Monday, 31 May 2010
The thing about all this decluttering is that the house looks worse before it gets better. I've got stuff everywhere!
The worst of it is the storage of well-meaning hand-me-downs. Don't get me wrong! I love a hand-me-down. I have been fortunate enough to be suitably inundated with donations from others that I have rarely had to buy any clothes for my own children. As a third daughter, I lived in them myself and have no problem what-so-ever kitting my children out in recycled fashions. With the focus on environmentally friendliness, this is the ultimate contribution any family can make. Reuse. Recycle. Love it.
My sisters and I have all had our kids at around the same time (there are currently 9 kids aged between 6 and 17 months). I have been the lucky recipient of good timing because my first, a boy, was the third grandson and so the big cousins clothes came to me. When Sister A had a second boy a few weeks after I did (Doo Dah), Sister B's Maxi-Taxi's clothes came to Nugget (she had girls after Maxi) and Cousin J's went to his brother, Duke. Neat.
Doo Dah and Dew Drop are systematically giving Maxi-Taxi's originals another couple of goes too. The supplies dwindle as the children go on (especially the knees in pants as my children have all crawled for a long time), but there is plenty of usable stuff and with a couple of top-ups here and there, the kids are covered for each season. We even hand bits on to our friends R&G, for their little man. We definitely get our money's worth, that is for sure!
When I had the joy of a daughter, only a few months after Sister B's second daughter, I thought I would need to go shopping. Honestly, after all those years of blue, I was quite looking forward to making some girlie clothes purchases, but after years of maternity leave and part-time work, the budget has been very tight. As it happened, the Mother's Group Mums came to the rescue! The Minx has a whole host of willing female donaters.
Which leaves me one very lucky Mummy, albeit one with a serious storage problem. Sadly, as beggers cannot be choosers, you can't insist that people only donate the next season's sizes now can you? Instead, when you have a six week old daughter they off-load clothes for the first 3 years of her life.
I am perplexed as to how to handle this situation. There are only so many tubs of clothes that you can leave around the house. I am hoping my Cut the Clutter lady will have some ideas for me (I haven't got as far as the solution section yet). In the meantime, I have been on the internet and have come across a fun site for the larger family (http://www.lotsofkids.com/) which is where I got the above photo from. If you are in organisation hell and have a million and one children, perhaps the site will be of assistance to you. It is very American, but if you like to learn from others, there are families with seriously big families telling you how they get through their days. I am amazed!