Need to simplify your laundry situation? Learn how creating a family closet can be the perfect solution to save you time and sanity!
How to Create a Realistic Family Closet
I’ve been wanting to change up my laundry situation for quite some time now. I always feel that a move can give you fresh confidence and a new start in many different organizational systems and I decided to take advantage of it. If you’ve been keeping up with my newsletters, our family recently moved across the country for an internship for a missions organization. I plan to share our updated story soon! Anyways, we are now in a new home, a rental for the first time in 12 years and I’ve had the change to be implementing some new systems and routines that I’ve been working towards for a long time.
Why Create a Family Closet?
I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time! Here are the main reasons:
- Less time spent on the laundry. Laundry is my least favorite chore. While I’ve found that having minimal clothing leads to less laundry days (I currently wash every other day), I still hate doing laundry. The less time I can spend on it the better.
- Less mess. I’m guessing I’m not the only one, but my kids love to take clothing out of their dressers and closet in their rooms and then toss it all over the floor. Then I don’t know what’s clean and what’s actually dirty so I end up doing more laundry. I’ve had talks with the other kids about this but my 2 year old loves “dress up”.
- Easier morning and evening routines. Since I’m getting out the clothes each day, there is no more wondering what we need to wear, or having to change clothes after putting something on that was inappropriate for the weather or occasion.
How to Create a Family Closet
This part is actually quite easy. I’ll lay it out for you in steps.
- Decide on a location for the family closet. Unfortunately, in our current rental, the laundry is downstairs and the bedrooms are upstairs. There is just one closet downstairs and that’s where I decided our family closet would be. Pick a location as close to the laundry room as possible. I would recommend having it IN the laundry room if you have space.
- Start by collecting some hampers or laundry baskets that are all the same size. Mine are from Target and have a flat top so they are stackable.
- Gather all of the clothing in your home and sort it out near the closet. If each person in your home has more clothing than what can fit in a hamper, you will need to decide on alternative storage solutions or you will need to stop and create a more minimalistic wardrobe. You can find more info on that here for adults and here for children. We have hampers for the children’s clothing and small dressers and fabric bins for adult clothes. All also have hang up clothes so be sure and have a space for that if it’s part of your wardrobe.
- Organize the clothing how it makes the most sense for how you will use it and how you have the space for it. We’ve chosen not to fold any of our children’s clothing. Besides the few things that are hung up, their clothing rarely wrinkles and doesn’t need to be neatly folded anyway. Note: If you are a traditionalist neat freak like I am, not folding all the clothes WILL take some time to get over. But it saves so much time!
- Create a system/routine with the closet. I will outline our system in a video, but when you are finished creating your family closet, you will also need to create a routine. Decide who is going to access the closet and why.
Our Family Closet System/Routine
I wanted to share our current system with our closet so you can get a better understanding of how it works for our family. Of course, it will look differently for you but I’m sharing this so you might get some inspiration. My husband and I are the only ones that need to be in our closet since all our children are little.
Each night when the kids are showering, I get out their pjs and their clothes for the following day. I take the pjs to the bathroom and put the clothes for the next day in their room. My husband and I get out our clothes for the following day before we go to bed.
For laundry, I have a laundry basket here in the closet as well as one upstairs. I do laundry every other day for our home. I also wash towels/bedding once a week. After the laundry is cleaned and dried, I sort it out. I fold my husband and I’s laundry and sort the kids laundry into stacks. Then I hang up anything that needs to be hung. I take everything over to the closet and hang it up or put away the folded clothes. Then I take each stack of kid’s clothing and sort it into their laundry baskets. I put the pjs on the left side, shirts in the middle, and bottoms on the right side so it’s still semi-organized even though it’s not folded.
Family Closet Video Tour
Since this can be hard to understand by just reading through the blog post, I also wanted to make a video showing you our current family closet system and why it’s set up this way. One thing I want you to keep in mind is that we only have regular sized closets in our current home, no walk-in closets, so this system is very doable even in a small space!
Questions About Family Closets
There are a few more questions that you might have that I may not have covered above, hopefully, this Q&A section will help to clear some of that up! And oh boy, if you aren’t thinking this is a realistic post, I just noticed that I didn’t even bother to clean up my closet in my picture above. Real life!
How do you have a family closet with older children?
If we were using the family closet method but had older children, I would just allow them access to the closet to pick out (and put away) their own clothing.
How much time does it take you to do laundry each time you wash?
Hands-on time? About 2 minutes to gather the laundry, another 2 to get it in the washer, add another 2 if I’m putting it in the dryer (a little longer if I use my drying rack) plus 5 -10 minutes to separate and put it away for a total of 11 – 16 minutes per load. (Which I only do every other day so 44 minutes a week if I’m doing 4 loads of laundry.)
What goes in your regular closets?
I have school supplies in one of them, nothing in the other, and my boys use the last one as a parking garage when they play with their cars.
Don’t you have to iron everything that’s folded or in the laundry baskets?
Nope. All of the clothes that belong to the kids or us (that isn’t hung up) is some kind of rayon blend that rarely wrinkles (if at all). It’s ready to go as is. Anything that wrinkles easier or that we wear to church is hung.
How do you fit everything in one closet?
We’ve been fairly minimalist with our clothing for many years so it’s pretty easy for us. I would not say we are totally minimalist with clothing though so it’s definitely possible to fit a larger amount of clothing in a smaller closet, you just need to be creative and organized.
I want to know! Would you ever have a family closet? What questions do you have about them?