by: Tracy Noble
I have an ever-growing preschooler. She seems to outgrow clothing as quickly as I buy it. And so as the end of summer approaches I find myself sorting through what may fit next year, what definitely will not fit, what is stained and what to do with all of it!
I use our guest bedroom as a sorting room. My sorting piles consist of: “summer clothes,” “sell/donate,” and “garbage”. The “summer clothes” pile goes into a labelled Tupperware container and is stowed on a basement shelf – if there is still room in the container after putting in my daughter’s summer wardrobe I also put in some of my own clothes, bathing suits and beach towels. I put this container in an easily accessible spot on the shelf in case I am blessed with a mid-winter southern vacation!
Next I sort through the clothes that don’t fit and see which one’s are worthy to consign or donate and which ones are unsalvageable or suitable to be used as rags. Needless to say, throughout the years I have accumulated a rather large rag collection, however my local consignment store has also benefited from my daughter’s numerous growth-spurts and I have made a little money in return – which, coincidentally, is used to purchase fall clothes.
After the summer wardrobe has been taken care of I also like to clean out the garage. A lot of snow falls in my region and if possible I like to save myself the time spent cleaning snow off my car by parking in the garage! This would not be possible if I didn’t sort through the bikes, wagons, toy cars, balls and other summer treasures that make their home in the garage during the summer months.
Cleaning the garage is not always easy as my daughter usually insists she is still playing with her summer toys well into the fall months. Some of the toys make their way into our basement so they can still be used on those bitterly cold winter days, other toys make their way to the shed in our backyard where they hibernate for the winter and with some luck my daughter allows me to sell some of the ride-on toys that are no longer appropriate for her age group.
I try to follow the rule of reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible when sorting through seasonal clothes and toys. I fear if I don’t I will continue to accumulate more and more toys without having disposed of the older, never- used or worn toys or clothes – and then I will never be able to park my car in the garage and that makes the winter seem that much longer.
Tracy Noble is a freelance writer. She can be found outside, whatever the weather, with her three year old daughter. For more information, follow her on Twitter: @MomRedefined.