I am sitting here waiting on boys to try on clothes as we do our regular season change. Staring at 6 totes ready to be dumped and gone through. Thankful my older girls are on their own so I don't have to sort their things. And thankful the 5th grader also can do the majority of hers on her own. But boys *sigh* are another story!
When you have a large family, money is tight, and you have to flip through clothes twice a year you learn what works and doesn't work. Add to it knowing how you function is another key to organizing the ongoing puzzle of what to keep and what not to keep.
Here are a few tips I have learned with 8 children who have decided to keep growing year after year!
- we don't keep clothes that cannot be passed down within 1-2 years (Because the clothes will be outdated or 'this mom' will forget we have them.)
- we keep 1 tote per child (If it doesn't fit into 1 tote we go through and get rid of more.)
- do not keep anything that isn't in great condition or they don't like (If it isn't in good condition, YOU won't like it and if they don't like it, THEY won't wear it.)
This is my guide I follow in season changes. I keep it as simple as possible! When dealing with coats, shoes, and swimsuits we put each of these items in a seperate tote.
- Coats typically stay in tote until it gets cold and it is time to get them out. Keeping them seperate from everything else allows you to keep them boxed up to save on space until they are needed. Then you know exactly where to go to get everyone's coat!
- Shoes never seem to pass down at the same rate clothes do. Then to figure out who or what tote that size shoe is in can make you crazy. We keep a shoe tote with a list on the outside of what sizes are inside the tote. When a child needs a shoe I can quickly glance to see if we have it in their size. (I never seem to keep shoes after about 4th grade. The kids are too rough on them and they get picky about what things look like.)
- Swimsuits need to be all in one place for everyone. Just take a trip in the middle of winter to someplace warm and the thought of having to dig into seperate totes is enough to make you go mad. One small tote keeps those items ready at a moments notice! (Swimsuits we do keep for many years because they often can be passed down unless we have done lots of swimming then the elastic becomes useless!)
My Golden Rule: If it isn't in great condition, DON'T keep it!