motherhood · organizing

The Great Clothing Purge of 2013

The other day I had this major meltdown over the grocery budget and trying to figure out how to buy diapers and paper towels and toilet paper and actual food with the amount we take out in cash every week.  And then when I had calmed down and was headed to the backyard for some reason or another, I had to pause and move aside the boxes of hand me downs blocking the door.

And I realized if there’s one way God has provided for us in excess, it’s in my children’s closets.

We’re often gifted hand me downs, love that, and I can rock a clearance or a consignment with the best of the money saving moms.  So if you look at how my kids dress, I wouldn’t imagine someone would think we ever struggle.

There are shirts from Justice and jeans from Gap and dresses from Children’s Place in that pile.  There are brand new winter boots and three winter coats and complete Gymboree outfits down to the hairbow. There are clothes to cover Amelia until first grade.  (fyi, she’s only three.)

When I finally got motivated to start sorting and purging, I was amazed at how much there was, and how something as simple as hand me downs could multiply into such a blessing.

I know I keep more than we need because I play the “what if” game in my mind.  What if one of them suddenly grows and nothing fits?  What if there’s a fire and all we have left is what’s been put in storage? What if we actually take a family vacation and I don’t want to do laundry?

What if I’m a hoarder of God’s blessings?

What if He wants me to bless someone else who struggles with day-to-day expenses but would be relieved to know clothing their baby girl can be crossed off that list?

So I went through all the girls’ clothes from size 2 to size 10.  I purged out items I love but they won’t wear. Items they say they like but never wear.  Items they don’t need multiples of and items that aren’t really our style.  I piled away items that weren’t good enough for consignment and took them to the local thrift store.  I separated the excess by size and then I hand-picked a bag of fabulous finds for a friend who needs to cross this worry off her list.  I gave it to her husband that afternoon, and still, there was so much left.  

I’ve got some others in mind to pass on to, and I’m sure I’ll consign a good bit and be grateful for the extra cash that puts in our pockets to offset the back-to-school expenses that will soon be upon us.

But, this fall I won’t have to buy jeans or long sleeve shirts or sweaters for any of them.  I can concentrate on new school shoes for the big girls, a raincoat for Madelynne since hers will pass to Annabelle, and they might get some new socks and underwear.  (Because, you know, some things don’t get passed.)

There’s relief in the simple realization that I don’t have to worry about where their next pair of jeans is coming from because the great God who paints skies and swirls fingerprints has already taken care of that one trite need for me.

Motivated by this post from The Purposeful Mom.  So how many clothes do you think kids really need?

2 thoughts on “The Great Clothing Purge of 2013

  1. How awesome that you are so blessed with clothes! I grew up wearing hand-me-down and second-hand, and I don't think anyone ever knew the difference. For that matter, I still wear mostly second-hand clothes–I just can't bear spending so much money on new stuff!

    Thanks for the reminder to look for the ways God blesses us and not focus on the things we think we're lacking…we always have what we need, right? 🙂


  2. Girl, we had so many hand-me-downs at one point my kids had more clothes in boxes than in their dressers! So glad you were able to purge and get organized. It feels great, doesn't it?!!


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