How to Store Your Off Season Clothes & Keep Them Organized

Welcome back to Week 4 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.  Are you joining in on the fun?  Are you getting organized?  I’ve intentionally scheduled some of these weeks for my own convenience.  Like, right now, I HAVE to switch out my clothes.

 

(If you’ve missed the other weeks, be sure to check out Week 1 - Socks, Week 2 - Vehicle and Week 3 - Makeup Bag & Purse)

 

How to Store Off Season Clothes

 

I began this horrible, dreaded task last week.  I absolutely DREAD the clothing switch.  Not only does it take FOREVER, I’m also highly disorganized.  Plus, I have a dust allergy and every time I go through large amounts of clothing, I get the sneezes.  I guess the dust that settles into the clothes, comes out when I start unfolding and refolding all of them.  I keep a box of tissues handy, and I break it up into bits and pieces so hopefully my nose doesn’t get too drippy.

 

My Current Strategy

 

Keep any decent clothes that another of our kids could grow into.  The exception is, I don’t keep my 17 year old’s hand me downs for his 3 year old brother.  There’s just too many years in between.

 

Store them in bins, according to sizes.  Usually, they’re labeled, “Savannah to grow into”  or “Girls, Summer, Size 8″, etc.

 

So far, this strategy has worked, but….I’m getting frustrated with it.  We have too many clothes in the house.  There are 7 kids and 2 adults living here.  We usually have to switch out clothes twice a year for all of the younger kids.  The older kids take care of their own.  My goal is to downsize the amount that I’m keeping.

 

I’ve spent years feeling like I didn’t have enough money to buy the clothes that we need.  But now, I do not need to keep everything, just in case it may work.  I can afford to buy some things, a lot more than I used to be able to.  I especially don’t need to keep all of the play quality clothes or the clothes that just don’t seem to go with anything or haven’t gotten worn in quite some time.  It’s time to downsize.

 

My Rules – What Goes?

 

  1. If it’s stained, it goes.
  2. If it has no match or won’t look good with a pair of jeans or matched together in another outfit, it has to go.
  3. If it has holes, it has to go.
  4. If it’s ugly, it has to go.
  5. If it doesn’t look nice on, it goes.
  6. If you’ve had it for 2 other kids and nobody’s worn it, it goes.

You may be laughing about the “If it’s ugly rule”…but seriously, I have a reason for this rule.  One of my daughters has been known to not really care what clothes she wears.  She prefers to be comfortable.  Who cares if it’s a red shirt with a purple pair of pants. She has no sense of style whatsoever.  She has this one winter shirt that someone gave us that she always wears because it’s comfortable.  I always cringe, because she looks like an old lady in it.  It’s ugly.  So….this year, it was put into the get rid of stack and I will replace it with something that makes her look nice.

For me, I don’t think I’m going to change my system, I’m just going to drastically cut down on the amount of clothing I’m keeping.  We are trying to finish a room down in our basement and we can’t store as much down there any more.  It’s time to be rid of the clutter.  Not to mention that it keeps trying to take over our home!

 

Ideas From Sidetracked Sarah Readers on Facebook

Michelle says:  I switch out clothes with space bags and store those in the tops of closets when out of season. Works!
Sandee says:  October and May I swap out the winter versus summer clothes. The out of season clothes are stored in my luggage.
Amy says:  I am in a super small space with four people (2 adults, 2 teens) and I only have 2 small (and I mean SMALL closets for all four of us). I do have a coat closet that I also use to store the vacuum, cleaning supplies, and partial pantry. (Don’t ask) I have no attic space, basement and just a small shed for garden tools. I thought I was going to die when we rented this spot. Now I love it. It is in a great neighborhood, and I have a yard and it is only 15 minutes from my husbands work – that is my trade-off. He used to have an unbelievable commute. In order to accommodate seasonal anything including clothing – I rented a storage unit. I got a a small one (5 x10) but it is like a big walk in closet. It is an indoor unit (not climate control but I do insure it. I do have a filing cabinet in there, multiple shelves, and a small portable closet! I purchased it at Walmart and it zips and keeps most of our out-of-season clothing hung neatly inside. Sweaters and such are put into those zip bags and stored on the shelves. I hang cedar bars in with the clothes so they stay fresh and the zip bags are always fresh. I put a drawer sachet and pack tissue inside shoes and they go in a clear tote that is labeled on bottom shelf. Everything is generally very easy to find and we just repack at the end of each season. Instead of boots – sandals, sweaters – tanks & shorts, and in our little closets would be seasonal coats/ dresses etc. Everything is mixed but there are only four of us and we don’t have much. I only have two closets in my home anyway! Staying organized is the key to living small. In a crowed, expensive area we have found that some things were worth paying for and having Dad at home in the evenings was definitely worth it.

