They were my kinfolk, my people - many of whom I'm still friends with today, though we've scattered across the country, spilling out in different directions as fast as we could once we'd tossed our graduation caps in the air.

Aimee Nezhukumatathail - World of Wonders

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It's In the Past

Three Dave's No Waiting

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A place for gloves

It had been quite the winter already. Because of gloves, it was quickly becoming the winter of my discontent. Gloves are a many splendored thing, and extremely useful in the frigid climes of northwest suburban Chicago. The problem we were having is that we could never find both gloves in a pair when it was time to leave the house. At the beginning of the winter, I went and bought replacement gloves for all our family members. But, by the end of one week, instead of having 10 pairs of gloves,we had2 or 3 pairs and 7 or 8 single gloves. I was right about to teach my kids the
answer to the Zen proverb: What is the sound of one hand freezing?, when I found something that works for me, a place for gloves.

The truth is, we had a place for gloves: in a laundry basket in our mud room/play room, where we keep the rest of our winter gear. The problem was that most of the gloves in the basket were missing partners. So, we would have to spend extra time looking for matches, or go out (gasp!) unmatched.

What I began to do is this: The next time the kids cleaned the playroom, I had them put only matched gloves in the basket. I got a cloth bag and filled it with the orphans and hung it up. As I cleaned out the car and rooms in our house I would find missing gloves. I checked to see if the gloves had a match in the orphan bag. If they did, the reunited pair went in the winter basket; if they didn't, they joined the orphans. Once a week I have the kids straighten up the playroom and put all the gloves in their right place.

Since implementing the system, the glove couples vastly outnumber Gloves without Partners. My discontent is at an all time low, and leaving the house is much less chaotic. If the Herculean winter proves mortal after all, (It's a line from a poem, I wrote, and allusions to my work had previously eluded me) I will put the matched gloves in a basket in the garage and keep the orphan bag through the warmer seasons, just in case the prodigals come wandering back into our lives. When we winterize the house next year, we will start anew with matched gloves only.

That's how I solved my glove/hate relationship with winter hand wear. To see what Works for others go to the Works for me Wednesday site at We are that Family by clicking here.

Next Time: Adoption


  1. I do something similar with socks! We live in a pretty warm climate, and I don't envy you managing multiple little kids with all the winter gear. I am doing good to get my 3 kids dressed in 1 layer of clothing each day without gloves or hats so I don't know how you more Northern parents do it!

  2. Yes- I agree. We are also in a warm climate and try very hard to just keep track of 2 sets of gloves! I love this idea!

  3. I too have "a place for socks" (no need for gloves here in the south) for basically the same purpose. It's a lifesaver! Thanks for a great tip!

    Amy ~ The Salty Momma

  4. This is a great idea. We put away shoes, why not gloves?

  5. An orphan bag is a great idea!

    We use an over the door organizer with pockets to store gloves. Each person gets a couple pockets (or a row) to put all of their misc. things in--hats, gloves, chapstick, etc.

    It drives me crazy when they can't find things at the last minute!

  6. Fellow home schooler here....love that you are blessing your children by teaching them/encouraging them each day. :)

  7. When we do use gloves I have the children put their pair in the sleeve of their coat. So their coat and gloves are together. They also do this at school.

  8. Ha ha...glove/hate, I get it.
    This is really a great idea. Good job!

  9. Beats those gloves on a string we had to wear as kids, yes?

  10. Great Idea... I love any type of organization. However, here in GA we need gloves only two or three times a year. We keep them in a big net bag hung in the closet for those special occasions.

    I think your blog is very interesting... not a lot of homeschooling dads posting their thoughts out there. I'll have to check back...

    AE at HealthBeginsWithMom.com (of course, if the dad is at home, it could certainly begin with him too!)

  11. Good thinking. I normally can keep track of my gloves. It's the pesty socks that like to run away. I tend to get holes in my gloves, then have to toss one, creating an orphan. So I buy all the same black gloves.

  12. Hi David, great tip! We use a lot of gloves here in AZ! : ) Actually I'm orginally from CO, so this will be great to pass on to my family back home. So for my AZ boys, I just say, the best place for a pair of work gloves, is on your hands!

  13. Looks like you have more gloves then kids.

  14. That's a great idea...the simplicity seems to be what makes it work!