Saturday, June 17, 2006

Conquering the Mountain

Before: The "Stuff" that took over a room!

For the last couple months the bed in our extra room has been the catch-all for "stuff" I didn't feel like dealing with. The majority of it was kids clothes- things they'd either outgrown or that we'd been given for them to grow into. Having no organized system for dealing with these things I'd conveniently been tossing them on the bed and closing the door! What started small turned into a mountain, and with a friend coming to stay for a few days I knew it was finally time to face it! I pulled out all the totes that contained kids' clothes and hauled the piles to the living room. I dumped all the loose clothing into a heap on the floor and started sorting. It took a while, but I managed to get through it, dividing it into things to keep and things to get rid of. The keepers then got sorted by size and gender into totes that I actually labeled!
I was pretty amazed at just how much clothing we've accumulated over the last few years. For such small bodies all those little clothes sure add up! It was fun to go through and remember them in favorite little outfits and then try to imagine another baby of ours wearing the same thing down the road. I'm astonished at how quickly my babies grow!
As I sorted and labeled I realized a few things: If I were to start all over I would buy only one style of tote instead of whatever one happens to be on sale at the moment. It would make it simpler if the lids were interchangeable and if they all stacked nicely. And then there were the hundred little socks that needed to be dealt with! It was hard, but I decided to throw away any sock that didn't have a match. I had to accept the sad fact that if it hasn't shown up in the last year or two, it's probably gone forever! And then I made another decision regarding socks; apart from a few special pairs and some of the tiny ones that actually stayed on newborn feet I chose to keep only the socks that have the size printed on the bottom. Otherwise it's just too hard to tell where they go. Old Navy socks are 8 for $10 and have the age printed in grippy stuff on the bottom- it's so nice when it comes to the next child to know when to get them out.
It's a really good feeling to have all that done. I have four boxes of stuff to be gotten rid of. Clothes the kids have outgrown are neatly labeled and put out into storage, ready to be gotten down for the next baby. I can imagine it now. "Erik, could you please bring in the "Boy, 0-3 Month" tote and the "Cradle Bedding" one?" And he'll actually be able to find them! Now, as they outgrow things, I have a tote to put them in, and the "to grow into" totes are conveniently in their closet, ready for the next growth spurt! And next time someone comes to stay, instead of sorting through a mountain of clothing I'll just need to fluff up the pillows on the bed.

After: Labeled totes on the left and "Stuff" to get rid of on the couch!


  1. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Yeah! Good job Rebeca! We do this at our house too. You can't believe how much clothing the kids accumulate! (girl's 0-3mo, 3-6, 6-9/12, 12 mo, 18 mo, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5, 6, ..... boys 0-3 mo., 3-6, 6-9/12, 12mo, 18mo. 2T, 3T, 4T, 5, 6, 7/8, growing, growing, GONE!)
    This is a lot of buckets! I have currently decided to begin getting rid of the smaller sizes, keeping only some favorit & special outfits and passing on the rest, just for space! if we need to start over at least we'll have some things. Oh, and yes it does help to have all the same buckets! We've learned that one after going through several and not having interchangable lids, or very good stackability!

  2. Congratulations! It looks good.


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