Several months ago, I shared that our house had been feeling out of control and chaotic. It wasn’t any one thing but that the things that had worked when we had a bunch of tinies just weren’t working anymore.
Over the summer, we’ve been really focused on a few things: 1) finishing house projects (more on this soon), 2) revamping our chore assignments (also coming soon), and 3) decluttering and organizing once again.
At the time, I started reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I honestly haven’t finished because I was feeling very discouraged that some of her advice just wasn’t applicable to a family of our size (organize once and never again?!), but after reading Anne’s post about applying these principles to family life, I’ve picked it back up.
One area that has been bugging me for months is the wardrobe in our room. Several months ago we turned the nursery (which is really the master closet) into my office since Jackson sleeps in our bed anyway. At the time, it was no big deal to move his clothes into my side of the clothes wardrobe. But our surprise baby threw a loop into that plan.
At this point, I just don’t want to give up my office. It’s so nice to have the space on the main level with a door for working, and that seems like it’s going to be even more important when I’m juggling a new baby with my job.
Instead, I was determined to get all of the baby stuff into the same wardrobe that Jackson and I were already using. (Sean has his regular clothes plus work/painting clothes, so it’s not as easy for him to give up space on his side.)
Enter KonMari folding.
I spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out how exactly to fold tiny baby clothes this way, even asking for advice on Facebook, before it finally hit me while watching this video that Kara shared that my problem was the undefined space of our wire baskets.
Instead of just folding things in the open space of the basket, I decided to try folding them inside the rectangular canvas baskets we use for socks, and that made all of the difference.
However, I was determined not to buy any new organizing things for this project (we’re planning to head out on the road in an RV in two years, and I really only want to put furniture in storage, so we’re trying not to buy anything new that we’ll just be getting rid of!). Instead, I transferred the folded groups out of the sock baskets and into the main baskets, using the sides of the sock baskets for support.
This ended up working really well, and as the drawer got fuller, the clothes were able to stay standing on their own.
In the end, here’s how I made it all work:
- One of the baskets in the top of closet holds Jackson’s fall/winter clothes (as well as Lucas’ 1st Christmas outfits) because those would not fit in the drawer but I wanted to have them handy for the transitional months. My plan is to slowly rotate those piles, increasing the number of pants and long-sleeve shirts in the main drawer as we get further into the cold months.
- The other holds miscellaneous infant things—pacis, slings, nursing pads, etc.
- The basket in the main area of the wardrobe holds all of Lucas’ blankets. I’m fairly certain we’ll use most of these because they’re the same set I used with Jackson.
- I think technically I should have folded more of my shirts in the drawer since folding takes up less space than hanging, but there simply wasn’t room in the drawers and vertical space was what I had available, so I left those on hangars.
- I’m still really interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but the shirts include both summer and fall shirts, maternity and non-maternity because I know I’m not going to want to have to deal with rotating clothes with a newborn in the house, so this buys me a couple of months while I maintain that “squishy belly” look.
- All of the drawers are packed tighter than they probably should be, but again…space. It was either pack them in or get rid of clothes that we actually wear/”need”, so I went with packing them in.
- I just can’t bring myself to gently fold my socks rather than folding the bands over to hold them together. Thankfully, this is my house rather than Marie Kondo’s, and my socks haven’t revolted from the abuse yet!
The thing I love most about this system—other than the fact that everything actually fit!—is that I can see what we have at a glance. I think it will make it easier to see what we’re not wearing (so we can get rid of those as well), and it will definitely make it easier to find outfits for the boys without just digging through piles.
The thing I’m dreading the most is the next time Jackson discovers the open wardrobe and decides to “helpfully” dump everything into the hamper…and then having to refold it all again!
Have you tried the KonMari folding method for clothes yet?