Several months ago I looked around my house and finally got fed up with the never ending wash pile. When everything was washed and put away, which was rare, we had clothes stacked on dressers, drawers that would not close, and closets so full and packed tight that it was imposable to see what we had or get one item without several falling to the floor. Sad thing was that was clothes in season, our summer clothes were in storage. Twice a year I had to go through launder it all, pack it up, so on and so on. Add to that all the clothes I had in storage for hand me downs and I was drowning in laundry. Yet mysteriously could never find anything to wear?
This is what I did. For our clothes in storage I decided to play a little game I like to call "moving to Hawaii" by that I looked at the clothes with the idea that if I was moving to Hawaii and had to pay to have things shipped there what would make the cut? I had a storage building that was packed to the ceiling 8'x10' with boxes of hand-me downs. When I got done I had 4 boxes left. I felt liberated!
Then I made a list of what we really "needed" clothing wise. Everyone's list would be different but for us it was:
All Year Around:
1 bath towel for each person
1 washcloth for each person
1 cardigan for each person
7 pair of underwear for each person
1 Raincoat each
1 pair of galoshes each
2 pair of tennis shoes (one for play one for going out)
10 cloth napkins
12 cloth diapers with their covers and extra soakers
7 short sleeved shirts
2 tank tops
7 pair of shorts
1 pair of pants
1 long sleeved shirt
1 lightweight set of pj/nightgown
7 pair lightweight socks
1 bathing suit
2 nice complete outfits (for church and such)
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of summer sandals
1 beach towel
1 lightweight set of sheets
5 long sleeved shirts
5 pair of pants
1 jogging suit
1 pair of long johns
7 pair of heavy weight socks
1 heavy weight set of pj/nightgown
2 nice complete outfits (made of heavy fabrics)
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of winter boots
1 Winter coat
1 pair of gloves with matching hat and scarf
1 heavyweight set of sheets
Everything else I packed up and sent to goodwill. I forget exactly but I know there was at least 3 full packed to the rim, falling out the windows loads in our van that my husband took off for us. I cried, tears of JOY. I would never ever have to wash ANY of those clothes again! It was one of the single most wonderful things I have ever done for my peace of mind. I do one load of laundry a day and I am done. The only things in the closets and drawers are those things that we love and that fit us well. When we have to get dressed it is as simple as opening the drawer grabbing something and going.
: I still feel like I could get rid of some shoes... but I will work on that later.
Because we have a tiny house I still do seasonal clothes storage but now instead of mountains each person has two boxes clearly labeled with their name on them. Wonderful.
I was also nervous that people at church would notice that we rotate our nice clothes every other week. If anyone has noticed no one is saying anything. And really when I think about it, I don't really care if it makes my life this much easier.
I have noticed that with fewer clothes they tend to get worn faster so when a shirt or something is rendered unusable I cut out any fabric that is still good for my scrap box and then toss it. Next time we go to town I stop by goodwill and buy a replacement. Children's clothes are 50 cents a piece and it is the play clothes that gets worn out. I also like to occasionally sew clothes for the children but have made myself promise to get rid of 1 thing and replace with new when I make them something. It was a little difficult to get use to, but ohhhhh so liberating. I am no longer a slave to my laundry. Good luck.