Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Seasonal Clothes Storage

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This time of year means an end to summer and the coming of colorful foliage, and cooler days. That means one specific headache for this mama of 6.

Changing out and storing seasonal clothes.

Every time the seasons change, I go through boxes and boxes of clothes to decide what sizes we need this year and then I have to sort all of the previous season's clothes, label them according to size, and store those.

It always takes me a few days of having stacks of clothes all over the living room while I decide what is too worn to keep, which ones to pass on, and who needs what.

I feel like there is a more efficient way to accomplish this task. Of course, if I lived in my dream world, I would have a room with round racks where I kept all clothes sorted by season and size. That way, they would be clearly visible and easy to sort, without having to dig through boxes to find out what is at the bottom.

Since I don't live in my dream world, though, this is where you come in. I need your advice. This week's Works For Me Wednesday is about asking for advice instead of giving it, so please, chime in with what works for YOU. Let me know how you handle switching and storing clothes. How do you store the out of season clothes? How have you found to best streamline this process?

Go to Rocks in my Dryer for a fun switch this week. Find out if you have any advice that someone is just itching to know about.


ronda said...

I have a drawer in my son's room specifically for outgrown clothes. When I see something too small I toss it in this specific drawer. You could also use a rubbermaid container or a box in a out of the way, but easy to get to spot.

Once the drawer/container/box is full, schedule a hour or so to go through the box and determine what can be handed down, given away or sold. If it can be given away (either to a friend or to a thrift store) do it immedatly. Sometimes I will drop off just one or two items, it is better than having it stored somwhere only to be lost!

Good luck, hope you get lots of good tips!

Julie said...

I do the same thing as ronda - a rubbermaid container under their bed with outgrown clothes.

We store our out of season stuff in rubbermaid totes in the garage. Two big stacks about 4 containers high. But I've heard of someone who used those big rubbermaid garbage cans (plastic) with snap on lids and actually just stored them outside. Said they stayed sealed and everything.

I'm very picky at the end of each season as I put away stuff. I get rid of stuff I (or the kids) don't wear anymore or has small stains, etc. And with the kids if the pants are almost too short at the end of winter I just get rid of them then because I know they will be by the next year.

Capturing Today said...

We have 3 girls ages 8, 5 and 2. We save clothing to pass down as often as possible. We are fortunate that we have a 10x16 storage building in our backyard. Each season (spring and fall) we go through the clothing in the girls' drawers. I have the rubbermaid totes and I label them using masking tape and a sharpie marker. For example, for fall, we just did this - my 8 year old daughter, as the oldest, obviously get the most new clothing purchased. Some of her items from last year still fit - so after trying them on we made a list of what she'd need this year. As we pulled out her summer clothing, we put items we no longer intended to use directly into bags for Goodwill. What would be saved for my 5 year old went into a tote and it was labeled "Summer - 6x/7". Same thing for my 5 year old. Discard first, then tote labeled "Summer-4T/5T". We brought in our clothing for fall that was labeled "fall - 5/6" for my middle daughter and "fall 24m/2T" for my youngest. I put these items out on the beds and this freed up the totes to use to store the summer items. I hope this hasn't been too confusing, but it is what works for us. Each daughter has one chest of drawers with 4 drawers - one for underware, one for sleepware, one for tops and one for pants. Dresses hang in the closet. So we can usually keep it to one tote per size when we pack it all up each season!

Overwhelmed! said...

I keep the diaper boxes that I've emptied and fill them throughout the season with the clothes my son has outgrown. I label each box (i.e. 12-18 mos, boys) and then throw them into our outside storage area.

In his closet, I have his clothes organized by size. He's currently in 24 mos- 2T so those are at the most accessable spot...at the front of the closet. The larger sized clothes are towards the back. I just keep moving the clothes up in the closet as he grows.

There are some clothes that don't hang up well...for those larger sized clothes I store them in his bottom 2 dresser drawers.

This system works for me. My husband doesn't tamper with it. :)

Holly said...

So, we'll just have coffee at your house every morning! :)

I have the same clothing dilemma myself, Connie. I'll check back for the answer!

Glad things are looking up at your place. And regarding your poodle - I do remember our dog having a couple of seizures when I was a child. They were isolated events. So strange!!! So scary, too, especially for children.

