I have been asking Kyle for a family closet for a long time now. He wasn't easily convinced that it would save me any sanity, but now that I have it- OH MY GOODNESS! It really is awesome! And I am more sane than I was when I used my denial approach to closet management for the kids' rooms.
First thing I noticed when I moved all the kids' clothes to the family closet- Daniel has 30 pair of underwear, Chloe has WAY too many clothes, and Maya has 4 shirts. Who knew? (As for Maya, she never asks for anything so I just assumed she really liked those 4 shirts. Whoops!)
Second thing I noticed - the kids (other than Maya) have no idea how to keep their drawers organized. This is where my denial approach came in. I got so overwhelmed looking in their messy drawers, hangers hung backwards on the rod (boys!), and skirts draped over the rod because someone was too lazy to clip it to a skirt hanger (Chloe!), that I just stayed out of their closets and drawers.
So here's the big closet. I have since bought Maya some new clothes, gave away a ton of size 5 underwear, and gave half of Chloe's clothes away. Less is best. All of their out of season clothes are still in underbed boxes under their beds (duh!), since they don't take up any extra space, but the boys' chest and the girls' dresser are in here now. Their closets are now for toys. Goodbye doll house! I don't have to look at you anymore! Bwahaha!
(By the way, Julia's clothes haven't been moved in here yet because I don't want to get her dressed on the floor.)
The girls each have a drawer for their socks and another for their pj's. Same for the boys.
These baskets on top are for shoes that don't currently fit anyone. They are labeled according to size. I have shoes in every size just waiting for bigger feet. This is the ease of shopping for a big family: If it's good quality, buy it. Doesn't matter what size it is as long as it's at least the size of the smallest child. It'll fit someone someday.
These baskets on the lower shelf are for undies and modesty shorts (biker shorts to be worn under skirts and dresses). With them out in the open like this, I can easily see if someone has too many or too few undies. (Seriously Daniel, did you ever even wear a pair twice? Sheesh!) Additionally, the boys each have a basket for their shorts.
So here's how it works: The kids get their outfit for the day and get dressed in the family closet, in their room, or in the bathroom. Modesty is still priority. I go in here several times a day and can quickly see who didn't put their pj's away or hang their skirt back up (Chloe again).
On laundry days, I sit in a rocking chair in here and read while they fold and put away their clothes. It's glorious.
This system is making my life so much easier and I don't have to live in denial anymore!