Mission: Organization The Girls’ Closets

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about organizing around the house.  That’s because I really haven’t done any organizing all summer.  We’ve spent weekends at the beach, playground and my parents pool and just enjoyed the time together.  But now it’s time to get back to organizing – especially with school starting in two weeks.

A month ago, we were heading out with my parents and I went looking for a dress for Ava to wear.  Long story short, I spent and hour digging through Ella’s closet – couldn’t find the accessories I wanted and it was just a mess.  I really haven’t touched the closets much since each girl was born, so they had accumulated five years and two years of clutter.

This is a work in progress, but let’s look at the before, and then let’s never speak about this mess that we lived with again 🙂

The Before:

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Ella’s Closet: Left Side

Ella’s closet has two sides with sliding doors.  Both closets have Elfa closet systems that we desgined from The Container Store. Elfa is not cheap and their are more affordable choices out there.  But, Elfa is what we started using ten years ago and I love that we can mix and match components from one closet to another.

IMG_3714

Ella’s Closet: Right Side

Ella’s closet has shelf baskets in the middle, and hanging storage and smaller shelves on the left and right side.  At the top of her closet are two shelves that run the full length.

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Ava’s Closet

Ava’s closet is half the size of Ella’s and has a single door.  She has the same types of storage in her closet, but just half of it 🙂

The Mess:

1.  Inability to find dresses and shoes: Once Ava was born and we knew that we had two girls, I had been leaving all of Ella’s dresses and shoes she outgrew in her closet for Ava once Ava got big enough.  The problem was that there were so many dresses that I couldn’t find them when I needed them.

2. Stuffed animals: Ella has A LOT of stuffed animals.  And she plays with all of them.  But, the bins that I put in the bottom of her closet were overflowing and not getting used.

3. Baby stuff no longer in use: All the baby gear that we still have was in Ava’s closet taking up space for things we’d like to store.

The Process:

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed Animals!

The process for this one was pretty simple.  I emptied out both closets and sorted through.

We categorized the items:

1.  Ella and my husband went through the stuffed animals.  “Baby” stuff went away in the attic (that was about 6 items).  The rest were sorted by category.  Seasonal toys went in the boxes for their season (I try to keep holiday specific toys in a bin to take out at that time to keep some things “new”).

2.  I sorted clothes and shoes into piles: Too big for Ella, too big for Ava, too small for either girl.

3.  We sorted through the rest and decided what we would keep and what we would get rid of (some baby gear with no sentimental value).  Then further sorted to decide what should be in closets so we can access it and what should go in the attic.

The After:

photo 3

Ella’s Closet Left Side

This is still a work in progress, but you can see how many dresses were weeded out from the photo above. Her shoes for school are in the bottom shelf basket, spare sheets are in the middle one, and school clothes are in the top shelf basket. The two shoe boxes above the dresses are for shoes she’s currently wearing. We don’t keep them in their boxes, but I like to keep the boxes for storing the shoes until Ava can wear them.

photo 2

Ella’s Closet: Right Side

The right side of the closet is mostly stuffed animals.  The basket shelves next to the door are the same ones seen in the Left Side picture.  Ella has a shelf of “special” stuffed animals she doesn’t want her sister to reach, so they are up high.  Below that is our Sesame Street collection.

Ava's Closet

Ava’s Closet

Ava’s closet has all of the dresses in her size and the next size.  The shelf next to the dresses holds hats and shoes in the next size.  Below that in the shelf baskets are towels, blankets and spare diapers.  We use the shelf baskets in both girls rooms and I love them.  I can pile stuff up easier and they are great for smaller kids items.

Next Steps:

Since I am trying to be mroe organized, I’d like to add a hanging sweater bag to each girls closet:

Hanging Sweater Bag

so that I can lay out their clothes for the week.  It’s not something I’ve ever done, but I’m trying to do as much as possible to save time in the morning.  Luckily, with the Elfa system, I can move the components around to accomodate this.

Thanks for looking, and I’d love to hear any suggestions anyone has for organizing kid’s closets.

~Elizabeth

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