One job I was unprepared for when I signed on the dotted line and took this position, was that of Chief Wardrobe Controller. Every member of the family has clothes.... and I'm in charge of them. Outgrown, out of season, out of style (ehem, darling husband, you cannot wear wide-rib, black corduroy pants), worn out, reparable or irreparable... The more people in the family, the more colossal the task.
I had a hard time keeping up with everyone's wardrobe when it was just one baby who was growing through clothes. I kept all of Emma's clothes in nice blue totes.... 15 5 gallon containers for just 0-24 months. It was really insane how many clothes she had. Insane.
Then Mandy came along and grew through clothes even faster. She didn't stay consistent in the sizes like Emma had and is wearing 3T or 4T at age 2. Confused? So is my almighty tote system.
Rem didn't have even a shred of clothing until he was just about to be born. Friends would ask, "Do you need any baby boy clothes?" And I said yes. The donations started rolling in. I counted one day and realized we received blessed hand-me-down clothing from 10 different sources. Really kind friends and family who had baby boys who were no longer babies. There were some new clothes too and that is always fun. No need to worry -- the boy now has plenty of clothes.
I a couple of tricks to hopefully help us all keep our wardrobe monitoring system under control. Here are some ideas I gleaned from wise and experienced friends:
- Limit the outfits per child. Older children will take better care of clothes when their aren't so many items. My friend Season told me this trick that she uses in her household of 7 kids, 2 adults. She suggests 8 outfits, including Sunday clothes, per child. Great idea! I think my children have 30 outfits along on the floor of their room any given evening.
- Save a few nice things out for each coming season so you can refresh the outfits after a few months. Great idea for winter when there are lots of events a few months into the cool weather season and chances are all the winter clothes look warn and/or stained already. -- Jenni B. (mom to 4)
- Be generous with what you have. What goes around comes around. If you have extra, share with a friend. When you are in need, someone will share with you. I heard this from a mom I attend MOPS with. When Remington was born, this principle was so true when people gave me clothes for him for absolutely free. A blessing I am now passing on as I am giving away Rem's outgrown clothes.
- Organize by size and by season. This is especially true when you have 2 children of the same gender but who are different sizes at different seasons. It's more work at first, but quicker when you are looking for the next items for the next child.
That's all I've got. Any tips out there to share?