I don’t know about you, but I feel like once I finally get a handle on things, I need to change it. I’ve found it true for everything from food, fighting, nap schedules. Recently, I’ve realized that my processes for dealing with seasonal/size clothing swaps have changed.

As the girls got older and are able to dress & put away their own clothes, we’ve moved away from a family closet model. If you are interested in how we made a family closet work, you can read the original.

6 Steps to an Efficient Seasonal Clothing Swap

Today, though, I wanted to share our process for seasonal clothing swaps. If you are noticing that your kids pants or dresses are getting a bit short, this process works there, too.

1. Shoes

I always swap shoes first because many years the snow is gone, but it’s still a bit chilly. If we are lucky, snow goes away in March and it’s time to find sneakers or cowboy boots. Even if we aren’t lucky, I still need to find church shoes for Easter. We check to see if last years shoes fit or if we have hand-me-downs on deck.

2. Socks

I LOATHE kids socks until they hit about size 5. After that, I only buy Goldtoe socks because the stripes = sock heaven. I always know whose socks are laying around. Unless they are sharing a size. Like now.

3. Swimsuits

We do not live in a swim all year kind of place. But! Swim lessons (for us) start in May. If you haven’t been swimming in a while, it may be time to make sure last years suits are still decent. My girls had a growth spurt and one had her swimsuit only come up to her belly button 😮!

4. Clothes

Because spring is still fairly chilly around here, I usually start with pajamas. They usually get a new summer nightgown in their Easter basket and we keep winter blankets on beds until June, so I usually do the rest of the PJ’s first.

Dresses & shirts come next because it’s easier to layer short sleeves to adjust for the 30-60 degree days :). And on cool mornings you can add leggings to a dress.

Lastly, once it’s been 50-60 degrees on waking (or mid 70’s during the day) somewhat consistently, I will check capris/shorts/skirts.

5. Hats n More

Once the kids are playing outside semi-regularly, I bust out the sunglasses & ball caps/beach hats.

It may seem rather late, but I don’t put away mittens & winter hats until the summer clothes are out. I kid you not, it snowed on May 16 last year. I had put away the hats & mittens 10 days earlier. Now, I keep one set out in reserve :).

6. Outerwear

Outerwear like sweatshirts, mid-weight jackets and raincoats start coming out once the snow is gone & weather starts hitting 50+ during the day.

When I put away the last of the mittens, hats & scarves, I throw them all into the washing machine with the winter coats & snow pants before I put them away.

If you live in a more temperate climate (i.e. almost anywhere South of the 45th parallel), these steps might happen much earlier for you than for me. The steps should be approximately the same, though.

As much as I would like to switch out everything at once, it’s just not practical to do this far North. We’ve had 75 degree days in March followed by an ice storm leaving the power out for a week and another 6 weeks of winter.

How complicated are seasonal clothing changes in your area?

Jen S.

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