 

Jenni says:   Rubbermaid totes. All 4 of us have our own color. As for shoes, we always keep out 1 pair of tennis shoes no matter what season and our snow boots for winter. Other shoes are put in a separate tote.

 

Katherine says:  I make it easier on my self by taking clothes I don’t need or wear that much to a local consignment shop where we split the selling price 50/50. It’s easier to get rid of clothes when I know I’m making a couple bucks off of them!

 

Melinda say:  I change to seasonal clothing in spring when a week’s worth of temperatures are 70 and above and in autumn when a week’s worth of temperatures are 69 and below. The seasonal clothing I’m not using is in a flat plastic storage container in the floor of my closet.

 

Ces says:  organize my clothes by putting pants & skirts at one end, and sorting my shirts my work appropriate (school shirt, dressy shirt, solids & stripes) and ‘everything else’ so I don’t have to think very hard when I get dressed for work.
My boys clothes I keep in a bunch of lateral files my husband received. I have one drawer for all the sizes up to 18mo, and then each of my other drawers, up to 12, have 2-3 sizes in them. After 12, the clothes are just too large, so I keep them reduced until I have a child wearing that size, and they are currently in labeled trash bags for lack of energy for a better method.

 

Tammi says:  With my kids still growing so much… Each season I clean out the outgrown clothing to give to friends. As I purchase the next size I keep them to the open side of their closet or spare drawer. That way I can keep track of what they have and it makes switching out clothing much easier.

I also keep a box or bag in their rooms for those things they outgrow before change over time. That way those items are already stored to share with others.

 

Anna says:  Back of the closet: long sleeves and sweaters, front of the closet t-shirts…when it gets cooler the t-shirts go to the back and the long sleeves/sweaters move to the front…same for shorts and pants 

 

Jane says:   I have a hang rod and dresser in basement plus I use bins and shoe organizers.  With a designated area to switch it becomes very easy!

 

Susan says: I have a walk-in closet. Warm weather clothes to the right–cold weather clothes to the left!

Ideas from other bloggers

 

  • Kendra is a large family mom like me.  She keeps an inventory of clothes.  Check out how she does it in her post Clothing Swap Survival.
  • Linda, also a large family mom like me, shares about their Semi Annual Clothing Switchover.  She even has her kids empty all of their clothes out of their bedrooms, makes sure they’re all clean and then fills the drawers and closets back up.  That’s a great idea!
  • Amy’s system looks similar to mine, but hers seems a lot more orderly.   You can see exactly how she does it in her post, Storing Hand Me Downs.
  • Gwen shares about how she uses giant ziploc bags inside of storage tubs to keep the clothes sorted and nice. Read about it on her post Storing Out of Season Clothes.  She also has a great post that shares 12 more tips on how to get organized, perfectly!
  • Jamie tells about how she keeps a simpler wardrobe, so she doesn’t have to store that much.
  • Shirley, of Light, Love, Hope says:  In my closet, we have upper and lower levels. We hang our Spring and Summer clothes on the top, while the Fall and Winter clothes are hung on the bottom. That way we don’t have to switch out clothes in our closet. They all remain, we just pick the clothing we wish to wear either from the top or the bottom based on the changing seasons. 
  • Kelli says move to Florida, where you don’t have seasons!  (Ha! now that’s an idea!)

 

Products That Can Help

(affiliate links below)

  • Space Saver Bags.  Just put your out of season clothes in, and suck the air right out of that bag with a vacuum cleaner.  Many people love storing their clothes this way!

 

  • Dymo Label Maker – Wherever you put those clothes, you need to make sure you keep the containers labeled so you know what’s in them!

  • Portable Closet – What a great place to put your out of season clothes and keep them from getting dirt or moths on them!

  • Storage Containers – This is the old standby and what I use all the time!  I just need to eliminate the amount of containers that I have!

 

 

 

 

 

Next week:

We’re moving into the kitchen and working on storage containers.  Do you lose all of your containers like I do?  I have a ton of lids, but barely any containers.  Time to purge them!  What about you?   If you have any tips that would work well for others and make our lives easier, be sure to share them here in a comment or on Facebook!!  We will all thank you for it!    if you’re still following along, let me know how you’re doing.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?

 


How to Organize Your Purse & Makeup Bag

Today is Week 3 of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.  We’re working on purses and make up bags.  Why?  Because purses and make up bags are a part of our every day lives and they get plain messy!  Oh and the other reason is because it’s on the list.  :)

Makeup Bag & Purse - Cleaning it out.

So, how do we keep these things under control?

