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Simple Kid’s Dresser

Yesterday, I talked about the frustration those of us parents share with clothing chaos in our kids’ rooms.  If you haven’t read it yet, go here.

I want to share some ideas with you, all of which I implement in my home, that will hopefully help with the clothing storage messes.

Now please be aware I only have boys and boy clothing issues here, so I am planning on doing a “Part 2” with a friend for ideas on girls’ clothes and accessories!

We recently started redoing my 3 year old’s room, which included selling the existing furniture (it was time for the baby stuff to go).  In the transition while my child was without a dresser, I stored his clothing on shelves in his closet.

And it didn’t go so well.  That above picture is proof enough ;).  There is a way to make shelves work, but I’m going to focus on dressers today.

I bought a dresser off of Craigslist and painted it.  Benjamin Moore has a paint called “Advanced, Self-Leveling” that I will always use for furniture.  It really goes on well and does not show brush strokes!

Look at the detail of this dresser; I adore the character and decided to keep the original pulls


The dresser you choose has everything to do with setting your child up for success.  I have some tips in what to look for when choosing one, and you can implement these with what you have as well.

1.  Your child should be able to reach and see the contents in the top drawer.  If the top drawer is too high, keep a stool nearby.  Or use the top drawer for items you don’t want your child to have access to if you have a very little one!


2.  Dressers with small, divided drawers at the top make a great spot for small items like underwear, socks, pajamas.


3.  My kids typically wear only pajama bottoms to sleep in.  I decided to try separating pants and bottoms.  To make it easy on my 3 year old to match his, I put the shirts in the same order as the bottoms and put them right behind the stack.  Now, I would be crazy to think it will always work! And I think its cute and creative when they mix up the pants and shirts.  But this was to make it easy on him (as he likes to pick the correct shirt out!)


Here’s my drawer of bathing suits and rash guards. I don’t mind having a lot of these because we have a pool and live 10 minutes from the beach.


4.  Now onto shirts/shorts.  I pair them together for my kids.  Shirts on top, shorts on the bottom.  They can make a decision about what they want to wear, but there are not so many choices about “what goes with what.”  And there’s a lot less pulling things out and stuffing them back in.  And, if we are going out somewhere they will match (although I am not ashamed to take out my children in mix-matched clothes if that’s what they really want!).  I actually tried separating tops and bottoms at the beginning of the season with my older two, and they ended up wanting me to go back to putting them together.


5.  Dressers with shallow drawers are GREAT for kids and really cut down on the balling up messes.  I have 2 drawers of outfits in this dresser, and just 2 outfits stacked together in each row.


6.  Extra shirts  I put in the closet on a shelf. (I had a few, these are good for when their shirts get wet or dirty – which happens most days!)


7.  This is a tip I say over and over: DO NOT overstuff the drawers.  Think about how much clothing your child actually needs.  How often do you do laundry?  How much clothing is left in the drawers as you’re putting laundry away?  It is so easy to get overrun with kids’ clothing, especially when you get hand-me-downs.  But sometimes the simplest solution is to downsize.

8.  Lastly, work with your child on this.  That is the MOST important thing to remember.  Sometimes we are so busy, we don’t get on our child’s level and teach them simple things like how to put their clothes away.  They really love responsibility. I spent time talking with my 3 year old, making sure he understood where everything was and that he could choose a shirt and shorts that were already paired.  He LOVED this.  He is excited to know he’s in charge of his dresser.  And guess what, its almost been a week and things are still looking good.

I hope this encourages and inspires you today!

Thanks for reading,


Get Organized.  Simply Live.

Organizing Kids’ Clothing

Raise your hand if your kids’ dressers look like this right now.

Or this:


I concur with how frustrating it can be as a parent to carefully fold and put away all of the children’s laundry, only to have it oozing out of the drawers the next day.  Balled up and thrown in.  Or maybe thrown on the floor.

We start with this


And turn it into this.  Oh beautiful neatly folded clothes!


And as we take them to be put away, we open the closet and find that someone has done this to the clothes we so neatly folded a couple days ago


In finding this challenge time after time with all 3 of my children, I decided it was time to do something about it, or just stop folding their laundry.  Though the latter was tempting, my desire to teach my children to take care of their possessions is greater.  The habits we make as children transfer into our adulthood, whether we like it or not.

