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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we are going to remodel sometime in the not too distant future, and I am really digging the idea of having one big family closet. Here's the deal with the house currently...<br><br>
Three bedrooms, one bath. The bedrooms each have their own closet, but the rooms are small and the closets I would say are the "typical" size. When we remodel, we'll be reducing the interior square footage of the whole house on account of the walls being about a foot thick... The room will only be getting smaller. I was thinking to remedy that, I could take each room out into the closet of the other... Technically the first room(the smallest) would be absorbing both kids closets, the second room would be bumped into my closet, and my room would absorb about half of what is currently the "bathroom". That being said... We have a laundry/utility room that currently serves as a "bathroom". The old bathroom is not being used for anything but storage as the floor needs some serious work. I figured what is left of the old bathroom after bumping my room out would be combined with the laundry room to make a master utility/closet/bath-room. Is that crazy?<br><br>
This master utility room wouldn't be huge, I'm not sure on square footage, but about the size of a small bedroom. With a tub/shower combo, a washer(we line dry exclusively), toilet, and a small sink counter space, do you think there would be enough room to fit the clothing and linens for a family of five(we're expecting baby 3 in Jan) if we created some dynamic storage space? Is hoping that a family closet will eliminate personal dressers in each room hoping too much(I really hate dressers, the footprint and potential for stuffing*eek!*) Decluttering I think will be a lifelong journey for me, but it gets easier all the time. I hope that having just one dedicated space, one big closet, for "storage" will help us keep "things" in perspective. We really don't have a lot of stuff, but it is still too much for us to keep after. I think when all is said and done, we'll be living in a minimalist situation. So, what do the MDC decluttering and organizing gurus think of a master closet for the whole family? Any suggestions or links on what a sizable and effective master closet might look like? Thank you ladies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm not sure that I entirely understood your remodeling plans, but I love the idea of having all the clothes in one family closet. That is what I plan to do in our next place. I think the size of the bathroom you describe will work if you are willing to aggressively keep on top of the clothes situation and weed out the things you don't need, and if you can be creative about storage.<br><br>
I think it could work out great and I wish you the best of luck!
 

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We are in the middle of this right now. We're finishing (walls and flooring) the storage room in our basement that is right across from the closet with the washer/dryer. At the same time we are purging the stuff we need to store. Our dressers will move from our 2 small bedrooms into the storage room and we'll have a little breathing room upstairs.<br><br>
Other current stats: we have <900 sq feet of living space, 2 small bedrooms and 2 tiny closets, DH, DD2 and I share a 3 drawer bureau already<br><br>
I think I will be glad to have all the clothes in the same space and not all over the house. AND they will be right next to the washer/dryer so I won't have to lug dirty/clean laundry all over the place! We'll see how it goes as we finish up the project!
 

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If moving is <i>ever</i> going to be a possibility, I would worry about the resale value of a home with no bedroom closets.
 

