When the weather cools down, and our wardrobes need to change too, there are several issues that all the extra layers can bring up in a family. There's the issue of losing all the mittens and gloves all the time. There's the issue of bundling everyone up only to overheat soon as you go into a store or the car, or wherever. There's the issue with having muddy footprints all around your house, from fall through springtime, just for starters. Here are some simple solutions to some of these common cold weather wardrobe worries to make your life easier before the inevitable happens again in your home this season or next.
First of all, get some hooks. Hang some hooks high, out of the kids' reach, for your grown-up coats and scarves and things, and some hooks low, for them. Letting them choose their hooks can help get them to remember and even take pride in taking care of their things, and hanging them up for you, so they are easier to find. Make sure you have enough hooks, so things are not all jammed on one hook; that defeats the purpose. Have a hook for coats, one for scarves and hats and mittens, and one for bags. Or, have a couple of hooks and a bin underneath or above for the smaller things. This helps enormously in winter when there is so much gear to put on and take off all the time. (My grandma taught me to put kid's mittens on strings, which is a great way to not lose them, and make them easy to hang up too.)
Secondly, have a shoe / boot rack or at least rug by your front door to help keep the mud OFF your floors. Trust me, if you need to get everyone funny slippers as early holiday gifts this year so they don't ruin all their sox, you'll still be saving yourself time and money in cleaning efforts. I also have a really great non-slip burlap rug right in our front entrance, which is pretty large, and thin, and it is great at keeping most of the dirt in one place (we even park our bike and before, our kid's stroller on this too). It's durable, washable, coarse, and shorthaired, so it vacuums up really well too, and does not trap any dry mud or dirt. I love this and highly recommend it!
Third, to avoid overheating, when you are shopping for new warm clothes this season, try to remember to buy light, breathable materials (I know this sounds like it won't keep you warm but it does). If your skin can breathe, you don't sweat as much, and sweating in winter clothes is no fun because then the sweat can make you feel cold once you are back outside. Stick to cotton and 100% light wool, which you can layer well, and avoid synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Having a coat that's wind proof and / or waterproof, even if it's not bulky, will also go a long way to keeping your family warm and dry and not overheated, because the wind and cold wetness are largely what makes a person shiver, actually.
Do you have any wardrobe solutions to share? How do you keep your family warm, dry and organized through the long cold months ahead?