Organizing Tips for the Nursery Closet on a Budget



Budget Nursery Closet Tips | The Cup of Tea blog

I’ve been really excited to share this with you! (despite my “stellar” photography skills) I’m pretty proud of my daughter’s nursery closet.  It’s very functional and tidy!  And easy to find what I need.

When I was getting our nursery ready for our little one, I researched and researched how to organize all that tiny stuff.  I watched videos on YouTube, read multiple blogs, and noticed the typical ways parents organized their newborn’s closet: either 1) install a closet organization system, 2) slide a dresser into the closet (cute idea!), or 3) purchase some hanging organizers.

Hanging organizers made the most sense to me.  I didn’t want to spend the money on a closet organization system for a baby’s needs, when a toddler or small child may have different needs.  And sliding a dresser into the closet didn’t make sense in our shallow closet.

I wanted some pretty hanging organizers in a print, and I found these adorable toile patterned ones from IKEA.  There were 7 compartments, as well as little pouches on the outside.  I purchased 2 hanging organizers, as well as 2 sets of matching collapsable drawers.  I also found a set of 2 large lidded storage containers.  In total, it cost me $75.

I am IN LOVE with these hanging organizers! I love having the closet doors open so I can look at them! 🙂

So, here’s an overall look at my daughter’s closet.  It’s functional, and looks tidy (most of the time).

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So let me talk you through how I have everything organized in the closet.  Below is a side-by-side look at the 2 hanging organizers.  The left organizer is full of the collapsable drawers.  It stores most of my daughter’s clothes.  The right side holds spare clothes dividers (you’ll see that in a second), sun hats, sleep blankets, sweaters, and swaddle/receiving blankets.

You may think the drawers are small, but it ensures we can’t go overboard on clothes 🙂

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Here are a few pictures of close up detail!  The hanging organizers have 3 little pouches on the exterior.  At first, I had NO idea what to use them for.  But then I discovered that they were the perfect size for little shoes.  One other little pouch is dedicated to Target bags for travel laundry bags.

And then, the labels! I made the labels myself, cutting out squares of cardstock and using a lattice-style paper punch I already had to add the cut detail.  Then I cut some brown ribbon that I happened to have on hand to tie little bows.  Easy!  And free 🙂  I have some spare labels and ribbons stashed in an empty storage drawer.20140529-101221-36741898.jpg

We have hanging space for clothes in between the 2 hanging organizers, as well as to the left and right of the organizers.  In the center, between the organizers, hang current dresses/outfits that we use on a regular basis.

In the below picture, I have close up shots of the other hanging spaces.  To the left of the hanging organizers are the puffy fancy dresses that need more hanging space.  We also keep spare hangers on that side.  To the right of the hanging organizers are where we keep clothes our daughter has yet to grow into.  This was KEY in the beginning.  We got lots of clothes as gifts and, thankfully, received clothes in multiple sizes.  I purchased these clothes dividers on Amazon for $5.00!

My favorite organizing moment in this entire closet is that picture on the right of the blue dress.  In the beginning, my husband had a hard time finding clothes to dress our daughter.  He had her in floral on floral one day 🙂  I needed to find a way to keep all outfit components together so it would be easier for him.  I ran out to Target and found these child hangers and individual pant clips.  I just stuck one pant clip on a hanger, which was perfect to hang a pair of baby pants, tights or diaper cover.  Then over top was the matching shirt, dress, sweater, etc.  So all my husband had to do was grab one hanger, and all the outfit items were together.  Genius!20140529-101221-36741348.jpg

On to floor storage.  I don’t like much on the floor of the closet so that I can clean easier.  But it was essential to have a few things sitting on the floor.

On the left side, just sticking out, is the pack-n-play.  We use it often, so it doesn’t make sense putting it in long term storage in the attic.

Then we have a small teal laundry basket that we use as a hamper.  Pretty cheap and cheerful!  There are certainly prettier, cuter hampers out there, but I wanted one that could double as a hamper and laundry basket.  Target currently isn’t selling this basket, but keep your eyes peeled when the college, back-to-school items pop up.

I have one of the IKEA lidded storage containers on the floor as well. I use this one for clothes that our daughter has outgrown.  Which brings me to the large bins!  I’ve just gone through the IKEA storage container and removed all the 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes our daughter had outgrown and am starting to sort and store for the long term.  Those bins are temporary (thank goodness).20140529-101220-36740776.jpg

Finally, the top shelf.  It doesn’t hold much right now, and most of it is “what are we going to do with it?” items.  And it’s not all that exciting.  On the left side is a IKEA lidded storage container with afghans we received as gifts.  I also have a few keepsake items.  Can you see her humidifier?


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On the right side of the top shelf is a box full of first aide type items.  I need to purchase a large clear tote or some clear drawers to store these items. But that’s to come!  And in the far back corner is a stack of my husband’s old Hardy Boys book collection.  They’ll eventually come out when our daughter is a little older!20140529-101224-36744142.jpg

And that’s the little tour! Hopefully there were some helpful tips for you!  I really don’t think that when you’re prepping a nursery closet that you need to put in a high-end custom closet, or need to fill it with expensive bits and bobs. To be honest, what the baby needs in the first year may be completely different after that first year, so flexible storage is key!

