Back to school: Organising the kids wardrobe

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

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Thankyou to all the wonderful readers sending in requests and questions regarding back to school.  I am going to extend the Back to School Organising series for an extra week to try and answer all your questions.  Please feel free to email me if you are wanting any specific back to school tips.

Today, I will show you how I store my kids clothes.  We have had this system in place now for a year and I wish I had it sooner.  Prior I was storing the kids clothes such as undies, shorts, Pj’s, t-shirts in their dresser drawers.  Once the kids started dressing themselves this system didn’t work well, it was hard for the kids to easily see what was at the bottom of the pile and I was forever constantly tidying it up.  I did consider installing shelves, which would be ideal, however in the mean time this has been a great solution. 

I purchased this hanging organiser which you can find them at most department and dollar stores.  It is brilliant giving the kids a glance at what clothes they have to wear.  I keep clothing sets together on skirt/trouser hangers.

I have a section for each type of clothing, giving easy access.

Underneath the hanging organiser I have 2 baskets holding socks and swimmers.  You will notice that I don’t put socks into pairs.  These are new school socks, which are white, therefore eliminating the need to pair up as they all match each other.  Saves alot of time when folding laundry.

On this side of the cupboard hangs t-shirts and school uniforms (I have removed uniforms for privacy reasons). 

This clothes basket was left over after I placed new storage in our laundry, so I repurposed it, using it as toy storage.

 I hope this helps with your kids wardrobe organisation 🙂

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Jemima January 17, 2011 - 4:58 PM

OMG i love these cuboards! will be doing the same thing with my daughters room thanks heaps for the idea!

Katrina January 19, 2011 - 12:04 AM

no worries Jemima!

Marita January 17, 2011 - 5:37 PM

Looks fantastic. Our issue is that neither girls room has wardrobes. We've worked out a system for Annie with shelves and baskets. Heidi has drawers with tubs in them.

Katrina January 19, 2011 - 12:05 AM

I love baskets, having no shelves must make it hard.

Corinne January 17, 2011 - 6:43 PM

I tried the hanging organiser with my kids and found it collapsed after about two weeks.

I'm not too fussy on the organisation of clothes, with the exception of school uniforms. Their clothes are sorted into play clothes (ie those with paint stains) and good clothes (those without paint stains). All uniforms go in a basket in my bedroom, so I can keep track of where we're up to with them. My girls can interchange their uniforms a lot so often it's just grab whatever from the basket. There's also a second basket of socks, same as you, unpaired, new each year, all white.

We have such limited time in the morning (30 minutes to be dressed, hair done and bags packed for 3 kids plus me) I need to be in control of these things, rather than leaving it up to the kids.

Katrina January 17, 2011 - 8:05 PM

One of our collapsed too Corinne, we brought some wood from Bunnings, cut to size and replaced the cardboard with wood. School mornings are so hectic aren't they.

Jodie Daniel January 17, 2011 - 7:05 PM

After looking at your daughters wardrobe…. I realise that my 3yo has WAY too many clothes!!!

Mind you… she seems to change outfits 3 times a day (not including bedtime).

I have been inspired by your organised wardrobe though… and plan to make some changes. One idea I saw in a book was to have hooks on the doors and have their outfit (say a school uniform) hanging on it, so they know exactly what to wear when they wake up.

Katrina January 17, 2011 - 8:07 PM

I really like that idea Jodie, especially for us to then realise if they do or don't have a clean uniform for the following day.

Lisa Carter January 17, 2011 - 7:12 PM

Very child friendly system which would encourage independence. Where did you source your hanging organiser and baskets, please? Lisa x

Katrina January 17, 2011 - 8:10 PM

I love it Lisa, so much easier. I purchased the hanging organiser from Freedom Home, but I tried to find a link on the Freedom website they must not stock them anymore. I know most Freedom Home stores closed down here in SE-QLD. The baskets are from Ikea….gotta love ikea, I did see similar baskets on the freedom website.

Su Chin January 17, 2011 - 7:52 PM

I just organised my boys' wardrobes too! I had shelves and a huge hanging space. Originally the shelves were stuffed FULL with their clothes/pjs/uniforms.

In two days, I took everything out, sorted them according to seasonal wear. Donated away lots of really new but rarely used clothes. And bought me a 5 drawers thingy (which was pushed into the empty space in their wardrobe)…where I sorted the uniforms. First top 2 were eldest, Second top 2 were middle child, and last were their jackets. They could easily reach them..and not mess them up!

