When your kids share a room, arguments over space and belongings often feel inevitable. A custom-designed reach-in closet helps keep clothes and toys separated and neatly organized.
DC’s West End has seen a lot of growth lately, and I’m not even a bit surprised. Luxury and glitz are basically the motto of recent condo developments, and if you’re looking for an upscale city location, West End is a very viable option.
Given the presence of the George Washington University, the area does get its fair share of younger residents. But because a number of large companies are also headquartered nearby, an increasing number of families have added to the West End’s residential feeling over the years.
Of course, even in the most luxurious condos, space can sometimes be tight for families—and sharing a room is tough when you’re a kid. My own daughter was pretty unhappy when her space was invaded by the arrival of her younger sister. And while I don’t have a cure-all solution, I have noticed that a lot of the arguing eases up when each of your kids has a separate space for their belongings. Your children might be sharing a room and a closet, but with the right custom design, the closet, at least, doesn’t have to be a battleground.
Separate but Identical
When the belongings of one child infringe upon the space of the other, the result is lots of “your t-shirt is on MY SIDE of the closet.” I’m sure you know how it goes. To keep the peace, I recommend creating separate but basically identical spaces for your kids on each side of your reach-in. The end result should look basically symmetrical—which helps avoid any accusations of unfairness.
If both children feel like they have a clearly defined space, not only are they more willing to share the closet, but it tends to keep the area a little tidier, since there’s less arguing about which items belong to whom.
In terms of a specific layout, I’d suggest the following options:
Separate hanging sections. Children don’t usually have a ton of clothing that requires hanging, so you should be fine with one hanging rod per child. I’d strongly recommend adding shelves or paneling between the rods to ensure there’s actually separation. You don’t want one long rod that runs the width of the closet.
Two laundry hampers. I’m a big fan of built-in laundry hampers, and while you might do laundry for both children at the same time, keeping their clothes separate lets them feel like they aren’t sharing a closet. The other bonus about separate laundry hampers? Neither will fill up as quickly. If you happen to miss a laundry day or two, your children’s clothes are less likely to overflow onto the floor.
Separate (or at least clearly assigned) shoe shelves. Depending on the size of your closet, I’d suggest either two or four shelves for footwear for each child. This shelving can go underneath each hanging section, or you can create a neutral zone in the middle that contains both shelving and drawer storage. If your kids are a few years apart, try giving your older child the upper shelves and your younger child the lower ones.
Personal drawers. While our dovetail drawers can certainly store a lot, I’d recommend separate sets of drawers for each child. These drawers will help to take care of their folded clothing and can also be used as extra storage for things like hair accessories, costumes, or hats and mittens. Drawers offer a little more privacy than shelves, which can help minimize kids’ temptation to poke through their siblings’ belongings. If you’re planning to store multiple categories of items in each drawer, I would suggest that you invest in drawer dividers. This will help your kids keep each section organized, minimizing the amount of time they spend looking for things in the morning—and maybe even encouraging them to develop good organizational habits (at least, that’s what I like to tell myself).
Your children might not be thrilled to share a closet, but a custom reach-in design ensures that it’s actually pretty easy. We understand that kids like to have their own territories and can ensure that their closet is designed with this thought in mind. Get in touch today for a free design consultation.
Lead image credit: Wikimedia Commons user AgnosticPreachersKid (CC BY-SA 3.0)