Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another "getting ready" post: closets

Several of you asked that I show the boys' room closet
since I mentioned in the previous post (Hexabed)
that we removed the dresser and are only using the closet in here.

Well... I didn't include that in the original post because...
well, it was a NIGHTMARE in that closet!

Occasionally I will type out the stuff that goes on in my brain
just to scare you encourage you that you are not alone in this land of crazy.

Here in lies the previous problem with the closet: 
(and the conversation that goes on inside my head. With myself.)

"Okay. Boys stuff. 5 boys in one room. No problem... I can do this. Let's see.
I need to separate by size. No, that won't work- 3 of them are like the exact same size.
Or close enough... I think. Our boys {waiting boys} are super skinny. Good thing most of our pants already have elastic shrinking waistband thingies. I wonder what those are called? They have to have a name... right? Like the stick to make the car move is called the Prindle... or was someone messing with me about that? Makes sense... ParkReverseNeutralDriveLow - PRNDL... yes. Prindle. CONCENTRATE. Okay. So... they are 9, 9, 8, 7... relatively close to the same size. So, I will pull down the boxes of 6-8 boys pants and shirts and organize them into stacks. Wait... will it be warm enough for shorts when they get home? Or will I still need all these flannel lined pants? They are so skinny, they will probably be cold all the time anyway... maybe I should leave out a few pairs of pants like that just in case. {our 7 year old} is SUPER skinny... he was wearing a 24 months shorts when I saw him last! UGH... I want these kids HOME. I wonder if I have any news in my email... (check phone)... CRAP. I hate no news. If he was a 24 months in January... even in stretched-out-elastic-sizes... he will not be in a 6-8 when we get there. But he's the right height for a 7 year old... grrr. Maybe shorts, with elastic/button/shrinking things - I really need a word for that - in a 5? Did I save anything in a size 5? I think I did... where would it be?! Attic. Crap. I'm not going in the attic. Not today. Let's see... oh wait! I have a box of 5's on top of the shelf! WHEW! It's winter stuff. Of COURSE. Maybe I don't have 5T shorts? Who knows with this mess. Socks and underwear... those can go in a basket. Surely 4 boys of about the same size can just share underwear from the same pile. Is that wrong? Should I color-code their underwear? Maybe I should label them somehow and try to keep them separated? Chrissy... they live in an orphanage. They share clothing with 30 other kids right now, including underwear. You are being ridiculous. But what if that is some kind of Mommy-faux-pas?? Does this make me like the mommy-version of the crazy cat lady?? Those women were nuts. That show on 20/20 the other night... whew. Lord, don't allow our crazy, Dr. Dolittle daughter to turn into the crazy cat lady......"

Okay... that's enough.
This is why it is hard for me to organize these clothes.
Too many unknowns, too many what-if's, too many options maybe?

So this is what we did:

Paul built these cubbies into the closet.
They are wonderful and MUCH more useful than
the previous hanging bar and wire shelf above it.

Cubbies in the closet courtesy of my sweet husband!
I use the bottom row for shoes and two crates - one is empty, the other has pajamas that don't have matching parts. I'm looking for the matches in the laundry before I put them in the donation pile.
The next row up is for the littlest guy (our current #7). The little plastic baskets are for undies and socks, sorted (loosely) by size. There's one on each size "level".
The next row up (middle row) is for the middle sized boy -our 7 year old who is scary thin. I kept his stuff separate since he's probably the only one of the big boys who won't fit into the 8-10 size stuff.
The 4th row up is the boys 8-10 size stuff. 
There's a cubby on each row for shirts, shorts, jeans/pants, pajamas and a bucket of undies/socks.

 Then he also built these hanging rod thingies onto the doors!
The boys don't have too much stuff to keep hung up,
so the two of these are plenty of hanging space!

 See? View from the floor - courtesy of my eldest son! ha ha!
Oh... see those shoe boxes on the 2nd row up from the floor?
Those are outfits for our little guy. 
Each box contains a shirt, pants/shorts, undies and socks.
I do the same system for the youngest girls so that 
they don't have to think about their clothes choices - just grab a box 
and put the empty one on the laundry table. Works well so far!

Here is the hanging rod on the right, 
with golf shirts and button-downs.

Here is the closet door CLOSED,
showing the cubbies and hanging rod
 in place with the door shut.

The top of the cubbies became storage for out-of-season or wrong-size clothing 
And I still have two empty cubbies!!

So... that's it!

I will keep this blog post handy so that I can 
enjoy what it was like when this closet was all neat and organized!


  1. Good thing your man is handy!

    You can't always see the sizes on the tag (hand-me-downs that have been washed 100 times) and because even if you could see the sizes the sizes don't always help if you have kids close in size and sizes vary by brand. So I have a system that I modified from something my mother-in-law did with my husband. I put one dot (black sharpy for light clothes, white fabric paint marker for dark clothes) in the area where the tag goes. When it gets handed down to the second girl, I add a dot. When it gets handed down again, I add a third dot. Same with underwear. And socks, I put it on the sole of the foot spot, but then my 6 year old seems to always wear her socks upside down because I see those dots all the time. Errr. Anyways, it works pretty well. Otherwise we were running into "claiming" fights when we were distributing clean laundry.

    Lord have mercy on you and your washing machine!

  2. Oh boy! I have the same in-the-brain conversation on a smaller scale for my new boys (7 and 8). I can't imagine how you juggle all of that. You and your mad organizational skills are my new heroes!


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