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Baby clothes storage ideas

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this page. This helps keep this site running

Parent carrying storage basket for baby clothes

Despite being so tiny, baby clothes can seem to quickly pile up into small mountains! Whether you're trying to organize baby's current clothing or seeking storage ideas for the clothes that baby will later grow into (or has already grown out of) this article has you covered. If your baby is still on the way and you're trying to figure out the best way to organize baby clothes for after the birth, I cover that too.

The number one rule for how to organize baby clothes

First, before getting into your specific situation, and regardless of whether your baby is yet to arrive or has reached his or her first birthday, there is one major rule you need to follow. You can do this regardless of how much or how little space you have. It will make your life, and baby's, infinitely easier. Here is the rule:

At least some of baby's current everyday clothes and/or night-time clothes need to be accessible by you, in the dark, with 1 hand, while sleep-deprived

So, no matter which of the choice of approaches you select from what I talk about below, make sure you set things up to always have at least some of baby's clothes available one-handed by touch in the dark.

You do not need to make all of baby's clothes accessible in this way - indeed, that would be difficult to do for every item. But make sure that in the event of a middle-of-the-night problem (pee, poop or spit-up leaking onto baby's clothes), that you can get your hands instantly on a fresh set of clothing that still fits baby. This can be as simple as keeping a few emergency onesies or footed sleepers in a separate area close to the crib or change table, or in an easy-to-reach drawer nearby if you have one.

Next we'll move on and find out how to organize baby's current clothing (or first newborn size if baby is still on the way). After that we'll look at storage tactics for baby clothes that are not immediately in use - for example, clothes that are too big or that are already outgrown. Don't worry if space is tight - these options also include baby clothes storage ideas for small spaces.

How to organize baby clothes that are currently in use

Here are ideas of storage for baby clothes for the items of clothing that are currently in use. If your baby is still on the way, do this with the first size, typically newborn and some of the smaller 0-3 month sized items.

A dresser is the best option but there are other options

If you have the space, the best option will always be a dresser. A low flat dresser that has a wide surface is ideal since you could put a changing pad on top. A nursery dresser is ideal but if you don't have one don't worry. I never used a nursery dresser but simply re-purposed an existing general-purpose dresser. A low flat dresser is ideal since you could put a changing pad on top. If you won't be able to have any kind of dresser, that's perfectly OK - I have other storage solutions below.

If you are fortunate enough to have a dresser you would put baby's clothes in the dresser drawers. Since baby clothes are quite small, I recommend using drawer organizers for this. Don't over-do it and compartmentalize to the N'th degree with tiny containers though - you don't want it to then become a hassle to put baby's clothes back in the correct spot.

Also, don't automatically assume you'll have time to fold baby clothes. You'll want the drawer organizers to be big enough that you can just throw things of the same category in there (e.g. all the socks in one compartment, onesies in another, T-shirts in another, etc) but without folding. If you want to fold, that's great, but don't set things up in a way that obligates you to fold.

Use closet space for baskets or storage cubes

If you don't have the space or the budget for a dresser, is there a closet in baby's room? Use that as storage space for baby clothes. If it's full of stuff that doesn't relate to baby, is there somewhere else you can put those things? You'll want to clear at least some of the items out so you have a decent chunk of space for baby clothes storage.

However, do not use the closet to hang up everyday baby clothes. That will quickly drive you crazy, hanging them and taking them off. It's great for clothes you don't need, or seasonal items you don't use often such as jackets. Instead, use the other space in the closet as a place to hold other storage solutions for the clothes that are in use - for example, storage cubes or baby clothes storage baskets.

Cute utility cart

Consider getting a cute utility cart or two for your baby clothes. It's a fraction of the cost of a dresser but you can still stack plenty of little baby clothes in there. The utility cart works fine in baby's nursery if you have the space to put the cart there; it's quite a lot smaller than a dresser. The fact of it being on wheels helps make it easier to push it out of the way as needed. It could alternatively be placed in the closet if you don't have space in the nursery.

