Wednesday, March 06, 2013

homemaking hack #2: the family closet

I joked that last week's homemaking hack was life changing, but I can tell you with all seriousness that this week's has made my life so much easier that I can't recommend it enough! :)

I learned the ultimate homemaking hack {for large families, anyway} from Michelle Duggar, the famous mom of 19 kids we all know and love. {She is so SWEET!! I want to be like her when I grow up!}

When we had cable in our old house I watched their show {way back, when they only had 14 kids!}, and on one episode they shared this room in their home they call the family closet:

from the Duggar family website
We had baby #4 on the way, and I was so excited when I saw it...I dreamed of a house with a family closet in it that would make my laundry work a little easier like theirs did. :)

God gave us this house, and I think I cried when I peeked in the back window for the first time. There was the perfect room for a family closet with the laundry room right off of it!! :D


We started out with lots of random dressers- we only have three very small closets in the whole house, so we don't hang up clothes for the kiddos since they're so little. {which might explain some of the wrinkles they always have in their clothes! LOL!}. Not hanging up clothes saves me a ton of time, but that is another post in itself... :)

When we remodeled the room, we tried to figure out what would work the best and look pretty too. We considered having cabinets built but didn't want to spend that much money {or time remodeling} so we ended up investing in four of these Allen and Roth closet towers from Lowe's:



The hubs built a platform for our un-level back porch floors for the towers, and we bought 12 drawers and four baskets to make a pretty family closet/pantry system:


Each kiddo has three drawers, a straw basket, and a shoe basket {#5 will have a dresser for now, until we build more}. They store their special trinkets and accessories in the top basket, and random stuff like jackets and socks end up with the shoes, and I'm okay with that. It's organized, kind of. :)

I love, love, love, not putting clothes away all over the house. I can tell you now, it would never ever happen. I was always behind in putting away clothes when we had dressers in every room in our old house.  Not to mention, it made each bedroom so much more messy to have clothes everywhere needing to be picked up. 

Now I don't let the kids take their clothes off upstairs- they have to do it in the bathroom/laundry room. Their dirty clothes still end up in random places downstairs {and occasionally upstairs}, but it's not too often, thankfully! 

I seriously LOVE having this system, and it has saved me so much time. I loved it when we had only a few random dressers too, though. Keeping the clothes central to one location has been the key to laundry sanity for this mama.

We don't have a pantry at all, so until we finish the rest of the room with shelving, the top shelves are doubling as food and staple storage for now. Eventually, we might use each section above the chalkboard baskets for hang up clothes when the kids get bigger.

It's not perfect for everyone, and sometimes it gets messy, but it so works for us! :D Here's what it typically looks like after the morning rush/weeks of use {a.k.a. before straightening}:


It's been worse too, but hey, I only have to walk four steps to close all of the drawers and clean it all up! :D Elijah's nighttime chore is to clean this room, and he always does a good job putting everything away, so it's not been bad at all lately. :)

You could use any type of system to make a family closet, of course! The Duggar's apparently hang up most of their clothes, and it obviously works well for them! :D Either way, keeping most of the clothing in one place has made such a difference in how much time I spend doing laundry-related tasks.


What works for you when it comes to clothing storage? What motivates you to put the clothes away after they're washed?

Are you a hanger-upper or a drawer person? :D
Drawer girl- my hang-up clothes ALWAYS hang me up when I do laundry. :P

Most unique closet you've ever seen? {if you have a link, I want to see it too!! :DD}
I love the idea of having a washer and dryer in the master closet- and wouldn't it be cool to have a wall of pictures of your favorite outfits pre-matched so you could to remember what to wear? {That might just be me}.

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