Monday, January 04, 2010


Like everyone else this month, I'm getting back into the swing of things, trying to organize and streamline my world. :)

One of the things I have a hard time with is clothes. It's not like I haven't tried things, or am not implementing ideas, but there is still so much room for improvement.

We have moved a small dresser downstairs where each child has one drawer for clothes, with a basket sectioning the panties and socks from the rest of the clothes.

One drawer is for all jammies.

Dresses still hang in their bedroom closet.

Off-size and off-season clothes are stored in the computer room here in boxes or bins labeled for size. Since we have only girls, we don't have to sort for gender, and thus far we haven't sorted for seasons either.

The problems: Keeping dresses on hangers and hangers in closets is nearly impossible with a 2-year-old in the house. I don't know that there's a fix for that, but I welcome all legal ideas.

Each laundry load invariably includes something that needs put in the storage boxes, and their next stop is a laundry basket in the computer room "to be put away." You can guess how that's working out. Organique thinks it's a dress-up pile (and I don't like seeing 6-month-old clothes stretched over my 2-year-old's head), things get mixed up and back into circulation, I procrastinate... It seems like a big job to sort out each item into piles from infant to 8, keep those piles from being molested before the basket is emptied, not to mention locating and peering at all those hand-me-down, washed-out tags that may or may not be readable anyway.

Is there a better way? I ran across some blog lately that referenced their clothing-storage bins being more for genre than size. "boys dress pants" - several sizes in one bin. Would that be easier? Tossing all the summery shirts into one pile might get them put away faster, but would it be reasonable to retrieve things that way? What about things that have a matching top and bottom?

With a gift card from Christmas I've ordered Don Aslett's Weekend Makeover, and I hope to find some good organizing ideas in there.

Do you have a perfect clothing system in your home? Will you tell me about it if you do?


Benny said...

With my stairstep boys I just rotate down from one to the next. So, when #1 outgrows it, I have a storage bin for when #2 is ready, and when #2 outgrows it, it moves to the bin awaiting #3, and so on. I use the big plastic storage bins with lids. Mine are not seethrough - so no one cares to go searching through them. Not sure if girls would be more prone to poking around...

It works well for us. As I pull outgrown things, I decide if they're worth handing down (at some point the knee holes really are too big) and then I either get rid of it or move it to the bin of the next boy down.

For season changes, I do remove seasonal stuff. My boys' off season stuff either gets moved down to a little bro bin, or tossed on top of their closet shelf to be used the following year if I think it will still fit (summer tees and shorts often go a couple of years on one boy). At the beginning of the season (hot or cold, we don't do all four around here) I just pull out the stuff they won't be using for a while and either toss it on their shelf for next year or move it to little bro's bin for future use. Then I go through each boy's waiting bin and pull all the stuff that will fit for this year and put it in their drawers. I do this twice a year, and it only takes a short time to sort through it.

As for clothes in use, boys all have their own dresser for clothes, undies and jammies. But for socks I keep them all downstairs in a plastic drawer bin. Just a weird habit that started years ago. My kids only wear socks when we go out, so it's easier to grab them on the way out the door than to send them upstairs to get socks on.

Of course baby stuff is different, since they grow more quickly. My current baby happens to be the first of her gender around here. So she just has a bin of handmedowns waiting from friends that I pull from, and I toss all outgrown stuff into another bin, just in case it's needed again. I don't sort much for size, but I find it a short process to sort it when I need to down the road. Why do now what I could put off until tomorrow, after all? ;o)

So there's my long answer. Hope it makes sense. Not sure if it would work for anyone else, but it works just fine for us. ;o)


MamaJ said...

No amazing ideas here, we're trying to get organized also. We just moved all 3 kids into the same room, so that (walk-in) closet is functioning for both the boys and baby girl. She has two rods for her clothes, they each have one hanging rod. Then they each have their own dresser, and I put pictures of the type of clothing on the front of the drawer. Pants, Shirts, Pajamas/underwear, and then a drawer for swim suits. The "idea" is that they are supposed to put away their clothes into the correct drawers, but I usually have to do some rearranging. :-)