Changing with the Seasons

February 12th, 2013 posted by Kelly Huckaby

plastic tub ‘Tis the season for change. And as the seasons change, so does your children’s wardrobe. Spring and Autumn are the “in-between” times when warm-weather clothes overlap with cool-weather clothes. Add to that the fact that your children are growing like weeds and you have a constant stream of clothing going in and out of your life! Lately it seems my children are always wearing mismatched, too-small, or out-of-season clothing, so I decided it was time to get better organized. Once again I turned to my panel of experts: moms from around the country.

Sorting

Let’s start with the clothing your kids are currently wearing. Dana, mother of three from Tennessee, uses the dot system. “We put dots on the labels so I know which child the clothes belong to. One dot for my oldest, two for the middle, and three for the youngest. When the middle child grows into the oldest’s clothes, I add a dot.” This system works well with larger families as well. Karen, mother of ten from Georgia, is a “dotter,” too. “Since our oldest six are boys the clothes started to get mixed up at times. To prevent this, I marked the clothes with a permanent marker in the neckband or waistband.” Linda, from Idaho, and Leah, from Arizona, have found it’s easier to keep things sorted by size in the closet. Linda’s two oldest are a boy and a girl, so it’s easy to tell their clothes apart most of the time. Everything is hung in sets, when possible, and arranged by size in the closet. She chooses not to box away any clothing because it’s so easy to lose track of them. “If I box things up for another season, it turns out I could have gotten some use out of it in the ‘off’ season.” This philosophy works well for Leah as well. As the mother of twelve, six of whom still live at home, Leah has found it easier to create a “closet” where all the clothes are kept. The walls of the nursery are lined with shelves, double tiered, with closet rods underneath. Leah then sorts the clothes by size and gender and hangs them accordingly. “When the kids want to get dressed,” she says, “they wander into the ‘closet’ and go to the section of clothes that they fit into.” Her kids claim they like it this way because they “get to go shopping every day!” If your kids are spaced father apart – and it’s easier to tell whose clothes are whose – and you feel you just don’t have the patience or the room to set up a closet of variously sized clothing, you can try Tina’s method. She cut back on clothing long ago. Tina, mother of three from Delaware, tries not to store wearable items either. “Basically, everyone has about five to seven outfits,” she states. “The only clothes I store are clothes they outgrow.” Karen does this also, although she admits there are a few extra outfits in her home these days. Some of her kids rummaged through the stored clothing to find clothes to wear because they had forgotten to put theirs in the wash. (Kids!!)

Switching

Now, suppose you don’t have room to keep everything out, like Leah and Linda. How do you switch between seasons? Karen sorts by sex, size and season. “I have all boys’ size-4-Winter in a sealed plastic bag and stored in a barrel.” Laura, mother of three from Tennessee, separates by season into two groups. “I have Fall and Winter, then Spring and Summer. I try to save out a few transitional outfits for when the seasons change,” she states. Sharon, mother of two from Ontario, Canada, also separates by ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ seasons. “I keep boxes in the basement and switch in May and the end of September. I keep a few T-shirts in the ‘cold’ set and some sweatshirts and jeans in the ‘hot’ set.” Tracey, mother of 2 from Connecticut, stores and switches her children’s clothing not only by season, but by full outfit. This way, there is no guess work about whether anything matches. Cheri, mother of two from Tennessee, also likes to keep the clothes in sets. “This way they can choose their own clothes and I know they will match,” she says. “During the in-between weather I try to take the pants from one season and the short sleeve shirts from the other [season] and hopefully match them up … some [years] it works better than others.”

Storage

The majority of the women I spoke with use the Rubbermaid ® bins to store their clothing. Tracey stores her bins in the basement on steel shelves. Laura utilizes high shelves in the laundry room as well as the space under beds. Tammy, mother of four from Tennessee, stacks her bins in the garage. Cheri stores her children’s clothing in a cardboard box in the bottom of their closet. Another way to store clothing is to place them into a plastic bag, seal with a twist tie, and place the bag into a 55-gallon barrel. Karen uses this method, and the barrels are stored in the barn. Wherever you decide to store your extra clothing (either seasonal or outgrown) be sure you mark the storage container. If you have many containers, try numbering them. Then write the contents on index cards or on sheets of paper and note the container number for easy retrieval. Or use masking tape to label the contents of each box.

Sage Advice

Karen noted that the barrels or boxes need to be “in a place where they are easily accessible.” She also pointed out that we should “be honest when sorting through clothes. No matter if it’s in terrific condition, if it’s polyester plaid and you know [the kids] won’t ever wear it, pass it on. And when new clothes are given to you, or you pick up bargains at the thrift store or garage sales, put them away immediately.” Tammy’s rule of thumb is “whenever something new is bought, something old is pulled out and given away or taken to the consignment shop.” Looking for more floor space in the bedrooms? Try hanging everything and get rid of the dressers! Linda is without dressers because of a recent move, and has found that items like socks and underwear can easily be stored in one of those shoe pocket hangers inside the closet door. Whatever system you use, make sure you are comfortable with it, and make sure it works for your family.

Don’t forget to see our articles on organizing your kitchen , your cleaning supplies and schedules , and your grocery shopping and dinner planning !

Kelly Huckaby (14 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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