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Seasonal Clothes Switch

Twice a year, I switch out the kids’ clothes so they just have one season’s clothes in their drawers.

Someone on Facebook asked me why I did this since I live in a mild climate, and for a few minutes I was wondering why I did it too! It is definitely one of my most dreaded chores since I have 8 children, but I came up with a couple of good reasons:

  • Each child does not have his or her own dresser, so space is at a premium.
  • I try to limit clothing for each child to 5 pairs of pants, 7 tops, and 4 dresses. Since this is the case, we do not want to waste choices on out of season items.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Wash all dirty clothes. (This is a MAJOR undertaking since my kids like to wear clothes.)
  • One child at a time, remove all clothes from dresser.
  • Sort into 1) trash bag – if worn or stained or 2) labeled plastic tub for storing. Since we have 7 girls, we don’t give much away. It is worn until it cannot be useful any longer, so no need for a “donate” box.
  • Get out new season’s clothes and help child pick 5 pants, 7 tops, and 4 dresses.
  • Have child try on clothes if size is questionable.
  • Repeat with 7 more children. (Is it any wonder I’m tired???)

I use clear, plastic tubs like the one pictured above so I can slip a piece of printer paper in the side with the size written on it. I keep a tub for each size, each season. If we end up with too many clothes to go in the tubs, I know it’s time to donate some. These tubs are kept stacked in the garage.

Do you do a seasonal clothes switch?

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Comments

  1. I did that twice a year with my two older kids. They’d try on the clothes and we’d decide what to keep and what was too small. It’s a little hard with my 3-year-old as she has so much stuff and getting her to try on clothes for even a small length of time is impossible. So I still switch out the seasonal clothes but I have to guess if the ones I’m taking out will be able to be worn again next year.

  2. Yep, I just did it tonight, actually. I do it very similarly to you, only I don’t have the bins separated by season. That would make it more helpful. You must have a whole garage full of bins! :)

  3. I do it for myself but two boys are teenagers and two are babies, so there is size sorting for all of them!

    I was actually feeling sorry for myself that I’m still trying to put boy #4 to sleep at midnight until I read about your 7 girls, bless your heart!

  4. Nah we never did as kids and I don’t now, we live in an area where everything can be worn all year round, except you need a jacket in winter. We have our ‘usual’ summer and winter clothes, but it’s not unusual to have an early/late winter day in short sleeves, or an early/late summer day in long ones. Plus it seems like too much work!

    It’s also because I thrive on variety. I could never manage the limited clothing rule, because I can’t manage it on myself! Every time I get something, I need a full set, so I have the greatest potential of choice. It’s my one remaining bad habit. It’s good for things like books and craft supplies, maybe not so great for clothes, or my shopping budget!

  5. Wow, that is some undertaking!
    Clothes switching is something I’m spared. Living in our climate just doesn’t make it necessary. We have sweaters and warm clothes all year round :/

    Happy packing!
    Anne x

  6. I don’t bother any longer because the kids all have big closets and the house we are building will have a family laundry room/closet that is 12X12. I refused to bend on that one! No more clothes in the bedrooms! Oh happy day!

  7. I do it too. My two girls share a room and a dresser so all of their clothes have to fit in two drawers each. I do it for myself as well. We live in a home that was built pre-walk in closets, so there just isn’t room to have everything out all the time.

  8. My husband brought back the bins of clothes from our storage an hour away, and guess where they are setting. In my living room. I think he left them there to motivate me to do it sooner rather than later. They are calling my name, but so far I’ve been able to ignore them. I think today will be the day, though.

  9. Our process is similar, though we only have 3 kids (so far.) We change out the clothes twice a year for the new seasons, and what isn’t being worn goes into clear under-bed storage boxes that are stacked in our hall closet (only one bedroom has a closet, so we created a communal closet and use the one bedroom closet for storage of other things. The clothing bins are labeled 0-12m girl, 12-24m girl, etc. Our children are still young (our eldest is not quite 4) so this works so far. We’ll have to see how it goes as we end up needing more and more bins.

  10. We do the switch, too. We have 8 children (5 baoys, 3 girls) as well, and everyone shares a room. I did ours last week and was able to donate a couple of bags. I did it like you explained, except we keep ours in the attic. It’s fun to have a different wardrobe for different seasons. My children get SO excited about the switch!! I get excited when its all over!!!! Especially the laundry part, EEEK!!! :). thanks for this post!

