So, we’ve gone over simplifying the amount of clothing for adults and children. For this next part, I am A LOT to say (I know, shocking!), so I plan to break down the Organization post into a few mini posts and hopefully keep from overwhelming (or boring) anyone.
#3 – Organization Options
Here are the options I have decided to go over with regard to organizing your clothing:
1 – Family Closet
2 – Dressers/Furniture
3 – Plastics, Bins and Baskets
4 – Shelving
5 – Mix and Match
Today, I will go over number 1 only.
The Family Closet. I mentioned a few weeks or months ago that I have adopted this organizational method for our family. Please understand that this type of organizing is not for everyone. It requires planning and constant discipline with regard to cleaning and organizing. A family closet will become overwhelming if you do not keep on top of laundry, keeping clothes put away, and regularly removing clothing that the kids have grown out of.
Let me back up.
What is a family closet? It is a closet/room/area that holds ALL clothing for every member of the family/household. I do not have a video of our closet (my pictures are below, though), so here a two links to family closets. The first is of the Duggar Family closet. They have 19 kids (with the 20th on the way!), so their need for a serious clothing organizational system is obvious. They have created a room in their room to hold all clothing for everyone. This makes it easier to pass down clothing sizes to the next child, which I am sure they are doing constantly!
The second link I’d like to share is to a blog called Keeper of the Home. The mother here has a video of their family closet (and another picture, actually, of the Duggar’s closet). This video is actually what helped me see how a family closet was the best choice for us.
Here’s our situation: We are a 6 person family living in a 2 bedroom, 1100 square foot home. On our best days, we feel a bit cramped. Our master bedroom has a walk-in closet, while the second bedroom has a decent size “regular” closet. With 4 children, we have clothes and toys for all ages, and even after paring down both we are out of room! I watched Keeper of the Home’s video and thought of moving everyone’s clothes into our walk-in closet and keeping the kids’ closet as home for most of their toys! Genius.
If you have a home with enough rooms for kids and closet room for all, then maybe a family closet isn’t the right route for you.
Here are the reason I love our family closet:
1. Everyone’s clothes are together, so when I pick out clothes for myself and the kids each night, I only have to go to ONE place to find everything….and if I don’t get to it before the kids go to bed, I don’t have to worry about waking them to sneak in their room and pick out clothes.
2. For laundry day, I only have ONE place to go to put everyone’s clothes away!
3. It motivated me to simplify the amount of clothing we all have…because it ALL has to fit in one closet!
4. It moved almost all of the toys out of sight…which I love most! I do not like to see clutter or toys taking over our house, so to be able to fit them all into the kids’ closet at the end of the day was a HUGE plus for me!
I created our family closet on my own. We do not have a lot of bedroom furniture for us or the kids, so I didn’t have a lot of things to move. We use the 3-drawer Sterilite carts for about half of the clothes and other Sterilite drawers for the rest. My mom gave us a dresser in the Spring, that I had been using in the kids’ closet to hold most of their clothes. That was the only big item I had to move into our family closet.
Below are photos of what I’ve come up with….and it’s working so far for us!
This is the dresser Arthur and I share for clothing, with bins up top holding his running clothes and both of our sweaters, other winter attire, and our jeans.
The top rack of hanging items are all of Arthur’s work clothes. The bottom row is all of the kids’ clothes that hang up – dresses, skirts and boy church clothes.
The center of the rods has a shelving unit. The bottom two areas hold everyone’s sweatshirts and a box for all slippers. It’s empty right now because we’re all wearing them! And yes, those are bottles of ranch dressing on the row above. Small pantry = creative places to store stockpiled items!
This rod has my hanging up items. It is a bit crowded because I have a few pants suits that I am trying to decide if I should keep or not. And I have a few dressy dresses on there that I need to pass on. The baskets shown are for dirty clothes.
Here are all the drawers for kid clothing. The bottom 3 drawers on the far right hold: swimsuits and summer hats, tights for all the girls, and next size up for baby Artie. The big drawer up top on the right has all of baby Artie’s current size pants, sleepers and jackets. The 3 drawers just to the left of those 3 on the right hold pajamas. Each girl has their own pj drawer. The big 3 drawers just under the baskets hold shirts and sweaters. Each girl has their own shirt drawer. The 3 wide drawers under those hold pants and jeans. Each girl has her own pants drawer.
And lastly, this is my cluttered area. The one big drawer under the clutter holds all of baby Artie’s onesies, shirts, bibs, socks. Beneath that are 3 drawers that hold the girls’ undies, socks, and undershirts. Each girl has their own drawer. That clutter up top is extra diapers, the girls jewelry box (which they get in to too often, so I have to keep it out of their room!), and clothes that the baby has grown out of that need to be given away or given back to the lender.
That last picture shows a great example of how much discipline a family closet demands. Yes, it’s nice to be able to keep everyone’s things together, BUT there is no room left over for clutter. I need to stay on top of taking out clothes that the youngest has grown out of, otherwise I end up with a pile like that above. I’m blaming it on the busy weeks of Thanksgiving and illness.
So, this was just part 1 of number 3. That’s confusing. The sub-sections of this Part #3 will be posted each day, rather than spacing them out a week like the main points. Otherwise, I might never get through this series! Monday, you can expect to see the second and third sub-points…Dressers/Furniture and Plastic, Bins, and Baskets.