I've put off writing about clothes organization because I can't really think of anything more boring. I would much prefer to write about my almost two-year-old (how is it possible that he is almost TWO?!) who almost gave himself a concussion tonight when in the ramp up of a tantrum, he threw himself on the floor and smacked his head against tile.
Well, I guess I did just write about that.
So, now hold your hats because I'm going to write about the organization of clothes for six people in a house that has two bedrooms, three very small closets and a mother who has a highly-evolved fashion sense.
(that is a total joke.)
(if you could see what I'm wearing right now, you'd snort.)
As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, our house is technically a two bedroom, although we use it as a three bedroom. The third "bedroom", is in reality, a den conversion that lacks a closet - and - a door. But, because we decided not to move when we found out that we were more than doubling our family size in 2004, or adding another member to our clan in 2007, we have tried to maximize living in the small space that we have.
First and foremost, we have learned that we really do not need that many clothes. It seems that everyone in our family has a "uniform" that they wear, almost every day. When I consider the clothes that each one of us wear - it's pretty much three or four interchangeable outfits - every week. As such, we have tried to completely eliminate impractical clothes and shoes from our wardrobes.
Impractical clothes (and shoes) being defined as those that are uncomfortable - ugly - or something that we'd never (or hardly ever) wear. While keeping in mind that what wasn't impractical last year ... might be impractical this year ... so we are frequently doing an inventory and getting rid of clothes that we no longer wear, or can see ourselves wearing anytime in the future.
To help facilitate in this process, we keep a trash bag of discards always available and once every few weeks, we will sort through whatever we've pulled out of circulation to confirm they are no longer needed, before we pack them off to Goodwill.
Charlie has his own dresser, I have my own dresser, the girls share a dresser as do the boys. Because we recently decided to move Henry in to the bedroom with the door (when he's in a closed room he is more conducive to sleeping at nap time) to make room for his crib in the "boys room" we moved the "boys dresser" in to the girls room. This has actually worked out quite well because now I just have to make one stop with a basket full of clean children's clothes.
In so far as the children, pants, shirts, skirts and season-appropriate pajamas go in to their dressers. Dress shirts and dresses are hung up. Because space is at a premium since four children are sharing two dressers, we have moved all of their socks and underwear in to baskets that are readily accessible to them.
Sweaters and sweatshirts have been moved in to large baskets that are tucked into a cabinet in the girls' dresser for storage.
Dress-up clothes for the children are also stored in baskets. Which are then further stored, on top of the girls' dresser, which I bring down each morning so the kids can change their outfits 20 times a day. (which they do.) (seriously.) (i am absolutely, positively, not kidding.)
We installed coat racks - at a level the children can reach - where they hang up all of their jackets and pull-overs. One rack per child.
Winter clothes - specifically, warmer jackets, hats, mittens and thermal underwear - have been moved out to our garage and are stored in boxes that are labeled accordingly. Likewise, summer wear - specifically, bathing suits, tank tops, shorts - have been moved to our garage and are stored in boxes that are labeled accordingly. Depending upon the season, we will move these items in to the "general circulation" and move off-season gear out to the garage for storage.
We also move out to the garage for storage any clothes that are too large or too small for the children...
... As well as costumes that are too bulky to store inside the house.
Shoes for the children have been moved in to a large basket storage system.
Although I try to keep shoes segregated by slippers and sandals, dress shoes and play shoes, it seldom happens that the shoes stay separated for long. Still, this system keeps shoes all in one place and it's never very difficult to find matching pairs.
Here's a link to one that is similar to ours. (Except this one has five drawers and ours only has three.)
A few years ago, Charlie installed wire shelving racks in to all of our closets which maximizes the usable "void" space on top of our closets.
All of our sweaters and sweatshirts have been moved in to various baskets, which are very easily accessible.
Assorted hats have their own basket as do (does?) miscellaneous exercise equipment.
We bought a belt hangar to organize belts, a tie hangar to organize ties, and we replaced all of our plastic and easily warp-able hangers and freebie metal hangers from laundromats with sturdy wooden hangers. Amazon has them very reasonably priced. Here's a link.
I was so tired of shoes piling up on the floor of our closets, and after having tried several other shoe organization systems, a few years ago I purchased a shoe cubby that works great. What I really like - other than my shoes staying neatly organized - is that there is additional storage space on top.
Here's a link to one that is similar to ours.
Within the same collection of the shoe cubicle system - were some small shelves for the floor - that I purchased that we use to hold miscellaneous items like a Fender amplifier, free weights, our cremated dogs ashes - (which we have yet to sprinkle in the ocean) - and several bottles of red wine.
Please note: Charlie's cowboy boots that I begged him to purchase in 2001 during a trip to Oklahoma - and he has worn only once on the plane ride back home to California - definitely fall under the totally impractical category. But I won't let him get rid of them because they are just way too cool and if we ever move to Texas, he might need them.
In conclusion, I would like to add that this is such a chic blog. I can't imagine a guy would ever write about something like clothes and closet organization. So now, I'm just going to sit back and watch my statistics go through the roof.
Because I'm sure they will with a captivating post, such as this.