I’m eager to hear exactly how you do this, but…. for me, being the ultimate procrastinator that I am, I wait until my purse is overflowing with receipts and spilling junk out and THEN suddenly I decide it’s time to clean it out. For my make up bag, I don’t have to clean it out quite as often, but when I do, it’s usually because I’ve opened up 2 empty mascaras in a row….and I wonder which one is the one that actually has some mascara left in it.  You don’t do that do you?  :)

5 Tips to Keep the Junk in Your Purse Under Control

  1. Keep your receipts together – Many people will put the receipts in their wallet, but they tend to get out of control quickly, making your wallet a wreck.  Consider carrying a ziplock bag to contain your receipts in.  I keep mine in a zippered compartment in the middle of my purse.  Decide if you will need the receipt and pitch any receipts you don’t need to keep.
  2. Buy purses with lots of different pockets and compartments.  That way you can designate a place for each thing you keep in your purse for long periods of time.  If you don’t like this kind of purse, you can purchase pouches that you can set inside of the purse.  This would also make switching purses much easier, if you’re one who likes to change purses on a regular basis.
  3. Make sure you buy a purse with a light colored lining, rather than dark colors.  Dark colors, like black, make it impossible to find things in.  I cannot stress the difference that it made when I switched from a dark colored lining to a light colored one.  It was amazing.  I went from always losing everything to always finding things.
  4. Set aside 5 minutes each week to get rid of anything in your purse that doesn’t belong.  If you’re really doing this weekly, it won’t take more than 5 minutes.
  5. Simplify – Only keep the things in your purse that you really need.  Don’t keep lots of things in your purse on a just in case basis.

 

Keep Your Makeup Bag Organized, too

 

For me, the larger my makeup bag, the messier it became.  When it came time for me to keep my makeup bag under control, I switched to a much smaller bag, keeping only the essentials in it.  I have foundation, eye liner, mascara and lipstick in it.  It is all that I really need and use.  I love how I never have to dig very far to find what I need.

 

How I Did….

 

Purse & Makeup Bag 2

I like this week, because it was quick and easy.

My purse was a mess….. I dumped it all out on the floor….

Purse & Makeup Bag

 

Then I put it all back in, making sure to actually put the things I want to find in the inside pockets.

 

For the makeup bag.  It wasn’t as cluttered, but I did take everything out and wiped it all down with a baby wipe.  I had my eye liner sharpener in there and it was dripping eye liner chunks all over the place…..so really, everything inside of there had to get wiped down.  Plus, I had to remove all the eye liner chunks off of my sharpener.  What a difference that will make!  It already feels so much better!

 

Makeup Bag

 

 

What do Others Do?

Karin says:  Carry the smallest purse possible! Evaluate each item you haul around day in and day out.

 

Melanie says:  I made up a small makeup bag of items I would take if I were traveling. The surprising thing was I never used anything else! Easy way to see what needs decluttering.

 

Lori says:  Clean out your purse and car weekly.  

 

Pin this picture on Pinterest, please.

Cleaning Out Your Makeup Bag & Purse

 

What about you?  Have you cleaned out your purse and makeup bag yet?  How does it feel?

 

Next week:

We’re working on switching out and storing the seasonal clothes.  You know this is a hated job for many people.  If you have any tips that would work well for others and make our lives easier, be sure to share them here in a comment or on Facebook!!  We will all thank you for it!    if you’re still following along, let me know how you’re doing.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?


Clean Your Vehicles! – {Week 2 – 52 Week Organized Home Challenge}

It’s Week 2 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge!  Welcome back!  How are you doing on your goals so far?

 

Last week, we did socks.  This week, it’s time to clean out our vehicles.  (If you’d like to see what we’ll be working on all year, go here:  52 Week Organized Home Challenge).

 

CLEAN YOUR VEHICLE - WEEK 2 OF ORGANIZED HOME CHALLENGE

 

I chose when to schedule when I had to clean out my vehicle, very carefully.  I knew we’d be going on vacation and I would need to clean it out.  Not only did I need to clean it out, but the day we got home, I had to clean it out again, as my husband was taking a van load to the Kansas City Royals baseball game the very next day.  My little kids seem to think that trash is to be put on the floor while traveling.  ARGH

 

As a large family mother of 7 children, we have a very difficult time getting our 15 passenger van cleaned out on a regular basis.  There’s lots of little kids.  There’s lots of seats and only so much energy from these old parents.  We’re getting better though.  The trick is to not let it get so bad and utilize your helpers!

 

Van

 

 

Are you one that lets your car get really trashed out and dirty, too?  I guess we get excited about getting home, that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the car to carry everything in.  If you have trouble with this (or even if you don’t), here’s your action steps…

 

1.  Remind everyone to not leave the vehicle without their arms full of things that need to go in the house or in the trash.  Even little kids can carry something light.

