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Oh no, the baby nursery is going to eat my reach in closet!

How to declutter, design and decorate your nursery baby closet

How exciting, a new baby is on the way. So things are a bit crazy and you’re a tad nervous (OK you’re beyond a tad nervous!). The hand me down clothing from the “fam” is pouring in (some you want – some you’re taking because you don’t want to hurt their feelings) and you’ve been “showered” with so much stuff. Now you’ve GOT TO get this nursery room and closet pulled together. The challenge is – where are you going to put all this stuff? What are you going to do with all the clothes you already have jammed into what used to be the spare bedroom closet?

The situation above was exactly what was facing a customer of our Columbus custom closet biz (and I’m sure this scene IS NOT specific to Central Ohio!). I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There’s 3 practical (and actually a little fun) ways to tackle this challenge head on. It’s to get your arms around the 3 D’s of nursery closet storage. They are declutter, design and decorate.

'Use 3 D's - declutter, design and decorate - for your baby nursery #closet.' Click To TweetLet’s check them out now – before the baby gets here!

The first “D” – Declutter the stuff in your “spare” bedroom closet first

 It used to be all about you, but now it’s all about the baby. But before you can think about the baby (and his/her nursery closet storage) you have to first put the focus on you and determine what should you do with your stuff that’s in the spare closet (soon to become your babies’ closet). If the process of discarding and decluttering your closet makes you sick get help from a professional organizer. They can lead you through the process.

Here’s the things you’ll need to do to successfully declutter and reoganize your things:

  • Donate or discard – What are you not wearing or just doesn’t fit? As Johniee Cochran might have said if he was a professional organizer, “If they don’t fit you must acquit!” Refuse to move items which are unlikely to ever see the light of day.
  • Find a new home – Can your long dresses, evening gowns and seasonal coats find another home within your home? Maybe these infrequently worn things can go into a hall closet? Put your frequently used things in your master closet.
  • Check out the “bones” of your master closet – If your master closet is already exploding at the seams it’s probably because it wasn’t made right to work for you (or anyone else for that matter). You know why? Most builders treat closets as an afterthought. They use the cheapest and fewest materials (usually a single rod and shelf across the top) the market will let them get away with. If your master closet suffers from the “structural problem” above get some advice on professional organization blogs or call out a closet designer to get this figured out for you.   

A builders grade low cost closet with wire shelving

The second “D” – Design the baby nursery closet

 Now that you’ve got a game plan to declutter and reorganize your remaining clothes in other closets or storage it’s time to develop a “flex plan” for your new baby’s closet. What is a flex plan? It’s a closet plan which will grow (and work) with your baby as they grow into a child and then (dare I say it) a teen. Here’s 5 strategies to make your investment in a flexible closet pay off:

  •  Strategy 1 – Multiply those closet rods – A single wardrobe rod at the top of the closet makes little sense for an adult – and for a small baby it’s ridiculous.
    'A single wardrobe rod is ridiculous for a baby. Use triple hang sections for 3x the #storage.' Click To TweetHanging a 1 ½’ long piece of clothing on a rod which is 5’ off the ground creates 3 ½’ below the rod of wasted space. Create triple hanging space with 3 rods to triple what you can hang. When you child gets larger – and the clothes are longer – take out one of the rods and you’ll have double hanging space. With a flexible closet organization system, with spacing holes on the side, this is easy to do.

A custom nursery closet with 3 clothing rods to maximize the storage for the baby.

  • Strategy 2 – Make it Mom friendly – Do you sometimes wish you had your spouse or significant others height to reach things (and when your reach in closet is shallow it’s darn near impossible to get to the top shelf). Design the nursery closet with shelving at the top which is not as deep as the lower shelves. This will make it easier to put blankets and other light items on top. 14” deep shelving works well for the lower portion and 12” deep can be perfect for the top.

Custom reach in closet with shelves at different depths to make it easy to reach the top shelf for storage.

  •  Strategy 3 – Make it kid friendly – As your baby grows into a small child they’ll want to be able to get to their own toys (which you’ll hopefully be able to teach them to put away) and favorite clothes. Adding a basket and a set of drawers which are firmly mounted to the wall will keep them safe and give them the ability to help you out by getting themselves ready in the morning.

Closet pull out baskets for storage of balls and games for a kids closet in Columbus Ohio.

  •  Strategy 4 – Round off the edges – Safety is obviously a huge concern (my “little girl” just turned 14 years old and my concern for her safety never stops!). Sharp edges in your kids’ closet should be avoided like the plague. What’s nice with laminate closet systems is you can get rounded edges for the vertical support panels.

The round edges on this vertical custom closet support panel make the closet safer for small children if they were to fall.

  •  Strategy 5 – Install a wine rack – OK – just kidding! On occasion with those sleepless nights a wine rack might sound good. Ha! ha!

The third “D” – Decorate your nursery closet – it’s time for some fun!

You’ve got the clutter under control. You’ve figured out the closet design. Now it’s time to decorate. Here’s 3 fun and low cost ideas for you:

  • Idea 1 – Paint or wallpaper the back –  Paint a bright and cheery color or use a wallpaper to add some “bedazzle” to the walls. Note – if you’re putting in a closet organization system which is mounted to the wall it will be easier to paint or wallpaper before you install the closet system.

This girl's reach in closet added a fun touch with a wallpaper added to the back wall.

  • Idea 2 – Get out the baskets – Baskets can not only be fun, but functional. They provide you with a handy place for socks, towels, diapers and lotions and will allow you to put your unique decorating spin on the room.  

Wicker baskets provide a decorative way to store supplies in this baby nursery closet.

  • Idea 3 – Blow the doors off – OK – I don’t mean literally to blow the doors off – but by removing bi-fold doors it will be easier to access your supplies and the baby’s clothes. If you install decorative curtains it will help style the room.


The arrival of a new baby is an exciting and busy time. When you use these 3 D’s (declutter, design and decorate) for your baby’s closet it can help take just a bit of your stress away.

If you would like more input on reach in closet systems in Columbus or Cleveland markets call the numbers below.


For help with a Columbus home organization project call Innovate Home Org in Columbus at 614-545-6888 or in Cleveland call 216-658-1290.

Follow the author @Mike_Foti or our companies’ @InnovateBuild and @InnovateHomeOrg on Twitter.

Mike Foti

Mike Foti is the President of Innovate Home Org, a division of Innovate Building Solutions. You can learn more about Mike here.

Mike Foti

Mike Foti is the President of Innovate Home Org, a division of Innovate Building Solutions. You can learn more about Mike here.

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