Spring Cleaning Part 1: Coat Closet

Spring has sprung, at least for now, and I realized as my kids were getting ready to go out the door this morning, pulling on their customary winter gear – parkas, mittens, etc. – despite the mild temperatures (for upstate New York – 40 degrees is yes, often considered “mild”), that it was time to go through our coat closet so everyone could access spring gear. I told the kids it was too warm for parkas and to grab their fleeces; however, who could find any fleeces? They were buried under single gloves, scarves, and hats sized 12-24 months (my youngest is 4).  We were lucky enough to have recently gone on vacation to warmer climates during my daughters’ school vacation. When we left, it was in the 20’s and snowy; when we returned on Monday, it was 60 and sunny (hallelujah). Tackling the coat closet today was a necessity.

I have to confess that years have gone by where I have not transitioned out winter gear with the change of seasons, and we would be plowing through winter apparel in July. Winter was inevitable, I would justify, wasn’t I saving myself time? Total denial. In the past year the fog has lifted as all of my kids (there are only three of them, although sometimes it feels like more) are in school and I often feel like I am seeing my house for the first time – the corners where the paint is peeling, the  windows that need washing (you do this every year?), the dog hair in the corners, and the coat closet.

Actually the coat closet project didn’t take much time – one hour tops. Here is what I did:

1) I took out all parkas and winter coats and made four piles: Wash/Dry Clean (any keepers will be cleaned and put away for next year),  Give Away to Friends (any outgrown coats in good shape I always pass along to friends – I have one friend who has a younger daughter who gets my girl clothes and another friend who gets my boy clothes), Give Away to Charity (coats I know my friends won’t use/want), Toss (stained, ripped, etc.).

2) I went through all boots, scarves, hats, and mittens/gloves and matched up all pairs and tossed any singles. I was surprised by the fact I only had one widow – amazing what you can find when you dig deep. Again, any outgrown items will be passed on to friends or charity. Then I put all of the good items in a plastic bin and up to the attic.

3) At this point I had – gasp – space – so I was able to move in umbrellas, spring sporting equipment, etc.

4) The next step was the whole motivation of my project – I hung up all rain coats, vests, fleece jackets, sweatshirts, etc., sorted by child, so now they can find the jacket they need.

Now I hear there is snow in the forecast for next week – my kids better get ready to layer and put their hands in their pockets!! I will keep you posted on this whole novelty of “spring cleaning” at my house.

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