If you can believe it, this project has been a LONG time coming. From the time my daughter was 2 year old, I knew that I was going to make over the closet in her bedroom.
At the time, I just didn’t know how. It wasn’t until my son was born that I really knew I had to make some changes. I had to make sure the closet would be functional because my children would be sharing a room. Sharing a room, of course, also meant sharing a closet.
The original closet in their bedroom started off with just 1 L-shaped shelf. My initial idea to upgrade their closet was to either build a custom unit or get a system that would be able to grow with them. With so much changes that occur so fast with kids, I wasn’t sold on getting something as permanent as a built-in unit. I knew that the needs of their closet could quickly change as well.
Something also to consider was the cost of this transformation. After getting a quote from a custom cabinet builder, there was very little difference between the Elfa closet system and a custom built-in. At that point, the best choice for organizing my kids closet was something more flexible like the Elfa closet system.
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LET THE PREP WORK BEGIN
To prep the installation of the Elfa closet system, I removed the original shelves from inside. Next I had to make sure that I covered the holes left by the shelves. I used spackle to fill in and cover those holes until it was smooth. Lastly, I repainted the entire interior of the closet, from floor to ceiling with Behr Ultra white in an eggshell finish. Now the closet was ready for the installation of the system.
I can’t give myself all the credit though. I did much of my brainstorming logistics for updating the kids wardrobe closet with the team at The Container Store. One of the most important things I knew I had to do was to consider the closet storage layout. The kids closet is a small walk in closet so using all the space efficiently was top priority. Here are 5 of the closet design tips I considered when using the Elfa closet system for the kids closet makeover.
USE THE LONGEST WALL FOR MAXIMUM CLOSET STORAGE
The closet my kids share is a decent sized walk in, but as I sorted my daughter and son’s clothing, I quickly realized that my daughter had WAY more clothing items than my son. Not only is my daughter a girly girl, making dressing up one of her favorite things, but she also has a ton of traditional dresses from Nigeria that my mom brings when she comes to visit. (Thanks Mom!🤦🏾♀️)
In order to use the space wisely, I allocated my daughter’s side of the closet to be the longer side. The longer side would allow me to have more room to neatly organize all her clothing without cutting into her brother’s designated space.
WHICH WORKS BEST? FOLDING vs. HANGING
Figuring out which clothing you should hang and which should be folded can sometimes be a dilemma. Thinking about a combination of what is easy to view and access, while also considering the amount of a specific item of clothing is very important.
In my case, my son had many shirts and sweaters. I decided to have those items hanging while I would keep his pants folded and tucked away. For my daughter, I did something similar. I kept her dresses, tops and skirts hanging and folded her pants as well.
OPEN ACCESS CAN BE A LIFE SAVER
One of the things I love the most about the Elfa closet system is being able to customize how to display the items in the closet. I’m almost certain I enter my kids closet at least 10 times a day, between all the spills and messes, getting ready for school in the morning and bath time. I frequently visit the same items during the day so when customizing my Elfa closet system I knew open access for those items would be key.
For those frequently used items, like diapers, accessories, socks and underwear, I had drawers put in bottom of the unit. Bottom drawers now made it easy for me to access and placed the items at a height my children could easily grab from too.
Another open access point was made for my kid’s shoes. Gone are the days on the “shoe mountain” in the dark corner of the kids closet. Now, their shoes are easily identifiable because they are openly displayed on shelves.
I also had a bit of a pet peeve when it came to my daughter’s purses. She has so many purses and they never were organized in one place. I was able to add a designated hanging section using the Elfa system bracket hooks just for her purses!
COMPARTMENTALIZE ALL THE SMALL THINGS
Divide and conquer is one of the best things you can do when organizing your kids wardrobe closet. This is especially true for those items that just seem to get misplaced at lightning speed or thrown together at one point and later when you need it you can’t find it in the sea of everything else.
Use dividers to further help organize specific items especially when dealing with more than one item in a drawer or on a single shelf. I decided to use dividers on a velvet tray to organize my daughter’s jewelry sets. This made it easy to see all the pieces at once, in a neat way.
Another easy way to compartmentalize in the Elfa closet system is using baskets as storage on open shelves. Baskets are great for holding more items but still allowing for easy access for both me and the kids.
MAXIMIZE VERTICAL STORAGE WITH OPEN SHELVES
Since I didn’t have as much space as I wanted width-wise in the kids wardrobe closet, the only way to go was up. In order to maximize the height of the closet, I used open shelves at the very top. The open shelf would give me the space I needed to store items we used less frequently or refills on products.
I also used clear closet storage bins when storing these items so that it’s easier to identify what is in them without having to pull them down.
Sharing some of the ideas I had when deciding on a kids closet organizer and how I customized my kids closet design makes me so happy. I’m beyond thrilled with how the space turned out with the help of the team at The Container Store. Hopefully, these tips help you too as you tackle getting organized and refreshed for this year.
Let me know in the comments below how you plan to use the Elfa system in your home to keep things organized. If you have any questions on how best to organize any space in your home, feel free to ask. I’d love to help!
SHOP MY KIDS CLOSET