The Nursery Closet: Planned and Organized to the Max!

You know what’s kind of funny? If you know me and how much I love organization, it won’t surprise you but before I even started planning out the actual nursery, I was thinking about the nursery closet. Standard, single-wire shelved closets are inefficient enough but single-hang closets for baby clothes?! Well, when you start hanging itty bitty clothes that leave 90% wasted space, it becomes apparent pretty quickly what a crazy-missed opportunity the entire closet is. Long-time readers know how I feel about our Elfa systems — the door systems in the pantry and office wrapping closet, the entry coat closet, and even our master closet (one of the first blogs I ever shared – don’t judge haha). The difference and smart, space saving solutions have been pivotal in these areas but every single one pales in comparison to taking a laughable, single-rod kid closet and implementing workable solutions. Today, I’m sharing the organized, custom Elfa system, courtesy of The Container Store, that has taken this little baby closet and transformed it into a maximum-efficiency storage solution.

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Maximum Organization in a Baby Nursery Closet

Before we jump into the fun stuff, just a head’s up — today’s organization reveal is gender neutral. I have lots of gender-specific ideas I’ll be sharing in an updated closet post once he/she is here 😉 Also, if you missed the full nursery reveal, you can go back and check that out HERE.

Woodland animal nursery with inexpensive animal art busts in a simple wall gallery

Here’s what the closet looked like a couple weeks ago…

nursery closet makeover

And here’s what it looks like today.

Baby nursery closet with long hang and triple hang sections

Not gonna lie, I just want to sit and stare at it — how satisfying to see all that space actually being used?!

Nursery Elfa Closet

Let’s get into the specifics — I was kicking myself for not having the painter go ahead and tackle the former drab color in here so the first thing I did was remove the wire shelving, patch the walls, and give the space a fresh coat of Simply White (by Benjamin Moore) to match the nursery walls. FYI — if you have The Container Store do the Elfa install, they will actually remove shelving and patch 😉 I even switched out the former flushmount to something a little prettier.

Because I had been hanging little outfits as they came in, I could already foresee some of the challenges I had and needs I wanted to address in a solution, specific to us.

  • I have clothes from newborn all the way up to 18 months and would like them somewhat separated.
  • While I would likely be installing multi-tiered hanging rods, I would need a space to hang longer items — the knotted gowns I’ve become embarrassingly obsessed with. I have actually accumulated way more than what’s shown here but kept it pared down intentionally so you can better see the space haha.
  • We have a large double dresser in the room but I’m already anxious about having places for storage and trying to anticipate what I don’t know yet.
  • I wanted something that would maximize our organization opportunities in the earliest days, but that would also be able to be tweaked to fit his/her needs as they get older.

Here are the measurements of what I was working with; the actual drawing isn’t to scale but the numbers are accurate 😉

Nursery Closet Makeover

If you’re considering some sort of closet solution, make sure to take notes on every measurement you can get. You can even take photos (at minimum, jot down notes) of specific items  you want to include in the solution (along with what you have a lot of, quantities, and any special needs). I worked with a designer/specialist from The Container Store (Cassie, you are beyond awesome!); based on my measurements and basic needs she came up with an initial draft for us to work from, tweak, add to, and customize.

*Tip: measure the length of the longest hanging item you have!

nursery closet with elfa system- a must-see makeover

You guys, I can’t even. And a triple hang?! With an 8′ ceiling?! YES!!

How to organize a baby nursery closet

If you aren’t familiar with how Elfa systems work, they are different than most because everything hangs off the single top track at the top of the closet. There are a couple of vertical bars that hang down and each shelf, drawer, bracket — everything — hangs off of those. It makes it an easier install, hard to mess up, and gives you the ability to switch things up as your needs evolve. Even though I have a triple hang right now, I could change that to a double hang, no problem. If I don’t need drawers anymore but need shoe pull-outs, it’s a simple switch.

The process is easy, too. Here’s how it works.

  • Call your store and make an appointment
  • Show up to your appointment with measurements, photos, notes… anything you think will best equip you in planning to organize and fill your space with the most helpful solutions
  • The Container Store designer will work on a computer rendering, alongside you, as you work out the different components, layouts, and items on your wishlist. They will be able to make suggestions, too. You don’t have to know everything they have – they’re the experts. They will also have live setups so you can get ideas and see in real life what kinds of components you may want.
  • You will choose the color closet system you want, along with the faccia color (ours is white with birch faccia)
  • You can either request an installer from The Container Store or they will print the plans for you to follow. Either way, they pull all components, down to the wall anchors, that you will need. We have installed door systems (SUPER EASY!) and Dave even installed the entry closet, but we always have an expert install the bigger projects. They move so quickly and have the entire thing ready to go in a couple hours.

One of my favorite Elfa closet accessories is the extendable valet hook. We have a couple in our master closet and use it for putting outfits together, packing… there are so many uses for it.

Organization accessories for a baby closet

Must-have kids closet accessory

Another easy add-on is this little belt rack that hooks onto the side — it’s perfect for necklaces, robes, towels, purses, etc. too.

Hooks and accessories to organize baby and kid closets

And just like I use slim, non-slip velvet hangers for all of our clothes, THESE were a must in this closet. Using the slim, uniform hangers keeps everything at the same height and easy to find, and saves a TON of space. If you’ve never experienced them, one pack will make you want to purge all those plastic hangers.

Clothing dividers to organize kid closets

I ordered a few packs of drawer dividers that can be adjusted, added, or removed as needed…

Elfa drawer organization for kid closets

And decided on two shallow drawers and two deep drawers.

