March 30, 2022  

Nursery Closet Organization Ideas: 15 Smart Tips To Maximize Closet Space


With all the little clothes and baby essentials, an organized nursery closet is a must! Tour my baby’s closet and learn my organizing secrets for creating a nursery closet that is as functional as it is beautiful.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

For as tiny as babies are it’s crazy how much stuff they have, isn’t it? Before Logan was born, I set out to give our small nursery closet a big makeover. I wanted to maximize storage space and make room to organize all the baby items.

Our small nursery closet is four feet wide and the standard wire shelf and closet rod just wasn’t going to cut it. Babies have so many little things and I knew we could make much better use of this small closet. With the addition of new shelving and lots of smart organizing strategies, Logan’s nursery closet is now as functional as it is beautiful!

Whether you’re a first time parent with a new baby on the way (and lots of baby shower gifts to organize) or just need smart organizing ideas for your kids’ closets, you’re in the right place. Keep reading and I’ll give you the grand tour of our nursery closet and share all kinds of organizing tips and tricks as we go!

Psst…you can see the full tour of our baby boy’s modern green nursery in this post.

Looking for more baby organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

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organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

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Simple Tips For Organizing A Nursery Closet

Tip #1: Add Functional Shelving Or A Closet Organizer

The first step is maximize your baby’s closet by making the most of vertical space. Even the smallest of closets can hold a lot of baby gear with the right shelving and organizers.

For Logan’s closet, I removed the basic wire shelf and replaced it with DIY closet shelving I made from plywood. I’d never built anything quite this large and I’m so proud of how this built-in shelving turned out! Not only does it look like the organized closet of my dreams, but it’s also much more functional and organized. Check out my detailed DIY closet shelving tutorial here to learn more about that project.

The good news is you don’t have to build closet shelves from scratch if you don’t want to. Off-the-shelf closet organizers, shelving, and closet systems from places like IKEA and The Container Store are also a great option. So determine your budget, measure your closet, and shop for something that will work well for your nursery closet!

Here are some other ideas for adding storage space to your closet:

Related: DIY Closet Shelving | Replacing The Wire Shelf In Our Nursery Closet

DIY nursery closet shelving with Emily standing next to it holding a nail gun

Tip #2: Add A Dresser Or Changing Table

An easy way to make the most of the unused space under a standard closet shelf is to slide in a dresser. This was one of the first things we did in our daughter’s room before she was born and it still works great four years later!

This is a great idea if you don’t have much space in baby’s room. Just remove the closet doors and add a dresser to instantly increase your storage space for baby clothing and supplies.

I also highly recommend skipping a changing table altogether and adding a changing pad to the top of a regular dresser instead. This worked so well in Chloe’s nursery that we’re doing it again in Logan’s room (though his dresser didn’t fit inside the closet).

Here are some examples of nurseries with a dresser inside the closet:

Related: Organizing A Nursery Closet & Using A Dresser As A Changing Table

Tip #3: Contain Everything In Bins & Baskets

Once you’ve created extra space by adding more shelving and/or drawers to your closet, it’s time to add containers! You’ll want to think through what types of baby things you want to keep in the closet. This is really important because you want to have the right size bins! You’ll likely want several different sizes of bins and baskets.

In Logan’s closet, I chose a few different styles of containers:

  • Large fabric bins on the top shelf hide bulky items and extra diapers.
  • Smaller wooden crates keep the shelves looking neat but their open tops make it easy to see what’s inside (plus the handles are nice, too!).
  • Two medium rope baskets on the bottom shelf are lightweight and maximize the height of that shelf.
  • A large basket on the floor is used as a laundry hamper.
  • I also mixed in a couple of different styles of baskets just for visual interest. The wicker basket and brown bear bin hold baby toys and I think they’re so cute!
  • I even added an adorable wall basket on the wall just outside the closet and this is nice for catching grab-and-go items while doubling as decor.
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

The main factor in choosing my containers was my shelf size. I also considered how they’d visually look because I knew I was removing the closet door so one of my priorities was creating a closet that looked cute.

But if your budget is a priority, head to the dollar store and scoop up some of their plastic bins and wire baskets to organize your closet shelves and dresser drawers. For larger containers, Walmart, Target, Amazon, and IKEA are all awesome places to look. HomeGoods, TJMaxx, and At Home are also great stores for affordable baskets and storage bins.

