After quite a few late nights sorting, cleaning and organizing, we’ve successfully moved everyone’s clothes into a “Family Closet” laundry system in the basement.Â No more hauling laundry up and down the stairs.Â No more baskets of clean laundry strewn about the house.Â No more laundry on the floor of the girls’ room.Â Â And believe me, homeschooling 4 kids and running the Teaching Garden means I will gladly take any reduction in chaos and increase in spare time that I can get!
Why did we not do this sooner?Â A number of larger families we know had recommended it to us, and after researching a bit on the subject (visit my Laundry board on Pinterest), we pulled together a few pennies and dove in.Â 4 boxes of clothes went to Goodwill, 2 to the consignment store, and a ridiculous amount of junk was purged from the basement.
So far, we’re saving several hours a week doing laundry, the house is less messy/cluttered, and the kids are helping more with the laundry chores.Â And there’s a bonus – we have three large closets upstairs that will be getting converted into a reading nook, a mini sewing room, and a cozy kids’ hideaway.
So, here’s the tour of our Family Closet on a $200 budget:
The three older kids are learning to do the laundry.Â There is a step-stool next to the washer so kids can load and unload laundry with ease.Â Mama does the bleach and delicate laundry and helps kids with the other loads.Â We’re all a team and we help care for each other, and part of that is working together to get the chores done so we all have more free time to spend playing and creating as a family.
This “Antonius” system from Ikea is the inspiration for our Family Closet.Â Our friends have one and keep laundry for their 6 kids in it.Â Ours is full with 4, although we also store winter coats in ours, and the boys have lots of extra pants because, in our experience, boys go through pants like crazy.Â Cost: $170.Â This is the bulk of our expense.
6 fabric boxes from Ikea – $12.
Shirts, socks, shorts, yoga pants, etc for Mama and Dad are in hampers on this shelf.Â We are both quite tall, so our clothes take up space!Â Two hampers each.Â Cost $12.Â The shelving they sit on came with the house.
When kids do laundry, things get spilled.Â There are also spray bottles with vinegar-based cleaner on this shelf next to the rolling racks.Â Storage tubs of too-big clothes and Easter decorations are behind these baskets.
I would like to put shelves on the wall to the left (which is the outside of the bathroom), but that’s not in the budget at present.Â Cleaning supplies sit on the table for now.
We’d like to add more lighting in the Family Closet so it feels less “basementy”, and put on a few finishing touches, but for a super-low-budget remake of a previously wasted space, I couldn’t be happier.Â Our next project is to clean and organize the other 1/3 of the basement (1/3 being laundry, 1/3 being the wood-framed canning/brewing room) and turn it into an office.Â After that, we’ll be working on the upstairs closets and making them into functional spaces for our family.
Hope you enjoyed our Family Closet tour.Â Thanks for visiting.