Organization ideas for baby nursery closet

Again, I’ll be sharing some gender-specific solutions later 😉 It’s crazy to see how 15 pairs of itty bitty pants are folded and easily fit in this tiny divided section of drawer…

Elfa drawers for baby and kids closets

And then there’s the added bonus of the door solution. The rod clamps on the top and bottom of the door and then you can choose baskets, boards, and other accessories, based on how it will be used. See tons of door solutions and inspo HERE.

Organized nursery closet with an easy Elfa System

This customizable board is one of my favorite components for how universal it is. You can see another way I’ve configured one in my office closet post HERE.

pacifier and pacifier clip organization on the back of the closet door

The long hooks are my favorite 😉

Pacifier organization and display

Elfa baby room organization

Kid closet storage and organization ideas

The back of the door is great for diapers, wipes, bath supplies, swaddles, onesies, accessories, bows, hats, burp cloths, bibs…

Door organization for kid room closets

The designer I worked with, Cassie, suggested THESE containers (they come in all different colors) that fit perfectly in the baskets; I got them in both the big size and the smaller size HERE.

Elfa basket components

And these labels fit the Elfa baskets and handles of the whitewashed large woven baskets. Mine have yet to be labeled because I’m not 100% sure just how each space will be best utilized 😉

Best baskets and labels for baby room organization

I also went for a few cute, gold wall hooks that are like pucks; you’ll likely see these installed inside the closet next time I share!

Pretty gold hooks

large gold hooks

how to organize and display baby pacifiers

The Container Store’s closet sale is going on through May 19, and they have tons of closet storage and organization essentials up to 25% off. And, right now, installation is free when you spend $750 or more on Elfa. You can check out the sale HERE. Have any challenges or “pain points” when it comes to baby/kid closets? Let us know in the comment section below! I also have another organization project that I thought I’d never share coming soon ;). Be sure to subscribe to my emails at the bottom of the post to catch that, nursery closet updates, and all things hitting the blog this summer.

How to organize a small baby closet

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24 Comments

  1. 5.10.19
    Trudy Chambers said:

    Kelleynan- another stunning project! I just love your design concepts, this soon to be little bundle of joy is going to be so blessed to have you both as parents❣️ I can’t wait😊

  2. 5.10.19

    Wow Kelley!! You never cease to amaze!!! This is gorgeous! So many special little touches. This could easily be tweaked for an older child by taking out one of the bars!! So perfectly organized…Everything in its place.

  3. 5.10.19
    Heather said:

    That baby is going to be so loved and have the best wardrobe ever!

  4. 5.10.19
    Joni King said:

    This is incredible! Just as I would have guessed, you nailed the baby’s closet!! Hugs!!!

  5. 5.10.19
    Annette Mary Walsh said:

    It looks so pretty! Don’t forget to leave space for all the gifts you will be given for the baby.

  6. 5.10.19
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    This is so fun! Love all things “Container Store.” This closet is such an inspiration and inspires me to want to travel to the nearest store to me. You have created an absolutely fantastic closet and filled it with such love. I can’t wait to see all of the outfits dressed on your precious babe.

  7. 5.11.19
    Bree said:

    Kelley, It’s just perfect!! Dying for baby Nan to be in this beautiful space your’ve created with so much love!! xoxo

  8. 6.26.19
    Sonny said:

    So very pretty Kelley!!! Congratulations to all of you!!!!!💝🎀👶🌸🍼

    • 8.13.19
      Mary said:

      Ok.. so I do t have a baby but I just love your organizations.. I ended up enjoying my morning coffee and going through some of your other posts like organizing your linen closet and ended up going to Target and buying lots of the genres and white totes in the small and large size and plan on tackling my huge linen closet on Sunday!!!

      • 8.21.19

        Mary, I LOVE THAT! That is 100% what I hope — even if not everyone can relate 100% to every post, that there will be something in there for everyone. Thank you for sharing and best of luck tackling your project!!

  9. 8.16.19
    Kris said:

    So beautiful! There’s nothing better than an organized nursery closet!

  10. 1.3.20
    melissa L atkinson said:

    Where can i get those adorable closet dividers? (3-6 months marker)

  11. 1.23.20
    Elise said:

    So glad I found this! We have the tiniest nursery closet ever that luckily already has an elfa system, but totally doesn’t work for our new baby needs. Excited to dive in and borrow some of your ideas to make it much more efficient for baby stuff.

  12. 4.23.20
    Mallory said:

    This is gorgeous! I love ALL things organization and you nailed this! Can I ask where you purchased your square pouf with poms from in one of the above pictures?!

  13. 4.24.20
    Britta Parker said:

    Hi Kelley! Because of your post, we just purchased an Elfa system for our baby girl’s nursery closet! We figure the system will be a lifesaver, since it’s a super wide and tall closet, but incredibly shallow.

    Looking back on these last months, would you change anything about your design based on how you use the closet now that she’s here?

    • 4.24.20

      Hi Britta, I am so flattered! The closet still works so well for us. I just made some changes and reorganized the dresser, though. (I just posted this yesterday.) I hang more than I did in the past in the closet. It works best for us to be able to see things at a glance. xoxo

  14. 5.3.20
    Lindsey Elliott said:

    What drawers did you use? Absolutely love this!

    • 5.5.20

      Hi, Lindsey! These are from the Elfa system, too 😉

  15. 11.1.20
    Laura said:

    Hi! I love this closet, it’s tough to find organization ideas for nurseries with walk-in closets. Where did you get those pacifiers and teethers?

  16. 1.9.21
    Patrick said:

    How much hanging space did you leave between shelves of your triple hangs? Looks like maybe slightly over 2 feet? Is it still enough space as the clothes have grown?

    • 1.14.21

      Hi Patrick, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I actually used her clothes to determine the configuration of the spacing. It easily allows up to a 2T. As my daughter grows, I will need to reconfigure to allow for her larger clothes sizes.

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