Julie P said...

Well it looks the Rubbermaid storage system is the popular one hear. We do the same thing. However, I am blessed with a HUGE laundry room and I store all their clothes, except dress clothes, in the laundry room. Current season in a dresser and next season in a tote. We just pull out the totes and switch at the appropriate time.
Each boy gets one tote - anything else we get rid off.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I have shelving downstairs where my laundry is. Each person has a shelf for seasonal & kids have a shelf to grow into. SO I just rotate stuff as it comes thru the laundry & when I have a Walmart bag of get rid of, DH drops it at Goodwill in town or the mission on his way to work.

Lisa said...

We do the rubbermaid storage totes, too. They stack together so easily, and are easy to carry. I do suggest duct tape on the end to write on instead of masking tape. It sticks better, and peels off easily. I try really hard to keep one size and season per tote. We also have a long hanging rack in our basement that we use for hang ups. I put large garbage bags over 8 - 10 hangers of clothing, and mark size and season on duct tape on the bag. Makes it easier to move them back upstairs when its time, and they're already hung up. We do this mostly for coats and jeans that won't be harmed by staying hung up for extended periods of time.

:: Suzanne :: said...

1) This has been said, but it's my first step so I have to list it. I keep a tub near the dryer into which I toss all the clothes we are done with. I sort them for ebay, consignment, or charity about once a month.
2) I keep a bin near the children's rooms for clothes that have arrived that needn't be in their current wardrobe (off-season, not quite the right fit yet). I sort this about once a month into step 3.
3) I keep narrow deep Rubbermaid tubs labeled by season (not size as my 6 yr old wears size 3 or 4) and type (play, school, church) in the bookcase in the upstairs hall.
4) Whenever I am in the children's rooms I am checking for clothes that can go out. This keeps their dressers/closets from getting too stuffed.
5) Four times a year I switch stuff over.

I used to keep stuff in bigger bins, but it made the project too big and messy and I put it off. Now, because I am using smaller tubs and more categories, I can just nab the Fall Playclothes bin and deal with that. This helps avoid the piles of clothes all over the house, plus those big bins get heavy.

Liz said...

Hey Connie,

Check this out

Nikki said...

You know, I just left an incredibly long comment and it didn't show up. I mean INCREDIBLY long. So, now I'm wondering who's blog I accidentally posted it on. Man that's embarrassing.

Sheila said...

I hate clothes.

Sasha said...

We still only have Miss 8 Months, but were given a lot of clothes from her cousins - that are in the plastic tote boxes, labelled "Girl, and the sizes". I keep the summer and winter clothes separated in the box (with a vertical divider down the middle). This works well for little clothes that can all be fitted in one box, but will need to be tweaked as she grows.

Karen@FamilyBriefs said...

I have a box for each child tucked under the crib for clothes that are too small. They go up in the attic when they get full.

Some of my clothes are in a cedar chest, while others hang in the attic, while still others just hang out in my closet in nice neat stacks :)

Laura, the Organizing Junkie, just posted about clothing storage and swapping seasonal clothes out. You might get more ideas there.

Lisa said...

My system is similar to the above with the exception that each child has TWO rubbermaid crates on the shelf in their closet. One is clear so items can be easily seen and that is for clothes that are TOO BIG but ready to be worn in the next few months or so.
The second container, for TOO SMALL clothes, is not clear so that "favorite" clothing items go in without tears from the child who just outgrew them. That way they can be boxed up to be given away or you could just shift that too small box into the next child's TOO BIG box or into their dresser.

Donna said...

Checkout my blog helpful homemaker for what I do with laundry for my family of 6:)

Brenda said...

Nothing new here: rubbermaid totes labeled, big switch, goodwill bag...

The only thing I've learned that has made this process easier is that WE NEED FEWER CLOTHES!!! I actually counted what my 3 year old had one day--it's on my blog--I don't remember the number but it was crazy! Something like 43 shirts. How can a child wear that much???? This season I am being careful about how much I keep. I actually laid everything out in the living room floor and made "outfits" of the hand-me-downs. Whatever didn't match anything went in the donation bag. This is better than just looking at each piece individually for wear and keeping it no matter.

Great topic!

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