If I had more moolah, I’d by some more IKEA lidded storage containers to stash the top shelf items and spare hangers.  That would make everything look cleaner, and shoot!  Prettier to look at 🙂  Good luck organizing your nursery closet!  It’s such fun!

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Wardrobe Refresh: Reorganize

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Here we go again!  Ready to tackle that pesky closet.  It’s on to Step 2!

If you’re new in town, and have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, read my first Wardrobe Refresh post, and then take a peek at my follow up post, all about Editing!

Anyway, back to the task at hand.  It’s now time to show you what I’ve been up to when it comes to reorganizing my closet. This is all the items I’ve decided to keep after my Editing step.  And, really, it’s not a HUGE overhaul.  There aren’t new closet organizers, or even fancy wall color.  Just putting things back neatly.  It’s something you can tackle in an afternoon!

To remind you (be brave, Katie), here’s a before shot of my closet.

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Yikes!  I just noticed the fine shot you got of our dirty clothes hanging out of the basket!  Well done, me.  Way to photograph.  But you can quickly see my problems.  The shelves are all completely jumbled.  I’ve got hangers EVERYWHERE!  And that pile of clothes on the shelves was clothes to purge, pre-editing step.

So, let’s get organizing!

First up is my scarf collection.  I had them all jumbled up on a shelf, with more treasures buried underneath.  There was no way I could find exactly what I needed, OR actually find all the scarves I had.

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First, I purchased a scarf organizer online, in the Pearl Champagne color.  We’ll see if it’s effective/worth it, but it wasn’t too expensive, so I figured it was worth a try.  It holds 18 scarves, which is a plus!

Getting them all organized was pretty simple. I just grabbed them all, plopped them on my bed, laid them all out by type, then put them on the hanger!  I, thankfully, have 15 scarves.  *Phew

I put the heaviest scarves in the bottom loops, followed by lighter scarves, and then silk.  I forgot I owned some of them.  20140429-122505.jpg

So, Before/After!  I have them hanging by the door, so I can grab what I need as I head out.  It’s mingling dangerously with my husband’s dress shirts… Hopefully he won’t mind.20140429-122530.jpg

Another project that had to be tackled were my belts.  I’m not a belt wearer, so I wasn’t sure why I had so many!  Several of the skinny belts were from dresses that came with them, but other than that, I just don’t wear belts.  So I quickly edited the collection down to just one casual, wider brown belt, one skinny belt in brown and one in black, and then the remaining belts that went with a dress.20140429-122548.jpg

So after the scarf/belt tidying activity, I was left with a pretty clean corner.  You’ll see the bottom of the scarves hanging in the below After pic.  I also added a small basket for my gloves and a random Duke hat.  Then the small little khaki cube are the belts.  Below that in the brown box are spare buttons from clothes.20140429-122611.jpg

And now, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of why you should have an organized closet.  I found this little pink box under the scarf pile.  I couldn’t remember what I had packed in there… when I opened it up, it was like Sephora exploded!  TONS of travel sized items from Aveda and Molton Brown, plus two compacts, eye liners, lipsticks galor, brushes, perfume, and eye makeup remover from Estee Lauder.  Um… score!

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Ok, excitement over.

On to a few mini projects.

First up, my handbags.  I love handbags!  But, alas, I’ve been carrying just diaper bags recently.  It’s just more practical.  But I do have a nice, edited handbag collection.  I just needed to get them all back in their dust protectors and put away neatly.

Before/After!20140429-122655.jpg

Then a few last to-dos.  I needed to get our out-of-season sweaters out of our dresser drawers (for space!) and into the closet.  So I grabbed two of these lidded storage cubes in Jumbo (I already own quite a few for our linen closet and love them!) and tucked my sweaters in one, and hubby’s sweaters in another.  I tucked the cubes on a top shelf, out of the way.

Next up was just making sure my shoes were tidy (easy!).

Finally, it’s hard to tell in the picture, but I hung all of my clothes on skinny velvet hangers (like these!) instead of large wooden hangers.  I loved our wooden hangers (got some from Costco), but, for my clothes, it just was overkill.  I saved quite a bit of space switching them out.  BUT now I have a large excess of wooden hangers.  #firstworldproblems20140429-122717.jpg

So that’s it!  I did a quick tidy of our dresser drawers, but everything is back all nice and neat.  20140429-122740.jpgI’ll be honest – I’m glad that’s done!  Our closet looks bigger now.  And I have some space for more clothes!!!!!

Kidding.

Last up in the Wardrobe Refresh – time to find new outfits.

I’m not looking forward to this one.  I think this will be hard!  I’m basically going to shop my closet and discover the MANY outfits I know exist in there.  I am currently scouring Pinterest (take a peek at my board where I’m gathering ideas) for outfit inspiration.  Anyway, be on the lookout for that post in a few weeks.