Re-purpose an existing item of furniture

A no-cost alternative to a dresser is to re-purpose any item of your existing furniture for nursery usage. Shelf storage is fine for baby clothes. If all you have is a bookcase, use that! It's not as convenient for you as a dresser because clothes could fall out of a bookcase, it's hard to rummage around for clothes, but it works. Use what you have. Don't feel compelled to buy a fancy nursery dresser brand-new - baby won't notice! Your baby needs your time, attention and care, but he or she certainly won't notice what type of dresser he or she has.

If you want to go down this route, don't expect to conveniently have an empty piece of furniture sitting around (you won't!) Instead you'll have to think about what to do with the items that are already in your existing dresser, bookcase or shelving unit. Hopefully you can re-distribute their contents elsewhere to re-purpose it as baby's. When I had 2 kids, I realized I didn't have a change table for the second kid (I had the kids closely spaced so they were both still in diapers). Solution? Use the desk in my older kid's room as his change table, just keep a couple of thick towels rolled up on the desk and unroll to make a change mat.

For additional storage in small spaces

If your baby clothes won't all fit in your main storage solution, consider adding over-the-door storage. This can hang over the nursery room door or closet. This is for additional storage, it wouldn't be large enough to fit all of your baby's clothes by itself, but it's perfect for when you need to make use of every extra bit of space that you have.

Put safety in mind when deciding which storage solution is best for you

Whatever you get as your storage solution, get it with an eye to safety after your kid is independently mobile. You don't want anything that could fall down on a toddler, or that a toddler could crawl into and suffocate.

The bottom line for storage of currently-in-use baby clothes

Your baby clothes need to be stored somewhere in baby's room or closet. A nursery dresser in the room is the best option, but if you don't have the space or budget for that, I have given several alternative options, which can go in baby's room or in the closet. These ideas include baby clothes storage bins or baskets, storage cubes, a utility cart on wheels, or a re-purposed item of existing furniture.

At least a few of baby's everyday clothes or night clothes need to be easily accessible one-handed in the dark in case of middle-of-the-night problems.

How to store baby clothes that are not currently in use

For baby clothes that are still too big (or that are too small) and not currently in use, you have plenty more storage options available to you because you won't be accessing these clothes every day.

You can still use any of the options I gave you in the previous section, as long as you keep the items which are not in use separate from the ones in use. Put the ones not in use in the least convenient spot. But you also have some additional options, which I'll mention now.

Under-crib storage

Under-crib storage is a great option for baby clothes you don't need right now. This is typically a zippered container that is flat enough to fit under a crib or bed.

These baby clothes storage boxes are so versatile because you can also use them for other purposes as needed.

On hangers in a closet

Storing baby clothes on hangers in a closet has the advantage of being able to see at a glance what you have. This is a great solution for clothes that baby will soon grow into, since you can see quickly what you have and what you still need. The clothes can go in any closet, it needn't be baby's closet, because you won't need to access these on a regular basis. You will need to use baby hangers, not your regular hangers, because baby clothes are simply to small to fit on a regular hanger.

Ottoman or toy box with lid

This is an ideal solution if you've been given lots of clothes for baby to grow into. An ottoman or a toy box with a lid lets you have a space to store those larger clothes. Then when you're ready to take the clothes out and use them, the ottoman or toy box can be used as a toy box. At this stage, baby will probably need a toy box if you don't have one already.

The bottom line for baby clothes that are not currently in use

Baby clothes that are not currently in use can be stored via under-bed or under-crib storage, on hangers in a closet, or in an ottoman or toy box with a lid.


You have a lot more options than you might first think when it comes to baby clothes storage ideas. A lot will depend on your home layout.

If you can afford it, the best way to store baby clothes that are currently in use is in a nursery dresser. However if you don't have the space or the budget for that, that's totally OK - I have given plenty of wonderful baby clothes storage solutions above. Your baby won't care how his or her clothes are stored!

Remember to always consider safety in your choice - once baby is crawling or walking, you don't want your storage solution to risk falling on baby if he or she grabs it.

If you still need some baby clothes, you may like to check out my article on the best places for baby clothes - there's something for every budget there, from stores that mesh with the tightest discount budget to fancy heirloom-style items.

If budget is a huge concern for buying baby clothes, consider asking family or friends with a somewhat older child if you'd be able to receive some hand-me-downs from them. I have written an etiquette guide for how to ask this - you won't embarrass yourself or your friend!

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