Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trip Prep: The Great Sort-n-Pack

We are no where near "summer clothes" season around here.  But, we are headed to the desert and the beach so we need to have appropriate attire.  My three year old, who gets so hot in her regular clothes that she constantly strips to her Birthday Suit--even when the rest of us are wearing a couple of layers, plus thick socks--especially needs shorts and t-shirts.
Therefore, we cannot just pick a few outfits out of our drawers; we must dig into the summer clothes bins.

This is how we come to the name The Great Sort-n-Pack.  We are talking about a serious job here.

Step 1:
Wash everything.  Dry everything.  Then, yes, it must be folded and put away.

I always have the children put away their own clothes and even though I hand them only shirts or only pants or only underwear and tell them exactly which drawers to place their clothing, by the end of the season, everything is all mixed up and no one can close any drawers.  This problem leads to ...

Step 2:
Remove everything from every drawer.

Step 3:
Look it over for ruinous stains, tears or other signs of having been handed down too many times.  Throw those unwearable items out (or recycle into rags or make something incredibly creative and blog about it).

Step 4:
Separate the good clothes into two piles: clothes that fit now and clothes that fit last October.

Step 5:
Put the still-fitting clothes away.  The second pile needs to be divided into two more piles: clothes to keep and hand down and clothes to offer to someone with lesser taste than your own.  Or a costume bin to fill.  Or someone who is more creative than you and can make that ugly blouse cute again.  Between the six people's wardrobe that you purged, fill three kitchen sized garbage bags to donate.

Step 6:  Just so you know, this is going to be where you will run into trouble.
Pull out those seasonal bins.  Bury your head in your hands and sob for a few minutes because all of the careful separating you did last fall was undone by your loving children who bleeping have no idea what a huge job you have to do every six months.  Then, get yourself together because you are right in the middle of this ordeal.  You cannot quit!  Line up the kids and have them try on everything in the tub that you thought might fit them six months after you packed them.  Make more piles.  That is the children's clothes.  My clothes were in a cardboard box in the garage.

As you saw yesterday, they were nested over the winter.  I am such a horrible wimp about this particular phobia!  It took all of my willpower to make myself pull out the shorts I needed.  I just knew the demon mice were going to begin jumping out at me!!  Luckily, the shorts were poking out just a bit or there is no way I could have done it.  They were thoroughly sterilized yesterday.  The box remained right were I dropped it until this afternoon.  A hero came!  Thank you, Abraham!  You did more good than you may ever know.

Step 7:
From the now cleansed, shipshape, and fitting wardrobe, compile a certain quantity of outfits.  This should be the easiest step, and it mostly is, but when you live in hand-me-downs, you don't always get matching outfits.  But you can do it because obviously you can do anything if you can pull shorts out of a rodent infested coffer.

Step 8:
You are finally there.  Now you get to pack the clothes.  (And bring other clothes to a donation center.)


The Great Sort-n-Pack is complete!


  1. Today, Emily, you are my hero!!! Seriously! I'm facing the same great challenge here (only I don't have to pack for a fun trip at the end) but today it seems overwhelming. My family room looks like it threw up little girl clothes and throwing it all in garbage bags and donating to good will sounds so much easier. The only problem is that I'd have four little girls running around in birthday suits- I guess that wouldn't be so bad if we could just stay inside all summer- HAHA!

  2. I hope Disneyland is absolutely wonderful today!! And you are very welcome about helping with the "situation" previously described.

  3. Alternate post title suggestion: Why I want to raise my kids in Hawaii.