Wardrobe Management ranks as #2 on my list of the Top 5 Things No One Told Me About Parenting.
#2 Wardrobe Management
I had no idea that children and their clothing would take over my life. Sure, I knew I’d have to do laundry. But I’m not talking about laundry. (But if I were, I would mention Sock-locks because I love them so much.)
I’m talking about Wardrobe Management. At this time of year and again in the spring, hours of my life are devoted to weeding through kids' clothing to determine what no longer fits versus what might fit next year, packing away anything that might fit next season. Next, I have to determine which articles of clothing/shoes/jackets/coats/hats/gloves/scarves/boots should be passed down to a younger sibling; which ones should be given away (and to whom) and which items should be thrown away. That’s the easy part -- whatever items are left over are usually deteriorated beyond use so those items get thrown away. Multiply this task times four because I have to do this for each child. (I wonder if I will do this forever or, if one day, they will be able to take on this task themselves?)
I have about $200 worth of large, plastic storage bins that are stuck in every closet, under beds and in the basement. Not to mention the piles of clothes in various places throughout the house as I figure out whether they are being packed away, given away or thrown away. I often think how nice it would be to live in a climate where it is basically the same temperature all year. That way, you’d only have to go through Wardrobe Management when the kids hit a growth spurt, instead of every time the season changed.
It always amazes me that we are living in year 2007 but have not developed an easier way to do laundry (and Wardrobe Management). So I have taken this task upon myself. I have 2 laundry/wardrobe solutions.
1. Sock-locks. They seem so simple and one might wonder how they could possibly be worthwhile. TRUST ME. Using Sock-locks saves me at LEAST 2 hours a month in sock-sorting. I highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in becoming more organized but I ESPECIALLY recommend them to anyone with small children, especially if those children are close in age, making it difficult to figure out which socks belong to whom.
2. The Dot Method. I use a permanent marker to label clothing tags with dots. My oldest child’s clothing gets one dot; the second oldest gets two dots; the third child’s clothing gets three dots and my youngest one’s gets 4 dots. That way, when I hand something down to a younger sibling, all I need to do is add a dot to the tag. Then I know who it belongs to and I don’t have to rack my brain trying to remember who it belongs to. This also helps when folding laundry because sometimes I buy matching outfits or jammies for the kids. Instead of trying to remember which size belongs to which kid, I just check the dots.
Check in next week to read the #1 thing that surprised me most about parenting!