I've gathered up quite a few kids dress up clothes storage ideas, several of which have been shared with me by readers, to keep all your children's costumes organized and ready for fun.
The main problem that people (including me) tend to encounter when dealing with dress up clothes is keeping them looking nice, and all pieces of the costume together.
Before you choose a storage solution for your home, try to think about the following things which make a difference in what will work best for you:
Amount of space you've got both for the costumes and for the storage option;
Whether you want the costumes to be visible while not in use or not;
Types of costumes you've got - do they have lots of parts, many accessories, can they easily get crushed and wrinkled, etc.?;
Do you want your child to have easy access to the costumes, or only get them out with your permission and assistance?;
How much do you want to help your kids clean up from dress up afterward, such as are you willing to help them hang things back up on hangers, or place in bags, or do you want them to clean up completely on their own?
There are almost always pros and cons to whatever storage solution you choose for your child's dress up clothes, but hopefully the ideas below will get you inspired to create a fun space for your kids to get dressed up and let their imagination run wild.
One of the classic options for storing and organizing kids' costumes is in a dress up trunk.
You really don't need a special piece of furniture for this option, but could use a toy box or even just a plastic storage bin. Some people even use a hamper.
There are some pros and cons to this storage method.
First, let's go with the pros. It's really easy for your kids to get the costumes out themselves, and to put them away.
While many of these methods below show costumes being hung up, realistically an adult (or someone older) has to help small children both get dress up clothes off the hangers, so they don't rip them, and then back onto the hangers when play is over. That can be a hassle.
Even very small children can pull things out of a box, and cram them back in.
Plus, you can put away a trunk or a bin, such as under the bed or in a closet when not in use, and you don't have to see the costumes all the time.
Now, for the cons. The big one actually relates to one of the pros, that kids can easily pull out and put away the costumes themselves.
We all know kids don't tend to fold or neatly place things into a box. They throw them in, and cram and shove. This can result in crumpled up and wrinkled costumes. This is especially a problem for costumes that have tutus or billowing skirts, or things of that nature.
In addition, often there are many parts to a costume, both clothing parts and accessories. What happens when you just throw everything in a bin or trunk? It all gets jumbled together and it can be hard to find all the parts to the costume.
Idea To Make Costume Trunks More Organization Friendly: Bags For Individual Costumes
If you've tried the trunk method and were fed up with it, an idea you can use to make it more organized is to bag each costume separately in a large plastic bag, such as in Ziplock BigBags or their equivalent.
As long as you actually put them back in the bag after each use, with all their accessories and parts, this is a good way to add a bit of organization to a costume trunk, and at least deal with the lost parts issue. It still doesn't necessarily solve the squashed and crushed costumes issue very well though.
This photo was provided by a reader, Sarah, and I think it is completely darling.
She said, this is "my newest creation for Katie's super hero dress ups."
As you can see she made a cute board with the theme of the costumes her little girl enjoys wearing, and then added hooks or pegs to actually hang the capes and costumes from.
If you've got enough wall space this is a great idea and makes it easy for kids to both grab the dress up item they want and put it back on their own, assuming the pegs are low enough to the ground for them to reach.
You can do something similar yourself by just mounting a coat rack with hooks to the wall.
Here's another example of this organizing method, shown by another reader, Dawn. She said, "We have many more dresses hanging now but still cute. :)"
Hanging Garment Rack For Costumes & Coat Rack & Hooks For Accessories
A similar idea to the wall mounted coat rack is to use a free standing coat rack, or a garment rack, for accessories and items you don't want crushed, similar to what a reader, Sunny did.
If you use this method, just consider how tall your kids are versus how tall the hooks are on a coat rack when deciding whether you'll use a coat rack, and the fact that these free standing racks can be pulled down by enthusiastic kiddos!
Sunny also chose to hang many of her child's costumes so they wouldn't get crushed. I'll be showing you several methods for hanging costumes below.
Sunny said, "We're swimming in dress up clothes over here!!!
In my daughter's room we have a hanging garment rack where all her tutus live.
