If you had suggested a family closet before I had children, I would have laughed you out of the house.  We had just built a beautiful house with a luxurious master suite and I was NOT about to share my sacred personal space with kids.

You can guess where this is going, right?  Luckily, no one mentioned it and we have been co-sleeping, room-sharing parents for 4 years now.  For 3 of those years, we had 4 people in that fancy master suite and it just made sense to put the kids clothes in our walk-in closet.   After all, when a baby spits up or blows out and needs four clothing changes a day, who wants to go downstairs for new clothes every time?

Last summer, we abandoned our master bedroom in favor of one of our bedrooms downstairs.  Our 3.5yo got the other one.  And we left the dressers right where they were.

Here is our current set up:

Since I pretty much have one wardrobe I get  3.5 linear feet on the top.  Hubby gets the other five.  Being self-employed, he wears lots of different types of clothes.

The youngest uses three feet on the bottom & the oldest gets the other five.  As you can see, there is space available for the youngest to expand :).

Since we use our kitchen patio door as our main door, they each have a coat hook and a box for shoes.  They also have a large tin for seasonally appropriate hats (and mittens).

On the other side of the closet it’s more evenly split.  Bones & I each have a hanging garment bag for dress clothes.  He uses some space for his work pants & I use some for coats & sweaters.

Itty Bitty’s dresser is in our closet.  It’s just a cheap 5-drawer lingerie chest that I used to keep tablecloths in.  The top drawer has socks & tights.  The second drawer has pajamas, the third shirts.  The fourth has pants & the fifth drawer has outfits, which are typically more “good” than play.  When my in-laws return, they have a low 6-drawer dresser that will replace Lil’ Bits dresser and it will be shared between the two girls.


And we each have a pile/box of grubby old work clothes for painting, staining & home repairs at the top of the closet.


Lil’ Bits dresser was my hubby’s when he was a boy.  The top drawer has underwear, tights, undershirts & socks.  Her middle drawer is home to pants (or shorts and shirts.  The bottom drawer usually contains pajamas, a few off-season clothes and “good” clothes.

My top drawer contains the usual socks & unmentionables ;).  The next has long underwear, swimsuits, sports bras & regular bras.  The middle one has my exercise clothes (all seasons).  I have finally outgrown my dresser and have a box of seasonal capris & shorts that get swapped with my pants & sweaters in the fourth drawer.  My bottom drawer has pajamas for all seasons + nursing/maternity.

Bones has every foot of his dresser crammed full.  I finally whittled down his underwear to just one of the four top drawers.  The other three hold brown socks, black socks & white socks.  He also has, in no particular order, a drawer of undershirts, a pile if jeans, a drawer and a half of sweaters, 2 drawers of shorts and the last drawer has pj’s and miscellaneous shorts, long underwear, etc.

And as you can tell by the mess on top of the dressers and on the floor in front of said dressers, I’m just keeping it real.   This is how I live, warts and all.  And yes, I do put shirts in by color, just in case you noticed that.

So now I’m curious.  How do you store your clothes?  Are you minimalist or do you have boxes of off-season items that need to be swapped out?  What do you choose to hang vs. put in drawers?  I’d love to know!  Share your thoughts in the comments.


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4 Comments on {Simplify} Our Family Closet

  1. Debbie D
    18 April 2012 at 2:56 PM (10 years ago)

    We are also tight on closet space. We use over the door clear plastic shoe organizers in our closets for undies, socks, belts, accessories, and any other clothing items that will fit. This frees up drawer space for the larger clothing items which, in turn, helps in keeping rooms tidy and uncluttered.

    If I ever had the luxury of space for a family closet, I would opt for it to be in my laundry room.


    jen Reply:

    That’s a great tip! I have been looking for a clear one (I figured I could use it for SOMETHING), but haven’t found one yet.


    Debbie D Reply:

    We found ours at Target. They are out-of-stock most of the time (wonder why) and had to ask when a new shipment would arrive. Then made it a point to be there the very next day. Best of luck 🙂


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