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.
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?
- If it’s stained, it goes.
- 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.
- If it has holes, it has to go.
- If it’s ugly, it has to go.
- If it doesn’t look nice on, it goes.
- 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!
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.