Organizing for the Spring Thaw

Seasonal transitions can be frustrating times of year for a Trail Family. You have two seasons worth of clothes and gear laying around and the weather seems to change by the hour. This is especially true as Winter gives way to Spring.

You’ve probably heard the old cliche that March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” This is supposed to carry the idea that the last freezing gusts of winter are sputtering out around the middle of March. By the end of the month, Spring will be well on its way. 

We rarely experience that here in the Northeast of Pennsylvania. Here we have what I like to call Fake Spring. This is a sudden warm up around the beginning of March that can last for a week or two. Sometimes the trees will even bud, it gets that warm and sunny. 

About the third week of March, the much delayed lion shows up. One recent year it has even brought with it a 36’ snowfall. The kids love it when this happens,of course. That one last blast of winter lasts for a couple more weeks before we get the arrival of true Spring. 

For many years I would be fooled by Fake Spring. I would put away the snow pants, parkas, and boots. I’d get out my flip flops and celebrate the sunny days I thought were ahead. Enter the lion. Back in the attic I would go so we could bundle up for one last snow adventure! Then I got wise to the pattern. Most climates have a transition time between seasons that leaves your closets looking like you have ten times the people living in your house. 

Here are Three Tips for organizing the transition from Winter to Spring

1 Store winter gear in totes that are easily accessible. We have a “hats, gloves, scarves” tote and a “coats and snow pants” tote. These are kept in the attic but we make sure they don’t get buried by other boxes or totes. If you have a space in a more accessible place such as a pantry or laundry room, you can store them there during the transition time. If you happen to put them away too early, they are right there for that last snow of the season. 

2 Make your main entryway the central location for everyday gear. Use baskets in or near your entryway to keep hats, scarves, and gloves tidy. I have a wicker laundry basket that I use, but any decorative and functional container will work. The real trick is getting kids to put their things IN the basket and not on the floor next to it. Have a mat or drip tray for boots. We use a mat for wet footwear and another wicker basket to store them after they are dry. While our entry is more crowded in winter and during the transition to Spring, these storage systems help it not to get out of hand.

Our coat rack and shoe station right next to the front door
On the other side of the front door is our hat, glove, scarf basket

3 Hang snow pants in your laundry room or pantry. This is the first year that I have done this and it has been so much better than each of us having our snow pants in our separate closets. These are items that you don’t need next to the door every day so their being a little out of the way will be more functional for your entryway. But they are still nearby and don’t have to be dug out of the back of a closet whenever you want to bundle up. 

A basic hook you can get at any hardware store or the hardware section of a big box store. It works perfectly in my laundry room for hanging snow pants.

I hope these tips were helpful for your Trail Family. What gear storage ideas have you implemented that were helpful? What could we add to this list?

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