That time of the year is officially HERE!
We no longer need to rush back indoors at 5 pm just because its dark already. The sweet floral fragrance of Spring combined with the melodious buzzing of gazillion mosquitoes, greets you upon stepping out in the streets while the whirring of ceiling fans are all set to produce some great white noise to amp up your night sleep. THE time is finally here to bid adieu to those endless layers of clothing to swap them for some single breathable pieces to beat the trials and tribulations of a Pakistani summer day.
Moms & Momsters! SUMMERS ARE OFFICIALLY HERE!
Speaking of which reminds me that there are piles and piles of clothing pieces scattered all over my place, at corners even unknown to me sometimes, thanks to a toddler who is proving to be handful :p But as it goes, it makes me a very content person when my ‘nesting’ needs have been catered to just right. I am not claiming to be a huge clean freak, NOT AT ALL, to me too much perfection in cleanliness indicates the place is not ‘well lived in’ (me goes philosophical ha-ha) Simply put, i find profound relaxation in finding things where they should be.
This did NOT come ‘naturally’ to me. The urge to find ‘everything organized’ falls into your lap automatically as soon as you find yourself living alone. The old adage is not that wrong after all that ‘with responsibility comes accountability’. My OCD towards being ‘clutter-free’ skyrocketed only when my girl was born (side effects of becoming a Momster). You see, with barely any time at hand, i was not left with much option but to ‘adult’ into a more refined ‘home-maker’. As a parent (especially first timer) we put an insane amount of thought and sentiments to every bit of knick-knack that we accumulate for our little ones. If anything, they deserve not to be frittered away right? While toys, craft supplies and books serve their purpose for long, outgrown clothes are the trickiest. Chances are that they will remain packed now until the next arrival or perhaps when your kids have their own bunch of kids, if it was your last one or the gender turned out different.
So how do you pack? (Tips that worked for me)
Here are a few tips for what has worked for me:
1.Minimalism – Its smart to possess less, you get to save for stuff that can add REAL value. But being a minimalist in terms of your children’s things is ‘common sense’. Babies outgrow clothes quicker than your eye blinks, then why the splurge? Also, the less they possess, the less you pack. Period. (Scroll through till the end for a few tips to help you save by adopting a minimalist lifestyle)
2. Worth – Man up and ask yourself the critical question. Is the piece REALLY worth keeping in the long run? Worth just doesn’t mean monetary. As a rule, i usually stick to the stuff which is rare to find for kids, especially in Pakistan. But worth of a clothing piece is totally relative, like say you might be more biased to keep all the stuff your mom gifted, yes? 😉
3. Donate, hand-me-down, gift or toss out – Don’t fall into the temptation of keeping everything lying there just because its less in quantity. If you feel something hasn’t seen the light of the day up till now, it never will. Just pass it on to somebody who might need it more than you do.
4. Make batches ‘STAGE’ WISE – One of the BEST things a mom could do. Pack clothes by dividing them into stages. Sooper easy to pack, sooper easy to locate. For instance Summer clothes (0-6 months), Winter clothes (6-12 months) etc.
5. Tag/Label clearly – I don’t know how obvious it is but for me its a MUST. Tag your boxes VERY CLEARLY, with every itsy bitsy detail. Expect yourself to remember those tiny bits after a couple of tots a few years down the road?? Frankly, I CANT! Use a marker or stick notes. Mine go like this in the bracket Winter clothes 6-12 months (coats, PJs, pants, Boots, dresses, sweaters) etc
6. Run through laundry – EVERY SINGLE THING. Wash, ensure there are no stains and of course make certain that they are 100% dry. Humidity attracts molds and consequently bugs.
7. Use comforter bags or plastic bags – I would be honest i LOVE the idea of sorting and saving clothes in huge plastic containers like these, tagged neatly, but i haven’t been able to find such big sized yet cost effective containers in Pakistan (please let me know if you know any place). So for me, those spacious quilt and comforter plastic bags have done wonders. For smaller (and lesser) items like shoes, caps/ hats etc, i make use of those bags in which come your ‘designer lawn’ and bed sheets 😉 I love it that both of these types have zippers, sooo convenient. I put these in cardboard boxes and label them accordingly.
8. Store the boxes in DRY, COOL place – To keep the precious little stuff you have successfully saved away from getting damp, mildewed or bitten by insects, store your boxes somewhere cool, dry and shady. I am blessed to have AMPLE storing space in the top of closets and store room, which has worked excellently for me in past few years. You might wanna dig in to find the ‘sweet spot’ of your house, a basement, store, attic, garage or whatever you have. If you are using cardboard boxes then NO DAMP, HUMID place please.
9. Seal the Deal – Once you are confident you no longer need a certain box for some time, seal it, stamp it and send it away 😉 I usually don’t tape the boxes i might need in the other season. This is because up till now i make the lil one wear last season’s clothes and this has been my most favorite thing to save A LOT of money. Scroll down till the end of the post to find out how i make that work.
10. Monitor at least once an year – Storing your stuff for long run doesn’t mean the liability is over. Like a smart mom, do check on the ‘general health’ of the stuff you stored every once in a year. Better to nip the evil (if there is any) in the bud.
Quick tips to Save by adopting Minimalism
– For the first year, a couple of one piece footed rompers (my MOST favorite things) and a few comfortable but baby-smart clothes for outdoor purpose should do you JUST fine.
– Leave your ‘maternal mushy self’ back home while baby shopping, i swear :p
– Pay no heed to those who tell you babies would need an entire wardrobe because they are some kind of MESS worms (EVERYBODY told me that hmph) Keeping constant those RARE accidents, cleanliness is what you can totally instil and administer. If all else fails, a weekly round of laundry can definitely save your ass instead of hoarding a stock of unnecessary clothing that will outgrow in few weeks/ months.
– Neutral ROCKS – Not only because it will save you some bucks and space, but because they look cool too. Under 1 infants change shades and colors like a chameleon (creepy thought right?) and out of personal experience they look the cutest, most angelic in white, beige, nude, grays. And FYI rompers are unisex!
– And HERE COMES MY GOLDEN ADVICE. Put old clothes to use smartly to recreate the look. (comes easier for girls) I have a thousand examples of how i have done just the same last 2.5 years. A frock can be turned into a shirt with tights (believe it or not, last summers i made my then 1.5 year old wear a 0-3 ‘months’ net dress with skinny pants and she looked cute;) ), a long kameez can be used an year later as a short shirt with sharara (true story), a long t-shirt looks sooper cool with shorts and can be used next season with pants as a cropped top (always a savior). Same goes for jackets/ sweaters, longer ones with pants while shorter ones with skirts. 80% of the clothes my girl wore this winter were the same she wore last winters, i kid you not 😉
– Quite contrary to what the text books taught us, i believe Pakistan has just two weathers; extreme winters and extreme summers. Those cutest Springy and Fall collections that made your eyes pinwheel and heart skip a beat, might be the most impractical purchases EVER. For instance, i don’t get pants (especially jeans) for my girls for summers. Shorts, skirts and light dresses are all that makes sense in a sooper sweaty and sweltering heat. Buy WISE!
So moms, are you done with your seasonal packing session? I would love to hear what tricks and strategies you use and what has worked best for you.
In case you are fretting over the clutter in your toddler’s play area/ room, i did a post sharing 10 simple storage ideas to keep clutter away.
Happy Summers! xx