1. We have micro closets.
Evidently in 1924 people did not own clothes. At least not the family that built our home. Our closets dictate that we must put non-seasonal clothes in storage.
2. My short term memory.
In our town we have consignment sales twice a year and I try to purchase the bulk of my children's wardrobes at these sales. But, the sales are BEFORE the seasonal change and before I've unpacked our wardrobes for the new season. So, twice each year I "over purchase" clothing for our kids because after 6 months I've forgotten what they own. (Memory Issues!) And, um, the little monkeys won't stop growing and then they've outgrown some, or not grown enough to fit into the hand-me-downs. Whatever my problem is, I just end up over purchasing and the makes me grumpy! Grumpy because with micro closets, you can not fit in the extras and grumpy because it's a complete waste of money to have too many clothes.
Laundry for a family of 6+ can be a challenge. I can not tell you how much easier it is to do laundry if you do not have a mega wardrobe. I need to stay on topic here. Laundry tends to entice me to tangent. I love laundry. Laundry is fun. IF you don't have too many clothes. I used to hate it just so you don't think I'm a freak or something.
A digital inventory. I have tried written inventories in the past. They did not work for me. I would write something like 3T yellow dress, but then forget it's style/fabric or some other important detail.
What I used:
Marker and Index Cards
Clear Plastic Boxes (clear so I can see in them and tight lids because of arachnophobia)
My daughters helped and we had a little assembly line.
First we pulled out all the summer clothes or anything outgrown into a big pile.
Second we laid an outfit on the floor with index card of size next to it. (Sometimes we had multiple sizes since I like to dress the critters in matching outfits.)
Third, we put the item in clear boxes labeled for size.
This was so quick and easy!
Finally, I organized the photos on my computer by creating folders by size. Examples: Girls 3T, Girls 4T, Mom's Summer Dresses I just click and drag the photos into the folders.
Disclaimer: OK, let me say that this is my solution for this year. I do not want to imply that I have solved this challenge once and for all. I give myself permission to later declare it an utter failure and revise. I will evaluate in the spring when we begin shopping for the summer season and unpacking/packing the closets.