By Lambeth Hochwald
"Every time I open my child's closet, a tangle of balls, bats, artwork, and clothes comes flying out at me!"
Talk about invasion of the organization snatchers. Once your kids are old enough to dress themselves, the closet situation is bound to go downhill. All you can do is set them up with the right stuff and hope that your brilliant organization tricks will rub off on them. For younger children, install double rods (and provide a stool) so that twice as much can fit into one space. Provide plenty of shelves and cubbies for T-shirts, sweats, and other clothes that can be easily stacked or rolled. And use the floor for shoes, baseball gloves, art supplies—there's a rack, bin, or portable drawer unit that's just right for whatever you most need.
Don't forget the closet door, says Linda Samuels, a certified professional organizer in Westchester, New York, and author of The Other Side of Organized: Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection. "That's an ideal spot for hanging hooks or clear shoe bags for additional storage," she says. "Shoe bags can be used for shoes or accessories such as belts, scarves, tights, or gloves." If there simply is not enough space, set up a "nothing new until you donate 5 things rule." No matter their age, they'll have more space and feel charitable.