  11. During the seasonal clothing switch-over, our living room looked like a bomb had gone off in Goodwill. Haha! Now that I have older girls (3 are 16 and up!), they help a LOT; not only with theirs, but with their “partners” clothing as well. It does get easier!

  12. Did the girls’ 2 weeks ago, and the boys’ yesterday…no wonder my brain is mush today. 4 girls and 4 boys still at home that we do. And I love what Cheryl said about the bomb going off at Goodwill…that’s my living room when we do it exactly!!!

  13. We do the clothing switch twice a year as well. I suspect many people assume Texas is hot hot hot all year long but in the winter we do need full length trousers and at least an option of long sleeves. Every fall I switch from the shorts and t-shirt and summer dresses to jeans, long sleeves, and winter dresses and then switch back every spring. We also pack away the winter coats for the hot months as they just take up too much room and my rather odd children would probably get them out for play and create more work for me later. The switch also helps greatly to getting out the outgrown clothing and getting in the best sizes.

  14. I have 7 boys and only 1 girl. I definitely need to start doing this. If I can limit the amount of clothes, I will also be saying “is it any wonder I’m so tired”, but the result must be worth it. My husband is deployed right now, and the less clothing, toys, etc. around the house, the more I will keep my sanity.

  15. My system is similar in that I use tubs, but instead of labeling by size, I have 2 tubs for each child (except the oldest), labeled with their name and either “Summer” or “Winter”. When I put away all the summer clothes, everything Boy #1 has outgrown (that is still wearable) goes into Boy #2′s “Summer” tub. Everything still wearable that Boy #2 has outgrown goes into Boy #3′s “Summer” tub. Because our boys are each 3 years apart, there will be clothes in their tubs that are too big for a year or two.

  16. I couldn’t survive ! It was 80 here yesterday and so far only 50 today. Snow is presected for tomorrow. Then back to 70s by the weekend. I need shorts one day sweaters and boots the next. I do go through closets twice a year with all 7 kids. I sort for things that are in need of mending ,too small or just ready to go to the trash. I HATE jeans with holes as big as their feet

  17. Heather Wawa says:

    Clothing switches are mandatory in crazy Minnesota.

    It’s quite a celebration when the cool weather hits and we can bring out our favorite cozy sweater, that cool hat that Aunt Shari knit, or when the weather warms up again and we can quit searching for the one missing mitten (again) and socks are optional.

    My oldest is 14 and I’m still searching for the best storage/sorting method to the madness. I don’t think there is one. However it gets done is my deal…

  18. I don’t do a seasonal clothing switch because I eliminated the clothing stash. It works for me! Because of the age/gender configuration of my kids and several other reasons, NOT having the stash is more peaceful.

  19. Currently the boys’ drawers are way too full and I keep putting 6-9 month clothes on my 17 month old and wonder, “why isn’t this fitting correctly??” Maybe I should do something about this…

  20. We just keep all clothes out year-round (just my husband and I, we have no children). We have very little storage space so this is the best option for us, plus it keeps us from having too many clothes!

  21. We do a seasonal clothes switch mainly because the change in seasons is about the time the boys move up to the next size. The main trade is jeans for shorts, and we pull out the few long sleeve shirts and jackets. This is something we’re doing this week.

    I have the same storage system as yours! My only difference is that I write the clothes size on an index card and tape it to the outside of the bin. People are amazed at how I keep the clothes so organized! But there’s not much to it – it’s super simple to do.

  22. We do a seasonal clothes switch, but have a few hangups that make it a long and drawn out process. We vacation with my husband’s family each fall when it is cold there but still warm at home, so we pull out winter clothes early. Right now there are still bins out in our living room. I like your limiting idea and am about to copy you. Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. Yes because we have small closets and my boys share a dresser. It eliminates the inappropriate for the weather littles ALWAYS opt for. ha ha. No way could I pare it down to 5 pants and 7 shirts though. I only do laundry once a week and it’s not necessarily put away the same day. Now if I had so many people I had to wash daily anyway, then I guess we’d pare it down too.

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