|Family Clothes Storage|
Sometimes worst than the mountain of dirty laundry is the mountain of clean laundry. With lots of kids, it can be difficult to figure out where to put all of those clothes. If you have a large house with lots of closet space, you probably don't have that worry. For most people however, space is at a premium, and with kids doubling up in a bedroom, it can be difficult to find where to put that extra dresser. Large families have been great and resourceful in this area. In this article we feature some neat and practical ideas on how to store and organize all those clothes. |
Family Closet/Dressing Room - Anyone who has ever had to single-handedly put up clothes for a family of 10 knows it can be downright tiring. Going from room to room, dresser to dresser, putting everything away is exhausting. Even if your children help in the task of putting up their own clothing, it can still be a trying endeavor keeping track of what goes where. Some large families have resorted to instituting a "family closet". Not a literal closet, it's usually an area where all the family's clothing is kept, meaning bedrooms and other areas of the house do not have dressers, and closetspace in rooms is used for storage of other things like games, toys, etc.
There are several ways to create a family closet. If you have the luxury of an extra bedroom, or a particularly large walk-in closet, this is the ideal way to create a closet. If you don't have the space, part of an existing room can be sectioned off, converting an area off of the laundry area, an underused area in the basement...actually anywhere that you have a deal of space can be utilized. Install hanging rods at various levels, move existing dressers into the space--or even better, abandon the dressers and use shelving and bin systems. With all of the wonderful organizational products on the market today, you can truly maximize the storage potential of any space. Visit any home-improvement store and you can get an idea of how to do it.
If you are lucky enough to have the additional space, you can install a small "changing room" off of the closet. One family created a square frame mounted to the back wall. They simply hung curtains on all three sides (with the front curtain on a rod so it could be opened and closed), and viola, a changing room. If you don't have space for a changing room, you can have your children gather their clothes nightly for the following day and change in their rooms or the bathroom. One mom placed a flat storage bin under the various beds for each child, putting in a week's worth of clothes; all other clothing was kept "off-site".
If you are a large family and are looking to have a home built, you should strongly consider a family closet in the design.
A Different Take on the Family Closet - Love the idea of a family closet, but simply don't have the space? This was my personal dilemma. Living in an old house, space is at a premium as it is. Still, I realized that the benefits of having one location would more than make up for any loss of that space. So, I improvised. I moved all of the family's clothing into my bedroom. Now, this won't work if you have a showcase bedroom, or if you use your room as a santuary to get away from it all. In my case, the baskets of unfolded laundry and all the other clutter usually ended up in there anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. I built some shelving, utilized dressers we had, and hung some additional rods. I resorted to some more unconventional clothes storage strategies (some listed below). With a little creativity, I managed to get it all in there...and my bedroom is not very big so it was a challenge. Sure, it does look a bit awkward with some of these additions, however, the difference it made in my laundry situation is phenomenal. I'm able to sit on my bed and fold a basket of laundry, and in a matter of a few steps, put everything away--with the exception of towels and linens, but that's hardly a problem! When I need to get the kids ready in the morning, I can pick out all of their clothes in a few minutes...no moving room to room. Should we ever have a house built or move into bigger quarters, I'll make sure to factor in a family closet. Until then, this solution has truly changed my life for the better.
Sometimes finding space for all those clothes is simply a matter of re-thinking how you store them. Using traditional dressers and hanging clothing on rods is adequate in many situations, but it oftentimes does not fully utilize a space. Here are some ideas on how to maximize your clothes storage.
Sure, real furniture looks great, but is it practical? Whenever a new baby comes, you need to pull out all of the old clothing for him/her to wear. For the mostpart, baby clothes are easy to store simply because of their size. Unless you have a ton of clothing, a full-size dresser may be underutilized. Sure, you can store other stuff in it, but you are looking to streamline your clothes storage. Consider simply using underbed container, or perhaps plastic storage drawers. These types of units are lightweight, hold up pretty well, and can be re-used for other general purposes when you are done with them. (There's a picture of how we used one below.)
2007 - Lotsofkids.com