Closet Avalanches and Other Stories of Big Families in Little Homes | The OT Toolbox

Closet Avalanches and Other Stories of Big Families in Little Homes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ZiplocSavesSpace #CollectiveBias

I thought, "It's a chilly December evening.  We need a snugly blanket."

That was my last thought before the avalanche.

The avalanche of blankets and hats and spring jackets that were long past their wearing season.
Our snugly evening on the couch with a Christmas movie was delayed by putting away the piles of closet paraphernalia.  Again.

Big Family in a Small House Storage Problems

When you've got six people living in a house with small closets, you tend to have closet avalanches. 

Now, let me mention:  We've got four kids.  That's not a ton by some families' standards.  But, we do get the "Are they all yours?!!?" question daily.  We get the amazed looks of "WOW." when my husband and I are out for a dinner date and we casually mention that we have four little ones at home with the babysitter. 

A family with four kids is not HUGE, but they sure do come with a lot of stuff.

When you have four kids, you need to organize.  There is just no way around it. Otherwise, you've got bathing suits in the winter gloves bin and baseball equipment leaning on the sleds. 

Now, I will be the first to admit: I need a lot of work in the organizing department.  Hence the closet avalanche that happens every time I open the front closet.  (And the fact that we DO have baseball equipment smack dab beside the sled.)

More big family-isms:
       You get asked every day: Are you done? Are they all yours? You sure do have your hands full!
       You go through a. lot. of milk.  A lot.
       The grocery bill is a large percentage of your paycheck.
       Younger kids wear the older kids' clothes.  They love going through garbage bags of old clothes...garbage bags that are not labelled and have size 9 months winter clothes mixed with 3T summer stuff.  Yeah, I definitely need organizing help.
       They are all hungry at the same time.  And they are all hungry at different times.
       A kitchen full of kids all talk at the same time...and it is loud.
       They wake each other up. Every single day.
       A big family has built-in friends.  And great argument practice.
       A big family has a lot of socks.  That don't match.

Our house has itty bitty closets.  Granted, the folks who lived here before us raised NINE kids in this house.  And every day I wonder "How????" Our front closet is as wide as three of my kids standing shoulder to shoulder.  And it's loaded with four kids worth of winter coats, jackets, umbrellas, hats, mittens, the vacuum that MUST-be-on-the-main-living-level-when-you've-got kids, bike helmets, backpacks, a full sized American flag, and all of the other THINGS that accumulate in your front closet.

Storage idea for big families

The latest closet avalanche was the final straw.  I HAD to do something about the organizing.  We need more snugly winter evenings on the couch with our big family and less time spent rearranging. 
There is just something about fitting four kids on a couch under a fuzzy blanket and watching kids Christmas movies as a family that makes your heart swell in the memory-making kind of way.

So, when I had the chance to try out Ziploc® Space Bags®, I said an ecstatic YES! 

A mom gets excited about storage. 


I grabbed a giant pile of blankets, afghans my Grandmother had made, spring jackets, picnic blankets, summery couch throws...and dumped them on the floor.  Four of the four children jumped in that pile.  Of course. A pile of blankets on the floor just asks for jumping in.

I grabbed a few boxes of Ziploc® Space Bags® that I had found at Lowe's

When we had shopped at Lowes, we were immediately greeted at the door and shown a car grocery cart.  The Lowe's employee seemed to notice my full hands, but politely omitted the exclamation of "Wow! Your hands are full!"
 (A mom of a big family LOVES when a person clearly sees their hands are full and does not point that fact out, but instead actually helps!)

I had two excited helpers (aged 4 and 1) as we looked for our Ziploc® Space Bags®.  It was easy to find them, right in the storage department of the store. When we got to the correct aisle, I showed them an example of the box, and my preschooler had fun searching for them on the shelves. They were right above their eye level, and with one look up, they were able to spot them.

Getting that giant pile of stuff into compact packages was so simple that even a distracted Mom with four little (loud) voices in her ear could easily package away closet stuff.

I am in love with these Ziploc®Space Bags®.  I put a pile of blankets into one and sealed up the zipper.  I attached the vacuum (which was conveniently in the little closet that I just emptied), and within seconds, I had an easy to carry/stack/slide package (*compared to uncompressed storage volume) that I could put away until spring.  They are waterproof, airtight, and reusable.  And my stack of spring jackets are out of the front closet!

I packaged away spring blankets, jackets, and my Grandmother's gorgeous afghans. And I took a giant sigh of relief at the clean closet!

A few tips and more information about Ziploc® Space Bags®:
Protects against bugs, moths, dirt, mildew, and odors.
Don’t fill past the “do not fill” line.
Keep bags out of reach of children.
Product not for use with food.
They are airtight, waterproof, water tight, and reusable.
Be sure to choose the right bags for the right usage occasions. There are storage options for comforters, shirts, and sweaters. Although you are not limited to those items.  The Ziploc® Space Bags® are perfect for seasonal clothing, pillows, blankets, and many other items.

We now have a cleared out little closet that is ready for the comings and goings of six people. And, better than that: we've got the snugly blankets we need for cozy winter family nights without closet avalanches!

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