Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Great Sort

There is a semi-annual ritual at our house each spring and each fall which I refer to as The Great Sort.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  A little like Hogwarts?  Unfortunately, there are no banquets or sorting hats involved, which might be nice.  The assistance of a sorting hat would be appreciated, and goodness knows I'm pro-banquet.  Note that I didn't say that, unlike Hogwarts, no witches or warlocks are involved in The Great Sort, because (also, unfortunately) I'm usually a witch by the time The Great Sort is over.  Frankly, there is really nothing great about the semi-annual Great Sort.

Ahem.  {Composing self.}

The Great Sort is the week when I go through all of the children's clothing in our house, putting away the clothes from one season and pulling out the ones for the new season.  Warm weather to cold, cold weather back to warm.  Twice a year.  The Great Sort of Spring 2011 is currently in progress.  There are bins and piles of clothing all over the floor of my daughters' bedroom, right now, and a few in my own.

Can we talk?  Can we really talk?  Because I need to talk about The Great Sort.  I'm hoping it will be therapeutic.

Now, this may be the most boring blog post I've ever composed, fair warning.  If you want to read something that will really get you thinking, I recommend you click over and read this at Clover Lane, and come back another day.  No worries!  I won't be offended!

Okey Dokey.  For those of you still here.....the Great Sort originated when my children were small and the weather would make a change for the better.....or for the worse.   I'd wash up all their clothes, and then I'd open the box of clothing that was saved for the next season.  Even when Endeavor was small, I had a few things saved, waiting for her to grow into them, that I'd found on deep discount or had been handed down from a friend in a larger size.  I'd figure out what we had that would work for the coming season, make lists of what we needed to buy, put away the articles of clothing that were still good to save for future needs, and then make a pile of a few things to send to Goodwill or turn into rags, depending on their condition.

It was a manageable operation when Endeavor and Justone were small.  Then we added Superkid to our family, and the operation grew.  Now, I had a little girl to pass the outgrown big girl clothes to.  About that time, we became the recipients of some lovely hand-me-downs from several friends who didn't have younger daughters to pass things onto.  It wasn't long before the process of storing and bringing out and trying on clothing became a much more involved process.

I think what really makes it complicated is all the laundry involved.  Finding and washing all the things that need to be put away, keeping those separate from all the things we're getting out....oh, it gives me a headache just thinking about it!  Even with my large capacity washer and dryer, it is quite a chore.  Especially when I have three little people pulling things out of the carefully ordered piles.  And then there are the lists.  I have to make lists of what we have and what we need, and knowing what we need involves children trying on clothes and voicing their opinions.  Granted, I have no doubt that I'm saving money by going out to shop armed with a detailed list of what everyone needs.  But the process to get there can be downright exhausting.

In Paris, New York, and Milan, they have Spring and Fall fashion weeks.  At our house, we have The Great sort.  During The Great Sort, we don't have paparazzi and our outfits are age appropriate and modest, so it's not a completely accurate comparison.  But sometimes my models do have attitudes, and I definitely feel like the sheer amount of clothing strewn across the floor could rival that in any swanky designer's studio.

Me:  (looking in Endeavor's closet for things that don't fit) Endeavor, what about this shirt?  Surely it doesn't fit anymore.  And you never wear it.

Endeavor: (holding up the shirt, which is definitely too short)  This is my most favorite shirt!  I love this shirt, even though I never wear it anymore!

Superkid: (eying the shirt with a gleam in her eye)  It's my favorite shirt, too, Endeavor.  I've been waiting and waiting for you to grow out of it.

Endeavor:  Mom!  That's not fair!  She can't just expect to automatically have all my clothes!

Me:  Um, Endeavor, that's usually what happens around here.  You just said yourself that you don't wear that shirt anymore.  What exactly are you planning on doing with it?

Endeavor:  I don't know!  Something!  Like, maybe I'll cut out the letters on the shirt and frame them or something.  (Looking at shirt with adoration.)  These letters are awesome.

Superkid:  No!  You can't cut that!  It fits me!  It's my shirt, now!  Mom, Endeavor said she was going to cut up my shirt!  Make her stop!

Who needs television with that kind of drama?  Like I said, The Great Sort makes for a long week, twice a year.  But, there has got to be a better way, right?  And I would love to discover what it is!  So, feel free to share your tips with me.  Have you found an effective way to store and sort off-season clothing?  What's your system?

1 comment:

  1. I hate it too ... but not just for the time and effort it takes to sort/clean/store/label the clothes. For some reason, putting away too-small things makes me more keenly away of the passing of time and the fact that my babies are babies so, so briefly. I have this sadness with each thing I put away, knowing he'll never fit into those tiny shoes again.