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Sorting It Out


By Meagan R. Dubreuil

New babies grow all too fast. In the first year of life they graduate from cradle to crib, bouncy seat to baby gym, and infant carrier to car seat. They whiz through several sizes of infant clothes and diapers, and cast aside bottles for sippy cups.

And while your baby is moving up the growth charts, you, the new mom, are moving down them. Maternity clothes will be replaced by "in-between" clothes, which will in turn be traded in for a wardrobe closer to your pre-pregnancy size.

Amidst all these physical changes, you are faced with quite an organizational challenge: What to do with all of the "outgrown" stuff?

Well, the answer may not be as daunting as you think. The very first step is to ask yourself the big question: Do you hope to have more kids, or are you fairly certain you've completed your immediate family tree? With this answer in mind, the rest of your efforts mainly involve sorting. Quite simply, you divide all "items" into three categories: things to toss, things to donate, and things to store. Here's how:

If you are hoping for more children...

What to toss Do away with maternity and infant clothing, furniture, and accessories that are stained, broken, or worn out. "If it's too yucky and stained for you to continue using now, you won't use it again for another baby," says Rita Emmett, organizing expert and author of The Clutter-Busting Handbook (Walker & Company). These items are not suitable for donating either, says Emmett. Nobody wants to wear clothing that's in bad shape, and unless a piece of furniture is easily repairable, take that to the dump as well.
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