Skip to content

It’s 10:45 and I’m surrounded by clothing. Still.

November 9, 2010

The clothes are out of control in this household.  How can 6 people own so many clothes?!  I understand the baby having a lot, he outgrows everything every couple of months.  But the rest of us just own way too many.

Confession time:  I never completely packed away the winter clothes last spring.  I started the project, but I never finished it.  Let’s blame it on the weather and say I would have gotten it done if only it hadn’t kept snowing up ’til the end of May.  Or not.  I’m very bad with clothes management around here.  I really don’t mind the day to day laundry deal, but keeping track of all the different sizes for all the different seasons really gives me fits.  I’m incapable of buckling down and getting it under control.  So the boys’ bedroom has literally been drowning in clothing for the past six months.  No joke.  I should have taken pictures.

Because it’s now November (and there was snow on the ground this morning), I thought maybe it would be a good time to finally put away the shorts and t-shirts for good.  I’m not playing our next symphony concert so I knew I wouldn’t have to go to rehearsal or anywhere else today and could concentrate on this project.  My big plan was to do all the laundry so everything would be clean at the same time and I could see exactly what we own and then spend today sorting every item of clothing there.  I wanted to sort, pack away, give away, throw away, or put away everything.  Doing the laundry went smoothly, if you don’t count the pair of jeans and two pairs of underwear I just found in D’s backpack after reminding him multiple times to check that backpack.

We had two short hours of schoolwork, then lunch and piano practice.  Then, rather than try to bring order to the overwhelming chaos that was their bedroom, I decided to just empty it out and start afresh.  They boys brought everything out of their dressers into the living room along with every other item of clothing they could find anywhere in the house.  E kept trying to climb the giant pile and they all found this hilariously funny.

I prefer to do these types of projects by myself, but DH was adamant that the boys should help with this one so they would have more ownership in it.  It actually went quite well and I didn’t have to deal with any “You can’t give that away, it’s my favorite shirt (even though I never wear it)” kinds of comments.  Or maybe they were having too much fun flinging clothing all over to notice what I was putting in the giveaway box.  It was a good sorting exercise anyway and I think the most fun they had all day.

First we sorted the giant pile into shirts, pants, socks and underwear, and pajama piles.  Clothes were flying in all directions, but amazingly got in the right place for the most part.  Then we sorted the pants into long pants, short, and cutoffs.  Then the shirts were sorted by long or short sleeves, then by size.  I sorted pajamas with E while they went to scouts and made piles of only the clothes we wanted back in their dresser drawers.

I even got ambitious and pulled out the stash of too small for the big boys clothes I had in the closet and probably reduced it by at least half.  Who need so many size 3T clothes anyway?

After dinner they got to put away only their winter clothes.  Their dresser drawers look comparatively empty, even though I think we could probably reduce what they own even more.  Except A who only has two pairs of long pants without holes in the knees.  (Hint, hint, grandparents.)  And I have one bin (only!) full of summer clothes for all three big boys for next year.  The rest went in the donation box!  I have one box plus a little bit more of size 2, 3, and 4T for E when he gets there.  I was being ruthless about getting rid of things.  Some clothes were cute, but after seeing them on three children already, I felt no compulsion to keep them.

But I still have little piles of clothing sitting around the living room, although a lot of them are E’s and DH’s.  I didn’t pull out the remaining box of baby clothes for the next year or so and I don’t deal with DH’s.  I think he owns more than any of us.

So I know this project is still only half complete.  I didn’t even attempt to tackle my own clothing stash. Every so often I’ll open my closet and pick out an item or two to donate, but I think the better approach would be to clean out my entire closet and only put back what I really love to wear.  Why do we hold on to things?  I’m just appalled at the amount of stuff we own, that we neither need nor love.

It still remains to be seen if the boys can take better care of what they own, although now that they can fit all of their clothes in their dresser drawers, and they can actually get to their dressers (yes, it was that bad in there), maybe I’ll feel like we own the clothes instead of the other way around.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 8:01 am

    I need to do a project like this. We are given a lot of hand me downs from friends and the closets are bursting. My boys wear the same 4 or 5 outfits everyday. I don’t know why we have bothered to keep all the others. Maybe you have inspired me. I will get to the boys closet…. but not today. Too much going on today. Tomorrow?? Ok… so I may never get to it. Life is too busy. Maybe that is why it is the way it is. Some day I will tackle the mess.

  2. Nicole permalink
    November 10, 2010 11:57 am

    I need to do that at my house too. We own way too much stuff, clothes included. I’m starting in on my nesting period, so I think I might actually take this one on as well. I have to get out the baby clothes anyway, so I might as well, right?

  3. Tamaran permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:49 am

    I did this a few weeks ago also! Jon joked that I was finally nesting. Really I was just sick of the kids living out of laundry baskets. I wish I hadn’t tried to tackle it all at the same time because I ran out of energy/desire/time when I was half way through my clothes. Now I have 3 bags of pre-maternity clothes half opened at the bottom of my bed…and no time to do anything about it. I’m impressed that you got so much done. I can’t imagine having so many kids clothes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: