One thing: The clothes shuffle

I think part of being a Mum is spending an inordinate amount of time managing drawers. Clothes drawers. Re-folding things shoved and rolled back in, moving the things that no longer fit out, putting freshly laundered things back in, and putting brand new (or freshly hand-me-down) stuff back in. It’s ENDLESS. And if you have kids of the same sex, or younger cousins coming up the ranks behind you, your garage could resemble the reject shop with the amount of plastic containers FILLED with clothes that no longer fit in, labelled with sizes in an attempt to have some sort of order for putting the old stuff in, and the (new) old stuff out.

It’s exhausting.

And it takes up a lot of my mental space…all those clothes that need to be sorted, donated etc. I noticed now that Mags is here that the things I was holding onto? Well, they were crap. Which means that there is SO MUCH STUFF in my garage that needs to be sorted, donated, chucked, ORGANISED. Bluergh.

But I managed a little of it this week for my #onething.

For those of you not playing along, #onething is where I do just ONE THING from my to-do list, but not your every day to-do list. Oh no, this is the list of non essential items that sort of kind of need to get done but it’s no biggie if they don’t get done until next week, or next month, or um, next year. Those things. Just one. Every week.

This week I tackled Maggie’s drawers. She had grown out of all the newborn stuff that was wedged in there and as it’s warmer I needed to go through the bigger baby stuff I had, wash it, get it in those drawers and get the old stuff out. TICK!


Except now I have a pile of newborn baby stuff in piles on a chair in my bedroom that needs to be transferred to the newborn pile of baby clothes in the garage for my little sister in case she has a girl but that means I have to go through all the existing stuff out there and, and, well, NOT BOVVERED. It’s a #onething that has uncovered several things, all of which I don’t have the energy for at the moment. In fact, I’d quite like to set a match to the lot of it.

So I turned my attention to a second #onething that also involved clothes. A request from a mate for summer dresses for her daughter that I said I would do, oh, maybe 8 weeks ago. I did it! Got her some dresses, got them in a bag, and got them to her. TICK!


Now I have a very large January project for me….going through ALL OF THE BOXES. Donating, keeping, sorting and hopefully downsizing the amount of boxes. It’s cluttering my mind just thinking about it all.

What was your one thing this week?
Anyone else got piles and boxes and SO MANY KIDS CLOTHES at your place too?
Got a method to get through it all that doesn’t involve setting fire to it?
Go choose something, right now, just have a look around and there will be something waiting…


  1. Beth, I adore beautiful children’s clothes and I had about 15 of the big plastic tubs full of them. Boys and girls clothes, too! Enough was enough. I went through all of Poet’s clothes first and only kept the things I really loved. I sold a box of 000-1 girl’s clothes to one of my blog readers who had just had a preemie baby girl – she’s basically sorted for an entire year of clothes. And you know what? It felt so good to know the clothes were being worn and loved instead of sitting in a box at the top of the cupboard. All of Che’s clothes size 3-7 went to a friend of mine, a single mum who won’t have to buy clothes for a good few years. She was so grateful and again, it made more sense in every way that those clothes were being used and enjoyed. It’s a big job but my goodness, it’s worth it for all involved! x

  2. Lisa Mckenzie says

    It will get done Beth don’t stress you’ve started and that’s what matters Xx

  3. He clothes shuffle is not something that I thought of or realised would take up so much time before I became a parent! And now I’m hoarding a rediculous amount of baby cloths, furniture, toys, etc for my non existent future niece or nephew! Luckily I have an attic where I can hide this pile o shame!

  4. Katie Elliott says

    Doing the exact same thing here today!

  5. We are done with babies and I did hoard all of our stuff to pass on. Last year my mind was blown. I held a stall at the baby and kids markets and sold all that newborn cuteness and the bits that you no longer use. I made over $1000 and my cupboards were tidy and organised. I held another one last month and another $1000 and Christmas clear out sorted. I plan to do them every year and turn stuff into cash. I am now motivated to clear and rotate the clothes and I seem to buy the next seasons clothes with proceeds from the old stuff. I’m a bit chuffed with myself.

    • Woah!! We’re done with babies too – this makes me want to hold a stall!! But one of my friends has just found out she’s having a boy and is happy to take a bunch of it off my hands!! Gosh, it will be so liberating to have it all out of the house!

    • That’s amazing! I need to do that!

  6. helloo! I am being soo lazy this morning!
    and now it’s one thing! … thanks beth! … tyrant! … can relate!
    i’m playing ladies today and going for drinks this evening so I need to sort what I am actually wearing and perhaps find something to toss!
    all good glad you are getting there! … love m:)X

  7. My babies are 6 & 8 now so it was time to let go. I’ve got a tiny box of super precious baby things & that’s it. As for right now? Well two boys at this age does not make good hand me downs! Also the 6yo is almost as big as his brother! We give anything good to a little 4yo who’s (single) mum appreciates all she can get. The rest is in the bin! So many ruined knees this year I’m thinking of buying knee pads to strap on them before they play!

  8. I cleaned out my large en suite vanity! 1 bag of rubbish, 1 bag of recycling (boxes, empty bottles), 1 box of donated goods. My cleaner loves the latter, she takes the box, dishes out the contents to friends, keeps some herself and dumps the rest. Also did my pj drawer. Need to tackle my wardrobe again, that’s the next project.

