Life in the Closet

Tiny Closet Clothes No, I’m not gay. Sorry. That would be tantalizing news to spruce up this blog though, wouldn’t it?

The closet I’m talking about is quite literal and a hell of lot more mundane. Today I’m musing about my life in the monster closet that houses most of our clothes every day — organizing, or I should say attempting to organize clothes for four people.

I refer to the work as ,”Clothing Management.”  Because it’s more than laundry. It’s more than washing, drying, folding, and putting away.  It’s a practice that requires strategy, order and discipline. It’s a form of Supply Chain Management on the home front.

Mamas,  you know what I’m talking about.

When you have tots that change clothing sizes every few months, there’s an entire system that you have to put together to re-order the drawers and the closet.  If you’ve got two children of the same sex like me, you’ve got to keep track of the clothes that your eldest has grown out of and your youngest is too small to wear yet.  And when the youngest grows out of clothes (sniff-sniff), you’ve got to decide what you’re holding on to forever (because you’re crazy like me and think that your child will appreciate having them as an adult) and what you’re giving away.

Izzy DrawerYou need to organize all the clothes according to what fits regardless of what the label says — onesies labeled 6 months actually translate to “good ’til 18 months,” because they run big and/or your child is a runt like mine, or outfits labeled 18 months that have been handed down and washed so much that they’ve shrunk and are now fit your child at 12 months.  And when you stare into your drawer filled with tiny shirts and onesies and pants, you need to remember what’s what with the funky sizing so that the too-small weeding process happens regularly.

And, if you’re following your 2 or 3 year-old’s guidance and supporting her desire to do everything she possibly can by herself, you set up a drawer that is easily accessible for her to pick out her own clothes, with your daily additional task of reorganizing that drawer as necessary.

I do laundry at least every other day to keep up with it all. And I feel like despite all my efforts to keep everything in order — it’s still disorganized (notice closet pic with sundress hanging in the middle of coats and sweatshirts) and I’m constantly swimming in piles of clothes.

This time of year when Spring starts springing, I’m always inspired to do a major closet re-order, clean, and purge. This weekend I started the process and my heart ached when I took down one of the bins of clothes that I’d been saving for my tiniest off the top shelf in our closet. Baby Clothes Bins

A mis-matched bin that included winter clothes that would fit the baby nowUGH!

If you’re reading this from Colorado or Minnesota or New York, you might say — hey, you’ve got a solid month left for her to wear those winter clothes, right?

Not so much in Austin, Texas.  Spring has definitely arrived.  It got up to 80° here this weekend!  I felt strangely relieved when I saw it was a bit chilly this morning and I could dress Izzers up in one of the cute hand-me-down sweaters I had so carefully saved for her.  Maybe she will get a few weeks out of them at least.

By the end of our Spring Break, I’d like to get the girls’ hanging clothes and drawers seasonally organized so that sundresses aren’t hanging next to winter coats and little tank tops aren’t folded next to sweaters.  I will put the baby-baby-baby too-tiny clothes in paper bags to give away and face the sadness that always comes with this and the forced acknowledgement that my Littlest Angel won’t be a baby too much longer.

And I’m going to do some serious in-my-face fat sharpie labeling of the next round of hand-me-downs so I don’t miss using them again.

Anyone else working on similar projects this month?  I welcome any recommendations for Kiddie Clothing Management. Would love to get better at this.

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