And for more novel baskets and bins (like my cutie wall basket), check out places like H&M and Crate & Barrel. These are a fun way to make a small closet extra cute while adding function at the same time.

If you have any drawers in the closet, drawer organizers are a must. Any professional organizer will swear by drawer organizers for clothing and they’re especially helpful for keeping baby’s clothes tidy. Check out my simple hack for making drawer dividers out of old diaper boxes!

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #4: Create Zones

When you’re organizing baby’s closet, also think about different zones you can create. Zones make it easier to locate things because different types of items are divided into separate sections.

One zone could be as simple as placing everyday essentials that you’ll reach for on a daily basis at eye level. You can also create a zone on an upper shelf for bins of extra baby clothes. Another zone could be a set of baskets or closet drawers containing linens like swaddles, burp cloths ,crib sheets, bath towels, etc.

In Logan’s closet, the top shelf is a zone for items that I don’t need to access as often including a bins for outgrown clothing, extra diapers, and extra supplies. The hanging rods are split into two zones: one for jackets and sweaters and the other for onesies and rompers.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #5: Use Prime Space For Everyday Essentials

Organize the closet so you have easy access to the baby stuff you reach for most often, and store lesser-used items on upper shelves and in lower drawers.

For example, I keep baby bath towels on one of the shelves at eye level so they’re easy for me to grab while holding a baby.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #6: Add Labels

No list of organizing tips would be complete without talking about labeling! Labels help you find a specific item AND they help everyone know where to put things away. They’re an organizer’s best friend. This is so critical to keeping the closet organized in the long run!

Although labels are useful they’re not always necessary, at least not right away. If you’re using clear storage bins, you don’t necessarily need to add labels if it’s easy to see what’s inside at quick glance.

Although I’m not using any clear containers, I waited 7+ months before I finally added labels to our closet! And that’s because I’m a big believer in living with a newly organized space for a while and making tweaks until it’s working well for you.

It took me a bit of shuffling things around to land on the best spot to store all the different baby items and I finally added labels just last week!

Tip #7: Designate A Spot For Outgrown Baby Clothes

I should have probably put this higher up on the list of organization tips because it’s a super important one! New parents are often surprised at just how quickly too-small baby clothes accumulate. So trust me when I say that it’s important to designate a spot right now for all of those little clothes to go as baby outgrows them.

For both of our kids, it has worked well to have a bin on the top shelf of the closet for outgrown clothes to accumulate. I recommend a bin or basket without a lid so you can quickly toss outgrown clothes inside often.

Rather than waiting and doing a big closet or dresser cleanout, we simply start tossing clothing in the bin whenever we’re getting baby dressed and notice a particular clothing item is too snug to wear any more.

You can read all about my process for organizing and storing outgrown baby clothes here.

Related: How to Organize and Store Outgrown Baby Clothes

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #8: Designate Space For Extra Diapers And Supplies

When you have a baby, the last thing you want is to run out of diapers or wipes! The best way I’ve found to avoid this is to make sure we’re always well stocked. This is pretty simple thanks in part to Amazon Subscribe & Save as well as having storage space for bulk diapers in Logan’s closet.

I keep an extra sleeve of diapers, extra packs of wipes, and extra diaper cream in the bottom drawer of Logan’s dresser. But any additional diapers and/or wipes beyond that get stashed up on the top shelf of his closet.

As his dresser runs low on diapers, I grab a new sleeve from the closet and once the closet runs out I know it’s time to make sure I have more diapers on the way soon.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #9: Use Matching Clothes Hangers

Another simple way to make your baby’s nursery closet more visually organized is by using matching clothes hangers. They don’t have to be fancy hangers by any means, but I really find that sticking to all the same color of hanger can go a long way toward helping the closet feel less cluttered. (This is true for adult clothes too, by the way).

Full disclosure here…I much prefer to store kid clothes in dresser drawers instead of hanging them up. The clothes in these photos are some of Logan’s “cuter” clothes in a bigger size that I hung up to style the closet a bit. It looks super cute but I don’t find it’s practical to hang up baby clothes. Some people prefer hanging up all the clothes though, so it’s up to you! I’ll share a tour of our organized nursery dresser soon!

