Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Which I Seek Your Clothes Related Advice

No, our yard is not yet covered in leaves. It's only September 8, after all. I wore flip flops to the grocery store today. (OK, I admit: I wear them every day to every thing)

But Autumn will soon be upon us. I love Fall: cooler weather, the smell of smoke in the air, bonfires, hayrides, apples, leaves everywhere (and believe me, they are everywhere at our house. We're not much for raking) and warm sweaters for the evenings.

Which brings me to my question for all you wise blog readers:
When do you switch out your t-shirts, flip-flops and the like, for sweaters, striped tights, and so on?

I dislike the clothes switching-around process (yes, that is its technical name). It involves me (oh, alright, I admit I usually get Prince Charming to do it) lugging up multiple Rubbermaid boxes of clothes, having the girls try on the aforementioned clothes, putting the warm weather clothes back into their correct boxes, with the unfortunate exception of all the warm weather clothes that we still need because some days are warmer than others...

It all means days, if not weeks, of wardrobe limbo and it drives.me.nuts. My dream is to have my girls wear their summer clothes until Christmas (with the possible addition of a sweater or two), but I don't think I can get away with it. The little old ladies at church are already wearing sweaters and tights (apparently oblivious to the thermometer reading 70 plus temperatures). I can imagine the outcry if I don't get my girls into actual shoes and socks again sometime soon.

So: when? What works for you?

(And yes, our tiny, ancient little house has very little storage. The Rubbermaid boxes do work for me since I don't have acres of closet space. Cardboard = disintegrated mess in the basement. Closets = non-existent. Rubbermaid boxes = moisture proof & easily affordable.)


Kelly said...

Unfortunately, I am not much help in this area. I am blessed enough to have more than sufficent room for all my clothes to stay out 365 days a year. And I don't even use that white dresser you saw yesterday. My mom is just too sentimental to let me get rid of my baby dresser. ;)

Vicky said...

That is a hard one! It is different for everyone. For example, DH usually (used to) put his short sleeved shirts away around October. But I put mine away (used to) earlier because I am colder than he is. I say "used to" because it is much warmer here in NC for probably 6 weeks longer than there in OH. No matter when you do it, you usually have a couple of days where you are gonna burn up because the temperature kicked back up a bit! I know, not much help, was I? But, I do agree with you that it is a painful process! However, as with Kelly, I now can leave them all right where they are 365 days a year!

Amy said...

I tend to shove the out of season stuff all into a box/bin, put it somewhere out of sight, and then forget about it until the next season rolls around and I have a wrinkled pile of clothes to deal with. Not really a system that I'd recommend. ;)

My WFMW tip today is about how I earn free stuff by doing my usual online searches.

Maltamoores said...

I can completely relate! I have 8 children and the same mega tub problem. I would also like to throw in the question"How much clthes should I keep for each child?" We are campers so I like the grubby clothes for that, we are church goers - so I need clothes for that.... any ideas are welcome.

Life is Good said...

Well, here's what I do.
At the beginning of the warm season, I put away the winter stuff, into similar rubber maid bins. But I keep out a couple of my favorite long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts and jeans or pants. These stay out all year.
In the fall I do the opposite. I put summer stuff away except for two pairs of short sleaves and shorts/capris. And those stay out all year, too.
Although I must admit that I probably tend to wear shorts and a sweatshirt long after many have packed them away.
My hardest part is when babies change sizes mid season. I hate buying new clothes when we have perfectly good handmedowns.

Amy said...

This is a hard one for me too, as we can have 'unseasonably warm' days well into October. In fact, you never know until a few days before if you'll get to wear your pretty sweater to Thanksgiving or keep putting on those same old short sleeves you've been wearing since April.
We usually leave all of our summer stuff out until either:
A) The boys have outgrown most of it and don't have much choice but to move into their winter stuff
B) The weather has turned enough that we are wearing winter stuff more than summer.

This is a very messy system, since we don't have room for two seasons worth of clothes in our drawers and closets.
Once the Big Switch is done, out of season keepers go into the attic in cardboard boxes.

Deb said...

I just went thru this this weekend! On one hand it is a huge pain and on the other hand my kids (4 1/2 and 2 1/2) are still little enough that I kind of enjoy reminiscing about the clothes they have grown out of, and petting the new things. It's always a bit sad when I put something away for good...

