How to Set Up a Closet for a New Baby:
It is no coincidence that many of our requests for a new custom organized closet come from homeowners either with or expecting a new baby. Adding a new child to the family is a major life change — a good change, a happy change. However, as everyone knows, parenting is a major time commitment — especially for a newborn. Parents always want to give their children the best start in life. One way to increase the amount of quality time available to nurture your children is by becoming super organized. Whether you're setting up a nursery for your first child or you're a veteran parent, organizing the baby's room and closet space will help you save time and get control over the often chaotic clutter that accompanies the arrival of that new little bundle of joy.
- Transform old, unwanted furniture into a new use as a baby closet.
An old china cabinet or armoire style media center can also be repurposed as a baby closet. You can find many of these at your local second hand shop and pay almost nothing for them. Many people have donated these peices of furniture to charity. The current trend for an open floor plan in homes has resulted in the dimise of formal dining rooms, and along with them the prerequisite china cabinet to showcase the "good" dishes. Likewise, the armoire style TV/stereo cabinet with doors has disappeared from most homes. Flat screen televisions and the habit of listening to music from your smartphone instead of a clunky stereo system has made the original purpose of these pieces obsolete. However, much of this old furniture makes a good baby closet. They are often high quality, wood pieces. They can be repainted, shelves removed and rods added to change its function. A well done piece can resemble a custom wardrobe closet. The old furniture often comes with built in drawers useful for baby's necessities — and because infant clothing is so small, the television cabinet area is more than long enough for all of the child's hanging needs.
If the new baby shares a room with an older sibling, try creating a separate free-standing closet from an old piece of furniture for baby so that the older child can retain full use of the wall closet. This closet was previously an old TV cabinet with doors that was painted and repurposed.
- Look for under utilized space in the room that might house a small baby closet.
The odd corner is good for more than the diaper pail or toy box. Take a good hard look at any oddly shaped, difficult to furnish areas in your home. A small piece of furniture, or even a box, can be redecorated and repurposed as quality baby storage.
- Divide vertical space with triple hang clothing rods in at least one of the three sections.
Baby clothes are so small that an enormous amount of space ends up being wasted in the traditional closet when using a single hanging rod that spans the length of the closet. A more efficient use of space for baby's closet is to break it into thirds with three vertical sections. Use one of the three sections for hanging the tiny baby outfits on three closet rods that you arrange at different heights. This will give you as much or more hanging space in this one section than you get with a single rod that goes all the way across the closet. It is best to use one of the side sections for this. The opposite side section can also be used for hanging if the closet is shared by a second child. Depending on the age and size of the child, you may require either two or three hanging rods arranged at appropriate heights for this section. If there is only the one baby, use this opposite section for shelves or a combination of hanging space and shelving. You can never have too many shelves, as bulky boxes of disposable diapers and blankets can take up a lot of room. As the child gets older, the shelves will provide organization for what is bound to be a growing collection of toys.
- The center section is best oufitted with a combination of shelves and pull-out organizers like closet drawers and wire baskets.
The shelves should go on top. In addition to holding your baby books, the shelves can be further divided by attractive bins to hold diaper covers and accessories or small toys.
If you can spurge on two or three closet drawers below the shelves, it will be well worth the extra cost. Small children only require a couple of drawers for undershirts, onsies, socks, etc. Incorporating these into the closet space can eliminate the need for another piece of furniture outside the closet, freeing up floor space that your children will need for play as they get older. Special drawer dividers will keep the tiny onsies, socks and shoes in order so that they are easy to find in a hurry.
One of my favorite accessories for baby closet organization are pull-out wire baskets. These baskets are extremely versatile and child friendly. They come in different sizes just like drawers and can perform a similar function, but at a lower cost. Position these closest to the floor. You can use them for sleepers and other bulkier items when the child is a baby. When they get a little older, these bins will be extremely handy in teaching kids to tidy up after themselves. Face it, young children won't use hangers. It is much easier to get them to put their things away if there is an easy way to do it located at a height that is convenient. As the children enter their tweens, the baskets can be used as hampers for dirty clothes.
If your baby doesn't have his/her own room there may not be an available closet to organize, however, there are easy ways to create a very functional closet for baby that looks great as well:
If your child is in a separate bedroom with a traditional, reach-in closet, reorganizing it into three sections will often provide the most efficient use of space — and it is also a good way to divide the closet amongst two siblings:
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Closet Works is Chicagolands' largest and most experienced provider of custom storage solutions. Since 1987, we have been helping homeowners by creating custom closets, pantries, bookcases and more to help create a better, less stessful lifestyle. Great ideas to "Organize Your Life" and examples of our closet organizaion for everyone from Babies to Seniors can be found throughout our website. For more information on Closet Works call toll-free at 800-4-CLOSET (800-425-6738).
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