So maybe you remember from my last post that I was having a little issue with some closets? If you need a reminder, the post is right here. The number of people who marked that post as a favorite on twitter and facebook leads me to believe that a lot of you have ridiculous closets and by bookmarking mine you’re able to go back over and over again and remind yourself “Hey! Compared to hers, mine aren’t so bad!” No worries, I’m not offended.
When I was asked to take part in this little challenge from Home Depot to clean up and organize, my mind immediately went to my girls’ closets. So many clothes, boxes overflowing with clothes I couldn’t bring myself to part with or get rid of. *sigh* Sometimes you just have to bite the proverbial bullet and power through it all, which is exactly what I did. I’d love to show you the before, after, the in between and a little back story on how my organization worked out (Ha! “My organization.” I say that like I’m an organized person. Bits and pieces of my life are organized, but honestly it’s just more of a finely orchestrated chaos.)
My biggest issue was the clothing. Nearly eight years worth of little girl clothes in fifteen (FIFTEEN) different boxes and bins. They were organized to a point, each box contained things Addie had grown out of in a season around the same time. Since Vivi is already 6 months ahead of toddler Addie in size I had to take a deep breath and really evaluate what was worth keeping, same with Vivi’s baby clothes. Are we done? Eh, maybe. But who’s to say we’d have another girl in the summer or that she’d be as big as Vivi was? SO MANY FACTORS PEOPLE.
As I went through each box I put each piece into one of five categories.
- Sentimental Attachment – If I had a visceral reaction to any of my girls’ clothes, they went into the bin of honor. (Also known as a 35 Gallon Sterilite Latch Tote)
- Bigger Cold Weather Clothes For Addie – These were mostly things I packed away last season and a few sweaters, jackets and pants I picked up at thrift stores, yard sales, consignment shops or hand me downs throughout the year. They went into a Sterilite 35 qt. clear latch bin that is short enough to slide under her bed but wide and deep enough to hold about 20 items of clothing. The clear bin keeps her from hiding stuff in it and me from forgetting what’s in it.
- Stuff For Vivi to Grow Into – These are Addie’s old clothes that Vivi can someday wear. I kept things with simple and classic styling so she doesn’t look too, I don’t know, last decade? I know that’s a big worry for babies these days. Those clothes went into a Sterilite 66 qt. clear latch box. Again, clear so I don’t forget to check in on the clothes to see what she’s grown into throughout the coming months. When your kids are more than 5 years apart there has to be some serious considerations as far as what to keep around and what to let go of lest you get overwhelmed.
- Stuff to Sell – I’ve bought a lot of nice clothes for my girls. I love a good bargain and I’m good at second hand shopping. Since none of it really had time to wear out I have no problem selling a lot of it back to stores or shipping stuff to ThredUp (You fill their bag with good, clean, kids’ clothes over size 12 months, send it back to them and they will photograph and list, sell and ship the clothing for you and in the end? You get paid. SO EASY.) Baby clothes will be bundled up and sold in lots on eBay or taken to a local consignment store. If it takes me a little longer they may just end up going to a friend who is pregnant with a little girl. Who knows.
- Donate – This is stuff that still has a lot of life left in it but isn’t worth my effort to list it for sale. I’m willing to sell what I’d be willing to buy but listing and selling kids’ clothes can be really time consuming. I’m a huge fan of Goodwill and love being able to drop off a bag of stuff other families can use rather than having it end up in a landfill.
In the end I had whittled the pile of boxes down to 3 bins of stuff to keep around. MUCH more manageable than 15 boxes and bins.
We now interrupt this highly organizational post to bring you my children using all the empty boxes to make a fort.
Now that I had the clothes and baby gear under control I only had to worry about Vivi’s room. I’d love to be able to invest in quality heirloom furniture or be one of those super crafty people that paints and wallpapers furniture salvaged at yard sales BUT I’M SO NOT THAT PERSON. Enter Martha Stewart, she is that person for me. I bought a 9 cube stackable organizer in Espresso for $44.98 and four fabric drawers for just under $28. It was a breeze to put together (minus the baby who kept trying to climb it) and it looks delightful in her room. Want to hear a secret? Three of the four fabric drawers are completely empty, but even if they were filled to the brim with random stuff? You’d have no idea.
The cubbies also came with a piece that allowed me to mount the piece to the wall. A MUST with kids around (especially ones like Vivi who insist on climbing anything that is not level with the floor, including the cats.)
The last thing I purchased (aside from 40 more hangers because ZOMG WHERE DO ALL THE HANGERS GO!?) was a 3 tier commercial shelving unit for her closet. It holds two (previously owned) Sterilite drawers as well as all the random stuff that can come with cloth diapering and having babies in general. Again, the closet isn’t completely crammed full! There’s so much possibility in there! (And so much peace when I open the door.)
It took us about 30 minutes to shop and one afternoon to really plow through everything that needed to get done (You know, after I had cleaned out the closets of doom.) I spent $152 ($150 was on a gift card provided by Home Depot) and I even have a few extra bins for whatever needs to be organized next. It feels good to be done (for now) especially since my mother in law is coming in a week, and dude, that lady is organized.