Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I'm Overwhelmed

I am not a sloppy person. In fact, I really enjoy order, though I am by no means a perfectionist and can turn a blind eye to most anything if I'm not in the mood to deal with it. However, there are some areas where I am just really not good at keeping order and one of those is organizing clothes, particularly the clothes that the kids have grown out of. And I've done such a poor job of it over the years that I am now completely overwhelmed and feel like I'm having a panic attack every time I look at this:

And this:
Yes, that is a pile of clothes stacked up the the nursery next to the crib and in the closet that Tia and Landon have outgrown. Only Tia and Landon - that doesn't include Sloan's clothes - I haven't really gone through his yet so his drawers are busting with clothes, as are Tia's as you can see here: Because Sloan and Landon were born in different seasons, a lot of Sloan's stuff didn't fit Landon. Now, however, he's getting to an age where things are going to start working. Here is the problem - I have about 12 Rubber Maid tubs in our basement filled with clothes, but they are not really categorized by size - they are to an extenet, then I got lazy and just started tossing stuff wherever it would fit. So, poor Landon is squeezing into smaller clothes because I don't want to buy him new clothes until I survey what I already have. But I don't know how to survey what I have without taking it all out and stacking it according to size, which would take up a massive amount of space which means I would then need to be prepared to put it all back in some sort of order which means I need about two days without any kids underfoot because I cannot possibly take on a task like that and still try to keep up with them...*gasp, wheeze, puff* I go back and forth about whether or not to have a garage sale and just get rid of most of it, which, again, would take time to organize, which leads me back into my cycle of panic. But I am not quite ready to get rid of everything yet. I'm pretty sure Lee and I aren't going to have any more children biologically but part of me fears that if I get rid of everything I'll pop up pregnant a month later, like I'll have some gigantic target on my back or something. It's also just hard to get rid of the baby stuff because it means it's over for good. I know that's silly, but I'm just not quite there yet - but I am getting there so we'll see. No matter what, though, something has to be done and I don't know how to get it done. Thus my need for a paper bag and a dark room. I just don't know where to start. Ahhhhh! Okay, now that I let that out, I'm going to take a deep breath and shove this to the back of my mind for a little while longer. Maybe if I ignore it long enough it'll all just go away...


Three Against One said...

Oh my gosh I know exactly how you feel as I have been going through all this exactly as you have. I get overwhelmed very easily and lucky for me Cory knows this. He has basically been the one once I get all the clothes out of the closets and stacked in the piles he comes along and puts them in the rubbermaid tubs, labels them and takes them to the basement.
As for getting rid of the baby things I had a hard time with this too. I felt the same way as you, the this is so final feeling. Just because I agreed to get rid of the clothes and pack n play, swing, megasaucer doesn't mean I have closed my mind off completely to having another. Only time will tell!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could get it all done in one day...Like if your mom could take the kids for a day, and you could spend the whole thing getting all of the clothes out from downstairs and sorting it, then putting it away in labeled containers. Just an idea.

I'm with you on getting rid of baby stuff. Just can't do it yet....too final.

blessedpath said...

Oh......:I feel partly responsible for your state of mind. Too many hammy-downs?? It IS soooo overwhelming. I usually get organized just as another season is about to basically too late! I cant close Chases drawers! I guess the bag of clothes I have for Landon will just have to go back down in my basement til you are ready. When we are all healthy down here, I would be glad to have the kids down so you can begin to tackle it, let me know!

Tiffany said...

You've gotten a lot of good advice here Kelli. Just don't shove that elephant down your throat in one bite. Remember "What about Bob"? It's all about the baby steps. Baby steps through the door, baby steps to the pile....he he he he Try and make it fun for yourself. Have Amy our someone take the kids, put on some good music, make yourself a beverage and go at it.

Don't get rid of it just yet. You never know what you could find in there! Plus, you could always do something really great with it. Like give it to friends, to a church, to your local M.O.P.'s group or a shelter! Find a way to make it fun and you'll do great. And then come brag about the shining beauty of your organization right here so we can all give you the standing ovation!

kelly said...

again, another reason i like reading your blog - it's preparing me for my future!!! i'm already struggling to keep hudson's closet organized & can't imagine what i'll be like w/ more kids! i can so identify with that panic feeling! i too, like a sense of order, but once the house, or hudson's clothes, or whatever gets out of control, i panic & hybernate & then it becomes a HUGE mess! so you're not alone :)
good luck, kelli - show all of us budding moms that organization CAN win!!!

Bethany said...

Organizing the outgrown clothes is actually one of my FAVORITE things to do!! Somehow it returns order to my very chaotic world, and the control freak in me loves the neat little piles. Ahhhhh, control over my tiny domain! (don't tell Amy, but 99% of the reason I buy more clothes at yardsales is just so I can stash them in those addictive Rubbermaid tubs!)

Now, perhaps you could take advantage of your friend (ME!!) and do a favor swap of some sort. We could pawn our children off on someone else, or put all four of them in your basement, and I would be happy-- no, elated-- to tackle your project with you :) In exchange, you could whisper potty training suggestions in Enna's ear every time you pass by! :) Just call me.

bugs and sunshine said...

where the heck did you meet your friend bethany and can i have her number? ha!

i think clothes are an attack from the devil on mom's trying to serve the LORD!

a friend and i were just having the conversation yesterday about how stuff everywhere gets so overwhelming and makes you paralyzed where you can't get jack squat done.

you may have seen the website, but the best advice she's given me is this.

if you look at something and you don't love it anymore or it doesn't give you joy right now then toss it. if you love it then keep it.

we've been giving stuff away like crazy to freecycle-i know you love that site! knowing it is going to someone who really needs it and can't afford it helps!

good luck and have some chocolate or chips and salsa man! you've earned it! baby steps to the pantry. baby steps to the couch. baby steps to the remote for olympic therapy...

Anonymous said...

Remember who's coming to see you this week-end! The mother-in-law who loves to organize. I would be happy to help you if you want me to. We might not be able to get it all done, but I bet we could make a big dent in it. Just a thought! See you very early Friday morning.
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

OK, I posted this long and awesome comment yesterday, buy, alas, it didn't go through! Arg. I say take advantage of Barbara and Bethany! When people offer to help, use em'! Also, even if it totally overwhelms you, at least it will be short. My idea was freecycle...but I see my friend Anna already mentioned that. Well, have a good weekend! And if you don't love it, TOSS it!

Hyser Family said...

As I was reading your post I was thinking that this sounded like just the project for Bethany. Then I read the comments and see she volunteered herself already. :) It really would make her day. And... you inspired me. I just sorted through my kids clothes and moved out the stuff they outgrew. Their dresser is very happy right now.