Spring is in the air! And if you're anything like me, you're ready to pull out all the fun outdoor gear, decor, and clothing. In my house, I like to keep our out-of-season clothing separate from the rest. I do this for a few reasons.
First, our clothing closets and dressers aren't large enough to hold all of our clothing for every season at once. Second, I don't like the clutter that comes from having all of our things in one space at a time. I like my spaces edited and tidy. The more clothing there is, the more mess! Third, it is kind of fun to pull out clothes at the beginning of a new season and be pleasantly surprised by finding a sweater or dress I had forgotten about.
Today I'm walking you through how I store my off-season clothing (and the products I like to use) and my twice-yearly tradition of our seasonal clothing rotation.
Storing Out of Season Clothes
What clothes should you store out of season? Here's what I generally put away for each member of my family:
Storing Winter Clothes:
Ski and Snowboarding Clothing
Thick Sweaters and Cardigans
Beanies, Gloves, and Other Cold-Weather Accessories
Storing Summer Clothes:
Swimsuits (I leave these easily accessible for quick winter trips or hot-tub visits)
Where to Put Out of Season Items
Now that you've decided what items you'll be putting away, let's talk about where to put them. If you have closet space, you can put them in a container or a bin up high in your closet. If you have a lot of space, I like these opaque bins. If you're short on space, these thin bins work great as well.
Styled bins also work great in a closet where you have extra shelving or counter space. You'll want to pick bins that flow with your closet, but I love these bins for open storage and these styled baskets with lids.
If you don't have closet space, you can also use the thin bins under a bed. Or you can move items to a closet that is not being used (like a guest room or storage closet). In my house, we do a combo of all of these. I also use these large utility bins in the garage to store bulky items like shoes, boots, and coats. For example, winter clothing is big and bulky. When not being used, I like to pack it up and have it out of the way. We have a winter bin for each member of the family where we store all their ski gear, snow clothes, and anything else we really only use November-March.
The most important part of each of these is to make sure and label what is inside. Include the clothing item, what family it belongs to, and the size.
Storing Clothing for Small Children
IYKYK….this is one of the worst parts of motherhood. I love my kids. But switching out clothing not only for the seasons but for various sizes, according to gender for 4 children is a never-ending project. We have been given a significant number of hand-me-downs through the years that have only added to the already daunting process. The system has evolved for us through the years, but here are a few ways I have found to manage baby and kid clothes.
You can sort and label bins according to size and gender. If you have enough clothing that is season-specific to fill a bin, you can also include the season on your label. This is what I did the most when my kids were young and how we have helped many clients sort and label the baby clothes they are holding onto. If you are not done having children or have a big gap between genders, keeping the clothing items you might use again sorted by size can be so helpful.
Now that my youngest is growing up we have changed the system slightly. If my oldest boy grows out of something, he passes it directly to his younger brother. When my second boy grows out of something, he puts it in a ‘donation’ basket he has in his closet because he is my last boy. With my daughters, there is a bigger age gap, so the system is a little different. When my 9-year-old daughter grows out of a clothing item, she gives it to me to put into a ‘next size up’ bin at the top of my 6-year-old’s closet. My 6-year-old also has a ‘donation’ bin in her closet for items she has outgrown. In the storage room, I have a bin labeled ‘next size up girls’ and ‘next size up boys’. Any hand-me-downs that are given to us that do not yet fit my oldest go in this bin. Each spring and each fall when we are switching out clothing, we sort through all the bins labeled ‘next size up' to see what items fit. We shop from what we have first and then write a list of what items are still needed to get through the upcoming season. This has worked for us.
Rotating Seasonal Clothes
I like having a routine for switching out seasonal clothing. Setting boundaries and clear dates (I only sort through those bins the first weekend of April and the first weekend of October every year) has helped me not feel so overwhelmed and like I spend 50% of my motherhood rotating kid clothes. We are usually home those weekends, and it's a good time to go through everything. I like to do it all at once and use the same bins for both seasons to save on space.
I always edit as I store seasonal items. Did I wear it this past season? Does this size fit any of my kids? Is it ripped or stained? I do the same as I'm unpacking stored clothes as well. We first shop from our seasonal and 'next size up' bins, and then make a list of what I need to buy before the season really changes: new swimsuits, coats, sandals, etc.
Also, if your donations are already starting to pile up and you are local to Utah, you can use this blog post as a reference for where you can take donations. There are a number of places on the list that have locations across the country as well.
Are you ready for the season change? I hope this helps you get ready! If you are interested in having Reset Your Nest come and do all the sorting, folding, containing, and labeling for you, sign up for a free consultation today!
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing business in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves creating order and systems out of chaos. Her specialty is finding a way to continue the aesthetic of any home to every cupboard and drawer. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.