Someone should write a book titled, Living up North with Children for Floridians. When we first moved to West Virginia, from Cuba, I had a few kids who had never worn socks before! It wasn’t long until winter arrived and I was overwhelmed with winter gear. At that time we had five kids, so we had more gloves, hats, boots, and scarves than I knew what to do with.
For many years I placed a big basket by the door and the kids dumped all their gear in the basket when they came inside. This worked well until someone tried to find something in the basket. They would end up throwing half of the contents onto the floor and running out the door. Then when they came in 5 minutes later dripping wet, they would walk all over the mittens and gloves on the floor and I ended up doing laundry all day long.
Then last year I was visiting a friend and saw probably one of the simplest, yet most brilliant ideas of my life. She had all her winter gear stored in a shoe holder which was attached to a closet door. Each child had a few pockets to store their hats and gloves. I finally purchased a shoe holder last week and set it up. Little kids on the bottom, big kids towards the top. It has only been two weeks, but already I love it!
The best thing about this system is that it is portable. No matter where you live, you will probably have a door you can use to store your mittens, gloves and hats. This year I am considering marking everyone’s name on the pockets with a sharpie so they don’t take each other’s gloves, which tends to happen in a family of nine.