She also has a coat tree where she can hang random girly accessories.
In the downstairs toy storage area we have put command hooks all over the wall so she can hang everything from wings to backpacks to toy swords.
The toy room is a little busy but the door is always closed when it's not in use so it doesn't matter to me."
Here's a few more ideas from other readers who've also used garment racks for organizing kids' costumes. The first of these photos was provided by a reader, Joanna, who said, "We use a cheap coatrack and took out one of the side bars to keep it squat. Works perfectly!"
The second of these photos is from Desirae, and she said about it, "$25 garment rack turned dress up station."
DIY Dress Up Closet Using Shelving Unit Or Dresser
Hanging up costumes keeps them looking nice, but often there is not a lot of closet space for these costumes, or the area you'd like to keep them doesn't have a closet.
You can make your own dress up organizer using either a shelving unit or a dresser with the drawers removed, like the ladies who submitted these pictures did.
The picture above is from Natasha, who added a hanging bar to a bookshelf so that she could hang her little girl's costumes.
Many others have done something similar with old dressers. The picture below is from a reader, Mandy, who said, "I took an old dresser, removed the three broken drawers, and put in a tension bar. Bam, instant dress up closet."
Here's another one, using an old shelving unit, shared by a reader, Karen, who made a collage showing what the shelves looked like before, during and after her upcyling of it. She explained, "Old shelves, vinyl tablecloth, spray adhesive, dowel and duct tape!"
Above I showed you some DIY versions of a dress up wardrobe or closet, but not everyone likes to do things themselves. I understand that. While I'm always amazed what the readers of this site can do, I am actually not much of a DIYer personally.
There are quite a few premade and designed dress up centers available for purchase. These units have some things in common including that they are all stand alone products, meaning that you can place them wherever you want them as opposed to only working in a closet.
Further, they've all got storage both for the hanging costumes themselves, but also bins or drawers for the smaller accessories, such as shoes, crowns, tiaras, and such.
These shown below are all available on Amazon.com.
Dress Up Storage Using Tension Rod For Hanging Clothes In Or Out Of Closet
Another idea for your kids' costume storage is to add a tension rod for hanging the clothes, either inside a closet, or somewhere else in the room.
The picture above is from a reader, Becky, who says, "We use a tension rod between her cubby organizer and closet wall."
Another reader, Rachel did something similar, as shown below.
Rachel said, "Did this just last week. I used an old toy broom handle with ribbon wrapped around it."
Just remember with tension rods that they don't hold as much weight as a more secure closet rod, so if you've got very heavy costumes this may not work for you.
Additional Idea For Closet: Hanging Closet Organizer For Accessories
An additional idea for inside your closet, if you've got room for your dress up storage there, is to use a hanging closet or sweater organizer that you can place the accessories in, so they don't get crushed and stay close to the hanging parts of the costumes.
I love these organizers, because it's like adding more shelving to your closet!
Kids Costume Shoes Organized Using Rain Gutters Mounted Onto The Wall
If your child has a lot of costume shoes as part of their dress up collection, just having a bin or something to put them in might not be a good solution for you, because they'll all get mixed up and it may become hard to find their mate.
That's why I love this ingenious idea from a reader, Tiffany.
Thanks so much for sharing all these cool ideas! Someone somewhere suggested using vinyl rain gutters for book shelves.
I went to The Home Depot and managed to get a 10 foot section for $6 and they even cut it into five 2 foot pieces for me.
I am using three pieces above my daughters bed to hold her board books and the other two hold her toy dress up shoes.
I was using a bulky book shelf as well as a big ugly storage ottoman to hold all this stuff. Now I'm not using floor space, but wall space.
It's awesome because it looks great and helps considering our home is small.
Thanks again. I love how it's all turned out!
Are You Ready To Get Organized Now?
I hope these dress up clothes storage and organization ideas have gotten you inspired to get your kids' costumes organized.
Each week we tackle a different area of our home decluttering and getting things in order, while simultaneously building new habits and systems to keep everything in place, and slowly, over the course of the year your whole can become transformed.
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