Tomorrow I will be sharing another blogpost on the changes I’ve made and the strategy I am implementing at my house to help with this clothing issue.  I’m going to give you simple tips that will hopefully lighten your load and help you gain back your sanity :)

Check back tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,


Get Organized. Simply Live.


July 24, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Simple Kid’s Dresser » Simple Spaces - […] Yesterday, I talked about the frustration those of us parents share with clothing chaos in our kids’ rooms.  If you haven’t read it yet, go here. […]

Home Staging

A whole new exciting experience has recently opened for me:  Staging.

Home staging is actually one of the things that provoked me to be more organized myself, and then to pursue helping others as a profession.  My husband and I sold our first home two years ago, and we learned a lot about staging.  A professional stager came and made suggestions – we did everything she said (even painting the front door a color I couldn’t live with), and our home was under contract in less than 10 days.

Staging works.

I was recently invited to assist in staging “flip” homes.  Hall Stewardship Solutions, LLC  is the name of the business, and let me tell you… they do incredible work on their rehab!  And their homes sell fast.

So if you are thinking of selling in the near future, my advice to you is this.  Invest in staging your home.  Hire a professional to help.  Take their advice (even if you don’t like it).  Remember, you’re trying to make your home appealing for someone else to live there.  Professionals are trained in knowing what is pleasing to most buyers.  I know of an excellent realtor in Wilmington who includes staging in his package.

PS.  Remember how I said staging our previous home propelled me into being more organized?  After I was forced to rid the home of all the clutter and make it beautiful, it felt so good that we resolved to live like that in our new place!  And so we have.  Not perfect.  But everything has a home that is not the kitchen counter or some other available surface.    It feels good.

Thanks for reading,


Get Organized.  Simply Live.

Simple Closet Part II

I know I’ve left you hanging a couple weeks after my first reveal of my closet redo.   I first shared with you how I organized my clothing.  If you haven’t seen the first part, go here.

I didn’t share last week because I was waiting on a store to get in more boxes I used on my shelving.  They are not available online and I cannot order them straight from the warehouse (yes I have bugged these people a lot!). Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.  But the good news is, I have looked in SEVERAL stores and I know that these are exactly what I want!  So its worth the wait.

I’ll do the reveal without all my boxes, and then definitely give you an update when the new ones come in!

First, let me remind you of what the shelves looked like before:

Not very inviting, and it kept causing me to just throw more “stuff” on there.  I actually found a box that has not been unpacked since we moved in 2 years ago.  This is sad people.  Its a box of old journals and I think I just didn’t know what to do with them at the time.  Ignoring them wasn’t the answer though!


And I had 6 pair of slippers.  They are all cute.  But… Okay really, why would I need 6 pair?  I resolved to put one in the guest room, put 2 for yard sale, and I kept 3.  So I reduced it by half!


So here’s what else I did.  I relocated a lot of items that didn’t need to be in the closet.  Set some things aside for donating.  Everything got assigned a home.  Then, I found these storage boxes at Target, and decided to use the file sized one for larger items (like my journals that I want to keep!).  The smaller ones I will be using for photos and to group together smaller items.


Now look at the shelves (pre-pretty boxes). When I add the boxes in everything on that first shelf will be contained, minus our wedding album.


Other views:



As for shoes, I must say my shelf shows I am a minimalist in this sense.  I even got rid of some in this process because they didn’t fit right or they were ugly!  Believe me, I’d love to have more.  I’m just pretty picky.  I keep tennis shoes and flip flops downstairs in my mudroom.


It feels good and my closet is staying clean!  I’m so excited that I found some cute, reasonable, matching boxes for the shelves.  And they are perfectly functional for the size/type of items for which I need them.  I can’t wait to share when I have them all!  As for what I’m going to do with the empty shelves, I am thinking save up and buy some more shoes :)  And there’s room for more accessories!

Thanks for reading!


Get Organized.  Simply Live.

