Saturday, September 25, 2010

Family Friday : New Clothes Day

The kid's clothes bins. Note the bare mattress. Organized, yes. Decorated, not quite.

This week one of my progeny had a birthday sleepover on Friday, so our Family Friday was a Redbox movie and brownies on Thursday night. Then on Friday, we tackled New Clothes Day!

Truthfully, I would have liked to wait until it's a little cooler before I change out the kids' clothes. It's still 100 degrees around here. But the little boys really needed some bigger stuff, so my hand was forced.

Most of our shopping for new clothes happens in our closets. We have been blessed time and again by friends having hand me downs that need homes. That's one good thing about having a lot of kids; people think of you when they have stuff to give away. But storing and organizing all that stuff can be a challenge. Here's what works for us (at least, right now):

Each kid has a big bin. We used to sort the clothes by size and season, but I ended up with way too many bins and a really complicated system. Also I've noticed that sizes can be pretty arbitrary. We'd open up a bin and find that some things were still too big and others were too small already. So now we just put anything that will be worn by that child next in their bin.

On New Clothes Day we pull the bins out of the closet along with any new hand me downs we might have received. In an effort to simplify, I don't open those when we get them. They get tossed in the closet alongside the bins.

The 'new' clothes we go through, putting items into the appropriate kid's bin or in a donate pile if they won't work for us. Then we pick a kid to start with and dive into the bin. Anything that fits and they like gets pulled out and taken to their room. This provides some incentive to get rid of the old stuff. *Note: I don't make my kids wear anything they don't like. Even if it's new and good quality, if they don't like the color or style, it goes into the donate pile.

Next we go through that kid's current clothes, pulling out anything too small or that isn't liked.  These are sorted into either the next kid down's bin or the donate pile. New clothes are put in drawers and closets and we're done! Repeat with each kid. The bins are left out for a few days to catch any items that might be in the laundry.

Of course, with all the interruptions for snacks, dispute resolution, changing diapers, nursing, kissing owies, finding toys, making dinner, etc... this takes pretty much all day. But by the end of the day yesterday all my kids had complete new wardrobes. In fact, they have way too many clothes. We could probably donate half and still have plenty.

In fact, God has provided so well for us that it's been quite a while since I've had to buy my kids clothes. We occasionally need to pick up a few pieces, but that's usually because I haven't been in the bins for a while. The great thing about that is that I can spend my clothing budget on things my kids really want. Like last fall when my oldest HAD to have a pair of Skechers Twinkle Toes. They're like $65 retail, but I found some at Nordstrom Rack for $30. Even that would have been way more than I'd pay for shoes, but since she didn't need anything, I got them. We can spend a lot of money on a few items they'd really like (we usually get new shoes) because we're still spending only $50-100 per kid, about twice per year.

Because God has been so generous with us, we get to be generous, too. Now that we know we're done having kids, we can start giving away the clothes the smallest ones grow out of. I could probably sell them, since most of them are name brand and in good shape, but it brings me a lot more satisfaction to be a blessing.

 Our donate pile, so far.

Do you have a better way of organizing kid's clothes? Do tell!

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention, we don't have out of season clothes because, well, we don't have seasons. We do have a bin full of hats, gloves, scarves, etc., that we pull out once or twice in the winter when we drive to the snow. I imagine having seasonal clothes would make this tougher, but I think it could still be done.