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How do you organize costumes & dress up clothes?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a very large bin with my son's costumes and dress up clothes. Inside the bin I try to keep things organized by using 2gallon size zip lock bags to keep each costume and its accessories together. But then when he wants something, he has to throw everything out of the box to get to the bottom. And since he can't ziplock it himself, things still get every and messy. Plus there are some larger hats and items that don't fit in the bags.

I also have a daughter that has quite the extensive dress up and costume accumulation already and she's only 2.

How do you organize all these things? They play with them a lot so they need access to them. But I would like things more organized. We don't have a lot of closet space so it would be hard to hang my daughters dress up dresses. Though we could just put in a second bar in the closet just for that and at her level. We also don't have a lot more space for any sort of anything to put these things in. Or a lot of wall space in their room to hang the costumes on a coat rack type thing on the wall either. Much of there walls are already covered by beds or a couple of organization things with bins and then dresses...plus the 2 very small closets.

Any great ideas for costumes and dress up clothes?
post #2 of 19
I'm having the same issue... my son has recently acquired a ton of costumes and changes his persona about every 12 minutes all day long.

Right now we're just keeping everything in a laundry basket which gets dumped several times a day. I'd love some better ideas!
post #3 of 19
We don't have as many as you do, but I have one of those hanging shoe/sweater organizers and they each go in their own little compartment. The kids can at least get them put away even if they aren't folded. And it all goes away into the closet.
post #4 of 19
If he can't use the ziplocks himself, and it's just creating more work for you, I'd skip them.

We just keep our dress up clothes in a fabric "trunk" I got at Ikea. I'd love to move up and get this, but at the age my kids are at it will also require more work for me. I like to make them responsible for as much of their own cleanup as possible, and even if that means that all the dressup clothes are thrown together in a bin, so long as they're away at the end of the day I'm fine with it.
post #5 of 19
My kids are in and out of costumes all day. I just have two plastic laundry baskets on the closet floor and everything is in there somewhere. I'd love to have it all categorized, but methinks it would be a huge waste of time and make clean-up time trickier for them
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
He is able to get the items in and out of the ziplock bags as long as I don't actually seal them. But obviously with throwing everything around awhile in search for something, they fall out of the ziplock bags. And he's not so great about putting them into the ziplock backs.

Perhaps I should just scale it down. And the smaller items that don't even get used as much can be put away for now. I'd like to figure out something!
post #7 of 19
I have large pieces in a big pop-up hamper (the mesh kind) and then smaller pieces in a bin so they don't fall to the bottom of the hamper. Some dresses are also hung.
post #8 of 19
Ours are in a big open-top wooden box is Cys room. I went through them last night and sorted out the too small stuff. Now its not overflowing but still full
post #9 of 19
I tried to organize but finally broke down and bought a huge plastic storage box and a rolling set of drawers for hats and costume sets (like Spiderman mask+outfit). It's certainly not organized but cleanup is so much quicker now that we just dump it in the box.
post #10 of 19
I put them all in a big bin, since the most fun thing for my kids was rummaging through the bin to mix and match things that wouldn't normally "go together" -- i.e., firefighter hat with princess gown.

However, this meant culling a lot of the stuff they didn't usually select, since I wanted it all to fit in one bin. They never noticed.
post #11 of 19
We are getting ready to move but in general I like keeping all my dd's dress up clothes and accessories in her closet in her bedroom and all her actual clothes in my room / closet with my clothing since she dresses in my room.
post #12 of 19
We have a tickle trunk (IKEA toy box). Everything goes in there. It never occurred to me to keep sets together. What if you want to be a pirate on top and a mermaid on the bottom and a doctor on top of it all, with a cape?
post #13 of 19
I finally found a solution that works. I went and bought a little coat/hook/peg rack at Target. I think it holds like 7 pegs or so.

I hang up all the fancy princess dresses there.

I have a pink plastic storage crate (from Target during back to school) with three drawers. One is hats. The other is princess accessories. The other is blankets because for some reason, she needs those to play dress-up.

A cheapy (pink) mirror also hung in closet. The rest is in a big blue toy bucket... the odds and ends that don't really have anywhere to go.

Everything is labeled. I explained to her where it goes. And, gosh darn it, it stays clean.
post #14 of 19
We just throw them altogether. What they're in has changed occasionaly (chest, basket, etc.), but I don't find seperating them to be necessary. There's nothing wrong with wearing a fairy skirt, a pirate shirt, and a clown hat! The collection is not so huge that they can't sort through it and find something in particular if that's what they're looking for.
post #15 of 19
I store them all in large plastic storage bins with lids. Dont even sperate them, the kids will find what they want and sometimes make up their own new costumes by combining things.
post #16 of 19
I never thought to keep the sets together. My 5 year old pretty much always wears a variety of different things from different costumes. I keep ours in a fabric Ikea chest (as someone else also mentioned) and have a little row of coat pegs above it to hang some things.

post #17 of 19
We have a small trunk on the floor of the kids' closet and we just throw them in haphazardly.
post #18 of 19
We have a toybox without a lid. Until recently, if it didn't all fit in the toybox, we purged until everything fit. We would do this whenever it started overflowing. It was helpful for all of us to remember that it has to fit inside the container or its clutter.

Then we were gifted with so many poofy princess dresses, there was no way more than even a couple could fit in the box. So I erected a garment rack over the toybox, and the poofy dresses hang on plastic hangers on the garment rack. I also put a stool nearby so the kids can reach the garment rack to put stuff away. But mine are 6 and 8, so they're old enough to do this.

I saw someone with dressup on a garment rack once and wanted to laugh hysterically. No way was I ever going to do THAT. Until it was the best clutter-free option, and then I ate my words.

One possibility, more little-kid-friendly, would be to put a series of hooks up on the wall and make sure all your dressups have a loop or even a hole that can be used for hanging them on the hooks.

I wouldn't sort stuff, though (as in ziplocks) because that would be too much work for me personally, and I like that all the costume pieces are mixed up to foster extra creative combinations.

Good luck.
post #19 of 19
We have a few (4 or 5) pails... the sort you might use at the beach or in a sandbox? Brightly colored with a handle. All the dress up stuff goes into these buckets and then hung on their play stove or stacked/lined up in their play space. I don't try to keep it sorted in any way, though I think sometimes the kiddos come up with their own sorting methods.

We have a small home with very little space so I try to find multipurpose items that also make pick up time easy. My 5yo and 3yo can clean up all on their own and the buckets are toys in their own right. Oh, hats go on the corners of the bookcases. That said, we have only a handful of dresses, a dozen or so playsilks, and three jacket style items. I'm not sure what I'd do with a really extensive collection!
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