Way back when son was about 7 or 8 I gave all his clothes away. His entire wardrobe, all the way down to his socks and underware. If it wasn't the few items on his body or in the washer they were gone. I didn't mean to but it happened. I was sorting his clothes into the give away pile and the keep pile. Somehow both piles got put into the trash bag and given to charity. I then rebought some from the charities and bought a boatload of new things. That has been a family joke for 25 years now.
I am going through the mini-Walmart of a garage clothing storage and giving a lot of it away to charity. I've been thinking that if TSHTF how many sets of clothes do I really need to store? What if I had to bug-out? Or decided to take a job in a different part of the country and we had to move. I know I wouldn't take all this stuff. I wouldn't even get rid of it here and repurchase it somewhere else. I suppose that's a good factor in deciding if it stays or goes. If I moved and bought 5 or 10 acres and a big house somewhere else would I pack this all up and bring it with me? Would I sell it and then buy it used at the next place, just for the convenience and cost of not having to pack and move it? Or would I donate it or sell it and not replace it? Even if I was thinking about if TSHTF and I wanted to be fully prepared, if I wouldn't purchase it then, then why am I keeping it now?
Getting back to the things in the garage... Right now the grand kids all like wearing a different outfit every day for weeks. (Except Boy, who would like to wear the same skinny black pants and red shirt every single day!) That's pretty much what I was storing... everything they grew out of.
I went through most of the bins and kept only a handful of shirts, shorts, and pants for each age. And even then I only kept for the grand kids who are still growing. If they may be able to grow into it, then I kept a small wardrobe for that size. I don't think there will be any more babies coming along in our family. I kept some things for babies, but not a whole wardrobe. For each size after that, if there isn't anyone in the family left to grow into that size then I kept two outfits. They are generic too, no frilly girl or manly boy. Just t-shirts, flannel shirts, jeans, etc.. No more weeks worth for a non-family member. There's enough if someone shows up with only the clothes on their back. Here's two outfits. That's all I'm going to do.
I also don't want the garage to become a haven for mice. Mice love piles of clothes. They chew them up and make nests. Everything gets destroyed. I could keep everything in mouse proof containers. Instead, they are in semi-mouse proof containers but less clutter means less chances of mice taking over.
Mrs. Bug-out renter has been going through her boxes. I bring half a dozen over at a time to her new place and pick up the items that she doesn't want to keep over there. She now has a bedroom, some kitchen space, and living room space. It's not like when she was renting from me and had a three bedroom house and huge garage to fill up. So she keeps some stuff and gives me back some stuff. Last week I realized that the boxes were piling up at my house. I don't want them here. I asked her what she planned on doing with the stuff, especially the clothes. She said she just wanted to store them at my house.
No, I'm not storing boxes of your stuff. Between the clothes and the little scraps of fabric that she may someday use for quilting something together, it looks like mouse magnet to me. Not happening. Pots, pans, and things that mice don't eat can go in the barn, the rest I told her she has to take back, find somewhere else to store it, or I'll donate it. She said I could donate it. Good. I took a bunch of boxes that had been in the garage and brought them into the house to go through. Before they got donated I wanted to see if there was anything that we could use here.
I found a huge bag of thread. I also found lots of clothes. I found some electrical items that were from when she lived in a foreign country. That's worthless here and she's never moving out of country again. I was a bit perplexed by the thread, since sewing is one of her favorite past times. Why would she want to give that away? So I called her up. Are you sure you want me to get rid of all this stuff? You don't want me to bring it back? No. You are sure? I don't want to get rid of anything that you really want to keep. No. OK. I'll pass it around to family and give the rest away.
I took the thread out and visiting granddaughter sorted it all and put it all away for me in our sewing supplies. Girl found a box of purses. She pulled them all out and asked if she could sell them for a dollar to her friends and donate the money to the school fund raiser. Sure. Sounds good to me. The rest I decided to get rid of. We didn't need any of the clothes. Most weren't in great shape and wouldn't fit anyone around here but I did recognize several as some of Mrs. Bug-out renters favorite things to wear. I called her again. You sure you want to get rid of all this? Yes was her final reply.
So I did. Yesterday morning I gave some to the women's shelter, some to goodwill, some to Habitat for Humanity, and some to a homeless person rummaging through a big-brother's and sister's bin. As I dropped stuff off at Restore I just had to go in and do a little shopping. I never find anything good there yet oldest daughter always finds great bargains. I found a door lock and key set at Restore for $2.50 so I picked it up for Mrs. Bug-out renter's new room. I called her up to tell her I was going to come over this morning and put the new lock on her door and bring her out to do a little bit of shopping.
This morning I dropped Boy and Girl off at Sunday school and drove over to Mrs. Bug-out renter's new place, lock in hand. As I was replacing the doorknob she made a comment that she doesn't have her coat. Have I seen it? I remember seeing a coat in one of the give away boxes but other than that, I haven't seen any other coats. There are still boxes at the house she hasn't gone through. I told her about the thread that I rescued out of the give away containers. She asked, "What give away containers?" The ones you told me you didn't want. Remember those boxes that I picked up last week that you went through? Then she said she was confused because there was one black trash bag filled with give-aways, all the rest of the stuff in those boxes she returned to me were things she wanted to keep. Oh. I just gave away most of her clothes. Not again!
I'm done packing other people's things up. From now on, I'll let the grand kids and any friends pack up their own things and while I may offer to drive my truck to the donation centers, they will be with me and will hand the stuff off themselves. On the other hand, if I give entire wardrobes away every 25 years, I'll only do it once more in my lifetime. Maybe I just won't worry about it then.