How to Teach Children to Organize Their Closet

Do you want your child to be independent when it comes to getting dressed? Here's how to teach children how to organize their closet.
How to Teach Children to Organize Their Closet
Mara Amor López

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Written by Mara Amor López

Last update: 27 December, 2022

With the arrival of the new season, we face the dreaded switching out of clothes. And if the task involves the clothes of the whole family, the battle becomes quite uphill. But also, it can open a window for us to instill a new learning experience in our children. So, if we want to encourage children’s autonomy when it comes to choosing their clothes and getting dressed, we can start by teaching them how to organize their closet.

Incorporating the habit of tidiness from childhood is very beneficial for life and also helps simplify everyday tasks. When everything is stored in its place, it’s much easier to find what we’re looking for. Therefore, if we teach children to arrange their clothes in the closet, it’ll be easier for them to choose what to wear and dress themselves independently.

Here are some tricks to organize this area. Keep reading!

How to organize their closet in order to have everything in sight

For a child to have no problems in locating their clothes, it’s important that they’re organized and arranged within reach. To achieve this, their closet has to meet a few requirements:

  • Have drawers or shelves at the bottom.
  • Have a bar in the middle, so that the little ones can reach the hangers more easily.
  • Replace high drawers with smaller, lower ones. If possible, make them transparent or mesh to allow them to see what’s inside.
  • Put themed stickers on drawers so they know where to find everything.
A boy folding jeans to put in his closet.
To begin instilling organizing, it’s key that the space is suitable for children to use. Anything that’s out of reach will keep them from developing autonomously.

Teach them to fold and hang clothes

Teaching them to fold and hang clothes is one of the first tasks that we must teach children because if they’re not able to do this, the tips to organize their closet will be of little use. Although it’s not an easy task, especially for little ones, with patience and practice, they’ll learn to do it better and better. To teach them to fold their clothes we can follow different techniques, including Marie Kondo‘s, who suggests arranging clothes vertically to save space and locate them easily.

Classify clothes by categories

Another thing to teach children is to classify their clothes by categories. This way, it’ll be easier for them to find the exact place where the garment they want to wear is located. For example, assign a drawer or shelf for T-shirts, another one for underwear, another one for sweaters, another one for pants, and so on. It’s important to stress the importance of not mixing categories and always putting each garment in the right place. This way of organizing clothes is more visual and easier for the little ones to assimilate.

Organize the closet according to the children’s body scheme

When your children start to dress themselves, it’s likely that they’ll do it following their body scheme. First underwear, then bottoms, then tops, and finally, shoes and accessories.

If you use this scheme to teach children how to organize their closet, it’ll be much easier for them to find the clothes they want. So, the best thing to do is to use the following suggestions:

  • Place underwear in the lowest drawers of the closet.
  • Place pants, skirts, and lower garments on shelves, hangers, or in middle drawers.
  • Use the highest shelves for upper body clothing, but make sure everything is always within reach.
  • Leave shoes in some baskets or boxes inside the closet or in another place destined for this purpose, such as a shoe rack.
A grandmother helping a small child organizer her closet.
When you organize a child’s closet, ask them to help you choose where to place each type of garment. This way, they’ll be able to follow an order according to their preferences and possibilities.

Don’t forget the accessories!

Summer accessories (sunglasses, hats) and winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves) are clothes that children can forget to wear.

As they’re usually put on when leaving the house and removed when entering, we can place them in boxes or in a hallway cabinet in the living room. Also, we can leave them on a coat rack intended for coats or jackets–just make sure your children can reach their things. This way, everyone will save time picking up and tidying up the clothes and you’ll encourage organization in the home.

Set an example and be patient

When we teach children to cooperate with housework, we must make an effort to trust them and not demand too much of them. We mustn’t forget that they’re children and that we can’t expect them to do what we don’t even do ourselves. Who hasn’t left a piece of clothing on the sofa at home or anywhere else at some time? That’s why it’s important for parents to set an example of what we ask of our children and to be consistent with them.

Also, keep in mind that teaching them to tidy up won’ happen overnight but will require daily patience and perseverance.

Even if they don’t do it right the first time or even if there are times when their closet is chaos, we must be patient and remind them all the time how to do it. That way, little by little, they’ll internalize the habit and develop their responsibility and autonomy.

Love, patience, a good example, and time will be your allies when it comes to getting your child to learn to organize their closet.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Vallet, M. (2007). Educar a niños y niñas de 0 a 6 años. WK Educación.
  • Kondo, M. (2015). La magia del orden: Herramientas para ordenar tu casa… y tu vida. Aguilar.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.