Do your kids pretend dress-up items seem to magically procreate like mine? It all started out innocently enough with a Batman cape and a princess dress and then suddenly we have 5 pairs of plastic high heels that are all missing a match, a hat from every occupation known to mankind, tutus coming out of the wazoo and more pretend jewelry and make-up than the real stuff I own for myself. It was starting to get ridiculous and needed some major organization help. When searching for ideas online there seemed to be 2 options. A storage trunk system or a hanging option. The problem with both of these options was that we really didn’t have enough room for any more furniture. That was when I came up with the idea to re-design an existing piece in the bedroom to work.
The bedroom we were using for dress-up is currently Maren’s but what I imagine will be a shared room for both girls once Maren is a little further out of the baby stage. So as I’ve been decorating and organizing this bedroom I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind that whatever I do needs to still work once it’s a shared room. The bedroom came with a built-in bookshelf. When we first moved in I used it just as that – a bookshelf! I housed different books and some dolls and other small toys. The shelves in the bookshelf were adjustable and so after measuring the depth I came up with the idea of converting the bottom half of the bookshelf to a dress-up closet.
My husband and I simply removed a few lower shelves and screwed in a hanging bar. I added gold polka dot stickers along the back to make it stand out a little more. To further organize I bought a hanging shelf for hats, masks, fairy wings and play jewelry and make-up. On the floor under the hanging rack I added a wire basket (from Target dollar spot) for tutus and a plastic bin for dress up shoes, wands, crowns and other odds-n-ends. Next to the built-in I hung a large mirror (from TJ Maxx long ago) so they could see themselves and have fun dancing and twirling. I saw an idea online of building your own ballet bar to attach to a wall so if the girls get into dance that would be an easy addition over the mirror.
The kids love it! Of course the hardest part about a hanging organization system over a trunk is clean-up. My kids could easily pick-up items and throw them in a trunk but learning how to use a hanger has been a little trickier but they are getting there – gotta learn sometime anyways, right!? Also, really any bookshelf, as long as it’s the right depth for a hanger, would work – it doesn’t need to be a built-in. Anyone else have other systems that work for dress-up? I’d love to hear!