© - 2000, Kelly Huckaby,The HOME Writer
As the seasons change, so does your children’s wardrobe. 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 getbetter organized. Once again I turned to my panel of experts: moms from around the country.
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 theoldest’s clothes, I add a dot.”
This system works well with larger families as well. Karen, mother of ten , 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 inthe closet. Linda’s two oldest are a boy and a girl, so it’s easy to tell their clothes apart most times. Everything is hung in sets, if 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 philosophyworks well for Leah 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. She then sorts the clothes by size and gender and hangs them accordingly. “When the kids want to get dressed,” she says, “they go into the ‘closet’ and tothe 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 it’s easier to tell whose clothes are whose.If you feel you just don’t have the patience or the room to set up a closet of variously sized clothing, try Tina’s method. She cut back on clothing long ago.
Tina, mother of three fromDelaware, tries not to store wearable items . Basically, everyone has about five to seven outfits,” , “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.
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 haveall 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 thebasement 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 two 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 it matches.
Cheri, mother of two from Tennessee, likes to keep the clothes in sets.“This way they can choose their own clothes and I know they will match. “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.”
The majority of the women I spoke with use the Rubbermaid ® bins to store their clothing. Tracey stores her bins in the...