I have several bins for them: each has a bin of "future" clothes, which is stuff I have gotten at end-of-season sales, or hand-me-downs I am saving until they fit. I also have a bin of I Can't Get Rid of This For Sentimental Reasons, clothes and blankets that I cut up and make quilts of.

The end of season thing always involves trying on a bunch of stuff and doing endless loads of laundry to make sure everything is done and sorted. I do a big sort in the fall and the spring, keeping some transitional things, which end up getting rotated to a bottom drawer to wait for the next sort.

My biggest annoyance so far is giving my daughter my son's hand-me-downs, and then going to the store to fill in her wardrobe from the little girls dept. WHY is it that a 2T boys shorts fit nice and roomy, with a decent leg, and the girls 2T are practically skintight hot pants?!?! I can't tell you how ANGRY this makes me - must we really tart up our TWO YEAR OLDS? I don't buy jeans or shorts in the girls department anymore. And for girls shirts, I have to get two whole sizes bigger than I would in a boys, just so my BABY doesn't look like a TRAMPY TEENAGER.


For myself, my wardrobe consists of shorts and t-shirts in summer, and shorts and sweatshirts in winter. Birkenstocks year round. Very boring, and if I have to go anywhere requiring pants or grown up shoes I go into a panic.

I found you thru the carnival at Homespun Life and have added you to my Must-Reads. Thanks for sharing, and all the homeschool encouragement - this is my first year and it is a little overwhelming.

'Becca said...

This has been such a problem for me! I keep out-of-season clothes in the cabinet above our closet, so I need help getting them down. I would get them when I first needed them as the weather started changing, but then I had trouble getting around to doing the switch-around, and the bins would stay out until we half-forgot that they aren't coffee tables for our bedroom!

Then, last year, it was mid-summer and the bins of summer clothes had been sitting on the floor for MONTHS. I was about to put away clean laundry into them when I freaked out and said, "I am going to switch around my clothes RIGHT NOW!! YOU put the kid down for his nap!!" When my partner got up from reading the naptime stories, I was done, ready for him to hand me the bins of winter clothes to put up in the cabinet. He said, "That was quick!" and we both realized that the whole cause of the delay was not making time to Just Do It!

So here is my new policy: As soon as the bins come down, we set a time THAT WEEK when I will switch the clothes around while my partner keeps the kid out of my way. (The kid is 4 and has strong opinions about how to organize things!) Only an undeniable emergency will stop me from making it happen at that time. Once it's done, the bins stay down for ONE WEEK, during which I wash all the old-season clothes that are dirty so I can put them into the bins too. Then the bins go back up.

oddcincy said...

This limbo is what I've designed most of my wardrobe around! I try to keep winter-only and summer-only clothing to a minimum.

Winter-only: 1 thick sweater, 3 sweatshirts, 1 pair of heavy pants, 1 pair of hiking boots.

Summer-only: 4 cotton dresses, 3 short-sleeved button-up shirts, 2 short-sleeved jackets, 2 pairs of sandals, 3 pairs of jelly shoes.

All other summer-appropriate clothing can be layered or otherwise adapted year-round.

Bulk of wardrobe: jeans, skirts, slacks, thin sweaters, thin jackets, tank tops, cotton shirts (long and short-sleeved), flannel and shirts, zip-up hooded sweatshirts (hoodies), sneakers, flats, leather boots.

This is Ohio. Even within a season, the weather changes every six minutes. And subtracting or adding the same thin layers can get you through all of it. You can wear four or five thin layers before it feels bulky.

Summer tank top or tee shirt = Winter undershirt (this plus a long-sleeved cotton shirt might replace a winter-only sweater)

[skirt or shorts] + [leggings or knee-high boots] = warm legs in Winter

Summer denim jacket + Autumn hoodie = Winter coat (and one that can be adjusted throughout the day!)

Etc, etc.

I'll also note that thin layers take up less storage space. Storage space which I maximize by putting click-in-place plastic shelves in the closet ($20 a bookcase in the garage accessories section of Wal-Mart). Everything's stacked out in the open year-round, no boxes or drawers to fuss with.

Renae said...

I store our winter clothes in plastic tubs, too. And I usually don't switch things until weeks after we've been digging in the tubs looking for warm clothes to wear to church. So yeah, I'm no help, but thanks for asking. ;)

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