Semi-annual Clothing Change

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It’s time again to pack away outgrown clothes and get out the next size. Does anyone else have kids who insist on outgrowing their clothes with maybe a month left in the season? Perhaps it only seems like this at my house because the entire second half of the season I won’t put them in the next size up unless absolutely necessary, but when ankles are sticking out of pant legs and pajamas can no longer be zipped I am forced to break out the next size.

The semi-annual unpacking of hand-me-downs has become quite the production. The timing is dictated more by the fact that we no longer have any space to set aside for out-grown clothes rather than the actually change of seasons. I start by making sure every article of children’s clothing I can find is washed, at the same time, and sorting out anything that is too small. I do this at least twice within one week in an attempt not to leave anything out. This of course is futile as I will find stray outgrown clothes regularly over the next six months. I had more than two boxes of clothes that missed being packed up last time on this go-round. In fact some of them have missed probably two seasonal changes as I ended up putting them back in the drawer for the next child this spring.

After I have sorted out “all” the out-grown clothes I sort them by size and season. Now here is where the work gets tricky. I now bring down every box of clothing from the attic. I’ve just started doing this of this spring. We have probably 20 boxes of clothing up there. Most of them are diaper and paper boxes, but there are a few other sizes, just to make things really interesting. They all come down because over the last six months we have been up there picking through them as we find a need for various items, mostly dress clothes and pajamas. Although when I started packing away clothes for Ted it was very easy, everything for one size & season in one box, another size & season in another, it was now become more complicated. I not only have the wardrobe that my boys have worn but have also inherited the clothes from my cousin who is the same age as Ted and my nephew who is the same age as Kaelen. Larger sizes take up more space in boxes than baby clothes. Clothes stretch and shrink.

Now I need a box just for size 5 tee-shirts. But is that a 5T or a 5/6?

These rompers say 24 months but they don’t stay snapped in the crotch much after the boy out grows 12 months.

After filling these boxes nearly to bursting with 6 summer clothes and 7 summer clothes last fall I still had half a box of each, they had to go in a box together. But now I have ¾ of a box of size 7 summer clothes to mix in.

So everything comes down. I now re-sort all these boxes, putting things the most alike together, trying to pack away things that will be worn at the same time in the same box. I then cover the old labels with new ones and take everything back up to the attic, stacking everything in order of size—2t fall/winter, 2t pajamas, 2t spring/summer, 3t fall/winter and so on. The whole process takes at least a week of working on it daily.

Unfortunately it seems that this task can never wait until the season truly changes. For example, right now it is spring, but still snowing occasionally, and summer is just around the corner. The boys are not ready to have all their cold weather clothes packed away. Typically at least one of them needs pants and long sleeves in the next size up. But I also want to be prepared with some short sleeves and maybe even some shorts. It is Ohio, just because it is snowing today does not mean it will not be 70 for 4 days next week, and probably 35 the week after that. To add to the confusion we really need a additional dresser—not that we have any place to put it—as the older boys share a small children’s dresser. We hardly have space to keep out a wardrobe for the children that is large enough to last a week. I cannot get out too many “out-of-season” clothes. The space crunch results in unpacking partial boxes and setting aside other stuff away at different intervals throughout the year for different children. So in a month on so I will be going up stairs again to get out some summer clothes and pack away some winter clothes—and do you think I will be able to find what I am looking for?

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