The Great Clothing Debacle

If you are part of a blended family with shared placement, then you know this topic is one that pushes buttons. I call it: “The Great Clothing Debacle.”

The Great Clothing debacle is one I hear all blended families complain about. Sharing stuff between houses is never fun. You buy them things and then they disappear into the “black hole” of the other house. It’s expensive enough having children without needing to replenish the things they take over to the other household. Clothing seems to be the greatest factor in this debacle.

You know what I’m talking about. There are a few scenarios:


  • The Phantom Outfit: That super cute outfit that you send them off in. Better take a picture because you’ll never see it again. It will be a distant memory, if that.
  • The Recurring Outfit: This is the outfit that makes its way back and forth more often than it should. Both houses resort to this outfit, which is getting waaay too much wear…probably because neither house wants this outfit, but no one is big enough to throw it away.
  • The Too-Small Outfit- This outfit always arrives after you’ve gone through and done a “sizing check.” You get all the clothes that are too small out of the house or passed on to siblings and BOOM: The outfit that is one or two sizes too small surfaces! The biggest culprit of that is undies. No matter how many packs of undies you send over to replace these, the too-small outfit always arrives.
  • The Stained, ripped, …. , shouldn’t have left the house in it outfit. These outfits always get me. The stained shirt, the ripped pants. A hole in the toe of the tennis shoe. Did this outfit get mistaken for one that belonged in the trash? I know I wouldn’t want my kid to be dressed like that, but he seems to have arrived in this condition. Grrr…is all you can think.


We’ve fought about it, tried to remedy it by offering clothes, but in the end “The Great Outfit Debacle” remains a blended family issue. We’ve taken “before and after” photos: what they look like leaving vs. coming. But still it remains an inconsistency.


My solution: If you came in it, leave in it. The other house can’t say we are hoarding their stuff because they always get it back…good or bad. Only exception: if I don’t feel comfortable sending you wearing it, then you return it eventually when it’s a non-public appearance day (school). Or if it’s too small or stained/ripped, I assume our house was mistaken for Goodwill.
My other solution: rummages or Goodwill. I can have a disposable outfit that cost $4.00. It’s easier to say goodbye to that and never see it again.

If you have any other ideas on how you deal with this issue, short of winning the lottery,  please comment! We’d love to hear your ideas!

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