It’s the biggest “little” project of your life: finding a way to fit all those cute and tiny outfits, shoes, and accessories for your baby—not to mention diapers and more—into some kind of closet. Even if every other corner of your home is in complete chaos (#truthinparenting), it will be so much easier on parents and caregivers if Baby’s closet is stocked, set, and ready to roll. 

During those bleary-eyed, middle-of-the-night changes and feeds, and on the busy mornings trying to race out of the house mid-tantrum, you'll be so glad you poured into this project and made the nursery closet real-life ready. Here are some basic rules for nursery closet organization, and cute, creative ways to set up your little one’s things.

Make a Plan for Your Nursery Closet An organized nursery closet

Photo: @n.hudaishak

Make decisions, piles, and plans before you start arranging the nursery closet. First, clear out anything currently living in there that does not belong to Baby, or at least tuck it away in a corner or on a high shelf to make room.

Next, spread out all of Baby’s closet needs on the floor and make piles: Diaper storage, towels & blankets, clothes, shoes, toys & gear, etc. Once you have a visual sense of how much of each category you have, you can better strategize what’s going where. 

Choose what folding style and organizing hacks you will use to arrange the clothing and smaller wardrobe items in Baby’s closet drawers and bins. (These tips on folding baby clothes gives lots of ideas). Then, stock up on all your organizing needs for the nursery.

Invest in Nursery Closet Organization Basics

Baby clothes hanging in a nursery closet with acrylic dividers 

Photo: Etsy/PaperandPineCo

No matter the size of your baby’s closet and how much stuff you are trying to contain within it, most nursery closets need some combination of the following to keep everything where it needs to be and easy to grab on the go:

  • Baby-sized hangers 
  • Clothing rod(s)
  • Drawer dividers or small open-top containers for inside drawers 
  • Risers or display system for shoes 
  • Boxes and bins for bulky, odd-shaped, or less attractive items 
  • Labels for items you can’t see from the outside 
  • Trays for keeping pretty things on display
  • Hat and/or headband holders 
  • Closet dividers for hanging clothes, sized NB to 2T
  • Shelving or a dresser to contain casual clothing and PJs

Use the Nursery Closet Doors A Lot (Or Not at All)

Nursery closet doors with door organizersPhoto: The Container Store

Keep closet doors on and utilize them to the fullest extent, or take them off and create an open closet system that is beautiful and easy to access.

If keeping the closet doors, make the most of that space with a custom storage system or simple over-the-door shoe organizer filled with Baby’s tiny things. Doors are serious storage real estate in any room of the house, but this is especially so in the nursery. 

A wide-open closet with folding doors, though, can create a more easily accessible and finger-pinch-proof experience. If removing closet doors, add paint or wallpaper to the back wall to create an open closet that is a natural extension of the room. 

Vertical Organization in a Nursery Closet

Organized nursery closet that utilizes vertical space 

Photo: Finding Lovely

When assembling your baby’s closet, keep in mind how often each category of items needs to be accessed. Seasonal items like a bulky stroller cover, for example, can go at the very top in a large bin. Add labels if you have a lot of these, or are likely to forget which bin contains what. 

Use existing rods to hang formal clothes and built-in drawers to store folded clothes. If the layout is open and space allows, some parents place the baby’s dresser inside the closet to maximize space in the room. If you have drawers built into the closet already, use them fully, in hopes you can do away with a dresser completely. Baby’s tiny clothing won’t justify all the negative space below a standard closet rod, so adding the dresser below, or installing a second rod for double the storage, are workable ideas that will last several years.

On the floor, place larger containers for soft items like blankets and towels, as well as shoes*, winter wear, and other small items that don’t need to go in the dresser. If sentimental stuff is important to you, consider adding a shelf to display pretty or meaningful objects and framed photos. Seeing these items during your routine will help you feel calm and centered no matter what the day brings.

*In the early pre-walker days, crib shoes and similar can be stored on shelves using risers, or in the dresser drawers. 

Nursery Closet Bins & Things  Nursery closet organized with bins and baskets

Photo: @projectnursery

To keep the nursery closet looking neat and tidy, use bins and boxes. Hyacinth, rope, plastic, and canvas are great options if you do not want to be able to see the contents from outside. Clear plastic bins are a contemporary and sleek look. Just make sure if you’re going this route to store their contents flat and tidy to keep the closet from appearing messy. 

Large bins up top are perfect for storing bulky things you don’t need to access every day, like diaper packs, snowsuits, and beach toys. The more bins you use, the better, when keeping Baby’s closet stocked-up and neatly organized.

Nursery Closet Changing Space

 Changing table in a nursery closet

Photo: Project Nursery

If your closet allows room for a dresser, consider a table-top diaper changing station that lets you get Baby diapered and dressed within the closet. This not only creates more space for playing in the main room, but also streamlines your routine with everything in one place. 

Pro Tip: Adding a mirror behind the change station makes the room feel larger and is a beautiful way to use up some unneeded wall space in the closet. If you need the storage, you can instead use a peg board in this space to hang headbands, photos, diaper cream, or whatever you want! 

Rainbow Nursery Closet Organization 

Nursery closet organize by color 

Photo: @thehomeedit

Organizing buffs and overwhelmed parents alike have taken eagerly to the trendy color-coded closet trend. Made popular by the talented professional organizers behind The Home Edit, the idea is that any items that show in a closet, on a shelf, or in a drawer should be arranged in rainbow order for a visually appealing look. 

This idea is easy to apply to a baby’s room where lots of the items are colorful anyway. It also helps you to see when certain items are running low. For example, if you arrange Baby’s personal care products in color order by their labels, it will be clear with a glance when you need to replenish your stock. Are you team all-rainbow-everything? See more rainbow nursery ideas!

Light & Bright Nursery Closet Organization

Light and bright organized nursery closet 

Photo: Home & Hallow

Another gorgeous idea for Baby’s closet is to use an all-white palette in cube storage, bins, hangers, shelves, and other apparatus. This setup allows a visually soothing environment that automatically makes your child’s space feel more streamlined and organized. (Love an all-white nursery moment? Check out our white nursery design inspiration!) 

Acrylic & Mesh Nursery Closet Drawer Dividers

Nursery closet organized with a drawer and acrylic and mesh drawer dividers 

Photo: @missesclementi

If organizing is your jam and you don’t mind the work of keeping Baby’s closet drawers quite tidy, consider a combination of materials that will show everything off. Clear drawers and mesh bins make it easy to grab what you need in a pinch and also allow you to view all those adorable things whenever you glance at the closet.

To execute this look, make sure to keep all similar items together in one place (shoes in one drawer, books together, etc). Drawer dividers will be your best friends here to keep mess at bay. 

Nursery Closet Labels

 Diaper and wipe drawer in a nursery closet organized with labels

Photo: Etsy/ParkerPrintsDesign

Labeling isn’t for everyone, but those who find peace in the practice will be in their element here. New Baby = lots of tiny things to label! Write out your own or purchase premade labels; the more out-of-sight drawer and bin contents you can slap a label on, the happier you’ll be.   

Pro Tip: Labeling as seen in the photo also helps you lean on your village a bit more, whether that’s a co-parent, grandparent, nanny, or friend who comes in to help with childcare or cleaning up. If everything has a place and every place is labeled, you’ll save a lot of time and energy restocking and getting Baby’s clothes away since other people can pitch in easily. 

At the end of the day, (well, in the mornings, too!) Baby’s closet should be stocked and ready in a way that is easy to maintain and keeps your stress down. Parents have enough to worry about; take one thing off that list with a nursery closet that brings you peace.

 More Nursery Organization & Design Ideas: 

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.