plans for a family closet.

So, I'm starting to hit that late stage of pregnancy where everything feels very imminent, and I get that 'thing' (nesting?) in me that tells me I need to do All the Projects and paint All the Things.  Last night, we were all sitting around watching a movie for family movie night, and I just kept staring at the basement ceiling, wondering how many weeks it would take me to paint the ceiling, trim, and walls of all 1000 square feet down there... and if it was realistic to hope to accomplish it before the baby comes.

I realize it's not.  I also realize it's in no way necessary at this point in life.  But I just get so itchy.  Like, I'm also currently dying to just cut a big hole in the dining room wall and put in a sliding door.  Also not realistic or necessary, even though I WANT TO SO BADLY.

So I'm turning my attention to an actual problem that needs an actual solution sooner rather than later: clothing storage.  Right now, the kids are sharing three dressers between the five of them, and there is no room for another kid's clothes.  We also don't have room for another dresser in the house.  (In fact, Todd's dresser is currently housed in the garage because we can't fit it in here.)  Conundrum. 

But you know what I do have room for?  A family closet in the laundry room.  WHAT?! Wouldn't that just be the best?  A single place to keep all the kids' clothes - one area, one piece of furniture, right next to the washer and dryer?  Angels, people.  I hear angels.

But the thing is... here is the side of the laundry room that I've set my sights on:

It's already full of bins.  So, the simple solution is to move the bins.  But this is my only storage area, so I can only move them to the garage.  Even once I've reconciled myself to the possibility of mold and mice getting into them if they're stored out there, I run into the problem of not having a ton of space there either.  But I could make space... if I take the old loveseat to Goodwill, and sell the jogging stroller and single stroller, and give our old coffee table away, and buy some shelves to get the rest of the boxes off the floor.  Simple enough, right?  Realistic to accomplish in the next few weeks?

And then I could actually set up the closet system.  I almost never hang any of the kids' clothes, so I only need to worry about getting drawers or tubs for everything.  (Their church clothes are hanging in an upstairs closet, which would probably just stay the same.)  I'm thinking I'll set up this:

And for drawers, I'll label these with each owner's initial and the intended contents:

Clothes for Rocco and the new baby would still be stored in the nursery, so I'd currently only need to use four rows of the five available.  I'd give Atticus the highest row, and down the line, and use the uppermost row for storage of right size/wrong season clothes for each of them.

You guys, I'm basically foaming at the mouth thinking about this.  I need to make this happen.  And I have basically no time in the next couple of months in which to clean out the garage, move bins, make a trip to Ikea, set it all up, move the kids' clothes into it, and set up a streamlined system before the baby comes, but I am praying hard that it can somehow miraculously happen.  I need this, people, or I'm a-scary-amount tempted to take a sledgehammer to the dining room wall.

*For some more family closet inspiration, I do have quite a few related things (and some unrelated things) pinned on this board, if you're curious.


Lissa said...

When we were facing the birth of number three while living in an old Victorian home with very little storage, we created one with those IKEA units you showed. It's great! We've since moved and added a child and we now have it set up in the nursery so it's easily accessible to me but not to children.

Lissa said...

I should clarify that I want it accessible but not SO accessible to little mischievous hands. ;)

Lissa said...

And also, are there ways your tribe of people who love you could help you in this endeavor? Whether listing an item for sale for you or picking up the Ikea units you want?

call me Laura said...

I'll have to find the youtube video, but there is a good one on family closets. It goes with the idea that you label by size, not kid. So you would have a 3t bin, and your three year old could grab that. There is also some cool ways to fold things, for example layering shorts, shirts and undies and rolling up, securing with a rubberband. This allows the kid to find his age, get the bundle and be on his way.

paige said...

I am SO glad to hear from someone who has done this! It's so encouraging that you've liked it. And I hear you on the "limiting access" thing- one of our dressers has child-proof drawers, and I just love it for having around the toddler-and-under set!! As they have gotten older, and I'm really trying to stay focused on letting them do whatever they're capable of doing independently, I'm feeling SO ready to turn them loose with it!

paige said...

This is such good advice. I have a hard time asking for help, but this would really be a huge relief to have extra hands on deck for getting it all done. I'll put feelers out to see! Thanks for the reminder!

paige said...

Interesting! I'd love to check out the link if you're able to find it!

todd said...

Excited to see this come together! Thank you for all the effort you put into planning our household.

call me Laura said...

I think it is this link.

stef ha said...

When I was in my last trimester, I also got the nesting...but we don't own the house we live in and we have no other kiddos, so I organized the nursery. And reorganized it and added shelves like these and reorganized them. Over. And over. And over. !!! Seeing this post reminded me of my one track industriousness and made me laugh thinking about the progress I would have made if I'd allowed myself to do more than the same project on repeat! It did work out though--I have bB's clothes progressively organized by size and style (with older ones stored), and everything from burp cloths to swaddles to diapers can be snapped up one handedly. Is there a place near you that sells overstock furniture? We shopped IKEA, but ultimately got a way better deal (and no assembly) on a cube-y bookshelf at one near our house. Ps. I'm AMAZED by your prego momergy--I'm exhausted just reading about all the stuff you're doing!!!