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Kids Closet Organization Using IKEA PAX

by - Monday, September 30, 2019

When it comes to keeping a home organized, one of the most challenging tasks is kids closet organization. We've been (slowly) redecorating Chloe's room, and I'm happy to say we found a pretty and effective solution to this problem. She had a closet system but it was inefficient, not suited to her needs, and wasted space. But with just one day and some IKEA hacks, we have a built in closet that will help to keep this tween girl organized. Let me show you how we created the ultimate kids closet organizer using the IKEA PAX line, and share some kid friendly closet organization ideas.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.


Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

Kid Friendly Closet Organization

The key to kids closet organization starts with having the right closet system to meet their needs and your house situation. There's a few things to consider when designing a kid's closet:
  • Kids rooms tend to have small closets so things need to be organized efficiently with no waste of space
  • Kids grow (and their clothes get bigger) so any closet system needs to be versatile with shelves, rods, and drawers that can be moved around
  • The closet organization system needs to be easy to use. If you want to encourage your toddler or younger kids to keep organized, you need to create a closet system that is kid-friendly and intuitive
  • Let's face it - kids can be tough on their belongings. Doors will be slammed, drawers will be yanked and they might try to climb on a shelf or two. It might be wise to opt for a closet system on a budget that can be replaced or upgraded if needed instead of a more permanent high end custom closet solution
Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

While we were happy to find there was a closet system in Chloe's room when we bought this house, we quickly learned that the existing system was not efficient or what we needed. The old closet had so many problems:
  • There was a lot of extra space she didn't need. As a result, her closet became a space to hoard junk and things that didn't have a home. We also weren't compelled to clean out regularly and she had many clothes still stored that no longer fit her 
  • The storage she had was awkward to use. Storage was mostly on open shelving. It was difficult to keep the items looking organized and on the shelf. You'd have to pull out stacks of clothes just to access one item
  • We had to use many containers to keep clothes separated and organized by type
  • And the closet had no doors! The bifold doors had fallen off in the last year and we didn't want to replace them until we figured out the interior closet system.
We had created a DIY built in closet in Chloe's old room and thought we would do something similar here. After doing a bit of price comparison, and taking into account the dimensions of the closet, I determined that by using the IKEA PAX closet system (with some minor IKEA hack modifications), we could create a custom reach in organized closet.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

Planning an IKEA PAX Closet

While we could have created our own DIY shelving and storage, I knew that the IKEA PAX system could provide kid friendly functionality as well as all the pretty extras you want in a girls closet. The PAX system is typically used with it's own doors. Since we were placing this system inside a closet behind a set of bifold doors, all we needed would be the interior fittings.

We wanted the closet system to look as built in as possible, meaning there would be no open space above and around the shelving units. A built-in look is always my preference; it looks more professional and high end. The PAX frames would sit flush with the door frame and would be as deep as the closet. We would hide any unused space with filler panels.

I used the online IKEA PAX Storage Planner to design the closet. We would be using: 
  • two 50x58x201cm PAX wardrobe frames
  • one 75x58x201cm PAX wardrobe frame
  • four Komplement drawers
  • one Komplment pull out tray
  • six shelves, one pull-out hanger, and three clothes rails
Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

As our door opening was only 199cm and the PAX panels were 201cm, we knew we had to hack these IKEA frames. Can you cut down IKEA PAX wardrobes?

The answer is yes. PAX is made of particleboard and Sean just cut the panels down on his table saw. One DIY mistake we did make: we cut the 2cm from the bottom of the panels which meant we also had to cut 2cm from the toe kicks. Had we cut the 2cm from the top of the panels, we could have left the toe kicks the same. If you are shortening your PAX side panels, be aware that any doors you use will need to be shortened as well.

With the frame size solved, the rest of the PAX wardrobe installation was straightforward. Once we had the frame, drawers, and rods installed, we made the closet look built in by using DIY Ikea filler panels to hide the gaps.

Closet Organizer Ideas for Kids

I determined the closet design by asking myself "how can I help my child get organized"? I think the answer is the same for kids and adults: by designing a closet that is easy to use and she is proud to keep neat. Just because you are designing for a young child or tween, doesn't mean you should skimp on style. Here's a few closet design ideas that I think both kids and parents can appreciate:

  1. Keep most used items at a lower level. Chloe tends to wear shirts, hoodies, and leggings to school. All of those items are accessible on the lower rods or in the drawers
  2. Incorporate drawers to clear up floor space in the bedroom. With these drawers in the closet, there was no need to have a separate free standing dresser in Chloe's room. Since she has a small bedroom, that design decision proved to be a huge space saver.
  3. Mix open shelving and closed storage. Just like adults, kids have items that work better on shelves (think bulky sweaters) and others better suited to drawers (socks, underwear, t-shirts). Take stock of what you need to stow and plan a spot for everything
  4. Reduce visual clutter by using solid drawer fronts and minimal colour. Kids clothes are colourful enough already so tone things down by using solid (not glass) front drawers or solid storage boxes to create a more uniform look
  5. Outfit the closet with the right accessories. These are the little details that can take your closet from bland to awesome. Things like a tray for jewelry and hair accessories, a pull out hanger for handbags. And for a tween girl, I thought a mirror and spot for small decor or personal items was a must have. 


Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

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Chloe is thrilled with her new closet. She spent some time putting things away just the way she wanted them. The jewelry tray is a favourite spot. Now we know where to find the hair ties and earrings that are always getting lost.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

The pull-out hanger is such a fun detail. She uses it to store her mini backpacks and purses but you could also use a hanger of this type to hold scarves, belts or ties.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

We used some of our old clothes organizers to keep the inside of the drawers neat. Small items like socks and underwear are kept together and are easy to grab and go. Folded items are kept in neat piles. With all this space, Chloe doesn't need to do the Kondo style of folding anymore. She's got room to grow.

The finishing touch was adding the bifold closet doors, courtesy of our friends at Metrie. We have wide passage doors on our master bedroom closet, but for this room, where floor space and swing room is at a premium, the bi-fold doors were the right choice.

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

We still need to attach handles and paint these doors, but already the IKEA PAX closet is a massive improvement. I'm happy to say that the closet organizer ideas have worked too: instead of leaving her clothes in a pile on her bench, Chloe has been coming home from school and immediately putting them away! This change has made her room feel neater, bigger, and calmer. Well worth the (long) wait!

Keep your kid's clothes organized with the right closet system. We’ve used the IKEA PAX system to create our own built in DIY kids closet with kid friendly organization ideas. Here's tips for kids closet organization, organization ideas for girls, and how to maximize storage in a small closet.

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