Hand-me-downs are one thing I actually advocate storing and saving. For one: saving clothes from our older kids to pass down to the younger kids, and accepting hand-me-downs from other families, makes it possible to raise a large family without going broke. Equally important is the benefit for our planet. It seems wasteful to me to purchase an entire new wardrobe for each child in every season. Saving money on clothing allows our family to have wonderful vacations and adventures that we may not be able to enjoy if we were not living frugally.
That said, organizing the hand-me-downs is the key.
De-clutter your home and mind challenge: Day 10-16
This week, go through your hand-me-downs or other clothes you have been saving.
Find some items that meet the following criteria:
My hand-me-down de-cluttering adventure
Handsome is the youngest of 3 boys in our family. Needless to say he has a whole array of hand-me-downs to choose from. When I was on parental leave I was always so organized about the hand-me-down system. The lawyer would outgrow something so I would transfer it to Mr. Money's drawer. When he outgrew it I would put it in a box to save for when Handsome grew into it. When Handsome outgrew the clothes they would be put into a bag in his closet. When the bag was full they would be passed onto another family.
This system worked great, until Mr. Money grew and the lawyer did not. SO we had 2 boys wearing the same size (pretty much the same as trying to outfit twins). It sorted itself out eventually because Mr. Money kept growing (and growing and growing) and outgrew his big brother, so we could go back to our original system - just reversed. The problem was... I had gone back to work. With greatly reduced time on my hands all organization went out the window. The system dissolved into throwing all the clothes that any boy outgrew into the closet, right on top of the piles of boxes that had once been so organized. No system at all. Since the boys suits and off-season jackets were also in that same closet we would have to open it occasionally, and inevitably, everything would fall out.
Since I'm going away this coming weekend to my monthly yoga training I knew I needed to be proactive and pick a big de-cluttering job so that I could keep up with my promise to get rid of one item daily. I needed to do some in advance. So this closet was picked.
What was I thinking?!?
I decided the best thing to do would be to take everything out of all the boxes, sort the clothes and start fresh. Not going to lie, I regretted this decision half way in, but once you start you have no choice but to keep going. So I sorted by size and by clothing item type:
I also made a pile of summer clothes that will fit Handsome this coming summer so they are easy to find when the time comes.
After sorting, I noticed the shear volume of size 6 and size 7 pants I had. This came from having the two older boys be the same size for that year or so. I made a rule that I could only keep 10 items of the same size and type. So I went through the pants and t-shirts and picked the 10 I figured Handsome would like the most and put the remainder in a bag to give away.
I also put any clothes that were size 4 or under, along with many size 5 summer clothes into the "giveaway bag", assuming Handsome will have grown out of these by the time the summer comes.
I kept one pair of torn up pants for playing in the dirt, and the rest I put into the giveaway bag as well.
Organization is key!
I then went to work on repacking up the clothes. This time in an organized fashion.
I'm a big advocate of rolling the clothes instead of folding them. You can fit way more into the box (or suitcase for trips) that way. I also made a point to label each box clearly with the size and type of clothes that were in the box.
In my own clothes closet I have all kinds of items that I've been hanging onto for purely sentimental reasons. To remember when I was thinner, to remember when I was younger, to remember when I had an opportunity to dress up, all kinds of reasons.
Hiding in this boy's closet where at least 20 items of their clothes I was keeping for similar reasons. To remind me of when they were younger, because someone important to me had given it to them, because they looked so cute in it, or because I want to save it for my grandchildren to wear.
While I'm trying to be a minimalist, I still think it is important to save a few of these types of items for the kids. So what I did was limit it. Seeing as it is only day 16 of 365 of getting rid of 1 thing a day this may need to be revisited later in the year. For now I've kept one small half box (still room in there to add a few more favorite items as they come up.
What made the cut?
The final product:
Cindy Stewart is a mom of 5, wife, daughter and owner of Sunbeam Yoga. She is an RYT and has a passion for sharing yoga with children.