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Do What Ya Gotta Do.

It's either ingenius or poor parenting.
I don't know what to say lately.  I feel like I'm not 23 any more and I don't have the energy for deep cleaning too very often.  I don't have the energy for blog controversy, either.  I even started a new blog about homeschooling Emperor that is entirely controversy-free.  It's just about... homeschooling Emperor.  That's all.

Take a wild guess at the blog URL and see you there if you find it.

Anyway.  Lately I've been digging into the children's bags of hand-me-downs and getting ready for the change of seasons.  I took a picture to share with you.

Here's a little peek into what "large family living" is really like.  Mom rips the doors off the ol' closet and sets up a shelf like this from which the children select all their clothes.  Elf and Emperor share this shelf and their underwear and socks are in the milk bin.

Some of the things that I think will fit toward the END of winter season are stored in a tall dresser nearby.  I simply cannot dive, midseason, through 50 garbage bags full of clothes to find something only slightly larger than what's already out...

Each child has one pair of shoes, one pair of sandals for summertime, and one pair of winter boots.  No extras, sorry.  As it is having 16+ pairs of shoes in my entryway isn't the first impression I like to make on guests.  (I have no guests, but since I am blogging, I am *pretending* that part.)

In truth, my basement looks like something out of Hoarders, tenth season, where the producers get really desperate and start interviewing families whose problems aren't quite 183 dead cat bad, but bad enough that you feel better about your own cleaning and organizing skills when you are finished watching.

Well, what's been up with you guys?


  1. Looks pretty well organized to me! But then I don't have the trash bags full of extra clothes. Everything I have fits into 1/2 a closet and a few drawers.... :) but that's after tossing all the stuff that doesn't fit!

  2. You are amazing! It may not be much of a compliment considering how much I whine about my 1 special needs kid--but you are a constant source of inspiration for me. I tell myself if Happy Elf Mom can do it then so can I. Love the organization. Recently did that myself for the upcoming summer season. (PS--we wore Mrs C hand me downs all winter and look forward to wearing them next winter too!)

  3. That looks awesome! I can just see that at my house, though. It would look like that for... oh, about a day! Maybe when my younger two are a little older.

    I hear you about the shoes!! We can only have the amount that will fit into our front entrance shoe closet, and

  4. My dream house has a family closet... right off the laundry room.

    I limit the number of things my kids can have too. I am starting to cringe whenever someone mentions hand me downs. I like them, they're free after all. But the bags usually contain far more than we need. So, I end up spending a day going through, trying on, sorting, throwing some things away because they are not worth passing along and dumping a large amount of what I am given at a second hand store...

  5. I remember my mum having a similar system with clothes for me and my sister. A few times a year a day was set aside for the trying on of clothes that had been stored to see what would fit immediately, what needed taking up or down, what was too worn out to last another season. I don't remember my brother taking part in the trying on sessions, but I suppose he must have.
    I congratulate you on your organisational skills, that closet looks so very tidy!

  6. Hopefully, everything is in working order and I can leave a comment...

    You are so NEAT. I mean that literally...

  7. Grandpa, I'm sure your house is perfect and you can find everything because my brother and I aren't messing everything up any more. :)

    Bonnie, as I was going through the clothes this summer I literally threw much of it in the trash. When you're dealing with sweatpants that have been cut with scissors into "shorts" and then pooped in 50 times... well... it's not worth the postage to New Zealand. I did think of you though and look for good stuff. Mostly? When I was "donating" or pitching I was going "yesssss." lol

    BTW, you are not whining but that is another post altogether!

    Sue, the two youngest still need their clothes picked out, etc. and by *no* means will this shelf have such neatly folded items by spring. I took a picture so I could document the neatness... ever feel the need to do that?

    Julie, that's awesome! I think my big caution with someone else's hand-me-downs is I'd feel bad if I gave away one of their favourite outfits that they were looking forward to seeing my kid wearing. I mean, if I had friends, that would feel really bad to do that to them. But my girl is not wearing a short skirt with "Pimpalicious" on the hiney or whatnot, you know?

    But the *magic* of having a zoodle of kids and no relatives/friends helping in your day-to-day life is that all the hand-me-downs are things you picked out for another child. So that part is good.

    River you prolly don't remember your brother going through this because your Mum likely waited until you guys were done, cleaned up that mess and THEN tackled the brother. Or the other way 'round. Boys are not fun in this department and getting them to try on clothes is not one of the joys of parenting 'em.

    Except for Woodjie. Woodjie loves when we help him wear new things, clap and exclaim about the WOODJIE FASHION SHOWWWW!! Elf would narrate and we would all have a good time. Then again, he's little and cute still. :)

    Brains, I have had extraordinary difficulty leaving comments as well... and thank you.

  8. You Should see our attic and Basement. My step-dad's a semi Hoarder, I swear, the attic is supposed to be ours.. half is filled with his crap.. just random stuff in boxes that don't even make sense. and the basement is the same way.

    my mom has slowly been throwing crap away every week from the basement and he has not even noticed yet.. we spent an hour organizing all his tools, which he has 3 and 4 of the same things that he had no clue he even had. I still don't think he's noticed..

    and don't even get me started on the garage.. you are supposed to put cars in there. but there has never been enough room in there. Who even knows what is in there..

  9. I found it a nightmare with kids clothes when I had three girls and three boys living at home! Changing the seasons clothes was a huge job, so I can appreciate how hard it is for you too.
    My kids only ever had one pair of summer and winter shoes too... it's so expensive to shod that many feet!
    OH and let's not even go into freaking socks/knickers/bras!

  10. I am astounded that you try to seasonally wrangle wardrobes for 6 children!

    I do like the shelving in the closet idea...I think that would be so much easier for Syd than hanging everything, but her closet is so narrow, shelves would have to be tall and skiiiiiinnnnny. :/

    I loves ya, and I am always so impressed with what you do considering the total lack of family/friend help and support. I know that an occasional blog comment is NOTHING compared to actually showing up at your doorstep with a cup of hot coffee (with a touch of Swiss Miss) and sitting down and really talking...but my virtual hugs have just as much friendship intended.


  11. Looks like we have something else in common... I don't use dressers either. Things just get jammed in there and forgotten. Because I only have 2 kids, I just hang everything up and put undies in baskets. If they want to wear a turtleneck sweater in August, they can go for it.

  12. Shelly, my situation is so similar it is frightening. I cannot walk safely through my garage and I am not even kidding.

    Chris, thankfully I don't have to deal with kids' bras yet!! *whew*

    Blondee, you are awesome, you know. PS Tall skinny closets I think would be perfect for built-in bookshelf and then? Lots of books. Where to put the clothes, I couldn't tell you. :)

    Andrea, I'm surprised we have the same system! Yay! It's because the system is brilliant, really, though here? We can't have winter and summer stuff out at the same time. Too many people/too little space. 2200 sq. feet and 8 people; do the math...

  13. Yeah, that's tight. I grew up with a very big family, 11 people at full capacity and only 1 bathroom! Off season clothes went under the bed, and too often, winter clothes were transformed into summer clothes through the magic of scissors.

  14. *zing!* I was just writing Bonnie about my magical summer clothes in this very comment section..!


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