In our home we have pretty much had a docile winter, both in temperatures and in terms of illness. I have been so blessed that the children have all stayed pretty healthy all winter, until this past week.
I am not sure what it is about my personality that makes me have to take a moment like this when everyone is laying around sleeping, coughing, and feeling rotten to actually start a big clean out project.
Maybe its a need to feel like I am accomplishing something, maybe its my way of dealing with sleep deprivation and exhaustion or maybe I simply saw a window of opportunity. Since every one could barely do a math set and read…. I found that I had a bit of time to switch out seasonal clothing…..
Years ago when the children were little and there were only a couple of them I would go shopping as the seasons were about to change and buy clothing for the following year on clearance. You can seriously find some great deals sometimes 70 to 80 percent off of holiday outfits,and winter outfits. I would save these for the following years in plastic bins. As more and more children came I would save the older ones clothing that were in good shape for the next year, and I will say over the years we have been very blessed by gently worn beautiful hand me downs from friends. We kinda have a little community of passing clothing around and I find it a blessing. For instance when I change out seasonal clothing I am able to pass on to my grand daughter all the outfits Ramsey has out grown and I have a little niece smaller than my grand daughter so when my grand daughter out grows things we pass them on to her…..
Since my kids are very close in age and size, laundry sorting after the seasonal clothing is done can be daunting!!! One little tip we picked up over the years is the dot system. With a sharpy I place one dot on the tag of everything that is Riley’s, two dots on on Ruby’s, three dots on Ramsey’s. Next year when I pass Riley’s stuff down I simply add a dot to the tag to mark it as Ruby’s and do the same to the stuff I pass on to Ramsey.
Changing out seasonal clothing is a mess of a job!! I always find myself half way into it wondering “why did I start this” but in the end its a good feeling and really funny to see the kids look at their “new” clothing with such excitement.
Yesterday Riley tried on an outfit that use to be Millie’s and she was so cute, she looked at me and said “it fits, I have been hoping this one would fit me this year”…… I have to smile at their simplicity and gratefulness.
Summers are long here, so I try to keep about enough play outfits so that by mid summer the ones that are worn out can be retired and they still have fresh looking outfits to wear.
I will say that somehow over the years we have ended up with an over abundance of clothing, after I fully furnish each child with a wardrobe I divide out the extra clothing and pass them on to friends and family. I don’t try to hoard or keep it all, its impossible to use it all so why store it when others can benefit. I will say that even though we give away bags of clothing every season we still end up with more clothing than the kids can wear. Its definitely the whole principle of not being able to out give God!!
Yesterday while we were sorting and trying on clothing I told the girls to pick the outfits they thought their cousins would like or in Riley’s case her little friend who happens to be our older daughters niece….. I want my kids to learn to give out of the best not the left overs. Its easy to give away what you don’t like but if you really like it and still give it, you are giving in love.
Well the job is done, and all that is left to do is to put the bins back into storage until October. So this week among pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infections we did accomplish something……and I think we may have reinforced some good lessons on sharing, and giving….hopefully even though it was a sick week we did make some memories and learn some good life lessons!!