Part of my daily routine consists of the following: feed the baby, bathe the baby, dress the baby. At least three times a day this is the agenda. All of the above happens mostly single handedly because I'm carrying Gemma in one hand while doing whatever it is I need to do. The most frustrating part of the routine was dressing the baby. Our closet system was horrible. As with any 50's home, storage is rather minimal. Closet space really has to be utilized and ours was not. Gemma's side of the closet was one big stuffed ball of clothes. I couldn't dress her with one hand because if I pulled a shirt out an entire stack of clothes would follow.
And, I guess I should add for those who aren't familiar with the chaos of multiple kids; I'm rarely just dressing one. I'm grabbing clothes and going because I'm dressing one while trying to coerce the other to dress herself, or helping with homework, or reading, or just simply trying to give two little people attention at the same time. Add a pile of clothes falling onto the floor three times a day and it's enough to make me go nuts.
For Christmas all I asked for was a new closet system. I'm over sexy Christmas gifts! Can you tell? Right now I just want whatever makes my daily life easier. Sanity is the best gift. Calm. Peace. Easy routine. That's all I seek.
Dave had a hard time with the concept of giving me a new closet. How was he going to wrap it? How could it be a surprise? Would he get yelled at like the year I yelled at him for giving me a blender? Btw, I was expecting an engagement ring that year so anything other than that was going to get him a yelling. And finally it took a yelling for the ball to start rolling on getting a new closet.
The Elfa system at the Container Store goes on sale every year in January to mid February. I wanted to take advantage of it for 30% off parts and installation. I took the two girls with me one day to the Pasadena store and started the initial design. They have so many configurations that it can be quite daunting. Thankfully they have designers who will help you and basically design the space for you to best suit your needs.
I did however, started the process at home by taking measurements of the closet and then writing down every category I needed space for: socks, tights, hats/scarves, dresses-coats-all hanging stuff, sweaters, and on and on. When I got to the store I was able to see their options and know immediately where they would work best.
The girls' new closet is amazing. I can't even explain how much easier it is to get things in and out. Here is the same space before and after. As usual, I forgot to take more pictures of the before. The only items we had taken out were the hanging clothes which were right where P is standing.
The space is so much better utilized that I actually had empty spaces now! Imagine that! Empty space in the closets! It's like hidden gold! We also have a hook where we can hang an outfit for the following morning. It's little things like this that can make a morning run so much smoother.
This is Gemma's side. The pull out drawers make it easy to grab her clothes with one hand. Now, the shelves are properly spaced out. I have more of them and my stacks of linens aren't falling over. There's not just the girls clothes in this closet! There's bed linens for all year around as well and...
...I even have a few drawers for clothes she'll grow into. One challenge with storing kid's clothes is that they grow through stuff so quickly. You need a section for clothes to come, which could be in a month or a year, and clothes you want to store for the next kid line . The girls were born in opposite seasons so with some things Gemma is just getting to wear them for a little bit because she outgrew them or the weather changed.
I made sure to put clothes at P's height. Things that she can grab for herself like socks, sweaters, hats I placed in drawers down low. It's made our getting out the door process easier and putting things away easier.
This is now my "morning control station". I sit on the stool with both girls where almost all of their clothes are at arm's length between the closet and the low dresser. Girl's can be a challenge to dress. Fortunately, P is very accommodating and the getting dressed process is very smooth. We don't fight. I feel we compromise pretty well on what she'll wear but I also think that how we have this set up makes it easy to make choices for both of us. Just about everything is at her level so she can grab it all herself. I'm not sure how long this phase lasts. I keep hearing other parents tell me their girls dress themselves but P still wants me to be a part of the process. Quite frankly, I'm happy about it. I like this time together.
Anyway, this closet was done for about $1100. I like that nothing is permanent. Some other systems I saw wouldn't give me the flexibility of moving drawers and rods as the girls grew. Elfa seemed to give me the best solution for the least amount of money while still being well built. All it took was one week of me putting clothes away in this closet vs our closet for me to ask Dave for another closet. Ours was next!
Labels: kids bedrooms, organization, storage