Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seasons Change

It's finally to the point in the year where it's safe in most locations to change take out your kids' winter clothes and replace them with summer clothes. Living in Texas, this actually occurred a month or so ago, but I'm trying to be sensitive to my northern dwelling neighbors.

I like to use this opportunity to weed out the items that couldn't or shouldn't be worn next winter. This is how my routine looks.

1. Go through each child's dresser and closet, removing the out of season clothing. As I remove it, I decide if (A) it still has wear left in it and (B) if it will fit one of my children in the fall. I make three piles, one for clothes that have reached the end of their useful life, one for clothes that are in good shape but will not fit any of my children in the fall, and one for clothes that are still in good shape and one of my children can use again.

2. I go through my container of off-season clothing, picking out what clothes will fit my children this summer. I use a large plastic tote for this purpose and keep it in my youngest daughter's closet. I make a pile for each of my children from these clothes.

3. I fold the pile of clothes that are still in good shape and will fit my children in the fall and place them in the tote.

4. I place each child's current summer clothes in their drawers and closet.

5. For the items that will not fit my children and the items that have reached the end of their useful life, I decide whether I want to resue them in some way, sell them, give them away or donate them.

This has been a tried and true method for me for a few years now. I like to pick up clothes at garage sales and from other parents and toss them in the tote until I need them. I have jeans and t-shirts in the tote that my children will not be able to wear for several more years, but on that morning when they wake up and suddenly none of their pants fit I'll be ready.

P.S. One of my favorite places to use to pass items on to another person is Freecycle. You sign up with a user ID and then post what you have to offer or what you would like from another person. You can decide who your item goes to, or you can offer it first come, first serve by setting the item on your porch or in your yard and noting it in the post. When your items are claimed, you simply post again to let other users know your items are taken. Children's clothes go quickly, so someone will likely come pick the clothes up the same day.

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