I don’t really like doing laundry. But really, who does? Yet it’s a necessary daily chore with 7 kids, so I knew I had to make it work more smoothly for my own sanity. I got so overwhelmed with trying to wash, fold and put all the kids clothing in dressers in separate rooms. It would take forever, and the dressers were always too full and a disaster in themselves.
The other snag we had was that we had converted our attached garage into our boys bedroom so there was no easy closet access there. I had no idea what to do. At that point, we decided to create a family closet! It has saved me so much time, energy and stress, I have to say it is the best thing we have ever done to our home!
Having a bright and cheery laundry room also makes me happy to be in there, which helps my laundry mindset as well. The little laundry soap jar sets the mood, and you can check out the tutorial here!
Our laundry room is just off our kitchen, on the main floor. It is really nice that it has a space that worked perfectly for our family closet. We painted the room a cheery yellow, with cream accents (the valence is just a flat bedsheet!). I used chalk paint to paint the cabinet as well. That cabinet houses all our cleaning supplies, as well random items like light bulbs.
Once you get past the laundry center, you can see we have a nice little alcove. We chose this space to use to house all seven of the children’s clothing, as well as hats, toques and mittens and baby changing necessities.
We hung a few wire shelves, and have a cubby system from IKEA for all the clothing. Inside each cubby, I use a white plastic tub to house each child’s clothing. There is one bin per child, except the girls have a separate bin for dresses. The baskets house items such as swim trunks and goggles for the kids swimming lessons, extra diapers, bath robes and clothing that needs repair.
It may not look like much, and you may wonder how all the clothing fits in one of these bins for each child! The truth is, that is the other little secret I have to having stress free laundry. We are very minimalistic when it comes to clothing.
Our boys (11, 8, 7, 6, 4) each have the following: 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of pyjamas, 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, 1 mountain biking jersey, 1 pair of play pants, one swim trunk. We have a few spares packed in storage for the inevidable tear or wearing out, as well as off season clothing (ie. shorts). Or in the event we need extra clothing for a trip, etc…
Our girls (2 & 1) each have: 3 leggings, 3 shirts/diapershirts, 1 pair of jeans, 3 dresses, 3 pairs of socks, 2 pyjamas, 3 underwear, one swim suit, and 3 bibs (for the drooling baby). Once again, we have a few spares packed away.
ALL my children’s clothes can fit in 1-2 loads of laundry. I do a single load of laundry every single day, and we never run out. I can go 2 days without doing laundry and the kids will still have clothing. If I were to be sick, or away, I have sufficiently trained and encouraged my children in the fine art of laundry and even my 4 year old knows how to do a load and fold it/put it away with no help.
If you are wondering, my husband and I are also very minimal when it comes to clothing! But that will be another post that expands on our new bedroom renovation.
This family closet has made laundry easy, and no longer a source of stress. My one load a day includes all dirty laundry, towels and the odd blanket or bed sheet (since we seem to always have potty training toddlers!). Being able to put all the children’s laundry away right where I fold it has saved so much time! Laundry that needs to be hung can be hung on the wire shelving above the cubby cabinets, and then taken to my bedroom when dry. I hope this helps save the sanity of other mamas!