What? You don't think this is a beautiful picture? Well then-- you don't have eight children. Or, you might not understand what you are beholding.
Yes-- I have officially sorted the closets and dressers of each of my children. Winter clothes are out, summer clothes tucked safely away for next season, my trunk is full of Goodwill, all who visit leave with a care package of things I want out of my home. Ahhhh- I feel like I can breathe again.
I am actually excited to sort my clothes sometime soon.
Here are some of my tips for the seasonal change around...
Just so I am completely honest, I absolutely hate this seasonal chore and spend a few days locked in a fetal position drastically trying to avoid this overwhelming task prior to beginning. I drown in mess and clothes for a few days in the middle, and I spend hours smiling and gazing in clean drawers the week following my accomplishment.
I have one organizational friend that I whine to every single year. She's no help really (ha!) but, she does know how to talk me out of the fetal position while laughing at my tantrums. I have learned all I know from my amazingly organized mother and my organized friend. I genetically inherited the color-coded label "make things pretty" gene, but it has been laying dormant since my last surgery.
Tips for clothing rotation--
--Be a good steward! Clothing is so emotional. Sometimes we feel out of control and so we compensate. We feel that our kids need something and we buy it for them. Often, we are buying when we need to do laundry and sort. The problem with this philosophy is that buying more often just adds to the mess. Stop buying without knowing what you have! I promise you if you do all your laundry and organize your clothes, you will loose that panic feeling and be able to buy with purpose and reason.
--Start sorting when you have just finished doing the laundry and before you (or your kids) put clothes away. The stuff left in their drawers usually has some issues. Get rid of it, figure out why they aren't wearing it, or just match it up into outfits for them.
--Store clothes by size. I put a little sticker on a tub if it is the current size of my kid.
Eve wears 3T and some 4T. In my 3T box, I have 3T summer clothes and empty space where the clothes in Eve's dresser used to be. I also pulled some 4T clothes out of the 4T box. If they fit her now, I put them in her dresser. If I think they'll fit her this winter, I keep them in a box of "Just a little too big" in the top of her closet.
--Keep a bag or basket in each kid's closet for "Too Small" or "Just A Little Too Big" When you get your kids dressed and see something that has become too small, just pop it in that pile. Clothes that they almost fit into can stay in the other bag for later in the season. This is great because you will only have to go into your big tubs spring and fall.
--Be the Laundry Gaurdian. While washing kids laundry, take away things you don't want them to wear!! Just toss them right in the Goodwill bag you have hanging in your laundry room. Keep the stuff for a couple weeks and then send it away. Chances are your kids won't even notice.
(This is Leah's armoir. It is a bit empty because I do laundry on Wednesday, but you get the idea. I put skirt outfits on top with sweaters or jackets, then two shelves of outfits including a shirt and pants, socks in a box, a drawer for tshirts and undies, and a drawer for jammies.)
--Match outfits!! Don't put a pile of shirts, a pile of pants, etc. When you wash laundry take a few seconds to pick outfits for your kids. I do this for my age 8 and under kids. It is SO nice. They can keep their rooms, dressers, and closets all clean and tidy because they have a manageable amount of clothes.
--Buy Outfits! Don't just buy shirts on sale. Don't just keep clothes that people give you. Be selective! You can pick up a cute little pair of leggings and a shirt at Walmart or Old Navy for $8. Kids don't need much, but they do need a few cute outfits. I do laundry every week and my kids have about 7 outfits that they wear each week. They look cute, but we don't have a ton of laundry or excess.
--While you sort, keep a paper and pen close. Jot down the things your kids need. Sometimes a new pair of black leggings and some lacy church socks are all they need to eliminate stress during their morning rush.
--Keep good stuff that you like and give away everything else. I promise-- too much is worse than not enough. Honestly. Stop buying so much and stop keeping stuff they don't need.
People these days think they can't have kids because kids are too expensive. They are wrong. Kids don't cost much. Fancy parents spend too much, but kids can be happy and adorable without being too expensive.
Happy sorting friends!!
How do you transition?
Please-- share your tips.