I couldn't use the hanging organisers because…they were too floppy.

I have to say tho, girls wardrobes are just so much prettier to look at. My boys… hmm.. very boring.

Katrina January 17, 2011 - 8:13 PM

lol Su, I did stop and think, do I photograph my sons wardrobe or the girls, easy choice, pink is so pretty!! You have sorted really well, sounds like a system that will really work for you all…great job!! I mentioned in another comment that one of ours did collaspe as they only have a small piece of cardboard on the front of each shelf, we replaced this with a small piece of wood from Bunnings and they now sit very tidy and won't break.

Tammy January 17, 2011 - 8:31 PM

Love the ideas you have and love what you have done with the wardrobes!!

Great job…

Thankyou for the great ideas you pass on.



Alicia Ilievski January 18, 2011 - 2:13 AM

Eeeee same brain!! I was in my daughters wardrobe having a clear out today. Friends of mine have suggested that the kids wear far less clothing when they start school (well that is probably totally obvious to most people but was a complete SHOCK to me LOL) Anyways my daughter STILL has waaaaay to many clothes, however I am really proud of the effort (start) I have made today.

Instead of using the hangy thingo you have I got my hubby (who isnt at all handy) to install another hanging rail. So now my daughters wardrobe has 6 hanging spaces. Today I matched all of DDs clothes so she just has to grab 1 hanger and its a set (ie a matching short and tshirt set).

BTW Today was my first day staying home and not shopping! I plan on tackling a job a day (just as I agreed to in your other 52 things post) Todays job was DDs wardrobe…who knows what tomorrow may bring LOL….My sewing pile is growing huge.

Katrina January 19, 2011 - 12:10 AM

Good minds think alike!! Great job Alicia. I have tried to make a pact with myself no more shopping, so we can do it together!!

Tracy Williams January 18, 2011 - 6:16 AM

What do you keep in their drawers?? sorry just curious if all their things are in the cupboard lol

I keep socks, undies and pjs in top drawer seperated in white rectangle baskets from woolies, shorts in second, warm gear in the bottom. All shirts and school uniforms are hung in the wardrobe with a gorgeous star dress-up boxes now used as bag and shoe storage. All three have the same so hubby doesn't get confused and we can all find what we need. I love the idea of all white socks without the matching! Mismatched stocks is so irritating, Thanks!

Katrina January 18, 2011 - 6:43 AM

We now store all toys in the drawers, dolls in one draw, toys with little bits and pieces and dolls clothes in another, another has jewellery and play makeup. As for my little man, he has lego in one drawer, bits and pieces in another and special things in the top drawer. I'll do a post sometime in the future to show you 🙂

Kerry January 18, 2011 - 8:06 AM

Great idea. I have shelves in my kids cupboards under the hanging space. I have a system of good clothes in the cupboard, play clothes in the chest of drawers (and undies, socks, singlets etc in the other drawers). Works well for my son, but my daughter can't reach the top drawers (as hers is one drawer higher) and she is always rummaging through the drawers and crushing up the piles – she is 3. Knew I needed something different, but didn't know what to do with the chest of drawers. Toys. Brilliant. Kerry.

Pen January 18, 2011 - 11:09 PM

my kids share a room, and so have a small wardrobe to share. since they were babies, i have had 2 hanging organisers, and hanging space beside that, backpacks etc on the floor. 7yrs later, it's still working! they can easily see their clothes and can put their own clean clothes away. we don't have any drawers in their room, just bookshelves for books and boardgames.

great to see your pics, and i agree with another comment – my kids have too many clothes too! we just gifted a bag to flood affected families, and there's still too many!

Regina January 19, 2011 - 12:35 AM

Thanks for posting this reply Pen. I have 2 girls 4 and 5 who share a bedroom and I was wondering how I could adapt this set up to suit them I can now see that it can be done.

Rell January 20, 2011 - 3:15 AM

Love your daughters organised wardrobe…I was just wondering where you purchased the lovely pink clothes hangers from?

Katrina January 20, 2011 - 4:54 AM

Rell, I purchased these hangers from Freedom Home, however I have tried to find a link to them on the freedom webstie but I don't think they stock them anymore.

