Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Family Closet

I've become obsessed with the concept of the Family Closet, ie, one location to store all the family's clothing.  I think I first saw the FC in action while watching an episode of the Duggar's show.  Now that I have five children of my own, I feel like our clothing/laundry needs have changed and I decided that I needed to have a FC.

So I started to do some research (which is how I approach almost every aspect of my life) and read about how other people created their own versions of the FC.  Then I took an inventory of all the kids' clothing (using a spreadsheet) and then created another spreadsheet to try and figure out how many shelves I would need and how I would group the various items of clothing on the shelving.  I began pricing shelving online and then went to Target in search of shelving that I could see and touch (as it is difficult to determine how sturdy shelving is when viewing online.)

Score!  I found an adequate shelving unit on sale so I brought it home and started organizing.  Once I got started, I felt compelled to keep going.  So I convinced my husband that we needed to go back to Target to get four more units (so that we'd have one for each kid.)  With a sigh he agreed and off we went.  (I think he knows me well enough to know that once I get an idea in my head, there is no stopping me.  It's just easier to go along than it is to try and reason with me.)

I was giddy on the ride home from Target just thinking about getting the FC organized.  (I realize that this is not normal.)  We spent most of the day on Sunday putting together shelving units and organizing kid clothing.  And the FC is complete!

The baby's room is doing double duty as both a nursery and the FC.  Once the baby moves in with his brothers (which won't be for another 18 months or so) then I will add additional elements to the FC, such as:  a counter for folding clothing and wrapping gifts, a drying rack to hang damp towels after showering and moving the ironing station from the basement to the FC.

In planning the closet, I estimated that I needed approximately 30 small/medium sized bins to house items such as socks, underwear, gym uniforms, leggings, etc.  When I priced the bins online, I discovered that it was going to cost about $170 to get what I wanted.  So instead, I went to the dollar store to see if they had anything similar.  The bins at the dollar store were smaller than I wanted and they had about 10, not 30.  So I decided to comprise, save some cash and buy disposable tin serving pans instead (which you can see if you double-click on the photos).  The disposable pans ended up costing $33 which was a great savings.  Although as my husband pointed out, that may have been "penny-wise but pound-foolish."  Only time will tell.  Between gift cards and a sale at Target, I ended up spending about $210 on the shelving units.  So for less than $250 and less than 24 hours worth of work (including research, planning, shopping, assembling, organizing) I was able to make the FC a reality.

However, in the meantime, Christmas prep has come to a grinding halt and the rest of the house looks like this:

But soon enough we'll get to this room and get the house ready for Christmas.

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