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agghhh the winter crap!

912 Views 18 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  nd_deadhead
It is seriously out of control now with 3 kids and 3 adults and a small closet. HOW do you organize and keep track of all the mittens, boots, hats, etc so you can find what you need when you need it?! do you keep replacements somewhere else?
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I keep an in-use set of jackets for each person in easy reach hanging in the closet.
I keep a set of gloves or mittens, a hat and a scarf for each person in a basket on top of our shoe cube/rack and extras in a bag hanging further back in the closet so that I can pull it out on snowy days or other times we need extras. I keep out of season coats and jackets rotated to the far end of the rack but when we had less space, I stored them in the attic.

Right now I have all the hats/scarves/gloves in a basket on the floor of the coat closet, but I want to get a hanging organizer to go over the door. The kind with lots of pockets that is sort of like the shoe organizers.
We have a shoe rack in the living room where you walk in the door.Next to that there is a picnic basket(because it has a lid) that holds hats gloves etc.but my daughters gloves are clipped to her coat.The coats are in the closet.
I have a small four-drawer dresser in the entryway. Each kid gets one drawer for hats/mittens/scarves. There is a basket on top for DHs and my hats/gloves.

And shaker hooks on the walls at kid-height, four of which are assigned for winter coats and four of which are assigned for raincoats (for the kids). There are some higher up for DH and me.

We have a "shoe shelf" where shoes go. And a "boot basket" where boots go. The off-season stuff is stored elsewhere. Same with shoes - each kid has one main pair of shoes and one spare pair, and that's it. They all fit on the shoe shelf.

We also have sock baskets, one basket for each size of socks (at times I've had two kids each in two sizes; right now I have three sizes with two kids wearing the middle size). Socks are color-coded, and all the socks in each size are identical, so no sorting needed, ever.

It looks like you have kids close in age. I will just offer this. I love the spot system. First kid's clothes all get one Sharpie spot on the tag. Second kid's get two spots. Third kid's get three spots. When you hand something down, you add a spot. It makes it easy to sort out at quick glance whose stuff is whose - even the kids can learn to do it. So I assign hats/gloves even if they are the same size, because then there is no arguing if only one pair can be found.

Good luck.
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We keep everything in the garage, I don't know what we'd do without it. DH put up a high simple shelf made out of plywood and 2x4s. I bought small bins at Target and labeled one for each person (there are 5 of us) with hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, etc. to go there. I have an overflow basket for anything we're not actively using, or to switch things out seasonally.

Underneath the shelf we have 4 inexpensive coatracks from Lowe's, with 4 double hooks each. Each of the kids has a couple of hooks with spring/fall jackets, winter coats and snowpants. DH and I each have our own 4-hook rack for umbrellas, coats, jackets, sweatshirts - whatever.

Underneath I have two shoe racks for all of the assorted boots, sneakers, shoes, etc. I keep extra shoes in our master closet.
I have a storage unit like this, but a bit smaller:

I put hats and mittens in the wicker baskets. Coats go in the closet, as do boots on a shoe rack.

I find the baskets make it easier to be organized since everyone has his or her own basket.
We hang the main coat we are each using on a hook. We also hang a canvas bag on each hook for hats, mittens and scarves. Our out of season coats are hung in the coat closet. The shoes and boots go in a basket on the floor near the hooks.
I love the spot system - I will need to hang on to that one!

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I have a wall rack behind the door that we hang our every day coats/scarves on (my DH and I). I have two pegs below that about halfway down the wall for the kiddos' coats, and a basket on the floor below it all for hats and mittens. I have a boot tray directly under the bench in the front hallway - shoes taken off immediately go onto the boot tray. I try to only keep on pair of shoes per person in the front hallway. Extra coats get hung in the closet, and boots go on the floor in the closet. I have some pegs on the walls of the closet to hold boots like this. Extra hats, mittens, etc are organized into small baskets and go on the top shelf of the closet. Sometime around the end of March or early April, I go through everything and take out all the snowpants, heavy coats, and rotate everything. I take that time to get rid of the things that don't fit or are not needed anymore, and wash everything before storing it.
We have a dozen hooks on the inside of our front door and another set of 5 hooks at kids height in the dining room (5 ft from the door) with a basket for shoes underneath it.

It does get cluttered, so every few days I have the kids help take everything up to each our closets (where the jackets and shoes "belong"). My four year old is the best at this!

On the landing just above and to one side of the front door we have a tall Ikea trofast system with bins. We are a "sharing house" (most gloves and hats shared) so I mix everyone's stuff in a single bin and sort by category (sunhats, warm hats, gloves, umbrellas, empty bags) rather than person.

