Several months ago, Joanna Gaines used her Instagram Stories to document the decluttering and organizing she was doing around her home. I was intrigued for obvious reasons because everything the woman does seems to be a good idea and/or turn to gold, so I made sure to pop over to her channel every day to see what she was sorting through.
One of her projects involved going through her children’s outgrown baby clothes, and I simply fell in love with what I saw her do. She set out four small bins and packed each one with a modest handful of the most special items from her sons’ and daughters’ first couple of years. She wrote each child a sealed note, placed it inside on top of the clothes, and packed them away to give each of her babes when they’re grown to do with it whatever they wish with it – pass on to their children, ditch, whatever.
I loved this so, so much for a few reasons. For starters, decluttering gives me life, and the idea of finding room in our home for 14 boxes of baby clothes seems silly for us. Also, I thought about what I might have thought if my mom gave me something like this when I became a mom; I would have loved it. In fact, she did pass on a couple special items that she held on to, and I loved seeing my girls in both items. I don’t wish she held onto more. A few things checked the “nostalgia” box for me.
So, I recently plugged away for a couple hours on picking out a few items from outgrown baby clothes bins that I’d want to see again in 20ish years. And let’s just say that I’m glad my best friend randomly called shortly after I got started because I was getting choked up fast, and she was a good distraction from these bizarre feelings!
I’m always so caught off guard by the things that make me emotional and twist my heart. I wasn’t expecting this to be one of them, but oh my goodness – it wrecked me. I could almost feel my tiny, soft, squishy babies in these outfits, and in those moments I wanted to tell my husband that we needed to have five more baby girls. Kidding, but not. It was weird.
But anyway – mission accomplished!! Each box has about 10 items: first Christmas dresses, coming home outfit, and other outfits that are in fantastic shape that have some kind of very special memory behind it.
I also sat down one night after dinner to write them each a note, and picturing my girls as adults reading these notes was impossible. Like, they’re not ACTUALLY going to be adults one day, right? They’ll be my babies forever? Right under my wings where I want them? Ah. Such a bizarre thing to write them notes knowing (praying) that they’ll grow up and be gifted this one day (because in all seriousness, it’ll be the privilege of my life to be around long enough to watch them grow into grown women). They were so embarrassingly mushy that I wouldn’t even let my husband read them. I poured my heart into those suckers. A mother’s love is so uniquely fierce.
As for the rest of their clothes, I threw away outfits that were stained and beyond being donated, and consolidated the rest. I have them stored in a spare closet until I figure out what the best avenue is for what to do next, but until then, I’ll hold onto them with open eyes looking for the right recipient.
Update: Erica recently found out that she's pregnant with their third baby girl! You can read her blog Whimsical September or follow her on Instagram (@whimsicalseptember) to keep up with her family's adventures.