full-price for clothes when he grows out of one size.
I like those fabric accordions that you can hang from the closet pole for extra storage for sweaters and pants, and the see-through shoe storage organizers that go behind the door for storage of small items.
To fit more baby clothes into a small closet, buy a tension rod and add another row for clothes.