When Louisa was a baby, we knew that we wanted to eventually have a second child. So, when she outgrew clothes or baby gear, we would just pack it away into one of the carefully organized and neatly stored bins of baby things around the house. (Ahem.) OK it was more like we would put the clothes that no longer fit on top of her dresser and when the mountain up there became too big and precarious, we would stuff it all into a bag and chuck it into the spare room upstairs. Along with the piles of maternity clothes, which were heaped in front of the piles of clothes in a size I have not fit into since before I got pregnant for the first time.
I've been trying to get more organized. All those baby clothes do not help if I don't find them until after Bridget is too big to wear them, after all. I'm making a bit of progress but the thing is, we have an embarrassing amount of clothing for our girls. At some point recently I went through Louisa's drawers and closet and took out everything that was smaller than a size 3T (even though some of those 2T's still fit her.) The result was that everything actually fits in her drawers and she's a bigger variety of clothes now. I think even she was overwhelmed with the choices and so she just stuck with her favorites most days.
This isn't really my original point but I'll go ahead and take the tangent: you can spend a fortune on kid's clothes, to be sure, but you can also get a lot of stuff for very little money. Between consignment shops and sales, it's easy to wind up with a ton of stuff because it all seems so reasonably priced. But I really want to avoid this. Partly because it's a pain to store all those clothes, but more importantly because I don't want my girls to grow up thinking it's normal to have so many clothes that there are things you only wear once or maybe twice before you out grow them. That's obscene, even if you aren't spending a lot of money on clothes. Also it just means that the laundry piles up and piles up and piles up until the mountain of clothes is so big that it takes a week to get it all done, and then when it's done you're right back to issue #1 which is: there is no where to put all those clothes. So, one of my goals for 2010 is to stem the heavy flow of kids clothes into our house.
Back to the point: part of the problem is that we never really got rid of anything because we were always saving the outgrown clothes. As it turned out, we do have a second girl who is wearing mostly hand-me-downs (for now). It looks like she might turn out to be shaped differently enough from Louisa that some of the pants and things might not work on Bridget, but we'll see. I'm so excited, though, because as Bridget outgrows things I can actually get them out of the house! (Most of them. It turns out that there are items I can't part with- not yet anyway, and maybe not ever. But I'm storing those in a more organized fashion.)
Last week I dropped of a huge load of things at the giant kid's consignment sale that happens twice a year around here. This is the second time I've participated in this sale. It's kind of a big pain in the ass to get everything tagged and hung and sorted and dropped off, but then it's all out of the house and BONUS! you get a check a couple of weeks later. I have no idea how much I will make on this sale, and I chose the option where whatever didn't sell will be donated, so I never have to see any of those items again regardless.
And then, I packed up another box of things to send off to my cousin who is expecting a baby soon. It would have been a much bigger box but he's having a boy so I had to sort through and pick out only the things that were non-girly. We had a fair amount of gender-neutral items in the 0-12 month range. After that, not so much.
We've been the recipients of some great hand-me-downs, from family and friends, and once I got three big garbage bags filled with things from the woman who used to cut my hair. Louisa has finally outgrown all of the items from those 3 garbage bags (it's bizarre how well I am able to remember where each clothing item came from) and this past weekend I was just thinking about how this might be the first time that we don't have a large store of hand-me-downs waiting for Louisa to grow into. While I'm happy to finally be getting a handle on the clothing, I found myself a little bit sad about that because I like the hand-me-down process. Louisa likes wearing the things that used to be her cousin's or another big girl's.
Well, it's funny how things work. Because today we got home to find that a giant box had been delivered from our dear friends out in Seattle. And wouldn't you know it-- it was filled with cute clothes that their daughter had outgrown. Louisa went to bed tonight in a new-to-her nightgown and has plans to wear a new-to-her dress to school tomorrow. And some of the stuff in that box looks like it won't fit until next year, so here we are: out with old, in the the new(ish)!
Now I just need to find someone (tall) to whom I can pass along these maternity clothes.