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I wouldn't do it. I like that my kids need to keep their closet and dressers tidy themselves. And when they're not tidy, I don't want their mess getting in the way of my clothes. Plus, sticky little fingers and my clothes? No thanks.<br><br>
Also, as they get older, they'll want their own spaces. With a tween in the house, we're seeing the emergence of privacy needs when getting dressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BarefootScientist-- Imagine the two kids rooms having a three foot wide "room" running between them, split in the center so that they each have half of that space for a closet. The smallest room would, by action of removing a wall, gain that extra three feet or so running the length of that room(both closets). The second room(corner room) which "touches" my closet wall would gain my closet space(and a small section of hallway) through the same process. Then my room gains about three feet of "bathroom" If you imagine each room growing about three feet into the adjoining room in a counterclockwise arch... That's the best way I can describe it.<br><br>
I'm really drawn to the idea of a family closet... I am the one who manages the organization of the house, and it would really benefit me to have everything in one straightforward space. I like the pure feeling of a simple room, with no crannies for stuff to gather, as far as the bedrooms go. I feel that it's something that would work for my family. I'm not worried about kids rifling through everything and making a mess... In fact I think that it would be far less likely to happen in a space that gets a lot of interaction. We are whittling everything down... I think it could be done.<br><br>
As far as resale goes? Well... It's not something I have to ever worry about. The property and the house is part of a family land trust. We get dominion of the house on first come first serve basis, and it will pass to our kids. But we can't sell. If we or our children choose to go, it gets absorbed into the land trust to go to another family member. As far as I am concerned anyone following me could deal, as the house is currently kill it or cure it and anything we do is an improvement. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
I think as the kids get older we can figure out something so that everyone can manage. Dress in the bathroom, lay out your outfit beforehand in your own room, get an armoire, whatever. But as long as I am making the executive decisions... Well, I just think that the free space is more important for my small children than their own closet to keep after. Heck, maybe they'll learn that there's no need to have a personal space full of stuff... That is a lesson I think is valuable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/om.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="meditate"><br><br>
Woodchick, I'd love to hear how your's is working when all is up and running. I also like the idea of not having to run five piles of clothes and sheets to five different places to put them away. I suppose this is not only about consolidating and simplifying the amount of thins in our world, but consolidating the amount of run around in our daily lives. I like that. My only lugging will be from the line to the house. Eventually there is a plan for a covered back porch that runs the length of the house... I imagine a clothesline there and a door opening into the master closet/bath. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StrongBeliever</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15479576"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">BarefootScientist-- Imagine the two kids rooms having a three foot wide "room" running between them, split in the center so that they each have half of that space for a closet. The smallest room would, by action of removing a wall, gain that extra three feet or so running the length of that room(both closets). The second room(corner room) which "touches" my closet wall would gain my closet space(and a small section of hallway) through the same process. Then my room gains about three feet of "bathroom" If you imagine each room growing about three feet into the adjoining room in a counterclockwise arch... That's the best way I can describe it.</div>
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Ok, that makes sense. That's awesome that you are able to do that and not worry about resale value. I hate basing any decisions on resale value - I'd rather just live my life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I don't really get the privacy objection? The closet would be in the bathroom...so they can close the door and change in the bathroom. It's not like their clothes need privacy. For me, closet space has never been an aspect of privacy. I need a place to hide away more than I need my clothes to have their own private area. And I don't generally hide away in my closet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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We use our spare room for a family closet - it has 8 clothing racks (on wheels), a table to sort (uh, pile) clothes on, and an ironing board. There are also various bins/baskets on the floor. Anyhow, for the most part, I love it as we have a ton of clothes and the rest of the bedrooms are upstairs (the laundry room is downstairs). But, it can easily become a mess, and ATM, I don't even want to go in there, much less hang up the clean load of laundry that is on the couch.<br><br>
The kids each do have big closets in their bedrooms, and the master bedroom has a huge walkin (with a skylight even) and built in shelving... but we all seem to get dressed downstairs, so it is nice to have everything conveniently centrally located.<br><br>
So, anyhow, our family closet does have plenty of room for our family of 6's clothing (well, most of it), but there are no built-ins, or anything - so maybe that is why it's harder to keep it organized. What I need to do is pull out the rest of the winter/fall clothes to not be so overwhelmed, and move others stuff elsewhere so it's easy to keep nice and clean.<br><br>
ETA: I like your ideas for your plan - I hate dressers, too, and we don't have any at all anymore.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StrongBeliever</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15479576"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As far as resale goes? Well... It's not something I have to ever worry about. The property and the house is part of a family land trust.</div>
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In that case, go for it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
If it becomes a problem for the kids later on, they can get a dresser or a wardrobe for their room.
 

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I love your ideas- great thinking with the covered porch and door right into the master/bath/closet area!! Love it!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I am right there with you with the schlepping everything around the house.<br><br>
My laundry is in the basement and the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor.<br><br>
My laundry area is large enough to have it be a family closet- I just have to actually set it up!<br><br>
Good luck to you, your plan makes total sense to me!
 

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Hi again<br><br>
Found this link and wanted to share<br>
At the bottom of her article are more links to photos of closets <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><a href="http://www.lotsofkids.com/LOK-Household/Laundry/familycloset/familycloset.php" target="_blank">http://www.lotsofkids.com/LOK-Househ...milycloset.php</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well thanks ladies! I just had this nagging feeling that there must be some reason why personal closets are ubiquitous these days... Seems like it is a product of social jonesing and consumerism. I feel much better about it. I mean, I really did like the family closet idea, but I really had no idea how workable it was... Just a dream on what it might be like. So I am definitely going to do it.<br><br>
Thanks for the article, Sunshineafterrain! The pictures are awesome! I love the wire shelving... Airflow is so important when storing clothing. Not a fan of musty anything. I am kind of torn though... I generally don't do well with cabinet doors. I just can't seem to clse them and I bash myself on the and all kinds of ackiness. That being said, I think I need to grow up and get over that, because if I can afford it I would really love to have the actual closet space to be one big unit of cabinetry. Mostly for aesthetics I think. Second for dust... I live on a dirt road. But I think the cabinet situation would kind of negate the airflow that would come from wire shelving. But then again, if I had little enough "stuff" then it would all make it through rotation and not really have a chance to get musty or dusty, so I could go either way, right? Maybe build the unit with a combination of cabinets and wire shelving? Oooh! I love the old-school punched tin cabinets. Airflow and dust protection? Just thinking out loud.<br><br>
I do really love that we have so much flexibility when it comes to this house. We think of it as our practice house. Technically we want to build our own cob cottage on another piece of the property in a few years... This house is valuable learning experiences. What we want, what we don't want, what is feasible and comfortable in the long term, what we wouldn't do over or do better next time. It's nice. Heck... We might just get it to the point where we never want to leave it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>prothyraia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15478700"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If moving is <i>ever</i> going to be a possibility, I would worry about the resale value of a home with no bedroom closets.</div>
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Yes, rooms without a closet don't count as bedrooms! Hard to sell a house with no bedrooms (on paper at least).<br>
But I LOVE the idea of a family closet too, lol.
 

