Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rich American Mom Problem

I recently heard from a friend that is going through 10 years of girls clothes and 5 years of boy clothes for 4 children and is very overwhelmed. She is trying to sort what to give to friends, what to keep, what to sell, what to give away.
I've talked on my blog before about my sorting project. I only have 7 years of all boy clothes to go through and I'm overwhelmed. Plus add in that Ram is the only living child and our children are going to be the only grandchildren on that side of the family. Currently our children are the only grandchildren on my side of the family. Ram's mom kept a lot of the clothes and they also had 3 boys. So I have a lot to go through.
I am on part 1 of my sorting project. I am currently working on clothes, baby/toddler books, and other items in their closet. I am not working on toys yet. Part 1 gets everything that is too small for them out of their closet and bedroom. Part 2 will be to seriously sort everything that is too little for Lamb 3 and hopefully give away most of that. Part 3 will be to go through what Lamb 1 and 2 have outgrown-that's a little more difficult because I think more Lambs will have a chance to wear this. But they have far too much. I think Lamb 2 has t-shirts to fit him that he could wear a different one each day for at least a month, possibly two months. Did I mention that we have bought very little of this, it was all gifts? The thought of possibly moving with all this also motivates me to give away more. Part 4 will be to make a list of what Lamb 1 needs and if there are a few items that Lamb 2 or 3 need. Part 5 will be to organize what we do keep for the Lambs to grow into.
It occurred to me that part of my problem is that I breastfed. If they would have had formula then more of their baby clothes would be stained up. Their baby clothes are in great condition and they had so many that some were only worn a few times before they outgrew them.
Some times I mention that I'm having a really difficult time sorting things because I don't know if we will have more children. My friends always reply that it is even more difficult when you know for sure that you are done-that brings it's own set of emotions and problems for sorting. I guess I'll take this problem with sorting over the other problem. I know that God will provide if I do give away something that I "need" if we have another child. Plus the ladies from church say that as soon as I give away the baby clothes then I will get pregnant. I guess I better get back to sorting baby clothes to give away now!


Bekah said...

I'm so tickled that you are thinking about me. :) It's true, a lot of my clothes are still in great condition maybe because of breastfeeding, but definitely because we have so many (mostly from my mom). And I'm sad to say this sorting knowing we are done adding children to our family through birth has led me to tears a couple of times. Children are such a blessing. I hope I take full advantage of these moments I have left with young children at home to enjoy and influence them. Love you!

Dakotapam said...

I had this problem. Moving helps. When we moved I was ruthless. I was pretty sure that we were done having children. I also knew that if God granted us more children, He would also provide for them, just as He had provided for the first four.
I also had baby clothes in mint condition, and lots of other clothes too. I sold it all at a garage sale at giveaway prices (like 25 or 50 cents a piece) what did not sell was donated either to the thrift store or crisis pregnancy center. I even gave away my maternity clothes. We destroyed the crib as it was unsafe(our four boys were the seventh kids to use it).
You know the rest of the story. It would not have mattered had I saved the maternity clothes, none would have fit anyway, and it was for a different season as well. And there was no way I would have put the twins into any boy clothes.
I just don't keep clothes between sizes anymore. Not only are the boys all three years apart, but storing and keeping track of hand me downs are a lot of work. I prefer to just give the clothes to someone who can use them now, and know that the same will happen for us. We have so many clothes with just what we wear that keeping more just seems excessive.
For the girls, I've kept a few of their tiniest things for memories, as I've never had babies that small before. And I've decided that I'll keep their Christmas and maybe their Easter dresses. All of their matching twin things get handed down to another set of twins almost a year younger, and the rest I split up and hand down to other friends. I've bought so little for them. what I have bought was more dresses, as I prefer them in dresses, and those have been very inexpensive at Once Upon A Child.
By not keeping all of these things I am able to bless others in the same way that I've been blessed.

MooreMama said...

We use rubbermaid 20 gallon totes - one for each size and season. (ie - one 2T summer, one 2T winter) We only have girls, and one sister that lives nearby has a girl that is 14 months older than my toddler, and then my toddler is 19 months older than my "baby", who will be 15 months older than my other sister's daughter (due this summer).
As my niece1 outgrows a size or the seasons change, my sister packs up whatever will fit into one tote and sends it to my house. Then, as my toddler outgrows a size or the seasons change, I put everything that will fit into a tote and get the next appropiate tote down from the attic. Lather, rinse, repeat. :)
Anything that doesn't fit in the tote is fair game for giving away, donating, or selling. Some things get thrown away, like socks or play shoes. Some things get put away, even though they still fit, but they're replaced anyway.
Even the things in my baby's closet are still in very good shape, after being worn by at least two other kids, and some items were handed down to my niece by a friend with two daughters, so katie makes the 5th kid to "own" them.
If I didn't change out the closets completely every 3-6 months, it would be totally overwhelming. It still is, but it's definately doable in a weekend.