To keep the maternity/newborn stuff, or not to keep??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm due with my 4th child in a couple of months. I've been doing some reading here about decluttering, and the idea of getting rid of stuff rather than storing really appeals to me. But, I'm not sure if this will be our last child. I'm thinking there will probably be a couple more eventually... We do know we'll get rid of the infant carseat after the baby outgrows it, because it will reach that 6-year mark (after which it is not supposed to be used) before we would have another child anyway. So that's one less thing to store. But what about my maternity clothes? Granted, some of them are stretched out in the panels from going through 4 pregnancies and I might get rid of them anyway. Some of the clothes I have not worn at all yet this time. But what about the basics, like my denim capris that I really like? Or my favorite shirt and skirt? Should I just keep a few things in case I get pregnant again, and give away the rest? Most days I just wear shorts and a tank top, so it's not like I couldn't buy that sort of thing again if I needed to, right?

What about the outgrown baby clothes? I already did a major purging about a year ago, but I still have a ton of stuff. I can see keeping the newborn sleepers because they are gender neutral and only fit for a few weeks anyway (at least on my big babies!). Because I got rid of so much, when this baby is born I will have to buy him/her some clothes. But after they are outgrown as well, do I start accumulating again, or immediately get rid of them? I'm thinking I should be careful not to go crazy with purchases and only get the number of outfits that we NEED, and take good care of them, and then maybe sell them on ebay when we are done with them? I really love shopping for baby clothes anyway; if I were to have another child I wouldn't mind having to start over again.

The problem is: I think that dh assumes that since we have already had this many kids, we should already own everything we'll ever need. So then when I tell him, no, actually the new baby will need clothes, he doesn't understand why I don't have everything we need already. Ever since I got pregnant I started saving all of my kids' outgrown clothes again; after the baby is born and I know the gender I can sort it and see what we need to keep.

Sorry for the rambling; I am just struggling with this a little--- part of me wants to simplify so much that there's very little sitting around in boxes being stored. Part of me wants to make sure I have everything we need "just in case" we can't afford it later or whatever. Like with kids' jeans or denim shorts- we have them in every size, and if they are in good shape, why get rid of them? Especially since they are expensive new. When I found a bunch at the Goodwill for $1.50 each I had to buy them (and they will wear them; the question is whether to keep them, JUST IN CASE I have a 5 th child eventually).

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#2 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 12:16 PM
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If you have the space and you are not sure this is your last child I would hang on to some of the stuff.

HOWEVER do a serious sort and purge.

Maternity clothes - Get rid of anything that is stained, faded, ripped, out of style or just worn out. Get rid of anything that you do not wear for any reason at all!!! Just keep the things that are in good condition that you know you will wear. I limited myself to one rubbermaid bin of clothes.

Kids clothes - Do the same. Sort out any worn out, ripped, stained and out of style clothes. Get rid of anything that you didn't use for ANY reason. Be ruthless! Based on your experience with your other kids you know how much you actually need. Think about how often you do laundry, hand-me-downs from friends and relatives, gifts, etc. Then sort the things you decide to keep and label each box/bin clearly with the size, gender and season contained in each box.

Then if you decide to have another child eveything will be neatly stored, easy to find and ready to wear.

If you decide not to have another child give the boxes to a friend or charity. They will really appreciate it. Or there is always E-Bay or a consignment store if you need extra $$.

