Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Clothes

I have four daughters. Girls wear a lot of clothes. I am cheap. We love hand-me-downs. I'm a bit OCD.We were missing clothes. I start a new job in a week, and school in less than a month. Those are just few of my excuses why our living room looked like this:
Before, aka all the girls clothes in one room.
I needed to tackle this job a few months ago. I knew we were missing clothes that would fit Natalie right now, but I had no idea it was so many. All of these were stuffed in Lainie's closet, since she had just outgrown them last fall, after I started school:
Natalie's found clothes that fit now
And so we I started sorting. 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 12 month summer, 12 month winter, 18 month summer... on up to size 1 in juniors. It took three evenings, but it's worth it. At the start, it looked like this:
The mountain to tackle

By the end of the first night, I had the clothes sorted and bagged from newborn to size 2. These are the hardest sizes, because you can't just eyeball a onesie and know if it's 3-6 months or 6-9 months. Each tag needed to be read.

End of Day 1
As I finished a size, I labeled the 18-gallon tub and moved it to the foyer. Suffice it to say, I'm grateful we didn't have any surprise guests this week.

End of Day 1
On night two, I tackled sorting the rest of the clothes. I knew I needed to buy more tubs, since I had at least 5 trash bags of clothes that needed a more bug-proof home. But, I needed to know how many tubs to buy before heading to town the next morning. That forced a deadline on me, making me finish all the sorting before bedtime. Doesn't size 10 look so pretty, all folded and stacked? (Yes, I really am that OCD.)

Size 10s
Before I packed up the 6s, 7s, 8s, and 10s, Katie and Maggie had a clothes-changing marathon. I might think they are size 6x but they might actually be size 8. This is by far the girls' favorite part.

Maggie's fit-now clothes

I also sorted out clothes that don't fit our girls' body type, or the size doesn't match their age. For example, we love Dora the Explorer, but by the time they grow into a size 7, they don't want anything Dora anymore. Some of these, I had just over-bought at garage sales. (I have a tendency to buy any girls jeans that don't have holes in the knees; it's bound to fit one of my daughters eventually. As a result, I had way to many toddler sized jeans.) Thus, the donation pile: three bags full, headed to Lighthouse for Christ.

The donate pile.

It's been two years since I organized the girls' clothes. With the craziness of this past year, I did not keep up with the organization. When clothes went off-season or were out-grown, they got stuffed in bags and put in closets. But now, order has resumed.
After. All the clothes in tubs, sorted and tagged.

Now, when it starts turning cold again, someday, or Lainie hits another growth spurt, I can just grab the next tub of clothes, remove the stuff from her dresser and exchange it with stuff that fits and is season appropriate. It might seem like a little thing, but to a busy mom, it is bliss.


Tiffany said...

Wowsers! That was a big task to undertake! Good job :)

Tara said...

Nice! I have tubs of clothes in my basement too. I did a HUGE sort like that around the time that Ronan came along. I was able to pare it down a lot once I knew I didn't need to save Lily's clothes any more. And now, the size gap between Aden and Ronan is narrowing quickly and I find myself emptying out more tubs than I'm filling. I think I'm down to about 3 tubs of stuff for Ro to grow into, a tub of shoes, a tub of sports equipment, and then two tubs each of outgrown boy and girl clothes that I just can't part with, you know, just in case... ;) Anyway, I love being able to go "shopping" in the basement when someone has a huge growth spurt or the weather suddenly changes. Yay for being both thrifty and organized!