Fall is the most wonderful time of the year. I have always loved fall. So many wonderful things happen when the leaves start to change color. The air turns crisp, there’s a hint of smoke in the air from fireplaces and wood stoves, and pumpkin spice fills the senses again. For some reason, my yearning to organize amplifies at the beginning of each season, and thus we begin this fall cleaning series.
To Clean, Tidy, and Organize
Gaby and I share the household cleaning duties. We pretty much split the chores right down the middle. I usually take on the kitchen, dusting, and mopping, he gets bathrooms and vacuuming. Interesting fact about me – my number one hated chore is cleaning showers. I’d rather scrub ten toilets than clean one shower. There is one task, however, that I won’t share with anyone, and that is when I get to organize.
A quick aside while I give myself a plug in this post… Cleaning in our household is a whole lot healthier and easier now that I’m a Norwex consultant. More on that Part 3 of the Fall Cleaning Series, but for now, check out Christine Tetrault’s Norwex and feel free to contact me with any questions about their amazing products.
I love an orderly and efficient home. It floats through my mind every now and then that I should organize professionally. I think it’s because I’m a minimalist that I love things so spick and span. (Please know, I’m no Danny Tanner, for those of you who can understand the Full House reference. I just like a tidy house.)
Out with the Old
About two to three times a year I’ll go through the kids’ dressers and closets, changing out seasonal wear and putting away items they’ve outgrown. This fall, my favorite chore was bittersweet. For those who haven’t been following us on a regular basis, we had two very difficult miscarriages in the first six months of the year. (For the full story, check out Quite the Year for Our Family.) Even though I wasn’t ready to do it, I needed to start going through the boys’ baby clothes. You see, Gaby’s sister recently had a little boy. Knowing that we’re more than likely done trying to add to our family, it’s now time to pass down those clothes to another in our clan.
My day started with going through three full Rubbermaid containers of boy’s clothes, sizes 3-24 months. It’s amazing how much is accumulated (even if you’re a minimalist like I am) when there’s kids involved. By the time I was finished, I had huge amount clothes, outdoor gear and shoes for my newest nephew.
I won’t lie. The motivation for going through those clothes now instead of in a month’s time when they’d be needed was purely for efficiency’s sake. I needed new bins to put away the summer items, and living on the outskirts of a small town doesn’t afford the conveniences that there are in a big city. If I wanted to get the job done in a timely fashion, I couldn’t go out and buy what I needed. Thus, reusing what I had became the solution. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I wasn’t overly emotional going through the clothes. Perhaps it’s because I know that another of our family members will be wearing those clothes again.
In with the New
The next item on the agenda was moving the dressers. Now that we’re no longer in need of a nursery, it’s time that Katrina had her own room. (All three kids have been sharing a room since February.) More about the bedroom switch in a future post (Gaby will be building Katrina a new loft bed!), but for now, we needed to switch the four drawer dresser that was in the nursery for the three drawer one in the kids room. This way, the boys can share the larger one.
Once the dressers were moved, I went to work pulling out any clothes that were too small, and for Hunter, replacing some of those clothes with ones that Serge had outgrown. (Hunter is such a big boy! He’ll only be two in another month, and he’s already starting to wear size 3T!)
It took most of the day, but in the end, the kids’ closets are finished. Both Serge and Hunter are completely ready for the cooler seasons to begin, but after going through Katrina’s clothes, it seems that she outgrew more than I thought and still needs a few pieces to round out her wardrobe. So I guess I’ll be off to one of my favorite children’s stores this week – Once Upon a Child. (I love this store! It allows us to buy good quality, new-to-us kids’ clothes without breaking the bank while being mindful that we’re helping the environment by buying used.)
5 Tips for Dresser Organization
- Empty It Out – I started by dumping out each drawer. With a couple of empty bins beside me, I went through each article of clothing. I checked each for size, as well as condition (kids can be so rough on their clothes). Stuff that was too small (or still too big for Hunter) went into separate tubs.
- Use Drawer Inserts – I love the dresser inserts from Ikea. They’re the perfect size for holding young kids’ clothes and make it so easy to organize.
- Sort by Type – Organize each drawer and/or insert by article. I love the smaller Ikea inserts for items such as socks and underwear. Pants, shirts and pjs will also get their own place in the drawers.
- Hang Some Items – Hanging larger pieces and special occasion items allows for more space in the drawers.
- Maintenance – Because we want to raise independent children, we’ve taught them from a young age how to get themselves dressed on their own every morning, and also to put away their own laundry after wash days. This means that they are in charge of the maintenance of their own dressers. But they’re kids, and they can dishevel those drawers in a hurry. So I make an effort to go in every once in a while to do a quick tidy so they’re able to find what they need. And then, when spring rolls around, I’ll go through the entire process again.
How do you organize your closets? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.
Stay tuned for parts two and three of the fall cleaning series coming up in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to impart the wisdom I’ve gained on keeping my home ship-shape, even with three little ones underfoot.
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