Life After Birth: Spring Cleaning Little Clothes
Since it's officially spring time and I'm all about the spring cleaning, I've decided it's time to confess something to all my mama friends:
I have a problem getting rid of my kids' clothes.
I never want to say goodbye to the sweet little dresses my little babe wore when she was tiny and new, or my son's sneakers from when he was just learning how to walk! So adorable. So many memories. I'm getting emotional now, so we need to move on.
But really, we have boxes and boxes (andboxesandboxesandboxes...) of clothes that my kids have grown out of that are stacked to the ceiling in their closet and in our garage, and while we've been able to recycle a couple of things from our son to our daughter, like jammies and the staple white onesies, for the most part the boxes are just taking. up. space.
So I decided it was time to spring clean and finally make some decisions about these clothes.
I'll start by saying that this is so not easy, and if your situation is anything like mine, then you have a lot to go through. But just take it one box at a time, know that you'll be making many trips to your local donation center, and don't stress too much, mama!
So here's the steps I took that I think might be helpful for any other mama out there who's looking to clean house and cut back on the amount of little sweet adorable clothing they're storing in old diaper boxes, but not sure where to start.
I start by going through one box at a time, and I separate clothes into can't stand to part with (or that I would maybe use for future children?), ones that I could sell on social media sites or at consignment, and lastly ones that could either go to people I know with littles (nieces/nephews, besties, neighbors) or donated to our church or a local donation center.
Getting rid of the old diaper boxes that held the majority of my kids' old clothes was so satisfying. I switched to clear plastic bins for my kids Keep piles. They hold more than the diaper boxes and also let me see what's inside, and can be reused if needed. It also helped me feel like I was being grown up and sophisticated, which was a nice switch up to my daily feelings about myself. The sell and donate piles were kept in the diaper boxes until they were either A.) sold at consignment or on social media, or B.) given to people I knew or donated.
I also decided that if something didn't sell after 2 months from when I posted I would either A.) Keep it for gifts (with tags on), or B.) Donate it.
What Goes Where?
So all the clothing in the box is going into 1 of 3 piles, but the decision on whether or not to hold on to something is still tough. There's a couple things to consider here:
- Are you having more kids?
- If you are, do you think you'll be having a baby shower where you'll be blessed with lots of new things?
- Are the clothes you're sorting through able to be used for any of your kids NOW?
If you plan on having more kids, then you're probably going to end up with much bigger keep piles than mamas who are all done with babies. But answering these questions helps you decide between placing things in your sell pile that still have tags (I had a ton of these with my daughter's boxes), or if you really need 45 white onesies for your kids and if some of them can go in the donate pile.
Also for my mamas who are all done with kids, you may want to have only a couple of favorite outfits that they wore in different stages of life to keep for them. I know mamas who do this and plan to put them into a nice memory box for later. Love this idea!
Throughout this process it really helped me to decide what things that I really had sentimental attachments to, like the outfits my kids were blessed in, and which things I really could do without or buy inexpensively when/if a new baby arrives. I also decided it made sense to let go of things that currently do not fit into our reality-- we live in California, so holding on to things like winter jackets and gloves just wasn't practical for us. If we end up moving to Alaska in the near future, I'll probably be kicking myself, but until then, I think it was probably the right move.
Since my main concern was that we are running out of storage space in our tiny home, there were things I was once on the fence about, but since I took into account how often my kids' grandparents buy them outfits, how often I shop the clearance racks on my fave littles' clothing, and how soon a new baby would be wearing the clothes, I ended up donating/selling more than mamas who have more space might.
At the end of the day, I was able to consolidate a ton! I had a lot of cute stuff I could pass on to friends and fam who needed some things, got a little bit of money to use for more diapers (heh), and now have a lot more space in our home!