There is a line for drying wet stuff accessible from the landing and damp stuff sits on the landing for a while before going back into bin. We also get out an extra towel or laundry basket to manage the clutter when we are in and out of the snow a lot.

Its not perfect, but I don't think I could do much better in this space.
actually I *love* that I have a girl in the middle cause it's this simple---she likes pink, purple, ruffles, all that stuff---so her stuff is in those colors and obviously hers.

5 y/o DS knows what "boy stuff" and "girl stuff" is (that's his term, probably thanks to school) and likes blue, black, "boy".

Their stuff they don't really argue about because of that.

Then, the two boys are actually 4 years apart so it's pretty easy to tell the baby size from the 'big boy' size.

It's just such a jumbled mess right now and I only have the one tiny closet. We live in an apartment with no real "entryway" so all I have there is a little mat where the current footwear goes. (right now, it is the boots because we have tons of snow.) But sometimes with the baby that stuff migrates,

I had a giant box in the closet for all the mittens and stuff but they are just not staying together at all and it is too hard to dig in there!

I might try to find an over-the-door shoe thing for hats, mittens, all that and it could probably hold goggles, sunglasses, bottle of sunscreen in the summer
that might actually free up some floor space. It is a seriously small closet. The shelf up top of it is taken up by a cooler for traveling, a small toolbox on top of that and a bag containing the DVD's which do not live in the entertainment center because I don't want them dragged all over and scratched.
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We have an over the door shoe thing for hats, mitts, and scarves. It's attached to the wall since we don't have a front closet, but the inside of a closet door would be the perfect location. Boots go on shoe mats along the side of the hallway. Coats and snowpants (one set per person) go on hooks along the wall above the boots. An upper set for dh, ds, and me, and a lower set further along the wall for my dds. It's not beautiful, but it's practical and not an overwhelming amount of stuff.

Extra mitts, hats, coats, etc., are in the back hall closet, which is 30 feet from the front door.
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We have a small chest of drawers in our closet. Hats and scarves go in one drawer, mittens and gloves in another and the dog has his own drawer for toys. Boats stay in the garage, same for snowpants. Coats just get hung over the kitchen chairs. If I feel ambitious I might hang them up in a closet somewhere.
I have a large basket of gloves/mitts/ear warmers/scarves/toques in the closet on the shelf. And we keep all our boots on the mat in the foyer. I have a rack that I hang up my jacket and DS jacket and mitts so I can grab them quickly. Or I keep DS jacket and hat on the banister near the door so they're easy to locate before we leave. I also keep his boots in an old bookshelf we have in the foyer, along with his other shoes, diaper bag, toys, etc to keep things handy for when we go out.
I only have one kid's stuff to keep track of but I just bought a little cube box for $6 from Walmart and set it by the front door. They had several colors so if I had more kids, I'd probably just use different colors for each kid. They're touted as made from recycled materials and are super easy to put together. In it goes ALL ds's gloves, mittens, hats, scarf and coat as soon as he walks in. Sometimes even his backpack gets thrown in. THe boots stay right near the door because they're usually grimy. I've found that, with him, it needs to be very simple and this works great.
My only suggestion is having the kids mittens tied on strings through the jackets/snowsuits so you never need to look for them

The rest of the gear drives me batty too.
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Hat shoved inside snowpants
Snowpants folded inside winter coat
Coat zipped up and tossed up on top shelf (makes an easily identifiable stuffed package for each person that's easy to grab).

Winter socks and mittens get put inside boots which are lined up on the floor

There's also a drawstring bag with extra mittens/hats/etc hanging in the closet.
winters almost over (so i thought) however we just got another foot of snow, but anyway i hate organizing all this stuff. we have 2 kids and 2 adults. I have a shoe shelf right inside the door and a small (very small) closet next to that with a file cabinet, the top drawer is for hats and the bottom for mittens, all coats hang on hanger ( some of the time) most of our issue now is that nobody wants to hang up the coats lol we need hooks not hangers
Hats and mittens go in a shoe organizer over the door (actually one that my Mom made, at least 30 years ago!) You're right - it's great for sunscreen and bug spray in the summer.

I also have a bag hanging from a hook in the closet - it contains more hats and neck gaiters. We spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, so we have multpiles of everything.

I bought a set of two wire shelves for the floor of the closet, to add more "layers" for shoes and boots. I seem to be the only one in the family who can actually bend over to place shoes on the shelves (though I will put DH's hiking boots there), but even getting my shoes off the floor makes more room for the other 3.

We each have a winter coat and a spring/fall jacket in the closet. Snow pants go in each person's room (we usually only use them for skiing), and dress coats go in extra space in my son's closet.
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