I'm not quite sure why I decided to do it.
Maybe because we could barely open the door to one of the rooms in our basement due to all the stuff down there.
Maybe because I just now realized we are 6 months into the New Year and I have made no progress whatsoever towards my resolution to "Get Organized".
Maybe I was just sick of David saying, "If you don't get in there and clear out some of that junk I will go in and just start pitching it all."
Whatever my motivation was, a few days ago, I started sifting through the piles, no--mountains, of accumulated articles in our basement. I decided to start first, with the gazillion sets of BABY CLOTHES! My plan when we first had kids was to mark each tote with the appropriate size and neatly place all corresponding items in there to be easily found at a moments notice (i.e. letting a friend borrow outgrown clothes, change of seasons, etc.) Anyhow, as with most of my grand plans, that one fell through the cracks. I crammed them into totes, trash bags, or just plain opened the door and quickly tossed them on the floor.
Let me just say this. Going through outgrown baby clothes is a sad, sad chore my friends.
I put my HGTV skills to work. (Since I have e-mailed them a handful of times to tape a show here and HELP me to no avail.) I made signs for each clothing size group, donations, trash, etc and started going crazy sorting. Piles upon piles of clothes cluttered the floor in the room adjacent to the messy one. (Who could work in there?) David finally ventured downstairs for a looksie about 10pm and almost went into cardiac arrest. "It will look worse, before it looks better" I reminded him, trying to ward off his impending attack.
Now that he was down there with me, however, I wasn't about to let him leave me in the basement all by my lonesome surrounded by nothing but leggings, matching dresses, and doll sized shoes. He waded through to the computer and checked e-mails and what not, while I rambled on about all the progress I was making.
There are certain outfits I could never part with. I thought this would just be a few special ones like each child's coming home from the hospital outfit, and maybe another outfit or two a piece that held special memories for me. Well, at present, a "few special outfits" are filling up one entire rubber tote! Labeled "Keepsakes". I pictured the day we brought them all home, the day they were dedicated, getting their portraits taken, Easter morning....and our oldest is only FOUR! How much more of a schmultz am I going to be their first day of kindergarten... graduations...weddings?
I had to work around David's jaw which had dropped to floor when he spied my keepsake pile. "Just look honey", I defended myself, "Here's the red jammies I bought before we even had kids because they were just too adorable to pass up, here's the outfit we ran out and bought the day we found out Reese was going to be a little girl, and here's her first pair of little purple jammies.....". That was all he needed to be persuaded. Me holding up that tiny pair of purple jammies.
His demeanor softened as he laughed in disbelief that our tall-for-her-age 4 year old child with scraped knees used to fit in those and fall asleep on his chest as he rocked her in the recliner. He even joined in and started picking out clothes from that tub recalling different memories from each one. HA! Perhaps I'm not just a mushy old kook after all...
Now that I've actually separated out my keepsakes, I do believe it will be easier to part with the other clothes. In my defense, I had to hold onto the girl clothes for Drue. And since we weren't sure what Tate was going to be, I had to hold onto them again. Never mind that I've now had 13 months to part with the girl clothes. Actually I've been using them to trade back and forth for boy clothes with a friend of mine.
I just remember how excited I was hand picking each item in preparation for our little ones, it just seems sad to send the clothes on their way. And a lot of them I bought at garage sales for a buck or two. Trash to treasure. Most definitely. But I can always look at it this way, the clothes that are gathering dust in my basement are ready to go on and become "keepsakes" to another mother bringing home her little one. David, stop laughing. (The rest of you, feel free to shed a tear at that sentiment).
I just don't get life sometimes. You spend your younger years wanting to speed it along and your older years praying for it to slow down while you curl up with your kids on the couch and breathe in the scent of their Johnson's Baby Shampoo.