Mom Life Organizing

Closet Organizing {Merging a Toddler & a Newborn}

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I am sure that many parents who
have had siblings share a room come across this same problem, situation and of
course solution… The situation being, we have a toddler who has been dressing
out of one closet, taking it over for a whole year that now has to be split in
half with their newborn sibling. Like us, if you have a standard home, with the
standard closet size you may have found this challenging. Here is my quaint
little system for sharing a closet with two boys, 18 months apart. It may not
be the prettiest to look at, but it is efficient and make our lives much easier
with regard to buying new “inventory” to wear, telling grandparents the
clothing they actually need for holidays/birthdays, sorting in clean laundry,
and most importantly, making sure that they get to wear everything before they
grow out of it!

With our first son I too was
very particular about how I wanted the closet organized. We received so many
wonderfully adorable outfits that I wanted to make sure that they were all worn
before he grew out of them (to send a Thank You pictures to the buyer of
course) but also to make sure that we were being efficient and could easily
find clothing. My system is very similar to Netflix actually in that I prefer
to use a QUEUE line to filter in outfits.

What you need
Children’s
Hangers
: Two Colors {One per kiddo}
Rubber Bands: Black,
White, Red {Extra green color marks special occasion clothes!}
Shoe
Racks from Target
{Shelf Organizing}
Soft
Drawer Baskets: Dollar Tree {Pants, Socks, Sleepers, etc}
Woven
Baskets: Michaels Craft Store {Daily Reserve}
Clear
Mailing Labels
{Because I must label everything} 😉
A
Handy Husband!
Where to Start?
Organizing-
It is impossible to determine which brands and size ranges will fit your baby,
by that I mean that when Cash was actually 12 months old, he was WEARING 18 or
24 Month clothing with the rare outfit that still fit him with a 9 month tag!
With organizing by SIZE out the window, I just made my three categories:
Current, Next and Too Big. Also that way I could keep the tags in place,
instead of adjusting numbers as the closet shifted throughout the year… How
annoying would that have been? To reprint labels every three month? No thanks!

If you already have kids, and
you’ve been through a baby shower, you also know that many generous people will
also give you some very large sized clothing for you to use “later” in life.
Although generous, receiving a 24 Month outfit for your newborn really just
means you have to keep track of it for a year… and rarely is there room for it
in the active closet… For those adorable outfits I organize them into a
separate dresser that is away from the closet. To keep it as simple as possible
I give each boy a drawer and label it with the term “older” which can cover a
few sizes above where they currently fit. So to recap, my closet actually
accommodates 3 sizes per boy, or in popular seasons two. Currently fits, will
fit NEXT and just a little TOO BIG, the dresser then has sizes over too big
that will be filtered in later.

 

The
System- The key to making this all work is actually two baskets hanging
on the wall above the changing table. There are also designated as “currently
fits” but are the baskets we draw clothes from when actually dressing the boys.
Sort of know as the “Daily Reserve” stash. Then when the baskets get empty, we
refill them with the next hanger(s) clothes in the queue. Of course, there are
always times when they need to be dressed for a certain occasion, or just not
in clothes from the baskets, so we just jump into the closet.

For example, if
we’re going to a friend’s house to watch a Duck Football game, and there are no
Duck outfits in the baskets, we’re not going to not dress him for the occasion,
we just get one out of the closet, even if the only one we can find is on a red
hanger! They wear what we want them to wear, not strictly what is in these
baskets. Another example is collared shirts. When my husband goes golfing and
takes the boys (collared shirt dress code for golfers) he likes to put the boys
in a collared shirt too. It is likely that I don’t have a collared shirt in the
basket for everyday wear, so he’d have to pull them off of black hangers. The
system actually makes laundry a little bit easier too, especially sorting it
back in to the closet. When clean laundry is brought back into the room, it is
hung in the closet to the far right (end of the queue) for its section. If
there is no open hanger for a clean laundry article going in to the far right,
I take something from the far left and remove it from its hanger then add it to
the changing baskets. Its free hanger is given to the clean laundry and I am
ensured that everything makes it into the changing baskets to be worn!
I will confess that we sometimes
skip over things from the far left. We do take into account what is already in
the changing baskets and if it is full of long sleeved shirts we’ll instead
skip that section and add in whatever style the basket lacks. If it has been a
rainy week we tend to go through the long sleeved things faster. Again, this
isn’t a strict, rigid system. It is meant to keep us organized, but certainly
not limit what is used.
New
Clothing Inventory- Within each section of color coded hangers outfits
are sorted by: T-shirts, Short Sleeved Onesies, Long Sleeved Onesies, Long
Sleeved Shirts, Dress Shirts. This also makes it unbelievably easy to go
shopping when needed for new clothes or communicate to grandparents about
Christmas needs. I can immediately tell by looking at the closet that Cash
needs more long sleeved shirts, but nobody buy him anymore short sleeved
onesies for this age! I can also review his next size up inventory and
determine what he will need in the future. This helps too for narrowing down
what to buy for the upcoming season.
*Organizing Secret: Have
a dedicated spot to put clothes as they are OUTGROWN. We make ours a drawer at the
changing table. With this “exit strategy” for clothes built right into the system
you never have to worry about outgrown clothes making their way back into the rotation
because we “didn’t have a spot for them” and another parent just picked them up
and put them back in the closet.

Everything
Else- Now that we know the system used for things that hang, where do we put everything else, and how do we keep it separated per boy? The rest of the
closet is also divided by color. One boy is organized on the left with green
baskets, the other on the right with brown. We bought two shoe rack organizers
from Target, stacked them on top of each other for shelving and then used cloth
drawer organizers from Dollar Tree to sort things. I have labels on both colors
and then there is a row of multi colored drawers that are for items they both
share.

 

 Best of luck and happy closet
sorting!
Links coming soon for:
Changing Table Organizing

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