Making room for a new baby is challenging, especially if you live in a small condo. A few custom design options can help you share closet space with your new arrival.
The closet experts at Closet America want everyone to find the perfect storage solutions for their home. In our Ask a Closet Expert series, we answer questions from local DC-area residents about their storage issues, providing insight from our years in the industry.
Today, we answer a question from Katie in Dupont Circle, DC. She says:
“I am expecting my first baby in January. I’m really excited, but I’m also a little concerned about closet space. I have so many adorable new things, but nowhere to put them in a one-bedroom condo. What tips do you recommend for those who need to share a closet with their babies?”
Awesome question, Katie! Sharing is always tough, especially in a small condo. It might be hard to see the vision, but you can absolutely make your closet into a space for two! Here are some suggestions.
For the Baby:
Focus on hanging items up. Since you’re dealing with limited space and baby clothing is so tiny, try to hang as much of it as possible. You have a few months before the baby arrives, so consider customizing your closet by installing multiple hanging rods in one section. As adults, we can typically only use two rods before our clothes start to get tangled together. But with infant and even toddler clothing, you can safely go up to three hanging rods without running into problems.
Use slide-out baskets. Baskets are great for oversized items like blankets and bath towels. If you’re using chrome baskets, these tend to have a “weave” pattern that makes it easy to see into them and grab what you need. The flip side is that smaller items, like baby socks, tend to slip through—I’d suggest storing these little pieces in a drawer instead.
Take bulky items out of the box. Mainly, I’m talking diapers here. I’d highly recommend taking your diapers out of the box and folding them into drawers. They’re easy to grab and go this way, and they tend to take up less space once they’re out of their original packaging. If you’re planning to use both AM and PM diapers, you can also label the inside of each drawer. The best part? It’s really easy to see when you’re getting low, so you won’t skip a beat when it’s time to buy more.
For the Parent:
Use those shelves! Since we’ve already established that you will be able to fit more baby clothing by hanging everything, this means that parents get to commandeer most of the shelf space. Hang items that truly need it, but fold everything else down.
Drawers are your friends. Drawers aren’t just for diapers. They allow you to store items from multiple categories together (like socks AND underwear), which is useful if you’re short on space. Just be sure to use drawer dividers to keep everything separate.
I especially like the functionality of having an entire bank of drawers built right into your closet. These can be custom-sized to fit perfectly in your existing space while still deep enough to store quite a bit of clothing (if you take the time to fold everything). Since you’re going to have tiny hands reaching everywhere soon enough, I’d also recommend that your drawers have soft-close features so that curious fingers have an extra second or two to get out of the way before being pinched.
Move all non-closet items elsewhere. Often times, we end up storing items in closets just because we want to get them out of the way, even though they aren’t really “closet-worthy.” Comforters, large blankets, and spare sheets are all things that can be moved under the bed, into laundry room cabinets, or gotten rid of entirely to free up space for your new closet buddy.
Things like rain boots and snow boots also fall into this category. If you tend to put these on as you’re walking out the door, try keeping them in a front coat closet or hallway alcove instead. Any space you can free up without throwing off your morning schedule will be a help.
I hope some of these suggestions work for you, Katie, as you prepare for the arrival of your new baby! Good luck, and best wishes! And remember that you’re always welcome to get in touch for a free design consultation if you want additional advice.
Lead image credit: Flickr user EPoma (CC BY 2.0)