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Guess I should have read down farther!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Having everyones clothes stored together sounds great for putting away laundry, my most hated task!<br><br>
You mention having a tub and shower in the same room though, is that the main/only shower? If so I'd be worried that everyone showering in the morning would steam up the room and leave things getting damp, especially if you go with a wire rack system.
 

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I would really recommend thinking through the privacy issue again. I know it can be hard to think ahead to the time when your kids are older, but it will come soon. How many children do you have? And if I read correctly, it sounds like you'll only have one bathroom when you're done remodeling?<br><br>
I just know that a family closet would not work well for my family. My kids aren't even teens yet, and already they're quite private. My girls like to take their time picking out clothes and trying on different things before they leave the house. I wouldn't enjoy waiting for each child to pick out their clothes and get dressed before someone else could use the area.<br><br>
I don't find putting laundry away to be difficult- my kids do that on their own. My kids also start doing their own laundry when they turn 10, which takes some of the responsibility off of me.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StrongBeliever</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15479576"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
Woodchick, I'd love to hear how your's is working when all is up and running. I also like the idea of not having to run five piles of clothes and sheets to five different places to put them away. I suppose this is not only about consolidating and simplifying the amount of thins in our world, but consolidating the amount of run around in our daily lives. I like that. My only lugging will be from the line to the house. Eventually there is a plan for a covered back porch that runs the length of the house... I imagine a clothesline there and a door opening into the master closet/bath. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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Well, since you asked... We just finished 'installing' our family closet. We've only been using it for a day, so I can't speak to how well it works, but so far I think I'm in love <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br><a href="http://prwdot.org/2010/06/15/family-closet/" target="_blank">Here's my blog about it</a>. I may start a thread just for this tomorrow, we'll see.
 

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Funny that I saw this--we're in the middle of reorganizing this way:<br><br>
We live in a "smallish" (although I think our house feels pretty large; it's 1400 sq. ft.) 2-story house with 4 bedrooms. Right now, my husband and I (and the 9 month old) share one room, and my 3.5-and-5-year-olds each have their "own" room, but they sleep in the same room every night. My son (5) has bunk beds, a few books/toys, and his clothes in his room. My daughter (3.5) had a toddler bed (which we sold), a few books/toys, and her clothes as well as the baby's clothes.<br><br>
We've decided, rather than organizing our bedrooms by "owner," to organize them by use. So we're turning my son's room into the kids' sleeping space (when the baby is ~2-or-so, we'll transition her into that room at night, too), my daughter's room into a playroom, and putting all the clothes into our (relatively large for a 1960's house, but not huge) closet. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons:<br>
1. It's simpler for me as I'm putting away laundry to put it all into one closet.<br>
2. My kids have a bad habit of tossing clothes on their floors (presumably looking for a particular article of clothing in the drawer?) and generally making a mess of clothes.<br><br>
My plan is to lay their clothes out for them at night so there's no need to rifle through any drawers in my room.<br><br><br><br>
I think this arrangement will work really well for our family--however, I'd be leery of remodeling yourself into a corner, so to speak, by eliminating the closets from your bedrooms. I agree with the PP who mentioned resale--around here, the technical definition of a "bedroom" requires that the room have a closet--so you might change your home from a "3 bedroom" to a "1 bedroom" (or a "no bedroom"?) home with those changes. I would avoid such a permanent commitment to the arrangement, myself.
 

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I'd be a bit leary of going to one laundry/bathroom/closet for 5 people. I'm sure it would work fine when the kids are small, but as they get older, there might be problems. More and longer showers would increase the amount of moisture in the air and therefore on the clothes. Access might become an issue as older children/teens tend to spend more time getting dressed and ready to go out.<br><br>
We have one bathroom for 6 people, with laundry and clothes in other places, and already there can be quite a wait for the bathroom in the morning and evening. We're planning on putting in a second bathroom in the next couple of years before our 3 dds hit adolescence.
 

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OP, we are in a very similar situation as far as housing goes and are working to slowly remodel the house. I am totally on board with the family closet. Not sure where I plan to put it yet, but I am *so* tired of clothes being all over the place.<br><br>
The kid's room actually had one closet but it was built funny with the door on the short end so there was no way to hang clothes across it without blocking the whole back of it, so we ended up tearing it out which gave the kids a big chunk of space.
 
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