When the Pile is TOO big!

Today I was contacted by another mother of 7 (and fan of this blog), asking for organisation advice.

She is expecting an important visitor to her home and doesn’t know where to begin.  You can read about it here. 

Anyway, she needs help with sorting out a “mountain” of old clothes.  This task might seem easy to one with one or two children; however, when you have SEVEN; it IS overwhelming. 
Just before I starting blogging, I actually did a HUGE clothes sort.  I kept a some things and donated the rest to charity (some items also went into the garbage or shed for rags).  

My family consists of 4 girls and 3 boys (born in that order) the eldest girl is 13 and the youngest being 3 (today actually), so all the smaller clothes were stored in every wardrobe of the house and some in the garage in those big stripped bags you can pick up from bargain $2 shops.  

I had bags from newborn up to aged 8 – girls clothes and boys clothes from newborn to age 3/4 was in storage….so you can image the amount of bags I had to go through.  (At least with the two older boys above my 3yr old, I can just pass down the line).

So with this amount of clothing, you may be asking and thinking to yourself.  Where do I begin?  This is all too much and it’s so overwhelming.  

Where do you begin?
  • Pick a day when everything else you needed to do is done.  Make sure dinner is prepared, the house is tidy etc.

  • Find a space or a room that is big enough to sort in and also that you can leave if something comes up.  Make sure it is in an area where it will not be in the way or got to (by another person eg. toddler).  You can use a big table, lounge or floor area.

  • Have some boxes, bags or whatever you will be using to put your clothes into whether for storage or charity.  (Old quilt/doona bags are great).

  • If you can get another person to help or older child, this would be a bonus.

  • Before you begin, have a coffee or tea!

Now that all the above is worked out, you need to begin the sorting.

However, the worst you can do, is just ‘tip’ out all you have on the floor, this will just make the task seem harder.  If your pile is already in this condition, either make some separate piles or take a pile at a time to the area you will be sorting.

Start with one pile at a time (or bag in my case).

  • Sort in two areas; BOY & GIRL  piles.

  • Put all the same items together in sizes and clothing items, eg trousers, t-shirts, jump suits, singlets etc.  

So if you were doing Newborn girl clothes for example, a pile of singlets, a pile of jumpsuits, socks, bibs, dresses, etc.  And this goes for boys too.  Sort everything into sizes and categories.  You don’t need to fold neatly, just place them nicely on top of each other.

Depending of the size of your room or the space you are working on, you can either work at one size at a time or all at once.  (But stick to one sex at a time).

Once you have sorted out all the clothes into piles.  The next thing you need to do is decided to KEEP or LET GO.

Reasons to KEEP or LET GO
  • You will be having more children
  • Some items are of sentimental value
  • You can pass them down to a relative later
  • Keep what is practical and is in still good condition.

  • Worn out, torn, old or only worn once or twice
  • Do you really need 10 pairs of trousers in the same size?
  • If an item was only worn once or twice, but not often.

Sorting can also mean shoes too.  And the above criteria can also apply.

Once you have sorted your piles.  Place them neatly into your storage item, making sure you keep the same sizes together.  Eg newborn 000,00,0, then your 1-2 sizes and up etc.  Don’t mix the boys and girl clothing.

Label the box, bag or container.  Make sure it is sealed properly especially if it is going into the garage outside of the house.

These are the recent clothes I have stored away.  
Recycled quilt bags.

All the items you don’t want to KEEP but are to LET GO, make sure you don’t let them sit around the the house.  If you can’t take them to your local charity OP shop the same day, make sure you don’t let them sit around for more than a week. 

Otherwise all you would have done is moved one pile and created another!

I hope you have found this helpful.  You may not get it done in a whole day.  But, if you begin, you will have it completed in no time!

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