Audrey's baby clothes (newborn through 18 months) have been boxed up in my parents' garage for about a year now. Problem was, they took up 8 large containers and her outgrown 12 months clothing were still hanging in the closet (she's currently 2 years old, but fits size 3T). The boxes were packed to the brim and many of the lids did not fully close because of the overflowing contents. Since the new mom's group that I recently joined, MOPS, is having a swap n' shop next week, I decided it was high time for me to thin out these piles.
Not a horrendous before shot since this was a re-organizing project. The challenge, however, was to fit those piles of clothing on the left and half of the stuff hanging in Audrey's closet (not shown) into these already full containers.
I started with the newborn (NB) box and emptied all the contents, sorting into 3 piles: (1) donate to church for swap n' shop (2) sell to Children's Orchard and (3) keep bc of sentimental value or possibly handing down to my sister or close friends in the future. I did this for each size of clothing: NB, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 mos! I re-folded and buttoned up loose snap buttons, all the while marveling at how small my now 30 pound "baby" used to be. For boxes with a range of sizes (3-6 months, for example), I placed the larger sizes on the bottom and smaller ones on top for easier retrieval. I tuned in to American Idol to keep me company and the process, including using my label maker to create labels, took about 3 hours-ish. Since half of the previously boxed clothing were hand-me-downs, I didn't have any emotional attachment to them, especially if Audrey never even wore them once. This made decision-making fly.
I heart clear containers of any sort and even more when they're stackable on industrial strength shelves (do I get excited over weird stuff or what?). The three bags of clothing plus shoes on the bottom right will be donated and hopefully sold to bring in some extra cash.
Notice that there is now an EMPTY container (probably waiting to be filled with 2T clothing soon).
Swoon. I could go into the garage and stand in front of the storage area just to admire. (And don't you love how the sun is peeking through the boxes? :) The baby clothes are on the very bottom since they don't need to be accessed regularly. Kitchenware and stemware from my past life and past home are nicely stored in the same line of Ikea Samla boxes and canvas stemware chests on the middle shelf since I do use random kitchen gadgets here and there.
Childhood boardgames I'm hoping Audrey will put to good use. About 7-8 boxes of games were already donated or discarded.
Infrequently used pots and pans now have a home to belong. This wire shelf used to hold all my crafting supplies in my former home. The dimensions no longer fit my current closet but did fit snugly into a corner of the garage. Finding new uses for old things is great!
I think the garage is one of the most underrated rooms of the house. Before we purchased these 4 industrial strength shelves from Costco last summer, my dad compared their 3-car garage to a refugee camp: dusty bags of unused pots and pans, sporting equipment, important documents, and gardening tools were haphazardly (and almost dangerously) piled on the floor. No one had organized the mess of lopsided cardboard boxes and unmarked mystery bags since they moved in 20 years ago! And all that wasted vertical space too! Too bad I don't have a real "before" shot of the garage. In fact, when I first moved back home, all my stuff took up one full parking spot (floor to ceiling) and I had to park my mini-van outside. It wasn't until 2 months later that I was able to park back inside. And what a sweet accomplishment that was!