Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring, Space, and Storage Boxes

Yesterday, as the all-permeating warmth of the Texas spring sun spread like a wave of happiness through our house, I realized two things.

One, that it was time to replace the heavy comforter we use during the winter with the lightweight bedspread that alights on our bed for three-quarters of the year (did I mention I love it here?).

And two, that it was time for the twice-yearly clothing swap.

As a Christian, I'm supposed to be detached from earthly goods, from dreams of wealth and luxury. I'm working on that. But in the meantime, I sometimes find myself staring into space, my thoughts centered on an unworthy yet blissful daydream: that someday, we will be wealthy enough to own a house that has enough closet and bedroom space so that my children can keep their summer and winter wardrobes in their rooms, year round.

Some elements of the clothing swap would remain the same, even then: the oldest would hand clothing down to her younger sister, who would then hand clothing down to hers; the youngest one would try on and then set aside the clothes that didn't fit her to be placed in a shopping bag and handed along to their "girl cousins." Knowing that her favorite twirly dresses will be enjoyed by her cousins, and maybe even some of their little friends, makes the whole business a lot more palatable to a child who is prone to be sentimental, and who has been known to confer names on all sorts of inanimate objects.

But the part of the clothing swap that would be different would be the part where I drag in plastic storage boxes full of last season's clothes, go through them in the living room, help my daughters pull heavy fleece tops and sweatpants from their closets and dresser drawers, box those items up, and return the boxes to the garage until sometime between October and November, when we do the whole thing again.

There just isn't room in their bedrooms for shorts and tank tops to jostle with Christmas sweaters and stretch velvet dresses. Their dressers aren't up to the task of holding heavy corduroy slacks and lightweight, breathable summer skirts. Their closets are crowded enough without cramming the sweet Easter dresses beside the plaid flannel jumpers.

So out come the plastic storage boxes, twice a year.

I'm not complaining, though. Even though it would be nice to have the ability to keep all their clothes inside, I'm glad that we have the room to store the boxes in the garage. The task would be infinitely worse if we had to drive to a storage unit twice a year to retrieve the clothes that were put away for the future. In fact, I'm glad that we haven't, so far, needed to rent a storage unit at all, to hold little-used or seasonal items, as so many people must do in this land-without-basements.

And most of all, I'm glad that it's time to pull out the warm-weather clothes again, already, in March! (I did mention that I love it here, right?)


4andcounting said...

I am right there with you. I am so glad to be getting out the spring clothes, but I hate the chore side of it. I have done the swap for the boys, but not the girls. Princess (oldest girl) is excited, because we will be having to make a trip to the store to get shorts and skorts, as she has outgrown everything. I try to stay grateful that we have enough clothes to store them in separate seasons.
And if we ever need a storage unit just to hold stuff that we only sometimes use, we are having one monster garage sale. I can't imagine paying to have stuff sit in a building indefinitely.

Red Cardigan said...

4andcounting, I can't imagine paying for a storage unit either, but I know that some families here must either do so, or buy brand new Christmas decorations (advent wreath, Jesse tree, nativity set etc.) every year. With no basements and few usable attics, homes here have little storage. My house doesn't even have a linen closet, so extra sheets and towels, packages of supplies like toilet paper, and the one or two tablecloths I own are all piled together in the woefully inadequate master bedroom closet.

Unless we are trying to sell our house, though, I have no plans to rent a storage unit. I know if we put it on the market we'd have to rent storage and move things out, because it wouldn't sell otherwise.