Organization is a topic of interest to most homeowners.  It seems people are constantly looking for ways to optimize space and keep up a clean presentation.  This becomes increasingly complicated with kids.  Bedrooms become cluttered and dirty laundry ends up carpeting the room.  As the size of the family grows so does the amount of clothing needed to keep those little ones in wardrobe.  Of course the normal solution  for that is clothes get put in dressers in a bedroom.  If conventional thinking is laid to rest for a moment, then other options become present.

One alternative that works especially well for larger families is the concept of the family closet.  This is the idea of taking the clothes out of the individual bedrooms in the house and relocating them to a central location.  I know it sounds bizarre at first.  You may have your doubts about how this actually works or helps, I did.  The benefit on organization and space comes in the way of being able to remove dressers completely from a bedroom.  This is especially beneficial in a room where two or three kids might be sharing. Imagine being able to open that kind of space in a room. 

Moving multiple dressers into one central room is a possibility I suppose, but would you want to save space in one room only to occupy another entire room with them.  The typical and ideal set up is similar to the included illustration.  A series of square boxes, about 2x2 work very well.  These are made using 1x1 lumber or bought from any series of retail stores.  The set up in the illustration is made for six kids.  The individual boxes can be organized as desired.  This one is set up vertically for each child.  Dress clothes are best kept on top, so as to minimize them being pawed through.  The bins in the middle house socks and underwear. 

A convenient location for a family closet is near the laundry room.  If you are fortunate enough to have a large enough laundry room, then right in there is ideal.  Imagine the ease of not having to carry laundry baskets around to each room or up and down stairs.  Having everything centrally located makes the laundry task considerably easier. 

Of course like anything else there are drawbacks.  One is that the potential for mess still exists.  Kids come in to change their clothes and instead of putting them in a laundry basket or the actual washing machine, they end up on the floor.  Also, the obvious situation becomes the fact that everyone is getting dressed together.  We haven’t observed this to be a conflict because kids get dressed at different times or they use the bathroom nearby.  Sometimes the kids take clothes to their room, but remember to make sure they get their dirty clothes back to the laundry room.  Older children become less thrilled with the idea so consider what works through the teenage years.

Granted the idea of a family closet is not for everyone.  It requires some change in thinking as far as how a house is kept .  The benefits in ease of laundry and space saved in the bedroom have been very positive aspects of this set up.

Family Closet
Credit: Matt K