Infant - Parenting
Author: TLN

Chronicles of the Closet: The Storing and Throwing of Children’s Clothing

I don’t know how it happened, but storage bins have taken over my garage, and they are threatening to take over my basement as well if I can’t get it together to throw more out. Let me preface this by saying I am insanely good at purging; I can’t bake the perfect pie, and I do not have that flare for design, but give me a pile of clothes and I will whittle it down to just the necessities. If I didn’t wear something last year, it’s gone. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times something comes back into style that I have thrown out, and I’m bummed, but it’s a fleeting sadness at worst and at best an excuse to shop for the more current trendy version. When it comes to children’s clothing, all my efforts to not be a clothes-horse have failed me, and my life now revolves around storage bins and the tiny human clothes they contain. The problem now: the once-little body the clothes used to fit is getting bigger, which, to even the best purging pro, is a challenge.

It seems like once a week – nay, once a day – I’m digging through drawers that have somehow become black holes full of adorable yet just-too-small clothing, trying to find a tiny-human shirt that fits the tiny human who refuses to grow at any pace other than a Kenyan sprinting the Boston Marathon. I’m not entirely convinced she’s not eating her father’s protein powder… She still writes her r’s backward, but I’ll be damned if that girl ever forgets how to recognize “chocolate.”

In all seriousness, tiny humans grow fast. And I feel like I’m hemorrhaging money just trying to keep them clothed. Forget the poop, barf, and food stains – I could live with an unidentifiable blob partially covering Elsa’s face (most likely a hearty blend of ranch dressing, yogurt, and Hershey kisses) – it’s the fact that every shirt I put over my kids’ heads ends up being a crop top. While that might be the latest trend and they’ll probably fit in perfectly at Lollapalloozbop, Cochellaroo, or whatever those sex-crazed-bender-weekend music festivals are called, I don’t plan on sending my children there until they’re at least in 5th grade and can hold their own alcohol (…I’m kidding…). Side note, I have personally attended both and promise I was cool at one point in my life.

So, here I am, taking a stand against the endless pit of despair that is the full drawer of ill-fitting clothing. I’ve devised a plan to minimize the full-day project of going through drawers and increasing the number of bins needing to be stored (Note: this is not guaranteed to be fool-proof… I’m not even sure if it will survive a 2-week trial run in my house. But, what the hell. It’s worth a shot.)

Here it is…

  1. Put an empty storage bin and an empty trash bag in the closet.
  2. Go through their drawers. (I know, but it has to be done).
  3. Whatever fits or is wearable: KEEP in the drawer.
  4. Whatever doesn’t fit but could be used for subsequent baby, friend, or just has serious sentimental value: Throw it in the bin in the closet.
  5. Whatever is too small, is something you wouldn’t give to a friend, sibling, or put on another child: put into the hefty bag to donate.
  6. Now, in their drawers should be only clothes that fit. Every time you try to get your kid dressed and you realize something doesn’t fit (So, every day.) chuck it in the bin to keep or the bag to DONATE.
  7. When the bin is full, move it to the garage, and when the bag is full

This will help you purchase what is actually needed in a size that will actually fit.

And as for the bins already taking over every ounce of storage space in the garage or basement, you need to tackle them. Go through 3 this weekend. Once you are on a roll, you will find it much easier to purge more and more. This parting with baby clothes is a tough gig, but in an effort to not be on TLC’s Hoarders, I’m encouraging you to make room for the things that need to fit in the garage (like hubby’s car).