Mitten Math

It snowed last night.  The land is covered in white – it is breathtakingly beautiful.

The math required to get us out into said snow is a little overwhelming, however.

(One pair of snow boots + one winter play coat + one scarf + one hat + one pair gloves or mittens for play + one pair of snow pants) x 6 = potential maternal mental meltdown

Add to this all the things needed for going out in public and you have a real mess!

So, dear Ladies, what great ideas do you have for organizing and storing all this stuff?!  We used to have some cabinets that we used, but with the birth of Baby Buglette, we had to move a dresser down stairs and that took its place.  SO, I’m now facing the daunting task of whipping all the roaring winter clothes into submission. The space is minimal and there is no closet available for me to shove it into….  all ideas, brilliant and otherwise are being solicited.  (Jeff is the son of a carpenter, so making something…if we knew what to make, is an option.)

Thank you – my mental health thanks you too.

21 Responses to “Mitten Math”
  1. Lynn says:

    You have snow before us?!? Oh well, I ain’t compainin’.

    I can so relate to the struggle to organize all that gear. Most people in Alaska have mud rooms in their homes… some are small with a bench and a closet while others are large with hooks lining the walls and shoes (mud boots, winter boots, dress shoes, tennies, slip-ons, etc) lining the floor.

    We hope to someday have a large mud room but until that day comes we have our gear in the pantry/laundry room. I just have several 2×4’s at different heights with big nails hammered part-way in… that way the littles can reach to hang their own coats. Then we have an old bookshelf for shoes. I have a small dresser for the big peoples hats, gloves and scarves while there are stacking bins for the littles gear – they each have their own bin. It’s not pretty but it works – at least when they remember to stow their stuff where it belongs which rarely seems to happen.

    Right now we’re in transition season… we’ve just finished using summer/fall gear and need to swap out for winter gear. Our off-season stuff is stored in bins and garbage bags in the crawl space. I would love to hear other suggestions on how to organize.

  2. winkies6 says:

    Have you thought of looking at Ikea’s website? They are awesome for storage and finding ways to live in small spaces. Then maybe after checking it out, Jeff could make something like they have?

    I love Ikea!!

  3. The Unnamed says:

    No ideas here, we have the same space situation at our house.

    I doubt you’ll be needing snow gear full time for awhile yet though. The snow we got this morning melted before noon here. 45 degrees outside atm too.

    I can’t say that I’m quite ready for winter anyways…

  4. Patricia says:

    Uhhhhhh… a native Floridian who only adds a few sweaters and sweatshirts from October-April to our year-round wardrobe, I obviously have nothing to contribute to this discussion! =) I have fun reading about it, though. LOL!

  5. javadawn says:

    Unnamed, bite your tongue!! OF COURSE we’re going to need snow gear – immediately and continuously until April of next year. 🙂 (Ok, so the snow is all off the ground and it’s 36`, BUT hope springs eternal!) 🙂 (btw, Unnamed…as in those we do not speak of?!!) 😉

    Karen, I don’t ever think of Ikea, since we don’t have any even remotely near here. (Canton, I think is the closest!) They do have a bench that I think I could “copy” and alter a bit to make work for our situation, though, so thank you!

    Lynn, what? You mean your kiddos don’t have everything all neatly and tidied and put away every time they come in from playing? Oh, well, send ’em down here – we’ll get them trained in no time. (HA!!) 😆

  6. The Unnamed says:

    Owth! Bithing My Thounge Hurths!

    You mean. 😐

    Lol. 🙂

    And No, it’s Unnamed as in you don’t know.


  7. Kristine says:

    Hi Dawn,

    A few of our children enjoyed the snow this morning also. They REALLY liked watching the fog creep from the neighbors woods into our yard. They claimed we were being attacked or some thing like that. 🙂

    As you know, we have a mudroom for gathering coats, jackets, boots, and such. That helps a lot.

    Our mitten tamer idea could be used by almost anyone. Jep strung a clothesline along one wall using screws with an ‘O’ on the top to string the line through. We probably have 15 feet of line along the wall – NOT across the room.

    In our case, the line is directly above the heat register so it dries small, wet things really fast. (hats, scarves, mittens) But even without that advantage, this could be useful.

    It looks sort of like this:


    I’m sure there is a name for that type of screw but I have no idea what it is. Add a bag of clothespins and you’re all set!

  8. Kristine says:

    That cyber-drawing did not turn out right. How do people do things like that?

    The line snakes in an ‘S’ pattern on the wall.

  9. javadawn says:

    K – I’m just going to come check it out. 🙂 I don’t remember seeing it. Guess I’m none too observant. 😕

    Dear Unnamed, I’m so sorry for wounding your tongue. But, when you pick on poor old unsuspecting women, you really shouldn’t expect any less. 😀 Now, if you’re not telling me who you are, you must know I love a good mystery – so do I get a clue? 😆  (I DO have a guess, though….)

  10. The Unnamed says:

    No Clues. Sorry.


  11. The Unnamed says:

    Nope, No Clues.


  12. javadawn says:

    Who is mean?!!! Hmmmm….
    Do you live east or west of the Mississippi?
    North or south of the Mason-Dixon?!

  13. *Gets back from brisk run/walk with Javapooch*
    Ah, never mind about the mittens and space, the hope of winter is now gone. 🙂 All the snow has melted now. *sigh*

  14. Lynn says:

    Well, so much for sunny days in the last frontier… it’s been spittin’ snow off and on all day. It’s such a good day to stay home,make a pot of soup, homemade bread and cookies; but, alas, I’m off to town to get groceries and leave a car at the airport for g & C…. woohoo, I’m dancin’ a jig!

  15. The Unnamed says:

    No Clues. You’ll just have to try and figure it out from my comments. 😛

    Don’t you just love the anonymity of the internet?

  16. winkies6 says:

    I’m takin your offspring and moving someplace warmer…….

  17. Margie says:

    How about having Jeff build little cubbies for the boots with hook in each cubbie for hanging coats and scarves??? Don’t know, I am just thinking as I type. We certainly don’t have lots of space in our apartment, but living in Las Vegas we don’t really need snow boots either. Although the first January we were here we got some snow that lasted a whole 6 hours.

    Once you figure it out you will have to post a picture of your solution.

  18. Valerie says:

    Oh, that’s easy! Move here to Australia. You will never have to pull out a pair of mittens or snow boots again! *wink*. It has never, ever snowed here in Perth, and the temperature never falls below warmish-jacket temp.

  19. Sheila says:

    Oh yes, the winter wear and where to put it all.
    I don’t think I will have anything toooo enlightening to share as far as organizing the suff. I have used an over the door shoe holder on one wall. (I think that’s what it is) It has 3 or 4 deep pockets going across and about 5 or 6 down. During the winter each child has 2 or 3 pockets, they put their hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, neck warmers, etc. in. The older kids have the top pockets. As the children have grown and their stuff has gotten bigger, some of the kids have gone to our second holder as they have needed 3 pockets each. This one is on the back of a door. During the summer the pockets are filled with dry swimsuits, water shoes, jumpropes, work gloves, anything needing a pocket during that season.
    Boots are another thing to deal with! I recently saw an idea in a magazine I would like to try. While at a doctors office I saw on the cover of a ladies magazine an article on storing things/organizing. This lady had a “mud room” with pegs and shelves for “everything” yes, but, for their boots they were hung on the wall! She had broom sticks angled out from the wall where they all hung their boots on. It really looked cool. The broom sticks were angled something like 45 degrees maybe?! This may not be making any sense to anyone not seeing it. Maybe I can get Kristine to help me describe it. 🙂 I have a spot I would like to try and put this, not sure it will be this year! With 12 of us, getting 24 boots up off the floor and out of the way sounds nice. At least half maybe. We have a tub in our back room with extra hats, mittens, etc. I also have a hanger with clips on it we clip the wet things on to dry.
    When I had mostly little ones I tried saying they had to be outside as long as it took me to get them dressed to go outside!!! Too mnay times I would get them all bundled up, send them out only to turn around and they were back in needing help getting undone and putting things away!!! Yes, I found myself at times allowing (taking/making) the getting them dressed to go outside time take a little while, they were supposed to stay out as long as it took me to get them ready to go out!!!
    We all are winter/snow lovers-skiing, iceskating, sledding, snowboarding, snowmobliing. There is just soooooo much stuff for winter outside wear. I do like Kristine’s clothes line and may try it somewhere this year.
    We live in south west MI and always hope for a lot of lake effect snow from Lake MI.

  20. Kristine says:

    Sheila, I can picture the broom stick pegs perfectly in my head, but I’m not about to try to cyber-draw them! 🙂

    Do you know how she attached the broomsticks to the wall? Angled holes drilled in a wooden board perhaps?

  21. javadawn says:

    Sheila, me too! I can see it – it sounds brilliant! No more tripping on stray boots that aren’t lined up. OH! :blush: Guess I shouldn’t admit to that one. 🙂

    Sheila, I had to laugh when I read about making the kids stay outside as long as it took to get them ready. We did the same thing. 😆 I didn’t know anyone else who did that. In fact, I got so anal about it at times (those “I’m losing my mind with all the noise times”) that I would set the timer so they knew EXACTLY how long it had taken me (what, me? SLOW down their winter play prep?! SURELY NOT.) 😉 I love the idea of the shoe thing (V8 slap – Shannon suggested something like this for bedrooms, don’t know why/how I didn’t think of it here)

    VALERIE!!! NONONONONONONONO – visits only to places with no snow. We’re like Sheila’s family – we HOPE for snow. (Ok, we pray for it!!) 😕 BUT, if you’re talking about a visit, well then…. 😀

    Margie, AGREED. I’ll post the pic when we figure out what we’re doing. I’ll post a before picture (October seems like a good month for that, every body putting up scary pics and all) 😉 and then I’ll post the after picture. By God’s grace, there WILL be a difference. 😆

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