When a child is born, new parents have a lot to be amazed at.  Not least is the fact that the quantity of “stuff” they own suddenly seems to triple!  Today’s focus is on how to manage a closet for your tiny tot so that this proliferation of goods doesn’t become overwhelming.

Infants and toddlers typically grow fast, so closet organization for kids under three is really all about size management.  Here are some tips:

  • Use hanging space for baby’s current-sized clothing.
  • Growth spurts seem to happen overnight, so keep a couple of items of the next size handy in the hanging area, too.  
  • Purchase a number of bins, and label them in 3-month intervals for the first year:  newborn – 3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 2-3 years. Sort items into these bins so you can find them easily when you need them, and can quickly see what sized items might be lacking or overflowing.
  • When bins are clearly labeled, it’s easy for both partners to use the system.  If you find that an outfit is too tight, put it straight in the bin!  (Clean, of course.)
  • When your child has outgrown a complete size range, that bin can be stacked on a high shelf, or, if space is limited, in a remote storage area such as a garage, basement, or attic.  That way it’s all set to be handed down to a younger sibling or other recipient.

Of course, closets are useful storage places for many items besides clothing, especially for very young children.  Here are some ideas for making good use of this space:

  • Stash books and toys that your child will grow into, and a bin for those that she’s outgrown.  Simple fabric sweater holders are great for storing receiving blankets, diapers, plush toys, and more.  
  • This is the only time in their lives you can get away with hiding their gifts in their closets!  
  • As your youngster becomes mobile, keep some items in reach.  Anything you don’t want him to get his hands on, put at adult height.

As your child grows, naturally storage needs and organizing techniques will change as well. Next week we’ll look at Closet Basics for four-year-olds to early tweens.  Stay tuned!