October Toy and Clothes Tetris

So, it’s October, which means that weather is changing.  Which means that a certain wardrobe changeover is required for two children.  But it’s not like for grown-ups because you don’t just have two categories – winter and summer.  You have something like 5 categories: a.) Summer that fit great but won’t fit next year, b.) summer that might fit next year, c.) Winter that is too big, d.) winter that fits just right, and e.) winter that is too small.  The trick,  you see, is to go through your kids’ clothes and only have drawers and closets with category e clothes.  Sounds easy, right?

Just sit down and have at those clothes and sort them out.  Now, add in 3 bags of clothes from the cousin with the super-awesome wardrobe who somehow never stains anything or wears them out.  You have to mix those in to avoid buying things.  Still, all good stuff and sounds easy.

But the clothes start to come in faster.  My daughter has the addition of a November birthday.  So, already, family are starting to ask what the kids need for birthdays and holidays.  Have to get to that sorting so I can answer the question – the truth is that I have absolutely no freaking idea.

You have to find a spot where all of these clothes can be sorted into the proper categories.

So, you try to go through it a little bit at a time, right?  That makes sense.  As you do a load of laundry, sort out the not fitting so good out of season stuff.  But since you’re slowly sorting, now you need a spot where you can collect the small, summer stuff.  Perhaps a nice bag in the corner of the room or a basket, right?

Good, we’re doing great here.  On our way to neatly organized drawers and closets! Clothes are coming in, but we’ve got this under control.  We’ll just sort and put away and get to the bottom of this “What clothes do the kids need?” question.

Enter two-year-old and four-year-old.  They spy basket and/ or bag of ill-fitting-out-of-season clothes.  Immediately begin putting these clothes on.  Or, at least removing them from the bags/baskets.  Perhaps because you’re busy trying to fold the other laundry or heaven forbid sort the items in the overflowing closets and drawers.  Now the kids have worn the clothes that were designated for removal and the clothes are dirty because they dragged them across the floor, which likely hasn’t been swept because you’re trying to get a handle on this clothes situation.  Now, they go in the laundry again…

It’s okay, though, it’s a nice Sunday afternoon, you’re putting some laundry away, getting ahead of things a little.

You realize some of the clothes from your little collection area have wound up in the toy box, too, which needs to be gone through.  Because you have similar categories of toys, too – too young, too old, just right.  More toys are coming soon, too, on the way with birthdays and holidays.

So you take a minute to start to go through those. Gotta make room. You realize that the toys have subcategories, too, like “needs pics for FB Tag Sale,” niece may want that, “no idea what to do with these little things; who can I pawn this crap off on?!”  You absolutely cannot throw them away, they are plastic and batteries and built for leaking toxins into soil.  You’ll just basically be killing sea turtles and may as well head out and slit the throats some delightful endangered species yourself if you put those in the trash for the landfill.  So you put all of these in the office to get to in a while.

Then, you get back to the kids’ rooms to fold and put laundry away, and do a little sorting.

Guess what the kids find while you’re busy?!  A super cool stash of toys in the office!  They can’t leave those in the office…

And this is when mommy stops to blog and cry a little.

And then someone needs a snack.

And then there’s an email – what about that <insert task I’d committed to completing>?

And it’s already 12:30 pm and we were going to stop by and see daddy.  Or visit the playground.  But I haven’t event vacuumed yet.  And we’ve got a side dish to prepare and candy before a trunk-or-treat.

And this is why my brain buzzes all the time and I can’t. ever. shut. it. off.

I recognize that this is a first world problem – too many clothes and toys.  And I’m grateful.  But I’m stressed and the guilt never seems to end; guilt over throwing away unused toys, not getting tasks done because of the sorting, not letting kids play with toys they suddenly want again…  There has got to be a better use of my brain than this continuous logic puzzle of “stuff.”

But this time of year it’s like Tetris.  I am constantly moving and shifting clothes and toys to perfectly fit the next onslaught of generosity directed at your children.  Because if heaven forbid that l-shape goes on upside down on top of the highest part of your puzzle, next thing you know, all the shapes are just piling up and piling up and next thing you know you’re at the top and it’s game over?

Oh if only….





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