A Montessori wardrobe is a child's wardrobe that is accessible and easy for the child to use, from toddlerhood. Why no excuses? Because I honestly believe no matter where you live or what resources you have, you are able to create a Montessori wardrobe for your child!
Firstly why does your child need to access their own wardrobe? Montessori wardrobes:
- Teach life skills - self-dressing and organisation.
- Promote independence.
- Show respect towards the child - I respect you, I trust you and I will enable you to make your own clothing choices, often for little ones, it's a choice between one or two seasonally appropriate outfits.
- Provide freedom and responsibility within limits in an age-appropriate way.
- Help develop sense of self and self-pride.
- Help develop self-expression.
How do you create a Montessori wardrobe? Think baskets and/or hanging space! Can you:
- Order a child's wardrobe locally? There are some dress-up stands that would also work as a wardrobe.
- Have one made, do you have local craftsperson who can help out?
- DIY or adapt an existing wardrobe?
The above-pictured wardrobe is one that is made in Australia, it's gorgeous but a little on the pricey side. It may be worth investing if you know you can pass it on or will have more than one child use it. Below are a few of my own DIYs. The bottom two have stood the test of time and have lasted through my children's toddler years and beyond.
This above wardrobe is for Otto using a telescopic wardrobe extender and can be used at any height. This was really affordable, took a little strength to tighten it and it can only be used on thin/narrowish wardrobes. When I was looking around there were also bathroom/shower curtain extenders that would do a similar job.
This wardrobe was for Caspar (7 years) and Otis (4 years). They have baskets for their folding clothes. Caspar could reach and use the top rail, we used a wardrobe extender for Otis' low rail. This worked for us for so many years, it allowed two children to use the wardrobe and Otis to be able to access and look after all of his clothing. Otis is also on the small side, this would definitely work for younger children.
This wardrobe above has a wooden dowel at the child's height using curtain rail adapters at the ends, to help secure it to the wall. This worked for Caspar's and Otis' toddler years, although not height adjustable.
Other suggestions include;
- Lowering a portable clothes rail / portable clothes rack.
- Use wardrobe hanging shoe or sweater organisers.
- Try an Ikea hack?
- Visit a local organising/storage store for ideas, or even check out stores online.
Need more ideas or inspiration? Perhaps look at my previous articles;
- Montessori Closet / Wardrobe Ideas and Inspiration.
- Montessori Wardrobes to Order (US, Europe, Australia).
- Getting Dressed at Two.
As with so many Montessori materials for the home, it can take a little looking around and a lot of patience. Most of all, if you think out of the box it can be very affordable and completely worth it!