We recently transitioned our two children from having their own rooms to being together in one bedroom. This meant combining two (very recently re-organized) closets to one and figuring out what to do about a dresser. There wasn’t enough space in the bedroom for the two separate dressers that they were previously using and neither one was big enough to accommodate both children’s clothes. My task, should I choose to accept it: Organize kids clothes in a dresser.
My husband has the Ikea Hemnes 6-drawer Chest of Drawers, and we decided that would be our best option for the kids. A tall chest of drawers utilizes vertical space, which we have plenty of in their room. They cannot reach the top two drawers, but because they are two and four, that’s currently to our advantage. This chest of drawers is slightly wider than most, but we got double the storage space for only a few more inches of floor space. That’s the kind of math that I like.
One Clothes Drawer Per Kid
Because of the size of the dresser, I knew that I wanted to – and could – have one drawer for each kids’ clothes. This includes, pants, shirts, sweatshirts, socks, underwear, under shirts (a necessity in the Minnesota tundra) and tights.
Even with our (what some would describe as) extra-large dresser, getting all of this in one drawer takes intentionality. We purposefully don’t have a lot of clothes for our kids. The more they have, the more laundry I end up doing and the less clothes get worn. I would rather ere on the lesser side and run out of clothes before a season is over than get to the end of a season to find clothes that barely got worn.
At the end of each season, I go through what we already have for the upcoming season, and then fill the gaps with what they need.
What does “fill the gaps” mean? I wash all of their clothes once a week, so my rule is one week’s worth of outfits + 20% + 2 nice/church outfits. I take that number minus what we have, and that’s what needs to be purchased to keep them appropriately clothed for the season.
What does that look like? For us it’s:
4 year-old daughter: 5 pair of jeans/jeggings, 6 pair of leggings, 4 long-sleeve shirts, 4 sweatshirts, 6 sweaters, 5 tunics, 7 undershirts, 9 pair of socks, 16 underwear, 5 pair of tights
2 year-old son: 5 pair of jeans, 5 pair of khakis, 10 long-sleeve shirts, 3 collared shirts, 3 sweaters and 2 sweatshirts (not potty trained, so no need for underwear – YET).
The drawers open without incident, every piece of clothing is easily accessible and my children aren’t naked. WIN.
Each kid’s pajamas and diapers along with nighttime toiletries fit in the next drawer. The drawer is divided in half, with each kid getting a side.
We follow the same guidelines for pajamas as we do clothes; each kid has approximately 8 pairs for the season. The Ikea drawer dividers fit perfectly. In addition to creating the boundary between each kids’ side (this is a bigger deal than I ever thought it would be), they corral all of the toiletries.
Even at 2 and 4 years old, these kids come with a slough of accessories. For my son, it’s swimsuits, suspenders, bow ties, a belt and a fedora.
For my daughter, it’s swimsuits, scarfs, belts, a fedora and jewelry.
The small, shallow drawers at the top of the dresser are perfect for this. And not just because my kids can’t reach them – although that is a plus.
Old perfume boxes are perfect to corral the small items together.
Surplus & Storage Drawer
The top full drawer in this dresser is the stuff storage dreams are made of. It is SUPER deep.
I needed a place to store surplus diapers & wipes, extra blankets and the kids’ ‘Grow Into Clothes‘. I ended up trying all three in the drawer, and decided on diapers. The bins with the clothes that they will grow in to will go to the garage where they can be stored until they need them and there’s a plastic set of drawers in the kids’ closet that the blankets fit in perfectly.
Honestly, I’m not sure that’s a long-term solution. But, it works for now, which is the name of the game.
Deciding Factor for getting your kids’ clothes organized? Less is more. Do I sound like a broken record? There’s a reason.