As this new year hits, I’m continuing on with my Clutter Countdown Challenge. It’s so easy for me to get sidetracked and yet, slowly but surely, I will conquer this. Just last year, I finally got rid of our boxes of baby clothes. Yes, I still had outfits from our eldest, he just turned 21.
Today Katie from the storycatching shop, Gadanke.com, is sharing her ideas for parting with some of those baby clothes.
My mom keeps a very small box in her basement that’s labeled baby clothes. As a child, I didn’t understand why she would hang onto it when I knew she was done having babies. “We don’t fit those any more,” I’d mention in my childhood innocence. “No,” my mom said. “It’s a box of my memories.”
Today, my baby boy is nearly a year old. I fully understand the power of my mom’s keepsake box now.
I remember so many little moments, just by glancing at a piece of his old clothing. If I feel like I can finally part with it, my husband Martin will see it in the donate pile, and he’ll feel that nostalgic wave of emotion. We could easily wrap ourselves in this crazy cycle of keeping all those clothes.
Can you relate? Here are five ways we’ve managed to whittle down the number of old clothes we’re keeping.
The key to parting with baby clothes is focusing on the recipient instead of your nostalgic memories.
1. Pass the clothes on to someone with a younger baby. On the surface, this idea sounds so obvious. But you’d be amazed. Have a specific person in mind, and box up everything you think that person could use.
2. Donate to a very specific cause. If you’re dropping your baby clothes off at any old thrift store, you’re more likely to hang onto things you don’t need. Pick an organization that needs your specific items. I picked the battered women’s shelter and a center that helps teen mothers. I wanted to help those women. I saw a specific need for the things I had; it made me want to give more and keep less.
3. Get it out the door. I have boxes of baby items for several friends. They were just sitting there, waiting for when I’d actually see those friends again. Winter is coming. I just mailed the packages, unannounced. And gosh were they a beloved surprise! Don’t keep waiting for one day. Get those goodies out the door!
4. Don’t look back! As I was on my way to make my donations, I made the mistake of looking in my boxes just one last time. You know–just in case. Don’t do that! I pulled out cute little socks and sleepers. I decided to hang onto fuzzy fleeces and a silly little monkey hat. We didn’t need them. Why keep them? I drove back the next day to surrender those donations.
5. Finally, decide just how many baby outfits you want to keep. Set a specific goal when you are NOT looking at the clothes. For example, I think my mom kept five items from each of her children. Sort through the items in your keep pile. Pick what’s most significant to you, then repeat steps 1-4 until you have your target keepsake number.
Do you have any idea how many baby clothes you’re hanging onto?
Take just 15 Minutes a day and we will make a huge change in our home.
|Katie Clemons is a storycatcher and journal crafter. She helps people celebrate their stories with her award-winning writing prompt journals and free workshop at Gadanke. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana, USA.