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Change in seasons brings about wardrobe questions

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
It's that time of year when I hear, "Mom, can I wear shorts?" Of course, my softball kid is of the opinion when softball starts, it's time for shorts! Whether or not it's 30 degrees or 75 degrees, it's time for shorts because softball is starting. I've been putting off the winter-summer changeover in the Blaylock House, because I can find this activity very frustrating. Over the years in an effort to minimize the yelling and tears — from me and them– I discovered a few strategies that help tremendously.
The first thing I try to do is not keep anything from the previous year that was definitely too small or no one liked. If I have the plan of "passing" it down, I will keep it in a Rubbermaid box and clearly label it with the size and gender of the clothing. I've found one of the keys to a quick and easy changeover is labeling boxes clearly.
When I'm ready to do the sorting I've discovered a method that works well for us and minimizes the number of times clothing has to be tried on. It works like this: have several laundry baskets ready and labeled "Too Small/Don't Like," "Too Big," "Keepers." I have one child, usually the biggest, try on the clothes and we separate them as they go. The next child only has to sort and try on clothes in the "Too Small/Don't Like," baskets. The last child, usually the smallest, only has to sort through what's left. The "Too Small/Don't Like" is bagged up, labeled and given away as soon as possible. One thing I do have to watch, is one of my daughters is very sentimental about her clothing and even if it doesn't fit or is almost thread-bare, she will try to keep it. We often have to make a trade off if she gives this up she can have something else.
After that, all that is left is inventory.
I take the "Keepers" and decide what is going to be play/work clothes, school clothes and church clothes. I have the girls come back one at a time and we count how many outfits they have in each category. If more than one girl likes the same outfit I only count it once. (Yes, I'm evil. I sometimes make the girls share things!) The girls and I make a list of what each girl needs and what we need to buy or what I'm going to sew.
I have learned over the years to only take one or two shopping with me at a time. Also, as they have gotten older, they get to have a "budget" for new clothes.
They are told they can spend "x" amount of money. If they choose to buy things that aren't practical, but are "what everybody else has," then they have to live with it. I encourage them to wait for sales and explain how best to use their money, but in the end I will sometimes let them make a bad choice. I know. I know. I'm a mean Mom.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion to share please e-mail it to: moms-corner@juno.com

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