Hi, Susan here from Organized 31 with a winter organizing project. It’s definitely the middle of the cold winter months. The other day my daughter asked me if I could do something to organize the shelf in the coat closet where my children keep their hats, scarves and gloves. I couldn’t wait to tackle that task (and was probably too excited that she’d asked). This is the time of year when those items are being used daily it’s the perfect time to reevaluate and reorganize them.
When my teen daughter asked for my help organizing, I tried not to jump up and down with glee and instead nonchalantly answered, “Sure, I’ll see what I can do.” I had set up an organizing system for the kids’ hats, scarves and gloves a couple of years ago in our previous home. It worked great for several years, but needed to be revisited now that my children are older and we’re in a new home.
I started by pulling everything out of the closet. This pile belongs just to the daughter who asked for organizing help (guess we know why she asked). You can see the tub that I originally used to organize in the bottom right corner of the photo. It makes me chuckle every time I look at the pile compared to the box, but this is exactly why organizing in an on-going process and not a one-time event. Children grow, life changes, needs change and our organizing systems needs to adapt.
The organizing process took about 10 minutes total. I went through the items and removed:
- three gloves that had lost their mates
- four hats that the kids had outgrown
- a scarf that belonged upstairs in my daughter’s room because it’s more of a fashion scarf than a cold weather scarf.
I’m always careful to have my children go through the purged pile with me to make sure they agree. I think it’s respectful to make sure my children agree to donate or get rid of the items I’ve selected. If they want to keep an item that I think needs to go, I will explain why I think it needs to be purged, but ultimately, it’s their decision. It’s a good thing I asked first this time because my daughter had a matching glove to one of the ones below in her coat pocket. So that matched pair of gloves moved into the keep pile.
I prefer to use plastic bins to organize. They’re easy to clean. They can be stacked if needed. They have handles that make them easy to handle They’re relatively inexpensive and will last for years. They have a lid that will keep the dust off the items. They’re versatile. When I found my daughter needed a second tub for her scarves, I simply grabbed one that was being underutilized in my closet. I use tubs for many organizing jobs and move them around to where they’re most needed at the time.
When my children were younger they simply tossed their hats, gloves and scarves into the bin. It was easy for them to do and the bin kept everything contained and organized. Now that my children are older and can keep things neat, I prefer filing items in the bins so that each item can clearly be seen and removed. It’s easy to slip an item back into the bin when you’re putting it away, just like a file folder.
Adding a name label to each tub makes it easy for each family member to quickly find just what they’re looking for.
The labeled bins were put back on the closet shelf. Look at how nice and neat everything now is. It’s each for each child to grab their tub from the shelf and get what they need in the morning. It’s just as easy when they get home to put everything away. This system worked well for us even when my children were elementary school aged. My children are happy again because they can find their items every morning and it makes me happy every time I open the closet door and see all that extra space on the shelf.
Be sure to check out more organizing ideas from Susan at Organized 31.
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