  9. I remember the boxes of clothes so well. When we first started foster care we were doing short term care. At any time, with quite short notice, we could have a boy or girl from newborn to 5 arriving. I spread the word among friends that I was happy for any hand me downs as frequently children arrived with little more than the clothes they were wearing. When we stopped doing short term care to just concentrate on some long term children with us I cleared out my boxes. The local op shop must have wondered what had happened……. just imagine size 000- 5 in boys & 000- 5 in girls ….. it was massive. We don’t get given hand me downs now as we have one of the two big girls in the collection of 7 nieces in our family but there is always one of the younger ones to hand our stuff down to.

  10. Oh my gosh this is my one thing exactly well my biggest one thing in a list of a million. I have three girls too. My twins grow slow and their baby sister seems to be growing faster then I can get it out of the boxes. So some of it has been held onto for nothing. I did get rid of 7 bags of toys and clothes this week though so that was huge. Decluttering is on my brain.

  11. Now that my children are older there is less of the clothes shuffle going on – though it still has to happen. But my one thing was to sort through the books and pencils and bits and pieces that the kids all brought home from school for year end. I recycled a pile of workbooks and scrapbooks as high as my knees and threw away 5 bags of broken pencils, chewed rubbers and other such stuff! Still a little sorting to do but I can see the light!

  12. Snap! I did this choice jobbie this week too – got out the next size up for the little man as he was starting to bust out of the 000’s, and also got a bit ruthless with the boxes (and boxes and boxes!) of girls clothes stashed away from when Madam Toddler was tinier. Only kept a couple of sentimental things and stuff that was truly unisex, rest is packed up for friends to collect, or ready for the thrift. Felt so much better when those nappy boxes of not-needed-at-our-house-anymore clothing where tucked up safely in the Vinnies bin at the local shops, ready to help someone in need.

  13. I am the same, have hundreds of plastic storage containers filled with kids clothes, that are supposed to be organised in sizes, but aren’t always. I just did the same reorganising jig yesterday as my nine week old baby girl is too big for some of her 000 clothes can you believe!!
    It’s a little sad to know it’s the last time I’ll see and use these tiny newborn clothes as she’s my third baby but I honestly can NOT see a fourth so that’s that!

  14. We have had a massive clean out this weekend. The spare room wardrobe was home to a plethora of clothes my only daughter had grown out of, but were too good to throw away. After hanging on to them, with the plan to put them on eBay but never getting around to it, I have loaded up the back of my car to drop off to the Salvation Army tomorrow morning. I have also done my wardrobe this afternoon and was brutal with my wardrobe edit, a la Nikki at Styling You. Lots of room now for the post Christmas sales 😉

  15. Yep, been there boxes and boxes of it all and no one to give it to do I washed it all and ironed it all and made pretty little labels and set up shop at the baby and kids market and sold the lot, saved all the $$$$$ and put it towards a trip overseas with my family. That was 4 years ago I’ve restocked but unfortunately less of a market for this age range so my girlfriend inherently it all now.

  16. The children don’t live here anymore so I don’t have the clothes shuffle to worry about.

    I did, today, go through all of the birthday and Christmas cards. I made the hard decision of tossing them, with my children’s consent of course. I have scrap books full of their birth cards and early years birthday cards which will be kept.

    It’s hard to decide what to keep!

    • I find cards really tricky – I have kept some of my girls little ones from birthdays and christenings and particularly from older generations who have passed away – it’s impossible to decide what to keep!

  17. I have 5 boys here…so its clothes shuffle when i get my shit organised…but when i do it has to be in one swoop from room too room and the last being the chuck or donate bag.. good luck beth ☺

  18. Well done Beth getting it done before it overwhelms you! Keeping a couple of special items is all the go, but how do we store them to have as keepsakes I wonder? Without the moths etc munching on them that is.
    I’ve always passed on most of my kid’s clothes as soon as they’re too small for my kids. I love how a little friend will wear a preloved item of my kid’s clothes with love. My kids have too with hand me downs “This is Rosie’s skirt and mine too!” so proud of it, cute! I also remember feeling special wearing dress my older cousin passed onto me. It was worn on best occasions as it was brown velvet and matching patent Mary-Jane shoes, so 70’s!
    Also, with my girls so many years apart it makes me realise how majority of the fashion changes if we hold onto things too long, and unless we pass it on it may not ever get worn again and just end up as landfill. My pet hate!
    There are some wonderful agencies set up to distribute clothing to Mums & Kids in need, St Kilda Mums is one in Victoria who do an absolute stellar job, lots of friends have donated cots, strollers, high chairs etc.
    Also cloth nappies and maternity bras can be donated to Uplift Bras.
    Hope this helps.
    Cheers Liz X

    • Thanks for sharing those places…luckily I have never had any moth issues…they store well in the garage in those containers. A quick wash and they are good as new!

  19. Yes I tackled this major task back a few months ago before we moved house. After 3 kids I needed to move baby stuff on, I grouped, sorted, washed, folded & bagged up. I sent all this off to st kilda mums a charity in Melbourne run by volunteers to give to those in need who have new babies and are going without & struggling. It was a good feeling to let go & do this, the warm fuzzy from helping others!

  20. Bub #1 was a girl and #2 a boy. So thankfully it means we can just pass things along as they outgrow them. We’ve had one friend due with a girl and another who just had a boy so it’s worked out perfectly.
    I am enjoying getting rid of things. My family are terrible at holding onto things so it’s a new skill to just get rid of stuff. But so good!

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