So how’s your closet looking??  Is it in need of a scrub-a-dubdub?  Have you blogged about something similar?  Let me know, and I’ll swing by!  I’d love to see what you are doing!

 

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Wardrobe Refresh: Edit

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Wait, what’s that?  You’ve been waiting for an update to my Wardrobe Refresh post a few weeks ago?

My bad!

If you need a refresher, I wrote about how I was desperate to go through my closet and do some purging and reorganizing.  I typically do this twice a year.  And when I do, I do the following:

1. Edit – go through my existing clothes and decide to either Keep, Toss or Donate.  And I’m ruthless!

2. Reorganize – put the “Keeps” back neatly and smartly, and figure out what I need to tackle those remaining piles.

3. Find new outfits – sort through the final wardrobe and figure out what outfits I have, and what pieces I need to fill in the gaps.

This week, I’ve tackled #1!  And I thought I would share my steps.

So, let me show you what I’m working with… below is my closet.

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Gross, right?  We’ve actually got a lot of space in there, but you wouldn’t know it from the jumble of hangers, clothes, etc.  (Side note – that bear… it was a Valentine’s day present from my husband (at the time, boyfriend), and he gave it to me RIGHT after I declared my hatred for romantic stuffed animal gifts.  Poor husband! And I don’t have the heart to get rid of the “Gangster of Love“.)

So, I basically tried on EVERYTHING I owned, and if it didn’t fit, had a funny stain, or I didn’t love it anymore, it went in the Bye Bye pile.  This applied to my closet, as well as my dresser drawers.  What I didn’t want anymore went into two piles – Donate and Toss.  The Donates go into a laundry basket, and the Toss went into a pile to be… well… tossed.

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Basic common courtesy of donation is donate things that YOU would buy at a shop.  In other words, if it has a rip, stain, or is damaged in other ways, put it in the toss pile!  Be nice!  Make sure the items are also clean. Again, common courtesy.

I had to do something different that I hadn’t done before with my clothes donations – I needed to itemize for tax purposes.  At least, that’s what Hubby told me.

Don’t ask me why.

Anyway, that basically means I had to make a correct count of exactly what I was donating, and then as for a receipt when I drop off those donations.

So I just took all my donations and then neatly folded and stacked the clothes, by category.

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It helps if you have a helper.  (I couldn’t resist!)

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Once neatly stacked, I then took each category and counted the items, then made a note of it.

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Yes, a graph paper notepad.  Sticky notes, to be precise!  Aren’t they awesome???!!!

And then, the FINAL step is packing up everything to go to the donation center.  For this, I just used Trader Joe’s shopping bags.  I put each category into it’s own bag, for easy identifying. And then the final FINAL step was typing up my graph paper list to take with me to drop off. Plus, then we could pair the receipt and the paper together, in case we need it for tax purposes (*shudder).

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Badabing, badaboom!!  My closet and dresser feel lighter already!

Actually, now that everything looks like a disaster zone, I need to get on with Step 2 and put everything away neatly!!!  Can’t wait to show you before/after pictures next week! Yay!

Wardrobe Refresh

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Every time it’s time to swap out the seasonal clothes, I take the opportunity to cleanse and refresh my clothes.  Not just reorganize my closet and dresser (although, it desperately needs it!), but take stock of what I don’t wear anymore, what doesn’t fit, and what I’m just not loving.  I am actually pretty good at that.  And it’s that time of year.

I’ve been seeking inspiration on Pinterest, and pinning some ideas here on a board.  Some organization ideas, as well as style.  PLUS I’m drooling over one day having a custom closet.

It’s a big project coming up, and may have our room look like a disaster zone while in progress.  When I’m getting ready to cleanse my closet, I do the following:

1. Edit – go through my existing clothes and decide to either Keep, Toss or Donate.  And I’m ruthless!

2. Reorganize – put the “Keeps” back neatly and smartly, and figure out what I need to tackle those remaining piles.

3. Find new outfits – sort through the final wardrobe and figure out what outfits I have, and what pieces I need to fill in the gaps.

Nothing novel there.  It’s pretty much the same process everyone tells you to do.

This time, however, I find myself getting ready to do a closet cleanse and refresh, and debating what to do with my “previous life” clothes.  The suits, structured dresses, dry clean only tops… as a Stay at Home Mom, keeping them just doesn’t make sense!  I still love to get dressed up, and don’t plan on getting rid of ALL my nice clothes, but do I really need 5 suits?

But, I’m having a hard time letting go.

And I’m normally not like that.

Are you like me?  Either getting ready to or desperately need to do a closet reorg?  Or, have you already done it? (Lucky you!!!)

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be wading through each step.  And I’ll share what I’m doing.  I don’t claim to be a genius professional organizer, or an awesome stylist.  Just someone who hates clutter and piles.  And I love to get rid of things.

Except those 5 suits… I may just keep those.