Friday, March 25, 2011

Hot Spot #3: Toys and Baby Clothes

This week's hot spot challenge was to sort through toys and children's clothes. In our case, we have one 9-month-old who doesn't need much. So once again, the amount I had to sort wasn't all that exciting.

Tackling the toys was definitely the easiest. I can already fit all of Caleb's toys into one plastic bin with room to spare and he seems to enjoy all of them so I purged very little in that department.I did decide to pass on a couple things he rarely plays with to his soon-to-arrive cousin.

I decided to tackle his clothes by making "outfits". I tend to organize his drawers by type of clothing item (shirt, pants, etc.) but making them into (semi)matching outfits allowed me to see if there were gaps or a huge excess in any area. I discovered we have more outfits than he needs, but certainly not so many they don't all fit in one drawer. Since we plan to have more kids, I decided to keep almost all his clothes. I did get rid of a few things I decided didn't match anything else, weren't our style or would never fit him correctly based on his body type.

Before

After

I packed up about half his toys (mostly things that are for him when he gets a little older or things he can only use with supervision right now). I also packed a carry-on bag full of clothes in the next size up. Based on the way he's been eating these past 2 days, I'm wondering if I'll need to get some of those back out before we move!

This challenge reminded me of several things I've learned in the baby clothes/toys department since becoming a mom:

-Skinny baby=cheap clothes! Target, Walmart, etc. all cut their clothes smaller than their name brand competitors. And if I do want "name brand" for some reason, the pre-shrunk yard sale variety fit best : )

-"Halo" brand sleep sacks are amazing once baby out grows being swaddled, especially if your hubby likes to sleep with the temperature just above "arctic" like mine : ) I love the Halo brand because it's armless and can go over long sleeved PJ's easily. They are pricey new, but I picked up 2 at a consignment shop for $6 a piece.

-You're probably noticing a trend by now. I can count on one hand the number clothes we've bought brand new. We've been blessed by generous bags of hand-me-downs from friends, new outfits from grandparents, aunties and others, and have filled the rest out with yard sale/consignment. One thing I do recommend getting new: Socks. Hanes have worked great for us.

-Another bonus of hand-me-downs: you get "half-size" clothing. Whenever Caleb is leaving one size and heading to the next one up, the hand-me-downs always get used first. They've been through someone else's dryer enough times to be slightly smaller than his new clothes. Perfect for that in-between stage.

As for toys, I've learned one simple rule. Mommy and Daddy's things are infinitely more interesting that Caleb's toys. He loves when we can find grown-up items he can have (tupperware, waterproof/shockproof camera, laundry basket, etc.) Check out this "stacking toy" I set up for him this week:

Another big hit:

Of course, we still have plenty of tried-and-true baby toys that he loves:

-A stack of rings
-Many many many board books. This kid probably spends 20% of his day turning pages and eating corners.
-Balls and rolling toys
-2-3 battery operated talking toys
-an unbreakable mirror
-assorted stuffies and teethers

The typical state of our living room

One emotion that kept welling up in my as I sorted through these items was gratitude. I could fit the items we've purchased for Caleb into one medium sized box. Family, friends and people we haven't even met have been so generous welcoming this little life and passing things down. The memories that go with so many of the items make our lives that much richer. Every day I feed Caleb in the booster seat that I gave snacks to by nephew- and neice-by-love in, I see him wearing clothes other special little ones have enjoyed, I give him a blanket made by a grandparent, I chase him with his favorite tiger stuffie from Uncle Brian and Aunt Amy, and I'm reminded of how much we're looked after and loved. Especially by Uncle Brian...he really wanted to keep that tiger!

Hot spot #3 is complete and I am more prepared for this move than I've ever been for those in the past. I get very overwhelmed by something as complex as "moving" or "spring cleaning". These assignments have taught me how much can be accomplished when I focus on one area at a time and keep going until it's completely finished.

1 comment:

The Vogt Family said...

I can so relate! We have SO MUCH STUFF and most of it has been gifts of hand-me-downs. I, too, am keeping a lot of the baby clothes with the intention of having more kids. I tried those vacuum seal bags to store, but I kept having to reopen them to add more stuff and wore out the seal. So, I've moved to using pink/blue clear storage bins which I've labeled with clothing sizes and it works great! However, during my purge, I realized Isaiah had OVER 30 pairs of pants that are the same size. Living in Florida, I doubt he (or any future boys) will EVER wear that many, so I did donate some things.

Now to tackle the toys.... oh boy! :) And I told myself that we wouldn't be "those parents" with mountains and mountains of stuff. It is refreshing to know that it can indeed be done!