 

2.  Have something in the car to catch the miscellaneous stuff.  For me, I bought 2 bins.  One was for trash, one for things that go in the house.  Now, use them!  If you fill the trash one up, you can stop at a gas station or car wash or dumpster to dump it out.

 

3.  Create a system!  Not only do you need to get your stuff pulled out regularly, but we need to get it to where we do it automatically.  That’s the hard part, isn’t it?  Train the kids that trash only belongs in a trash bag or can.  If there’s none available, train them to take it inside as soon as you get home.  Reward them if you have to.

 

4.  Schedule yourself a time to vacuum and dust your vehicle out.  This can be as often as you’re comfortable with.  I hear that doing it weekly makes the job much easier, but doing it monthly could sound a bit more reasonable to you.  Really, there’s no right answer here.  You know how bad your car gets and you know how much time you have.  Give it the time it needs.  If you don’t let your kids eat in the car, you’re less likely to need to vacuum as often.  If they do, well….you know how that goes.  Vacuum away!  :)  Better yet, assign a kid that chore.

 

For me, it’s more about the clutter left within the van, than the crumbs.  Yes, it does get crumby, but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the clutter and trash.  (We seem to have a pattern of clutter!)  After our vacation, we pulled out a whole trash bag of trash.  We were not using a system!  We did not remind the kids to throw their things out on a regular basis.  We let it pile.  Not good.

 

Products to Help You

(may include affiliate links)

 

Here, you can see a bin on Amazon similar to the two bins that we use.  We just happen to have room in our large van for a bin of this size.

Sterilite basket

If you don’t, there’s other options out there.

 

What about this collapsible trash can?

collapsible trash can

 

or this back of the seat trash container:

seat back trash container

or better yet, this leak proof litter basket for your car:

Leak Proof Trash for Car

 

 

What Others Suggested:

I asked how other people keep their cars clean on Facebook and I got all sorts of hilarious answers.  Things like, don’t have children, don’t allow your children to travel with you, don’t use your cars, etc.  :)  It was fun, but I did get a few more useable answers, too.  I’m sharing some of them below:

Karin says:  1. Every time you get out of the car, take your trash with you. Children can do this, too. There are trash cans everywhere! At the very least, throw away the trash when you get gas.
2. Only drink water in the car. This is huge for cleanliness AND healt
h. No more mystery sticky gooey messes… 
3. Whatever you bring to the car, take back out — every time. Children can do this. Learn and play some “stuff-free” games in the car.
4. Be a role model and make it fun! Smile and create games to get into the new habits. 

 

Ginny says:  Put shower curtains in trunk to keep clean.

 

Jamie says:Routine. I vacuum it out every Monday. It makes it easy and quick since it doesnt get too bad week by week rather than waiting until it’s awful and takes a long time. As I vacuum, if I find something in the van that doesn’t belong, I toss it in the trunk. After school, kids can sort thru that.

 

Connie says:  Never eat in it! Our kids are 18 & 15 and have never had more than water in our cars. 

 

Kelly says:  Remove everything as soon as you get home…don’t wait until “tomorrow”

 

Aja says: Everyone grabs something out of the car every time we get home.

 

 Jaimie says:  Walmart bags for trash…Windex or car wipes to wipe down when waiting in long lines, Febreeze clips for nice smell.

 

Karin says:  We keep a tarp in the back of each vehicle (trunk or “way back” in the hatchback) to make clean-up easier.   The people area of our cars are always clean/organized since we take out anything we brought into the car each time. The trunk and “way back” are disasters at this time of year! Our summers are ACTIVE and we still have summer weather.

 

Janet says: I pay a monthly fee for car washes and cleaning. One price for as many times as i want it done inside and out. I keep a grocery bag in it for garbage and baby wiped in glove box for quick wipe ups. No eating in my car — just drinks. But nothing with sugar or cream that will stain. So no soda or sugary coffee drinks

 

These are some great ideas, ladies!  Thank you for sharing them!

 

Now it’s YOUR turn.

How’d you do?  Did you get your car cleaned out?  Do you already have a good handle on it?

If you find this post helpful and are enjoying this series, would you consider pinning this picture on Pinterest?

Clean Your Vehicle - 52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Pinterest is an excellent way to tell other people about our fun new series…..and gets more of us involved.  The more the merrier, don’t you think?

Next Week

Next week we are working on our make up bags and purses.  Do you have any tips for how to organize your make up bag or purse?  How do you keep yours cleaned out?  Do you have anything special you do?  How do you choose what to keep in them?  Please email me, leave me a comment on this post or on Facebook and fill me in.  I love including your ideas into these posts!  It makes the posts that much more valuable!

If you want to see where we’re we’ve been so far and where we’re headed in the coming weeks please check in below.  If you’re new, just jump in where you are.  We’d love to have you along for the ride!

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?