Thursday, September 22
Clothing the Little Ones...
For the past year or so, I have tried to be mindful of how much is too much and how much is too little when it comes to clothing. I have re-read what I wrote last year on this topic several times over this year to try to renew my enthusiasm for being a good steward of our closets.
I have found that I am pretty spot on when it comes to our older children. They have about five outfits for everyday (from socks and underwear to pants and shirts) and one or two fancier outfits for Church and special occasions. The baby is a bit more tricky since he still goes through clothes quickly (though it is much better than when he was a tiny baby last year).
Having fewer clothes has meant that I have to do laundry more often. Washing, drying, and folding a load of clothes or linens each day has become a part of our routine. We have also been able to learn to take care of our things a bit more. One goal that I have for this year is to have a smock or a pinafore to put over our little ones when they eat or are doing something creative.
One area that I am still working on is out-of-season and outgrown clothing. We are fortunate to receive hand-me-downs from several families and we also have very generous family. As we receive clothing that we can't use at the moment, I go through it and take out what we can use and give the rest away pretty quickly. The problem is that as time goes on, our stored clothing grows. I have always felt that I should keep clothing for future children, but perhaps I keep too much.
Not too long ago, a friend was expecting a baby girl and she mentioned that she would be very grateful to have any girl clothes that anyone could spare. Initially I thought, "But what if I have another baby girl?" I realized how selfish I was being I did end up going through our girl clothing bins and found FOUR giant trash bags of beautiful clothing that I could give to her. I decided to keep the things that were special to our family and offered her nearly everything else. It is so nice to see her daughter in things that Sugar Plum wore as a little baby and it is good to have the clothing used and not wasted. Around this time, I also was able to re-organize how I store clothing that we are not using. I have one bin for each gender and each age (under a year, 12-18 months, 2T, 3T, etc.). I marked the bits and if I found that I had more than could fit into the bin, I needed to pair things down. This has really helped me to keep things under control.
Last year, we started the tradition of gathering clothing for donation on the feast of Saint Martin (November 11). It is such a sweet way of remembering the saint who cut his cloak in half to warm a beggar he met on the road. I would love to hear about what you do with clothing storage and what your children have in their closets and drawers. I'll try to do a quick post on our autumn wardrobes in the next few days.