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #9: Use The Back Of The Door

Don’t overlook the back of the closet door! This is an awesome spot to add some extra storage space with a behind the door organizer or a few simple hooks. If you have sliding closet doors, this won’t really work but you can also consider adding door storage behind the main door into the room.

In Logan’s room, I removed the sliding closet doors entirely but I did add a hook to the back of the door. This typically holds his bath towel but could also be a nice spot to hang the diaper bag or his pajamas.

Here are some other ideas for adding an organizer behind the door:

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #10: Add Wall Hooks

Speaking of wall hooks, they are so handy! The back of a door is a great spot for hooks but any wall works!

I added one behind the door and two more to the side walls of the closet. These aren’t all being used right now but I always find that hooks are really helpful in bedrooms so you have places to easily hang up clothes instead of throwing them on the floor.

I also added a row of peg hooks on the wall right outside the closet and envision them being a nice spot to collect sweatshirts and pajamas as Logan gets bigger.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #11: Make Use Of The Bottom Of The Closet

Another part of the closet that is often overlooked is the floor! We think a lot about adding a big closet system and lots of hanging rods but the floor can also be useful storage space. This is a great spot to add a laundry hamper and/or any baby gear that’s bulky or heavy.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #12: Designate A Spot For Small Items

It can also be helpful to have a small bin or container for smaller items like pacifiers, creams, first aid items, etc.

I keep all of the smaller things like medicines, thermometers, nail clippers, etc. in the top drawer of Logan’s dresser. But I did add a small glass jar to his closet shelf for storing extra pacifiers and it’s nice to know where to find them!

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

#13: Baby Proof The Nursery Closet

Another consideration when organizing your nursery closet is baby proofing! If you’re a new parent, baby proofing is probably on your checklist anyway but I wanted to be sure to mention it here.

Logan’s closet is wide open into his room so he’ll be crawling into it in no time at all. But I was intentional with how I arranged things in his closet so it would be baby friendly.

The bottom shelves contain soft, lightweight baskets that aren’t going to hurt him if he pulls one down. A few of the lower baskets also contain toys so they’ll be at his eye level before we know it, too!

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
hand pulling wicker basket off shelf filled with baby toys

Tip #14: You Don’t Have To Fill It All Up

Another tip (that applies to any closet organization project) is to be careful not to overbuy baby things just because you have space for them. Don’t be tempted to fill up every storage container and drawer. It’s totally okay to lave part of your nursery closet empty! In fact, it’s really helpful to leave room for new things down the road if you can.

Right now, a lot of the containers in Logan’s closet are fairly empty but I know that it’s only a matter of time before they start to accumulate more things. Baby clothes aren’t always so tiny and start to take up more space over time. Toys will start to multiply. And it’s nice to know we have room to grow into his closet.

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Tip #15: Make It Fun!

Lastly, why not take a few minutes to make the nursery closet fun?! You’ll likely spend a lot of quality time in baby’s room and it’s nice to have a pretty nursery to snuggle your baby in. Plus, you’re more likely to keep the closet neat and tidy when it’s all organized and looks beautiful.

In Logan’s closet, I painted the whole thing the same deep green (Current Mood by Clare) as the rest of the walls. I also hung some small framed art prints and styled a couple of the shelves with cute things. These little touches are obviously not necessary but they bring a smile to my face daily so I think they’re totally worth it!

When Chloe was a baby, I made her closet fun with cute little elephant decals on the wall. They were adorable! You can see how I made them with my Cricut machine here.

Here are some more ideas for adding fun and pretty touches to your baby’s closet:

organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers
organized nursery closet with dark green walls and DIY shelves filled with baskets and containers

Shop Our Baby Boy’s Modern Green Nursery

Nursery Closet Containers:

Nursery Decor:


And that wraps up our tour of Logan’s organized nursery closet! It’s a pretty nice closet for a baby boy and I’m more than a little jealous. You can tour the full nursery makeover in this post.

I shared a ton of baby closet ideas here today and you don’t have to do all of them by any means. But I hope you’ll incorporate some of these organizing tips into your baby’s closet so you can make the most of the closet space you have. Follow these simple tips and you’ll have the tidiest baby room around!

Looking for more baby organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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