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Closet Basics for Age Four to Early Tweens

Somewhere between ages three and six, most kids start wanting to do things for themselves.  You can support that developmental milestone with your use of the closet.

  • Most kids do better with drawers.  Children under six are not likely to hang their clothes.
  • Label drawers with pictures of pants, shirts, shorts, underwear, socks so they can see where to put things and where to find them again, even before they can read.
  • Hang special clothes out of reach, if you don’t want them worn for roller skating or making mud pies.

During these growing years, size management continues.  Always keep a bin on hand for items of the next size up, and another one for too-small clothes.  

You might also want to have a bin for clothes that your child doesn’t enjoy:  maybe they are too scratchy, too hard to put on, or he/she simply doesn’t like it.  This gives the child an opportunity to develop awareness, while also providing parents with insights about the child’s preferences..

This is also a good time to teach the basics of sorting dirty clothes (i.e. white vs. not white).  Teaching kids how to do for themselves is empowering for them, and can help lighten the load for you as well.

During this age span, the closet can also be a great space to store personal collections, crafting materials, toys, and any items they don’t want younger siblings to get into. This is a good time to start to respect their private space, and, of course, to encourage them to respect other people’s spaces and belongings too.  

Looking for more closet organizing tips?  Check out last week’s post for ideas on closets newborns to age three. Coming soon: a suggestion for storing winter gear, and tips for organizing a family coat closet.

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