Earlier in the week, I shared the makeover we gave to my son's bedroom, including new paint, curtains, a new bed and a furniture reconfiguration. But another area that we gave a mini-makeover to that I haven't shared with you yet was our son's wardrobe. I love starting with a blank canvas, and thinking about what worked well in its previous state, and what needed to be changed to make it function more effectively. A great closet system that suits your child's abilities and needs can really help foster independence, and keep things looking neat and organised with daily use.
We began with a double wardrobe in this room (you can see how we set it up in this video) but ultimately decided to close up one end so that each of our kids would have a built-in robe in their rooms. This meant my daughter would have her own wardrobe space rather than sharing it with her brother. A must for later down the track! I'll be sharing her wardrobe makeover with you soon too.
With the construction phase complete, we were then able to sit down and plan exactly how to set this space up so our 5 year old could access [almost] everything himself, thus helping to foster his independence. He chooses all his outfits daily, dresses himself, and also helps to put his clean clothes away. So we wanted him to easily be able to reach everything, and know where it all belonged so the wardrobe would remain organised. We did a quick sketch on a notepad before launching in.
Starting with a completely blank canvas is my favourite way to begin any project. I gave the interior of the cupboard a quick coat of paint so it was nice and fresh, as opposed to the yellow colour from before.
For this project, we chose to mix and match individual pieces from this closet system from Bunnings. We used the same system for our own wardrobe, and found it useful because you can customize it and choose how many shelves and hanging rods will best suit your needs. The heights are easily adjustable, which is perfect for littlies who crave independence!
We started with three tracks on the back wall to which the shelves could be attached. To these tracks we attached brackets, all at the same height, which easily slot right into place.
Underneath these brackets, we attached the hanging rod brackets. We decided to create two separate spaces for hanging clothes - one at my son's height so he could easily reach things, and one higher up to hang out-of-season items and coats.
You can see here how it all comes together, with the brackets ready for the shelving and the rod ready to be hung on the hooks. Obviously, the longer the hanging rod, the more brackets you'll need.
The shelf then slots in neatly on top of the brackets.
You can see here how it clicks into place so everything is secure.
You can then slot the rod into place and add stops at the end of the rod to prevent clothes sliding off.
We kept the left of the closet free to hold a wire basket unit we've been using for years. We slid it into place to see how tall it was to work out the placement of the second hanging rod. These units are a great storage solution for kids as the drawers easily slide in and out, and you can see at a glance what belongs where. At some stage, I plan to line the bottom of the drawers with a solid base, such as foam-board, so the drawers are a bit sturdier and the clothes don't get those indentations on them from sitting on top of the wire. But not a big deal at this stage! In the picture below you can also see the brackets for the second hanging rod to the right of the drawer unit. Shoes will line up on the floor beneath the hanging clothes.
The lower hanging rod is perfect for holding shirts, jumpers and jackets. My boy is able to take the items off the hangers and put them back on himself, which is so handy! And everything is in easy reach, which was our ultimate goal.
The upper hanging rod will hold out-of-season clothes and items not worn regularly - still to be filled at this stage. The picture labels on the drawers have been fantastic for helping my son work out where to find different clothing types (and put them away), but I'll be updating the labels soon and will be sure to share the new design with you all!
The top shelf is at the perfect height and depth for a tub holding spare bedding, which I prefer to keep in each bedroom rather than in the linen closet. The box next to the tub holds clothes that the kids have grown out of. When it becomes full, I pass the clothes onto friends or family members. Kids grow out of clothes so quickly that I find this a quick and easy way to stay on top of the clothes clutter build up.
I like having the mix of drawers, open shelving and hanging space in the wardrobe. Everything is neat and contained and has it's own separate area to keep everything organised and within easy reach. As I said, we still have a few updates to make to this whole room, and when we get back into our house and give each room it's final finishing touches, I'll be sure to share them with you!