When Anne bought her home in Silver Spring seven years ago, she was looking for a place where her children could grow up. She envisioned family dinners in the formal dining room, cozy movie nights in the family room, and barbecues in the backyard. What she didn’t envision was how her children’s closets would become disaster zones. Now that her kids were getting older and starting to become more self-sufficient, they wanted to pick out their own clothes, but couldn’t reach the wardrobe bar. To accommodate their height, Anne carefully placed their wardrobe staples on the open shelves they could reach—but kindergarteners aren’t known for their organizational skills, and the deep, wide shelves soon became covered in a random assortment of crumpled-up clothes. Getting ready in the morning became a constant struggle that required an inordinate amount of time to find the right items somewhere in the mess.
By the time her kids entered first grade, Anne knew she had to find a better way; between getting ready for work, letting the dog out, and making sure everyone’s lunch was packed, she simply didn’t have time in the mornings to help her kids wade through the piles of clothes stuffed onto shelves. Realizing that she needed a flexible closet solution created specifically to grow with her kids, she turned to Closet America, and together we came up with a beautiful, versatile closet designed to help her kids stay organized now and for years to come.
Fluid Closets Grow With Your Kids
Kids and adults have very different closet needs, yet most closets are designed for grown-ups only. Organizing closet storage with your children in mind can be a big help towards letting them become more self-reliant and responsible for their own space, while simultaneously taking some of the load off of busy parents. But what works today may not work a year from now; after all, kids grow up fast, so their closets should grow with them. The following are some of our most helpful hints to creating fluid, child-friendly closets that accommodate your growing kid’s needs:
Consider Placement: Every closet has “prime real estate,” or the part of the closet that is easiest for the user to reach. To make the most of your child’s (smaller and lower) prime real estate, make sure that that their everyday items are easily accessible by selecting shelving depths, bar heights, and component placement that make sense for your child’s size. Closet designer Lisa Adams says, “Find the reachable height for your child and draw a mental horizontal line throughout the closet – everything below it should be completely accessible.”
Stay Adjustable: Adjustable components allow your closet to stay flexible. Bars, shelves, and valet hooks should be able to easily be repositioned as needed, ensuring there will be a place for everything even as your child grows. While adjustable components offer great versatility, it’s important to remember that these items may be more vulnerable to dislocation, especially around curious, climbing kids. Choosing solidly constructed, lockable components is essential to keeping your kids safe.
Contain, Separate, and Label: Organization can be a struggle for children, and expecting them to keep clothing neatly folded on open shelves is typically wishful thinking. If you do have shelves, make sure they’re are only housing clothing one row deep and that they’re short enough to keep clothing piles from growing too high. When possible, choose drawers or use child-friendly, breathable storage bins to encourage tidiness. To help kids remember where everything goes, use colorful labels as reminders. “Labeling helps keep the abundance of clothing, toys and accessories your child accumulates at bay,” says Toni Hammersley of HGTV. “If you don't have a label maker, simply print the words on paper, cut them out and pin or glue to storage bins.”
Create a Treasure Drawer: Giving younger kids a designated place for their personal treasures can be a great way of encouraging them to stay organized and keep their prized collections within reach but out of sight. Creating a personal space for their burgeoning rock collection or treasured art projects gives them a sense of ownership of the closet and helps them be invested in its organization. As your child grows and develops new interests, this can turn into the perfect storage space for sports clothes, school uniforms, or that top-secret diary.
Designing Closets Together
Unfortunately, most off-the-rack storage systems don’t give you the ability to implement safe, functional, and flexible child-friendly elements. Investing in a custom closet design that grows with your child gives you the ability to truly create the perfect closet that will adapt to them. With custom closets, the exact components your child needs are used, creating an organized, beautiful space for years to come. When you’re creating a children’s closet, it’s important to involve your kids in the design process, too; after all, they are the ones who will be using it. As Kristen Schmidt of Better Homes & Gardens says:
"Let children be a part of the organization process and you just might be surprised by how willing they are to help declutter the space and keep the closet organized. Encourage little ones to tell you how they'd like to sort and store their favorite items. Work together with older kids to get organized, then turn them loose to decorate the space."
At Closet America, we work with your entire family to understand each space’s unique needs and find solutions that make your life easier. Not only do we offer attractive and functional organizational options perfect for growing kids, we also include essential safety features to keep your little ones out of harm’s way, including:
Rasant tabs that lock adjustable shelves into place
Metal Rafix cams that ensure sturdy, durable construction
Hidden wall supports that anchor systems to walls to prevent tipping
Soft-close hinges that protect fingers and prevent noise
The exceptional quality of our storage systems ensures that they stand up to the wear and tear of kids, staying strong and beautiful for years; our double lifetime warranty guarantees it.
Closet America is the D.C. area’s leading creator of custom-made closet, office, garage, and pantry storage solutions. Our experienced team of designers and engineers create unique solutions with your space in mind, storing everything in its place, perfectly. Contact us for more information about our services or to schedule a free design consultation.