Babies inevitably come with a lot of stuff. From the first day you announced your pregnancy, through the baby shower, baby’s birth and baby’s first birthday you will receive more baby clothes and accessories than you ever imagined.
The key to letting all of these cute onesies and outfits overwhelm you is to organize them as you put them away in baby’s closet. Use the closet as you have it now, without removing any existing clothes bar. Eventually, the baby closet will become the closet of a child and later a teen, if you do not plan on moving, and the child will need that closet bar.
There is no need to install a special baby clothing bar since the bottom half of the closet can be organized in a better way. During the toddler and preschool years consider adding a low clothes bar for the child who is learning to self-dress.
Sort by Size
Sort the baby clothes you have by size: 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2 years, 3 years and beyond. Keep hand-me-downs you may have from family members, sizes 4 and up in clear, plastic storage bins or zippered sweater bags. Create a label on an index card indicating the size. Store these largest items in the back of the closet, or on a top shelf, out of the way of the clothes you currently use.
Remove baby clothes that are too small from the baby’s closet after any growth spurt, rather than letting them take up room in the closet.
Purpose or Season
Organize the clothing by purpose or season once the size piles have been sorted. Dress clothes or fancy clothes should be hung up on hangers. Baby clothes which will be used most of the time should be kept together, including onesies and jumpers.
Separate out seasonal clothing: with shorts and bathing suits for summer, sweaters and long-johns for winter. Fall and spring could include clothes can go together, with long-sleeved shirts and tops that can be layered. Make a pile of everyday clothes with sweatshirts, sweatpants and jeans. Create a pile for pajamas, blankets for swaddling babies, as well as sleeper blankets or sleeping hats.
Place a set of drawers in the closet, with a dresser or plastic drawer bins. An open cart, with four large storage areas is convenient for storing most of baby’s clothes. Use hanging sweater racks made of linen to store baby’s sorted clothes. A fabric shoe organizer is ideal for storing baby’s outfits, as one top and one bottom or one jumper can fit in each slot, with a pair of socks.
Store shoes, boots, rain boots, sandals, slippers and non-slip socks in a shoe organizer, with the current season’s footwear near the top.
Accessories and Bedding
Use baskets to store socks, mittens, gloves, hats and other small clothing items. The baskets may be placed at waist-height, on top of any storage drawers in the closet. Store extra baby accessories, including toys, stuffed animals or games that are not age-appropriate at the top of the closet out of the way. Take them down when the baby reaches the appropriate age for the toy. Use photo storage boxes to store additional small items. Keep one photo box for special clothing items that you’d like to save, including the hat baby wore in the hospital, or his first sports team shirt.
Screw small hooks into the inner door of the closet to hang up hats (baseball hats or fancy holiday hats) that you not want crushed. Belts, scarves and other long accessories can be hung on high hooks, out of baby’s reach.
Keep extra baby linens and blankets tucked safely in old pillowcases you no longer use, a tip from Good Housekeeping’s Carolyn Forte. Having a full set of linens, including a mattress pad stored together will make any late night crib changes more convenient. Stack the pillowcases on a shelf in the closet, or store them in an open basket anywhere in the closet.
Changing and Bathing
Use a set of three plastic drawers to store extra baby bath accessories or changing products including diaper ointment, Q-tips, baby bath soap or baby powder. Having a place to store the surplus will make it easier when you find these items on sale and want to stock up.
Place extra baby bath towels and face cloths in small baskets to keep them neat and accessible. Make up a couple of small baskets ahead of time which contain a towel, a cloth and a change of clothes, for impromptu or urgent baths, after a major food or diaper mishap.