Monday, February 6, 2012

Maid for Mondays: Buried Alive? Creating a Central Closet in your home

When you’ve had difficult weeks, like our family has the last three, how do you keep up with the laundry? I find keeping up with almost everything else is easy (dishes, cooking, etc.), but the laundry is the most difficult. Especially with 4 little ones and a husband who wears a uniform to work. So, how do I keep up? Well, let’s just say that my new and improved system is working wonders for keeping up with the laundry!!

First, let me explain how difficult I found it before. I would be okay getting the washing and drying done. But, then came the folding, sorting and putting away. Now, with two little ones under 3 at the time it was more than difficult to fold laundry while they were awake. I could fold laundry and have it piled and ready to put away, then turn my back for 5 seconds and *POOF! It’s all.on.the.floor! AAAAHHHH!!!! There were days I would do this over and over and over. And I thought to myself, when would I ever learn?! This is crazy!

Once I figured out my scheduling, I moved laundry time back a little and started folding while the kids were either in their high chairs for lunch or napping. But, then the trick became when could I put all this neatly folded laundry away? The kids were napping and when they wake up, they’ll need diapers, a snack and attention for a while. When am I going to be able to put their clothes away? UGH!!! More frustration!

So, I began to seek out options and alternatives. I wanted tips and ideas on how to tackle this obstacle from mother’s with large families. And, after reading many blogs about organization for larger families and watching The Dugger’s on TLC, I realized I really wanted a central closet. So, I started to draw up some plans and gather ideas for what I thought would work best for our family.

Now, we’re still working out the kinks and working on clearing out more of the laundry area, but this set-up is wonderful. I have all the kids’ clothes (shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, tights, unders, etc.) all in ONE location!!! It’s wonderful!!! I honestly never thought I would almost enjoy laundry! But, with this system in place (albeit not completely, but manageable), my life is so much simpler!! I can’t believe I never thought of this before!

Okay, now before you look at these photos, please understand this is still a work in progress and its messy! But, I hope you'll get the idea.

Each bin holds specific items. Then I have clothes arranged on the shelves according to person. My plan is to eventually have a rod to hang the shirts and dresses on, but for now this works.

My washer and dryer are nothing fancy. We got these as a wedding gift 8.5 years ago!! They still work great (although secretly I occasionally wish they would break, so I could justify getting new front-loaders!). I have cabinets above them that hold my homemade laundry detergent, vinegar, and other various cleaning products. In between the cabinets is a hanging rod for those shirts I do not dry. I love having these items right at my fingertips when doing laundry.

Also in the laundry room area is our changing table. When I was processing everything in my head I realized how difficult it was to change diapers on three different kids at various times during the day. Inevitably someone would be asleep when I needed to change a diaper, so I moved the changing table to a more accessible location. This area works great for a couple reasons:
1)        No more sneaking in to get diapers while another child sleeps.
2)     We can change their clothes, dress them and put laundry away all at ONCE!!!!

So, there ya have it. No, its not complete yet and I’m still working out a few logistics, but if you’re looking to simply your life and you have room for a “central closet” system it’s worth it!! If (or when) we move, that is going to be key for us!! I don’t think I could go back.

You may be wondering what I’ve done with the kids’ closets since I’ve moved all their clothes out. Well, they are being re-vamped right now, but eventually they will hold their toys, so their room is not so cluttered. It will help for their toys to have a specific bin/space in the closet to be put up rather than sliding it under the bed (in a bin of course) or stack it over here, etc.

What have you done to simply chores in your house? And more specifically, laundry? Do have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Leave me a comment so we can all benefit!!


Today I'm linking up to these parties. Check out some of the other posts for more GREAT ideas!!!

Growing Home       



momto8 said...

each kid has their own laundry day..John Monday, Luke works for us. if they need something like a sports uniform I wash that with someone else's laundry. we also use sock nets...which help tremendously with missing and pairing socks.
Good luck.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

Thanks so much for your tip!! Our kids don't participate in sports, so we don't have that additional laundry. The sock net tip is GREAT!!! We may have to try that!
I checked out your blog and am a follower now too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rose said...

I love the idea of a central closet and am still considering whether it would work for us. It looks like you have a really good system going for your family.

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

It is working very nicely so far. I still have a LONG way to go for it to be just what I want. But, I'm well on my way! Planning it out is half the battle! If you find it works for you, please let me know! I'd love to see how yours turned out!