Benefits of a Family Closet

posted by Andrea | 09/3/2010

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about family closets as a great way to stay a bit more organized and to simplify the laundry routine. Since I don’t have any children, we really have no need for a family closet, but the whole concept is pretty amazing — and I honestly can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!

The first time I heard the term “family closet” was about a year ago when I saw a TV clip about the Duggar family {you know, the ones who have 19 kids…maybe 20 by now!} They have a HUGE family closet off their laundry room {which has 4 washers and 4 dryers}. It seemed to make perfect sense for their large family…but I never really thought about the benefits it could have for smaller families as well.

The Duggar’s Huge Family Closet

What exactly is a family closet?

A family closet is basically one convenient location where you keep ALL your family’s clothes. It is usually located near the laundry room or near the bedrooms, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a true closet. It could be a spare bedroom, a portion of a room, a utility room, or any other area that works for you and your family.

Why might you want a family closet?

  • All the clothes are in one spot which make it a snap to put laundry away
  • Dirty clothes are also in one spot :)
  • You can put laundry away while smaller children are sleeping and you don’t have to worry about waking them up
  • The closets in your children’s rooms can be used for books, toys, etc. so their rooms will be less cluttered
  • Without dressers, your kids will have more space to play in their rooms
  • As your children grow, you can easily pass their clothes down to the next child without rearranging closets
  • Cleaning your closets won’t be as difficult or overwhelming because you only have one!

Here are a few additional resources I stumbled upon this week:

Do you have a family closet?

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16 comments

  1. mandi@itscome2this

    09/03/2010

    Wow! This is a totally new concept to me!! I can definitely see where it helps. Although I can also see the mornings being a little trickier – I guess I would have to plan what I’m wearing the night before. But that’s probably a good thing. I have absolutely no extra space to pull that off, but definitely intrigued now!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, “space” is key to this plan! In our current house, we don’t have space for this either…but some day I would LOVE to implement this with our family.

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  2. Melissa

    09/03/2010

    I have given this thought. And actually, just today I was contemplating just having a family sock drawer! I just can’t bear to sort all my kids socks!!! They never all match up and it just takes so much time. So why not put the monkey on their back…..and let them dig for a match? Thanks for helping us ‘big’ families out! I’m off to check out the links : )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    A family sock drawer is a great idea. It might even be nice if you could keep it in the laundry room or by the back door when everyone is putting their shoes on.

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    Melissa Morgner Reply:

    I did it! I made our family sock drawer. It’s down the kids hallway and it’s an enormous drawer. I just posted about it on my blog: http://dayindayoutdayupdaydown.blogspot.com/2010/09/family-sock-drawer.html

    And I linked to your original article which inspired me! Thanks so much Andrea : )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow…yes you did! I just checked out your blog post…great work! And in only 3 days!! That’s impressive!

    [Reply]

    Melissa (a different Melissa) :) Reply:

    I have a family sock drawer for my kids, but they wear pretty close to the same sizes as my oldest is 7 and my twins are 6. And the only people who care whether or not they’re wearing boy-style white socks or girl-style white socks are themselves, so since those little details are more important to me than to them, then they have no trouble figuring out whose socks are whose in the shared drawer.

    And if it weren’t for my nice cashmere work socks, I could probably share a socks drawer with them all pretty soon since my feet are so small and my 7 year old has big feet – she can already wear some of my socks. :P But I have a 5-drawer dresser in my walk-in closet that has belts and scarves in the top, bras, undies and socks in the 2nd drawer (I really pared down to mostly just the few I wear over and over again every week and only a few extras for when I get behind on laundry), 3rd drawer for pajamas, camisoles & tank tops, 4th drawer for purses, and bottom drawer for umbrellas, hats, scarves and gloves.

    [Reply]

    Melissa (a different Melissa) :) Reply:

    I mean since those little details are more important to THEM than to ME… :) oops

    [Reply]

  3. Fifth Street Mama

    09/04/2010

    Very interesting concept. I don’t think it’s for me right now but perhaps down the road.

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  4. Suesan

    09/04/2010

    I’ve been saying for years how this idea makes more sense that sorting it all into separate rooms. I’ve tried to structure our Laundry rooms to follow this concept whenever the space in my house allows me that option. Space is the key. By the time I get the space, though, I probably won’t have all the people that requires it!

    [Reply]

  5. Tricia @ This Happy Home

    09/05/2010

    I’ve seen more and more family closets in the blogsphere over the past few months and the idea TOTALLY appeals to me. Unfortunately, we don’t have the setup in this house to do it. If we ever get a setup that would allow it, I’m totally doing it!

    And I love the idea aobut a sock drawer by the shoes! We currently only wear sandals but we’re moving soon and will have to wear “real” shoes there. A sock drawer in the laundry room or near the shoes would be an excellent idea!

    [Reply]

  6. KRISTA

    08/09/2011

    Well, I didn’t have one before, but I’m going to rearrange my home to make one in a small bedroom off the bathroom we all use to shower which is also off the laundry room. What a great idea – Since it’s a bedroom we’ll have enough space to put 3 dressers and a table for folding. So excited at the idea of having more space in our bedrooms for sitting and reading, doing a hobby, or whatever.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s great that your house can accommodate a family closet — I just know you will love having that extra space in your bedrooms! Plus, it sounds like the area you picked will be really convenient for folding laundry and getting ready each morning.

    [Reply]

  7. Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    11/06/2011

    Andrea,
    Thank you so much for your post on this. I read this back in May and your post helped me make the decision to go ahead and go through with the project. I finally finished it!!! You can view my post if you like: http://www.artistic31mama.com/2011/11/our-family-closet.html I included lots of pictures! :-) I absolutely LOVE our family closet. Having four children, our morning routines, evening routines, laundry routines….well pretty much any routine can get hectic. This definitely helps simplify things a lot. :-)

    [Reply]

  8. angel

    02/25/2012

    We have a family closet. My laundry is in our basement. Our bedrooms are small and the dressers were taking up a lot of room. It always seemed like I was digging through large piles of clean clothes that I never had energy or time to bring upstairs. Our solution was to move all of our dressers down stairs (more space in bedrooms), got a cloths rack, and as I empty the dryer everyones dresser gets filled. All of us have only one type of sock each that is distinctly ours. I throw them unfoled into the basket and it is simple to grab. The one thing that i would sugest is having 7 hooks in the bedrooms one for each day of the week to hang an outfit per day on and a hook for pjs. That way you don’t have to make the long trek to the basement with dripping wet kids waiting for cloths. This was one of the best things we have done in home organization.

    [Reply]

  9. Gina, book dragon

    11/06/2012

    sigh, by the time I had a space I could do this we were finished having kids. Because of medical issues we ended at two and with one of each it just didn’t seem worth it.

    Maybe if we had started right from the beginning…

    love the sock idea! THAT would have worked!

    [Reply]

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