Your ideas for organizing cold weather gear?

lnmcaDecember 11, 2007

Hello everyone,

I don't frequent this forum usually. I come over here every once in a while when I am motivated to organize and come away dumbfounded, astouned and inspired (and usually have a good chuckle or two ;0) )

With winter upon us and 4 under the age of 6 (in February) I was wondering if you could share your ideas for keeping all of the hats, gloves, scarves and boots in order?

I (will) have 3 girls and 1 boy and plan to recycle everything through them, but right now I have all of the kids stuff shoved into 3 collapsable canvas open drawers in our mudroom. Most of it is the wrong size but will be the right size next year. My and DH's stuff is in a large underbed box that is unreachable on the top shelf in a closet.


Before I attack this mess (and add more to it at Christmas) I would love to hear your ideas so that I know where to start.



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Hi there Lori,
I had a similar challenge and my hall closet is small! It had become so difficult to find items in that when I finally got it fixed I found I had lots of duplicates.

This is what works for me:
I have a small hall closet. I first assigned my closet a "role" I decided it would be used for the following:

- Coats (only those we use regularly - special item coats like ski jackets went to the storage room)
- Hats, gloves, scarves,
- Sunscreen
- umbrellas
- outdoor workout gear (pedometer etc)
- Lint brushes (we have a child of the furry variety too)
- Emergency response kit (ie natural disaster)
- Dog leash
- Few outdoor toy items (bubbles, chalk, etc)
- "to go center: dry cleaning, items for repair, small bag for donations."

I bought a hanging shoe rack (the kind with cubbies) and labeled each 'shelf' within the rack.

My DH and I each have our own cubby on the top,
followed by lint brushes, sunscreen, pedometer and umbrellas), etc etc and then I use the lower cubbies for our 3 year old. When people get home I make them put their item in the respective cubby. This has worked so wonderfully because we all know where our stuff is and the closet stays clean.

I hope you get the idea of what I'm saying and it works for you. If it would be helpful I can take a picture as well.

Good luck!

The hanging shoe/sweater racks work wonders elsewhere too. I also have one in our spare bedroom that holds our Iron, buttons, mending supplies, plug in air freshners, and spare shampoo and other toiletries for guest baskets. I have one in my 3 year old son's room too and use it to hang his shoes (so he can reach and put them back,) as well as pants.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 4:42PM
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I have deep storage (stuff that'll be the right size next year), and that works. Big tubs, labeled "winter coats." That's where cold-weather gear goes out-of-season, and when it's cold, the wrong-size stuff just STAYS in there; I don't need a second place for that. I just pull out the right staff at the beginning of the season, and re-evaluate the non-right stuff to see if I should keep it.

For the stuff that's in use, I don't have a great system. I have a section of the wall unit that's got bins in it to hold the spares for the season, and the stuff that's currently in use stays in the pockets.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Okay, you all have just made me happy that it was 84 degrees here today.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 9:39PM
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I've been thinking about it, thanks to your suggestions, and I think I might outfit one of the closets in my mudroom with an Elfa system. Is there anything cheaper out there or do you get what you pay for in the organizing world?

I was just getting ideas from the container store and that seemed to be a good solution for us. I want to get a bunch of horizontal racks to put boots on (little kids boots on the bottom) for half the closet and hang coats in the other half. I was going to get mesh cubes for below the coats for hats, gloves, scarves, etc. for each of the kids. What do you think? I also do like the idea of big tubs that get put away each season. Maybe instead of being uber-organized, I'll just make sure to throw all the kids' stuff there at the end of the winter. It's not that hard to get it out at the beginning of each season. Bonus is that I already have the large bins!! yay!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 5:05PM
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I have seen one very clever thing in elementary schools around here. They will use a clothes drying rack. It will have many strings tied to it, each with a clothespin tied to the end. The children clip their gloves to the pins. This allows the gloves to dry after play in the snow. For a family, you could easily have them pin hats to the strings as well. And toss scarves over the top. Air circulation is a must when it comes to getting all those things dry and warm again.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 6:56AM
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lnmca - the Elfa system is lovely, but Rubbermaid makes a nice shelving system as well.

The Elfa products go on sale in January.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 8:45AM
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I was going to get mesh cubes for below the coats for hats, gloves, scarves, etc. for each of the kids.

I think this could be great, but my experience w/ those mesh cubes is that they're a bit too tall. My vote: Use them, but install a spare square of mesh as a shelf, dividing the cube in two; attach it with plastic cable ties (or zip ties, some folks call them)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 5:15PM
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