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#3 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 12:17 PM
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I would do this - as you go through clothes for the new baby to wear, anything you don't put on the new baby, but is gender neutral or gender appropriate I would toss. Meaning, if you aren't going to put it on this baby, you probably won't put it on the next baby. Anything badly stained or torn, etc. Other than that I would personally keep it until I knew I was done.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 12:25 PM
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The first question si whether or not you have storage space that is outside of your living space. I would not sacrifice living space or clutter up living space for "maybes". I am sort of in the same shoes. We are pretty sure we only want one child (about 90% sure) but we are on a very fixed income so if we did have another, I cannot afford to replace all of the clothing and stuff. I am pretty sure we will have made a final decision in the next two years. So meanwhile, I sort things as dd grows out of them. I do give away or throw out about 50% of her stuff as it is either dirty/damaged, does not suit my style, or is just too many of a certain size or item. With the rest I sort by boxes: sentimental items, items that could be sold/given away, and items that I want to pass along to specific people (like friends or family). So each box is clearly labelled with what it contains,w hat size/age range, and which of the three catagories it falls into. That way, once we do make a decision, I really do not have to put any effort into getting rid of it all. The only boxes I will sort through if we decide not to have another is the sentimental boxes (which at this point in only one box). There are items in there that might lose their specialness with time so I will want to revisit and prune out anything that can be added to the other boxes. Then the other boxes can just be removed and dropped off at Goodwill or the consignment store and to the friends I wished them to go to. What is nice about this is that I will not sit on things so they becoem out of style just because I think it will be a pain to sort and get rid of. It is all ready to go and can be disposed of with only an hour of my time. We have an attic so it is easy to store this stuff. However, allt hat I will allow in the attic is the baby boxes and stuff (which is a pretty small pile, luckily) that I know will either get reused or removed in the next two years and the Christmas decorations. It is a pretty sad attic. Two little piles of boxes. But anything else that I am tempted to put up there would probably never see the light of day again.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 12:28 PM
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i'm reading the tightwad gazette right now, and here's what she did (she had 4 kids, i think)
she had one stackable box of clothes for each age and each gender. so a box of baby boy stuff, a box of baby girl stuff (or maybe it was one box for up to 6 months, one for 6-12, i forget) a box for 12 year old boys, etc. every time she was given new stuff she would 'file' it away in the right box, and if it didn't fit in the box she'd go through everything and figure out what she was least likely to use. the 'filing system' took up a fair amount of room but there was no waste and it was organized. i think not wasting and being organized are a bit more important to me than having less, but each person's values are different in this area.
just an idea.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-20-2006, 04:53 PM
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We have a very indefinite time frame for when we'll have another (maybe in a year, maybe in 4, who knows?), so I made myself not keep most stuff. I keep a couple of my fave outfits in each size as we go, and robeez-type shoes which can be re-used. And cloth diapers. I think I kept 1 maternity/nursing dress. Most of my maternity stuff was hand-me-downs and didn't fit or I hated it by the end of my pg, so I didn't keep it all. I did keep my nursing bras (which I haven't worn since DD was about a year and a half). And I kept baby carriers I liked when she was little but not now that she's bigger (wrap, pouch, homeade podegi).

I've currently got two big plastic totes with outgrown baby and pregnancy related stuff including diapers, clothes, and toys. There's room in the diaper one for the training pants she's in now when DD outgrows those.

Beyond that, I found it was more in our interest to swap-up for new things for DD with stuff she'd outgrown, and we have very limited space for storage (though not as limited as when DD was a baby).

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#7 of 9 Old 08-21-2006, 09:37 AM
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when a friend of mine was pregnant with her first, she only had three outfits. She had a skirt, a pair of khaki pants, a pair of denim pants, two dress shirts, two tank tops, and a sweater set. Everything was mix and match. She used these outfits throughout both of her pregnancies. The pregnancies were 3 yrs apart, but the clothes were very 'classic' so they're the basics that never went out of style. She didn't hve to purge them because she originally only bought the basics.

as for baby stuff, she did purge some of them. The things she didn't use or didn't like she consigned; the things that were stained became rags or were tossed; and the things that she liked were kept. Everything she kept fit into one of those small sweater boxes (plastic).

i hope to take a page out of her book, but i'm thinking i'll add one more maternity item--a dress.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-21-2006, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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The more I think about it and the more I read here on this board, the more I'm deciding I will purge quite a bit of it. I'm 30 weeks pregnant and have quite a few items of maternity clothing which I have not even worn once this time! A couple of the dresses need ironing, so I never seem to get around to wearing them. Some of the shorts have those low-rise elastic waists, and they fit for a while but now they cut into me and are super uncomfortable. I might go ahead and get rid of those now because it'll be cold after I deliver. I'll need jeans by then anyway. And there's the shirts I made during my first pregnancy, that I never seem to wear because they hang like big tents on me (I've kept them thinking I should because my Mom helped me make them, and somehow it would be disappointing to her if I got rid of them).

But anyway, I am looking forward to sorting some stuff, if the kids would get better (they are sick) and stop being so cranky, and once our schedule settles down (we have THREE doctors appointments this week- dentist, pediatrician, OB).

Thanks for all the input.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-22-2006, 11:08 PM
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If you are planning on waiting a few (or more) years, I would get rid of anything elastic. I would be bummed to save stuff and pull it out of storage to find dry-rot.

Enjoy your nesting as it sounds like thats whats beginning. I would clean the pantry at midnight and other behavior when pg.
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