So happy to share with you my own back to school challenge, what I did this summer to get us on track. Getting back into the routine is always challenging, I find a lot of the time it is because spaces in our homes are dysfunctional. This summer I focused on areas of our home that I felt needed to change. With my son leaving for college and the fact that my daughter really being in her teen years, made me see a lot was not really working for her and us as a family.
As we go through different phases of our kid’s lives there is a need to adjust to those changes. I hope my ideas help you get back into the routine of things too! If you missed last week’s post my daughter’s bedroom makeover check it out here…
Week 2: A Closet Plan
For some reason by the end of summer, my kid’s closets were always at their worst. I had their closets designed efficiently for me when we first move into this house like over 10 years ago, but why doesn’t everything get picked up and put away properly? They stuffed everything in their closet, a quick way to say I cleaned my room. Using my old trick (LOL)
My aha moment… My daughter moved into our guest room this summer it is the right size for all she needs now. The closet though was originally designed with a small gift-wrapping station in it. (My designer idea to be clever.) I never used it. So, once we moved her in, I realized that it needs to work for her not me. She really has her own routine of what she wears, when she wears it and isn’t a real tidy person. Unlike my approach before which was how it worked for me. I saw this time, it was a waste to label each bin and that I should really have most everything in drawers and bins, because she isn’t going to spend time folding it nicely so it looks Instagramable.
The main challenge was she was struggling using it since it didn’t have drawers that really fit her clothes. So I called the company I used Space Manager here in Houston a local closet company and asked with my favorite organizer there Jara to help me reconfigure it to fit Emma’s teen years. She and I created a revamp of the closet with Emma’s needs thought through.
Here is how we approached it, using these same questions I ask my clients when working on a closet space…
How much hanging space does she need and long hanging space? How much drawer storage, shoes? And then other items like boxes and bins what does she need to store in the closet to keep misc. items?
I am not a big Marie Kondo Spark Joy fan just don’t find that motivating. But I am in love with Home Edit. They have a designer way of organizing that I really identify with when organizing.
Here is how I did my own Home Edit with my Daughter’s closet.
She is a theatre girl and with that comes many changes of clothes and types of clothes. Her hanging clothes are just simple teen girl tops, shorts, pants, and jeans. She has a few company theatre T-shirts that have to be worn and then in the back is a few dresses she wears for auditions and going to Broadway productions here in town (Houston). Her winter and raincoat are kept in our little mudroom downstairs since they are rarely worn not very cold here ever. I have a hamper where more hanging can be added if she needs it. What I love about systems like these is their adjustability. I like to hang clothes by height if you are mixing bottoms and tops. And with shirts, I like to hang by sleeve length and try to go lightest to darkest within sleeve lengths. I feel it looks more pulled together.
Where the mess had been happening is lack of drawers, because she has a variety of items. The drawers are divided by undergarments, socks, pajamas, dance clothes, undergarments for theatre-like tank-tops and shorts in specific colors, a swimsuit drawer more summer than winter here is needed. Then she has dress-up items since not all theatres she is involved with have funds for all costume needs. She also has what she calls just hanging around the house clothes (don’t ask, not my favorites). With another drawer for scarves, belts, headbands, caps. This is why I opted for so many drawers to really organize. It has been the best so that the closet actually keeps tidy. Can’t say the drawers are tidy, but out of sight, out of mind. Used storage bins and drawer dividers to keep them from being so untidy. I highly recommend them with long drawers like these.
The other thing theatre girl has is lots and lots of memorables, scripts, and playbills so that is what is stored in half the bins. Other items like memories from past years of schools and just other souvenirs are kept in the bins. This closet has lots of space so we have not run out of room yet a few empty bins still, but when we do something has to go. My rule I do not live with more than we can store, no hoarding allowed in my home. With the containers, I went with pink because when I went out looking for the bins this color was everywhere. Her favorite color is purple struggled to find what we needed so we switched. When choosing storage bins, make sure you plan what is going where before even buying them. I prefer using a fun color to brighten it up a bit.
With the original layout, I had a full slat board where pegs would house ribbons, scissors, and tape. A small part was left with the mini makeover, she opted to put her scrunchies on the pegs, keeps her jewelry here, a little vanity mirror to double-check and a little inspiration.
The closet is quite narrow so we couldn’t put pegs on the opposite wall that I originally wanted to do. So I opted to put art on the wall, we found this fun world map that is so her. My girl wants to go places, and not stay put.
My Tip for Little Ones and Closet Organization:
Every year right before or shortly after school would start, I would go through their clothes figure out what to keep and donate. Have a fashion show by them of what they have and like, also what they didn’t want anymore or just didn’t fit. Kids grow so fast so keeping up can be challenging but there are a few times a year I did purge their closets… back to school, winter around November and then spring break too!
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