Did you want to know how to tame Mount Never-Rest?? Mount Never-Rest resides in your child's dresser and closet; not just in the laundry basket!!
Swapping clothes for the season helps to save space, which for many young moms with several to many little ones can prove helpful. Many moms just don't have the space to keep both winter and summer clothes in a small room with two, three, or maybe even four children!!
You might be like me and have two to three children sharing ONE dresser with only a little closet. When my children were little, there were three boys in one room and three girls in another, and two parents and a baby in yet another bedroom. It wasn't until they were older (and much bigger) that they were able to share a dresser with just one other person or better yet, have their very own.
Each year, year after year, I changed UP the clothes of my children. Before April 1st for summer clothes and before October 1st for winter. It was a big intense job but one all my children really loved. They would try on clothes to see which ones would fit for the coming season. We'd call it a "Trying On Party" which kept their interest and enthusiasm until, well, they grew out of the party as well as the clothes!!
If you have never done this before; follow these random steps. They might not exactly be in sequential order. I guess they would be if I were writing a book!!
- Store ALL clothes in plastic bins to protect them from dampness or summer heat.
- Bring ALL the clothes down from the attic (or wherever they are stored) so you don't overlook an item that will fit ONLY this year (been there done that!!)
- Do NOT put out-of-season clothes away BEFORE removing ALL clothes from storage. Keep them in a separate area so as not to mix them up.
- Go through EACH item.
- Have two boxes or bins labeled: Give-a-way and Store-a-way (return items child will not need yet to storage AFTER all clothes are removed from storage. I canNOT stress this enough!!
- Put clothing items in piles for each child as you determine that the item fits.
- Go through dresser drawers and closet of each child to be sure everything still fits, removing out-of-season clothing, or out-grown clothing. This way, you won't end up with clothes that are too small for more than about a six month period.
- GIVE-A-WAY clothes the child doesn't like. This is not a battle to die over!! If the child doesn't like it; they're NOT going to wear it without a fight. Believe me!! Even a two year old often knows what they like. Use discretion here...like if your child doesn't want to wear dressy clothes on Sunday...Then you'll just have to remember who the parent is. NOT your dear little child!!
- I always tried to do this when my husband was at work and have it done before he got home. Usually it didn't quite come together but it was close.
- I didn't leave piles of clothes for another day. The household was UPsideDOWN for just ONE day.
Was this easy peasy??
Not exactly but I much preferred doing this all in one shot rather than a procrastinated mess that never got finished until summer ended. I was always bone tired when the job was done; but oh so satisfied in a job well done.
Here are some additional tips:
- Have your children help. Involve them. It is good for children to be busy. Playing is over-rated and too much doesn't teach them skills they will need as an adult.
- Plan an easy peasy supper!!
- Make SURE that all give-away clothes are IN the car/van when you are done. It tidies up the house, AND it ensures that you don't mix-up clothes that are for keeps. One year I lost a favorite skirt because it got in the give-away pile. I was 'sick' because a sweet friend had given it to me.
- Throw moth-balls around plastic bins NOT inside!! Don't use moth-balls inside clothes-bins unless you really HAVE TO as they make the clothes stink so you have to wash them before wearing them. In trying to keep work to a minimum, we wear the clothes before washing unless they really, really smell musty.
- You can put piles of clothes in age order to help keep track of who's who's.
- Don't store clothes that are dirty. Stains will appear from NOWHERE!!
- Remember, if the whole idea is over-whelming to do this in ONE day...divide the job UP.
Changing UP the clothes sounds very time-intensive but in the long-run it actually saves time:
- Children (or mom) aren't digging in a drawer full of sweaters to find that summer outfit when it's 100*F !!
- Two year old Suzy won't show up in that corduroy jumper and flannel blouse with knit tights and snow boots, scarf and woolen hat on July fourth!!!! Sounds funny?? I could tell you some stories!!
- You won't be giving away baby and toddler outfits when your last children are teenagers...don't believe that could happen?? A friend gave me clothes from her girls when they were mid-teens!!
That about sizes up how I Changed-UP the clothes when my children were little. I didn't hoard clothes from my oldest boy to the next three boys as there was seven years difference. If someone could use it: I had to trust the Lord to provide rather than hoard.
When my first daughter was about three, I felt that the Lord was asking me to give all her cute little dresses away. I did. The little girl who got all those dresses really, really needed them.
We suddenly had another little girl soon after that and the Lord provided more than enough. He always does!!
"And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin."
How do you deal with seasonal clothing?? Do you change it UP?? I know, I know, someone is going to leave me a giggly comment telling me it is always summer where they live!!!!
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