Before we even began today I had to do prep work.
We already bought new shoes, socks, and underwear, and a couple of new outfits. I have found it is just better for all involved to replace these items every year (and throw out the overflowing lone sock basket) and buy at least one new outfit for school to start.
Also, I went through the cedar closet: stacking plastic boxes, checking and labeling the sizes of clothes in the vacuum bags (would have been nice if I had thought of that when I stored them!!), yelling at the boys for throwing various clothes and toys into the closet when they “cleaned” their rooms, and I making one huge pile of the winter clothes unceremoniously thrown in when we first moved.
Last bit of prep, I cleaned the kids’ rooms (normally they do it themselves which explains the previously mentioned stuffing in closets phenomena). I dug laundry out of the deepest corners of their closet and out from under beds and dressers and anywhere else clothes could be stuffed. I even went through their drawers (why, oh why was there dirty laundry in their drawers?) and reorganized them, with a threat if they didn’t put their clothes away properly from now on (idle threat, I make it every time I clean out their dressers).
Now comes the fun part, where I get to drown myself in clothes. As I cleaned, I have thrown out anything that is holed or stained. Now I get to make piles. We start with three big piles: the last winter clothes pile, the clothes from their room pile, and the bags of stored clothes that should fit this year pile. From these piles are born other piles:
- 6 piles, one for each child, of clothes that fit;
- Doesn’t fit anymore, but will fit another kid someday piles (sorted by size);
- “Why did I save that outfit?” pile (aka garbage pile); and
- Doesn’t fit anyone anymore pile (I love this pile!!)
*That is a total of 13 piles of overflowing clothes spread across my living room floor*Now comes the extra “fun” part where I try on questionable sizes to see if they really fit, deal with “but I liked that outfit!” whines (or the more persistent “See it fits, I like pants where you can see 2 inches of ankles or shirt sleeves that come past my fingertips!!”), bag- and label this time- the clothes to store for hand-me-downs, and make a mental list of who is deficient in what so we can go shopping.
And then, because I haven’t quite drowned yet, I get to take the kids shopping. Elise needs pretty much new everything, all the boys but Matthew wore out all their jeans again and need at least one “dressier” shirt, but Kirsti is doing ok. At this point I can be seen roaming my house mumbling things like,
“I think Kirsti should try only 6x, what is her shoe size again?”or
“Maybe Elise should try size 16 pants- but it might be too long in the legs. Don’t forget to measure her before we go.” or
“If the boys are really that close in size how will I ever sort their laundry?” or
“How did Matthew not outgrow 18 months yet? I thought for sure he would.”
And after trying on tons of clothes on tons of kids, returning to the checkout desk because they rang something up wrong, going to another store because Ethan wanted a hooded sweatshirt and couldn’t find one he liked, I have had my fill of clothes for a while. Unfortunately, tomorrow is laundry day. But I am one step closer to school starting!!