Our Closet is in our Kids Bedroom and other realities of living in 600 square feet
I’ve shared about our closet in the past but I thought it could be time for an update. Having our master closet in the kids’ room has become so much a part of our life that I’ve forgotten that it’s a bit out of the ordinary and maybe would have been a stopping block for someone else considering living in a small space with kids. When we gave up our bedroom for the kids almost 5 years ago, we decided to keep our master closet for our clothes. Over the years, as we have added a 4th human to our small space and continually pared down our possessions, the closet has come to store more than our clothes.
Our master closet currently stores all of mine and Trevor’s clothes, plus 3 boxes of stored seasonal clothes and shoes for all family members (2 pictured above). Some boardgames, old artwork we don’t have wall space for but can’t seem to part with, exercise bands and rollers Trevor uses, fill out the rest of the closet. Trevor has 4 small drawers and I have 2 larger drawers. The remaining clothes are hung. Both Trevor and I have edited our wardrobes slowly, removing ill-fitting or fast fashion and focusing on better made clothes that we wear more often. It’s not perfect but we are using about half the closet space we used to and are much happier with our clothes and spend less time worrying about what to wear in the morning. (Here are some previous posts on my clothing if you are interested).
Kids Clothes in the Master Closet:
Most recently we moved Theo’s clothes to one of the lower sections of the master closet to encourage independence on his part. Previously Theo and Mae shared a closet (off the dining room) which made some of his clothes inaccessible to him. We wanted to encourage him to dress himself in the morning and put his own laundry away (it’s a work in progress). Theo’s shirts are hung up and his pants are in the plastic bin (not my first choice aesthetically, I need to look for an alternative). The two boxes (pictured above) are all the paperwork Trevor and I keep in the house. We each have one to hold important paperwork and sentimental items. We have gone mostly paperless with most things in our life but taxes, warranties and birth certificates still need somewhere to be stored.
Long before we moved into this space, the previous owners removed the closet doors (I highly recommend this for tight spaces). Initially, I hand-sewed some curtains to hide the closet. They never quite filled the space and that always bothered me. I was forever stretching them to try and hide the closet but it always peeked out in one area or another. So I finally spent the money on a thick white cotton drapes that hangs from floor to ceiling. I used 3 panels to fill the wall and there’s no more closet to be seen. Though I find Trevor doesn’t have the same uptight tendencies as me and happily leaves the curtains open (!!!).
We have gotten pretty used to having our closet in the kid’s room so I actually have to think really hard about how it inconveniences us. We try not to access our closet in the evening until the kids are fast asleep. Trevor is more inconvenienced by the set up than me as he often goes to work before the kids are up. Most days he will set out his clothes in the bathroom the night before. And I can’t think of an occasion when he woke up the kids if he needed to sneak in and grab something in the early hours. Honestly, the biggest inconvenience is if I am packing for a trip. It’s hard to see my clothes in the dark after the kids have gone to bed. The kid’s closet is in the main living area, off the “dining room” so I can pack their clothes without bothering anyone. Though I will say packing for trips with small children in a small space is just difficult in general as they love to unpack as quickly as I pack, regardless of the closet location.
I guess the other inconvenience would be that I don’t have my own room to change in. I often change quickly in the kids room or I take my clothes in the bathroom. There isn’t a lot of privacy at this stage in my life with a 5.5 year old and a 2.5 year old so I don’t think much of it. One day it might be nice to be able to close a door and change clothes without a little one running in after me but I’m sure that will be a bit bittersweet too.
While it may be unconventional to have our closet in the kids’ room, hiding it visually and being flexible about access has made it part of how our small space works for us. I hope this information is helpful. I know even in larger spaces, closet space can be sparse and everyone needs to get creative. I’d like to try new folding techniques (yes I am watching Marie Kondo on Netflix like everyone else!) this year to see if our drawers can stay more organized.