The sorting, the culling, the crying…Things I know about old kids clothes.

This week I took on the enivitable and finally unavoidable task of going through the mountains of baby clothes.  It has become unavoidable as I am sure there is something growing or perhaps even living and multiplying under the evergrowing masses of outgrown and out worn clothes.  Did it happen over night?  While we are safe in bed asleep, does it multiply and mock me?

I dont know, but this I do know……

I know that the problem will not just go away. I can not just bury my head in the clothes and pretend they are not there. I need to just tackle it.  Not tommorrow, not on the weekend but today, now, before I procrastinate yet again.  In the blink of an eye, I am sure I will be facing a pile of clothes that are appropriate (or maybe not appropriate) for teenagers.

I know that there will be tears.  Tears associated with memories.  Tears of reminiscence.  Tears of disbelief that my two children were ever that small.  Tears of shame that I let the problem get so huge, that I am loosing sleep over it.

I know that they are just clothes.  Well sort of.  They are not the memory.  They are just fabric and fibre.  Throwing them away or giving them away does not get rid of the memory.  I am making room in our wardrobes, in our lives, in my mind.

I know that my children have way tooo much “stuff”.  Clothes included.  My new mantra.  One item in, one item out.  Think of it as a perfect excuse to go shopping.

I know that sorting into piles makes the job seem less overwhelming. One to donate, One for friends, One to toss, One to keep.  Having all the right tools like some great clear plastic storage containers that are labelled according to size, will help encourage me to get the job done.

I know I am not the first mother to face this dillemma and that I have a flock of mothers behind me assisting me with there “been there done that” support and words of wisdom…

I kept 2 of my favourite baby outfits for each of my children and I gave the rest to good will and friends that I know that are having children. (I just cleaned out my kids cupboards last week). It was hard to get rid of them. I actually played dress ups and put my 11 week old girl in her cutest 0000 clothes one last time and took pics of her wearing them.  ~ Clare

I’ve given our old baby clothes to friends… it’s always nice to see your friend’s children wearing the outfits your children used to wear. I also give alot to charity too which always makes me feel good and that I’m helping others out. In terms of storage I just use those plastic see through containers. ~ Lisa

I only keep the absolute must haves, which for me are things like denims, so denim shorts or jeans, they really don’t go out of fashion, especially if the kiddies are fairly close in age.  Things like their first pair of shoes, the outfit they wore home from hospital and the outfit they wore for their 1st birthdays are a must keep too for me. Oh and their Christening/Naming outfit.  I had to learn to be ruthless, we just don’t have the storage capacity, and now I tell myself that clothes are so cheap anyway (depending on where you shop) but yes, ruthless is my keyword. ~ Vicki

I just let myself keep the ‘special ones’. I find just donating a little at a time helped me. ~ Bindi

If you are keeping things for future kids etc, print some size labels off on the computer and stick to the inside of a plastic tub – add a fabric softener sheet to keep them smelling fresh. If you are not having any more kids/keeping for hand-me-downs etc, keep a few special outfits from each size, and then donate the rest! they are just clothes, your memories will still remain! ~ Leona

I know that I have made a start.  The further I got into the job the more overwhelming it became.  I know that this just made me ruthless.  The bags to throw and donate got bigger and the bag to keep got smaller.

I know that I am not finished and in fact I never will be.  From now on this will be a seasonal process.  End of season wardrobe culls will become a family affair.  

I know I want to teach my children the joy of giving.  Especially to those less fortunate then us.  I want to teach them to sacrifice items that they think they “love” to people who truly “need” them.

I know that it’s not just about me sorting the clothes.  There is always a lesson, (afterall I am a teacher) I want to teach them (and me) the feeling of  letting go, of living with less and in return they will make room, not just for new clothes, but new thoughts, opportunities, ideas and an appreciation of all that we are so lucky to have.

  Thank you so much for all your support on FB as I faced this task, it truly motivated me!!