LIsaW January 21, 2011 - 8:10 PM

BRILLIANT! Just shared a link on my blog
You're a life saver! So simple…why didn't I think of it before?

Katrina February 15, 2011 - 11:13 PM

glad you like the blog lisa 🙂 thanks

Jac February 3, 2011 - 4:17 AM

Many years ago when my twin boys started pre-school I purchased one of those hanging organisers from Avon with the days of the week (MON-FRI) on it. I pack it with uniforms and all the things they need to pack in their bag for that day. It has pockets on the side which I can use for misc stuff like slippers and sports equipment. Each Sunday I pack them ready for the school week. I have a small narrow shelf beside that that I can use for old clothes and good clothes. I have three boys and I must say my cupboards look very functional and uninspiring compared to yours! I think I will switch my plastic boxes with lids on them to baskets like yours though. Much easier to get into and less easily broken! I also love the idea of not matching socks!

Katrina February 20, 2011 - 9:16 PM

That sounds like a great organiser Jac, perfect for school uniforms and library bag day’s 🙂

Amber August 3, 2011 - 6:18 AM

Hi there, do you have any ideas on how to neatly store their boxed games, unused birthday presents and also shoe storage? We have built in robes and each girl has their boxed you’d stored on the shelves but it becomes a real mess!

Katrina August 4, 2011 - 12:20 AM

Hi Amber, shoe storage was recently discussed on the blog and I have board games upcoming post soon 🙂

jessieboan April 24, 2012 - 1:37 PM

Great idea! Just curious – where do you store clothes that are either too small or too big. I need a system to manage that. (The outgrown clothes are handed down to my other kids). My kids each share their room (and cupboard).

Jacci April 24, 2012 - 2:11 PM

Where did you get the hanging organiser from? I have only seen the dull looking ones. I love your blogs <3

Marna Sharp April 24, 2012 - 2:11 PM

Looks like a great idea , I think i would have to have a huge toss out of clothing here my kids have way to many clothes to fit like that lol

Una05 April 24, 2012 - 2:20 PM

Looks fantastic but where do you keep there shoes?

Dee April 24, 2012 - 3:32 PM

looks like a good idea especially for those in rental accomodation, but for my situation the kids’ wardrobes are a 1/4 of that size (if that!) and two of the wardrobes have two kids per robe

Rachneeka April 24, 2012 - 6:23 PM

Is that wardrobe just a single door one??my twins share one wardrobe as they are still in the room together ,theres is a big mess ,i have draws for them but they are in the spare room as they dont fit in there room.

Tracy April 25, 2012 - 4:24 PM

OMG I love that hanging organiser. Am now on the hunt to find something similar for my daughter’s room and one for my son’s.

john michael June 1, 2012 - 12:04 AM

I hope it was a very nice event and they all enjoyed a lot, I’m new to this Blog Hope to have nice time around here.Thanks for sharing with us…

Jules July 9, 2012 - 8:50 AM

Great idea to use a hanging organiser instead of drawers.  My girl climbs her drawers and has snapped them, at around $500 for a new set along with the difficulty in keeping them tidy I’m going to try this idea.  It’s open so I can easily see if things going amiss.  Thank you for sharing.

Suzanne Alters May 31, 2013 - 10:44 AM

Hi Katrina, Just wondering, How do you tell whose socks are whose when they are all white, (the different sizes) do you sew an initial on them or something. Just thinking for when my kids are both at school this would be a great idea so I’m not looking for odd socks, but they are only 2 years apart so will have a similar size foot.

Kristy January 15, 2015 - 11:54 AM

not sure if this has been asked already? Where are your daughters shoes stored? I have 10 & 6 year old daughters sharing A small bedroom & wardrobe, still umming and arrhing over which system to use. 6 year old has lots of clothes 10 year old not so much but shoes!! ???? both have lots ????

Kristy January 15, 2015 - 11:57 AM

not sure if this has been asked already? Where are your daughters shoes stored? I have 10 & 6 year old daughters sharing A small bedroom & wardrobe, still umming and arrhing over which system to use. 6 year old has lots of clothes 10 year old not so much but shoes!! ???? both have lots ????

Virginia Tanna January 10, 2018 - 9:30 PM

Hi Katrina. Who hangs those items? I find it time consuming to hang thr childrens’ clothes, then y track down the hangers which end up under the bed and in all sorts of places?! Cheers, Virginia.


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