September 25, 2013 - 3:33 pm

Organizing Photos » Simple Spaces - […] you can see when you read my Simple Closet Part II post, I found some GREAT boxes in the stationary section at Target.  These are desktop organizers, […]

Simple Closet Part I

I am excited (and a little nervous!) to share my master closet with you this week.  Since my clients are brave enough and willing to open their doors to me, I’m going to step out and be vulnerable too!  I will share this project over 2 posts because I have so many pictures!  In our bedroom we are fortunate enough to have two walk-in closets.  For years we were used to sharing one small closet, so this has been a nice adjustment.

Both of our closets have gotten out of hand because we failed to “plan” for them.  I take that back, we put everything in place 2 years ago, but as time has gone on and as our clothing, shoes, etc have changed, we have not adjusted the plan.  It is important to evaluate and adjust regularly in any space!

So let me show you what it looked like when I opened the door:

I managed to change out seasonal clothes for everyone except myself a few months ago, so I had a couple boxes on the floor from that.  And since clutter attracts clutter, well lets just say sometimes my clothes didn’t make it back to the hangers (or shoes to the shelf).

Here’s a close-up of the floor:


Okay so you get the point!  I actually do not have a ton of clothes and shoes, so going through the racks wasn’t hard. I guess I’m a minimalist in that sense.  I only keep in my closet what I wear.  I’d rather have a half-full rack of stuff I LOVE, then a closet bursting at the seams with “stuff.”  And if it is out-dated, ugly, or doesn’t fit right, I don’t keep it.  I regularly get rid of stuff.  Keeping clothes we don’t wear wastes space and takes away from the good ones.  You need to look at your choice of clothing and get excited!

So what I did first was pull my “Spring/Summer” box out of my closet and switch those with the “Fall/Winter” in my dresser.  So, I had to reorganize my dresser as well, which I didn’t mind!  All my “Fall/Winter” dresser clothing fit into this box here, ready to go on a shelf at the top of the closet:


Then, I started working on my hanging clothes.  Top to bottom, left to right.  I pulled out any empty hangers, and I put all my clothes on hangers that were either white or clear.  I already had a pile of clothes started for clothes swap/yard, so I added to that anything I found that I no longer wear.


So let me show you the difference it made to simply switch the hangers and rearrange my clothes.  My tops were already separated into Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, but I organized each group by color and put the Fall/Winter tops in the back.  There are tons of ways to do it, but this works well for me.  I did the same with dresses, which hang on the single rack in the back of the closet.


As for pants/skirts/etc: I got rid of a few things and just switched the hangers and rearranged.  Ps, that’s my sealed wedding dress & shoes in the back corner!


Looking good right?!  I hope you feel inspired to jump into reorganizing yours!  If you want to see more, check back next week where I’ll talk about and reveal pictures of the shelves.

I’d love to hear from you!  Share the method that works for you on arranging your hanging clothes!

Thanks for reading!


Get Organized.  Simply Live.

June 26, 2013 - 7:21 pm

Janis Morris - I am blown away by the empty shelf in the before picture. How in the world did you have an empty shelf? I have cleaned out and cleaned out, and I never have an empty space anywhere, lol.

June 27, 2013 - 7:15 am

Simple Spaces - I just don’t have a lot of things! And this closet was a huge move up from the one I shared before with my husband. Wait until you see the “after” shelves next week – I have a few empty shelves!!!

July 9, 2013 - 7:37 am

Simple Closet Part II » Simple Spaces - […] I know I’ve left you hanging a couple weeks after my first reveal of my closet redo.   I first shared with you how I organized my clothing.  If you haven’t seen the first part, go here. […]

September 10, 2013 - 10:16 am

Organizing Photos » Simple Spaces - […] cleaned out my master closet a couple months ago.  Go here to read the post I wrote on it, I shared pictures of my mess!  While cleaning it out, I found a […]

October 8, 2013 - 8:59 am

Man’s Closet Makeover Part I » Simple Spaces - […] My husband and I are fortunate to have his/hers closets in our master bedroom.  We only have one dresser that holds some of my clothing, so all of his clothing (including socks & underwear) goes here.  His closet has gotten away from him (just like mine did if you remember that post! Read it here if you haven’t). […]