One question that larger families get frequently is how we all fit into a small house. (For the record, I don’t think my family is large—but we are by SoCal standards!) So Anna and I thought we’d do a couple theme weeks on how we organize several children into small spaces. This week, we’ll be talking about how we organize our kids’ closets and store their clothes.
We live in a three bedroom home with no basement, so every little bit of space has to count. In the big kids’ room, the two oldest share a dresser that has the benefit of being tall instead of wide, therefore using less precious floor space. A friend clued me into Ikea’s skubb organizational bins that fit neatly into the drawers. Before filling the dresser, I took an afternoon with the kids, talking through how they wanted to organize their two drawers apiece. They have allotted cubes for everything, so ideally, they should always know where to put away their clean clothes. For an honest picture of how their drawers look on a given day, though, I resisted the urge to tidy things up and just took a picture of how the kids keep them. There’s something about pajamas that resist neat storage!
Since S just moved into the big kids’ room when J was born, her clothes are slowly making their way over to the built-in drawers in the closet. As you can see, we have a separate hanging rod for each kid’s clothes: my son’s up on top, and the girls below where they can reach them. The other shelves hold extra bedding, toys that are currently out of rotation (more on that next month), and puzzles. On the floor is a dirty clothes basket and a dress-up clothes basket.
J’s room doubles as our guest room, so her closet mainly holds extra bedding and air mattresses and the like as well as all the extra baby gear. Her clothes live in a baby dresser that we found in her great-grandpa’s attic.
Since we’ve always known we wanted a large family, I’ve saved all the kid’s clothes in plastic bins that I label by gender and size. (Plastic is key because it keeps out moisture and bugs.) Because I accept any and all hand-me-downs and shop ahead at garage sales and consignment sales, I usually have tubs going out a couple sizes past the T and E’s current sizes. When someone’s clothes are starting to get tight, I’ll make a note to toss them into the appropriate bin as they come out of the dryer (which is “conveniently” located in my garage, as well). My kids LOVE hand-me-downs. Last week, we pulled out E’s old 2T clothes bin for S, and we had a full-out fashion show with all the new treasures. As a side note, I’ve heard people say that they just have to buy their kids’ clothes new, because they won’t last through multiple kids. Well, most of our girls’ clothes were worn by at least two girls before being handed down to us. And J (the fifth girl in line) still has an overabundance of not-worn-out clothing. (If we ever have another boy, however, we’ll have to buy him all new jeans, as T started putting holes through all of his knees at about 2…)
I’m excited to hear how Anna does it with her six on Wednesday! If your kids share a room, how do you store their clothes?