I will conquer winter gear. I did a pretty good job last year. But the difference this year is that the kids are more independent. The difference this year is that I really want them to be able to get out and put their own winter gear away, instead of me having to manage it constantly. They have done really well the past year with being responsible for their own shoes, coats, and bags... putting things on their designated hooks and also keeping their shoes in their room's shoe organizers and their crocs and flip flops in their baskets.
Last winter I kept their winter gear up in clear totes, each labeled with a name. This year, we have more winter gear than last year. Explain that you say? Well. Last year we had the "great mitten shortage of 2011" when the kids began losing mittens. Losing mittens in the middle of the winter is not cheap. And although they each started out with at least two pair of snow-worthy mittens, the gear slimmed down really quickly. Something happens to mittens that go to school. Names on them or not, there is a mitten monster SOMEWHERE between our house and back, be it in the van or at preschool or in the parking lot or something. Mitten clips are not really my favorite but I have tried them. It seems that when I use mitten clips the coat comes home with no mittens AND no clips. *sigh*
So at the end of last season, everyone got new mittens from the clearance rack. Ardyn is starting the year with FOUR pair of snow mittens and also various small "stretchy" mittens from the dollar store. Marek is also starting with FOUR pair of snow mittens and about 6 pair of stretchy mittens. They each have one "mom-made" scarf and At least four-five hats. A couple for really cold days, with ear flaps or face mask like protection, and a couple that are normal cheap stocking caps. This means that the "totes" that I have used for about 5 years, which alternately hold swim shoes and suits and coverups and hats, mittens and scarves... are suddenly too small to hold the gear. This might be okay. I don't know. I am not entirely ready to let it go, but the clear totes can't hold what we need and they aren't easily reachable and accessible for the kids to put their own stuff away and get it out when I ask them to. Part of me thinks to just empty their croc baskets out and put their gear in there. I think that might be what I am going to do. But then again I can see the search for mismatched mittens already. That leads me to think that a system with the shoe pockets would be better, a pocket for each pair. But the problem exists that we don't have wall space or doors to hang one, because they are all already spoken for.
Problem = too small house. I already know this. But for some reasons mittens are throwing me into this tissy that has me wanting to reorganize the whole house. Problem is you can't reorganize a whole house when it isn't even picked up. *sigh* *double sigh*
So tonight I toss around ideas. I have already organized the winter stuff three ways and none of them have made me happy. Hmmmm...... I even googled it.