The new year is a perfect time to tackle closet organization, both for yourself and your children.  For the little ones, a well-organized closet makes it easier to get them dressed, helps you sort through the clothing that they may have out-grown and becomes a charming aspect to their room when merchandised and displayed properly.  We thought we would bring in an expert to help inspire some major closet reorganization, so we spoke with Melanie Fascitelli, the founder and owner of Clos-ette.  A mother herself, Melanie is considered ‘”the closet organizer to the stars…the absolute guru in designing and building custom closets and dressing rooms.”  Melanie also started a website, Clos-ette Too with incredible (and chic!) organizational products and is also the author of the book  “Shop Your Closet: The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Closet With Style.”  Without further ado, Melanie shares some insight on the subject of organizing your children’s closets:

CC: Tell us a little about what you do with Clos-ette:

MF: When I founded Clos-ette, I was looking for an organizational solution for closets and dressing rooms and wanted my business to be one-stop shopping for these services. Currently, we design and build amazing dressing rooms, jewelry rooms/safe rooms and vanities; It’s a process that is unique to these spaces which we’ve developed over the last ten years.  This concept also applies to children’s closets, because a well-organized closet makes dressing your children an easy and fun process. It also saves tons of time!

CC: What are the must-have items in a nursery or toddlers closet?

My number one suggestion is to invest in adjustable rod heights for all stages of growth. We have a line of hardware called Clos-ette by nanz closet hardware which is perfect for this.  One of the pieces we designed is a peg wall (an architectural structure with a series of removeable hooks) which is great to use for storing hats, accessories such as jewelry headbands, bows and even sweaters. Finally, having all the same color and style of hanger is a great thing to clean up any child’s closet.  Clos-ette Too is coming out with complete replication of our regular line of hangers but in baby and child sizes, and will be sold on our website and at Neiman Marcus!

CC: Is there a strategy you recommend when setting up a child’s closet or attempting a reorganization?

MF: I always think its best to begin with an inventory.  Then, start by buying all matching children’s size hangers.  Its also a good idea to invest in some baskets. Wisteria has lovely soft baskets which I love to use for storing toys, and for laundry or blankets.

CC: Any advice for how to store clothing that children outgrow but parents want to save for their next?

MF: I use the plastic storage boxes from The Container Store.  A label maker is a necessity in any well-organized home, and its useful to label each storage box according to age and gender.  Begin by sorting through the clothing and donate the pieces that look tired but save the items that you will want to use again, even socks are a great thing to save so there is no need to buy second time around! Clothing should be clean and free of stains before storing.  I prefer using a hand steamer rather than an iron; it’s faster and easy to do while clothes are on the hanger.  Another idea is to store clothing with our lavender sweater folding boards to keep clothing fresh; lavender is also a natural antiseptic and very aromatic.

CC: We love a beautiful, well-merchandized closet, but with children, often the closet gets filled with toys, books and items in addition to clothing.  Any ideas for how to make it all work together?  

MF: children’s closets to me are all about baskets, bins and hanging…lots of things that your child uses on a daily basis.  Your child’s closet should be playful and flexible but still well-curated and edited!