I always do a seasonal clothes swap, giving away outgrown clothes, putting hand-me-downs away, etc.
I always go to Goodwill on Dollar Day and Savers on Half-Price Holidays to stock up on items in the next few sizes up so that when one of my child has a sudden growth spurt, I have clothes at the ready.
What I have never done is an actual inventory of the clothes to see exactly what we have and what we need. I just kinda have an idea that "oh, I think we need some winter jammies" or whatever.
Today I decided to actually pull down the boxes, go through each size and make a list of what we have so that when I shop I can be purposeful about it and not just buy something because "it's only a dollar".
I just did the first two boxes, size 4T, which Justin will be growing into soon.
I got a first class illustration on why I needed to do this.
See, these are hand-me-downs, so it's only logical to me to think that Justin will not need anything in this size, seeing as how these were all Jason's clothes.
This is not the case.
Somehow, we have ten pairs of jeans/casual pants and six pairs of dress pants.
Six, quite worn.
Two sets and a few mismatches.
None. (Actually, I realized that I had already added them to his jammie drawer, so he does have some).
I looked at that and thought: Why on earth does he have so many bottoms and hardly any tops?
I think what happened was the tops got worn or stained, so they were purged, while, for some reason, I thought we needed more pants, so I bought a few more! I know I've bought at least two pairs of jeans in this size recently.
So, this list thing is quite needed. Now I know that I need to look for dress shirts, a couple of nice casual shirts, jammies, and a couple of sweaters.
I also realize how incredibly blessed we are to even be able to have this much clothing. Thanks to tons of generous hand-me-downs and thrift store sales, my kids never have to worry about going without.