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Minimalists...a question about kid clothes

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
We have always been very blessed with hand-me-down children's clothes, so much so that I have probably only spent about $10/yr per child. I always end up keeping more than they ever wear though. We pick through the bags of clothes, pass on what we don't want, but we just have too much.

My DD wears pretty much the same 3 outfits all the time (by her choice). DS is too young to care what I put on him. But for some reason for dd I had 14 shorts, 16 shirts, 9 long pants (in summer?!) and 4 swimsuits.

For all you mamas that keep it simple, exactly how many items of clothing do your kids have? We are moving and I am determined to be a better housekeeper, and I think the root of my laundry problem is having waaay too many clothes.

Thanks, mamas!
post #2 of 44
i'm reeeeally trying to work on this. my MIL pretty much buys their stuff and she's a shopajolic, which means that they have too much stuff. waaaaaay too much. i scaled back midwinter because their stuff wouldn't fit in the closet and bureau. and that's a lot of space. ugh.

so we're still overflowing with pants for both. overflowing!!! and i gotta pare that down.
post #3 of 44
No solution here! I just gave away half my youngest son's t shirts and he still has about 20 of them. He can get through as many as 5 a day though so I am not going to decrease that number. Each child has a chest of draws with 5 largish draws. When their clothes don't fit in that I have decreased the number of clothes.
post #4 of 44
We have enough clothes to fill (not overfill though) all of our dressers and closets. Maybe 4 pairs of pants each, 3 pairs shorts, 8 long sleeved shirts, 8 short sleeved, lots of undies and socks. We get gifted a lot of clothes and hand me downs. Whatever my kids don't wear I give away. I have told my mom nicely that my kids have way too many clothes and she seems to have (finally) got the message.

I have been trying to cut back on my laundry as well. When I take something off at night I look at it to see if it is dirty before I throw it into the laundry basket. If it's not dirty or smelly I wear it again. It has helped out the quantity of my laundry a lot.

I wash in a week:

-1 load for DD and DS's clothes
-1 load for diapers and cloth wipes
-1 load for bedding
-1 load for towels
-1 load for DH's work clothes
-1 load for DH's clothes
-1 load for my clothes

7 loads a week that sounds right.
post #5 of 44
:

I didn't think that DS had too much, until I started keeping up with laundry! Now his drawers are STUFFED!! It's hard for me to get rid of things that still fit him, interested to see what others have to say!
post #6 of 44
I could have written this post myself. I think my greatest issue with hand me downs is that if I get something the fits, is in great condition and very cute (which happens frequently) I can't part with it. I feel like I also have to keep everything for the next child. I have a huge box full of things that didn't work well for my first daughter or son that I am choosing NOT to pack away. Yet, we still have like 17-20 summer outfits left and boxes stored for the next or previous size. I'm just glad to see I'm not the only one. Sorry no advice here. I am so grateful for all the money it has saved our famiy with so many kids.
post #7 of 44
I guide DD in choosing two real weeks of clothing three times a year. We have 2-3 seasons here, depending on who you ask. By "real", I mean whatever any two weeks in the upcoming season will actually entail. If she is signed up for gymnastics, for example, then she needs two outfits for that. Anything extra (usually whatever is about to be grown out of or whatever she likes least) is given to friends or donated. As she grows out of clothing, she puts them in a paper shopping bag in my closet. We always have a charity bag going and we all put things in there whenever it is appropriate.

I do laundry every day (or at least notice it doesn't need to be done), but I cycle through everything and there is no guarantee I will wash that "special" item on any given day. Two weeks' worth of clothing works well for us. It all fits comfortably in the closets and dressers...no cramming...and I don't have to "worry" about washing anything in particular. I just do a load a day most days and everyone is happy.
post #8 of 44
We do hand-me-downs too (which I love ) but I was in the same mess. This season I narrowed it down to:
8 "everyday" shirts
8 shorts (which are fine for out and about or everyday play in the mud type stuff).
3 nicer shirts for out and about (no mud in those)
1 pair khaki pants
1 pair jeans (for summer; I packed the extra away fall/winter)
1 swim trunks
Jammies (they have 7 sets each because we wear clean every night due to allergies)
I didn't cull socks and underwear.

It's so nice and looks organized and it's easy to see what we've got. The big concern I had was laundering the play clothes but I'm throwing them in with whatever load pretty much so it's working out ok. I ran out of clean shirts once.
As a safety net at first I packed the extra away. When I was certain we didn't need them I passed them along to my friend and my sister.
post #9 of 44
We are totally in the same boat. I am overwhelmed by clothes. Grateful but overwhelmed. Subbing here.
post #10 of 44
I like to have about 10-15 outfits. DS tends to be a pretty dirty little guy and so we tend to average ~2 outfits a day - between leaky diapers, mud, etc, it just works out that way.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
I have been trying to cut back on my laundry as well. When I take something off at night I look at it to see if it is dirty before I throw it into the laundry basket. If it's not dirty or smelly I wear it again. It has helped out the quantity of my laundry a lot.
I used to do this religiously, but found it would drain my energy because I would forget what I had available to be worn again so we would end up with a basket with three pairs of pants waiting to be re-worn. Or we would go out somewhere and wear something really nice, but then not have anywhere else nice for a few weeks and not want to wear our good clothes in the backyard to dig dirt

Now I just wash it if its worn and dont try to guilt myself too much about the wastefulness. My sanity is more important. And it saves on the clutter of a pile of clothes. Although we do re-wear pyjamas and jeans if they really arent dirty (which is rare with a toddler in the midst). But if I feel like they wont definitely get worn the next day then into the wash they go. I have realized that my path to being clutter-free involves doing a certain amount of things based solely on convenience. If I dont make things as easy as I possibly can, they tend to fall by the wayside. But Im a procrastinator like that
post #12 of 44
I had the same "problem" (blessing?) when my kids were a little smaller. I had a closet/dresser, etc. stuffed with clothes! Most of their clothes are hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, or gifts; I've spent less than $200 in the past four years on kids' clothes/coats/shoes, etc.

You know, I actually had to make a conscious decision not to KEEP everything, even if it was perfect/spotless/cute/adorable/wonderful/still fits. It doesn't matter if everything is perfect....when I've got 37 pairs of pants for one child, that is just plain wrong and secondly, doesn't lend itself to organization/efficiency in my house.

This is actually kind of a spiritual thing for me --- I received all of these wonderful things with open hands. I need to give them away with the same openness with which I received them, to bless another mama. I do not need to have 34 shirts for one child.

My best advice is to keep only what you need - what fits well into your laundry schedule/family habits/use cycles. Give the rest away.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopefulmama View Post
We are totally in the same boat. I am overwhelmed by clothes. Grateful but overwhelmed. Subbing here.
me too...I am afraid the laundry is going to eat me in the night.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulfaith View Post
I had the same "problem" (blessing?) when my kids were a little smaller. I had a closet/dresser, etc. stuffed with clothes! Most of their clothes are hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, or gifts; I've spent less than $200 in the past four years on kids' clothes/coats/shoes, etc.

You know, I actually had to make a conscious decision not to KEEP everything, even if it was perfect/spotless/cute/adorable/wonderful/still fits. It doesn't matter if everything is perfect....when I've got 37 pairs of pants for one child, that is just plain wrong and secondly, doesn't lend itself to organization/efficiency in my house.

This is actually kind of a spiritual thing for me --- I received all of these wonderful things with open hands. I need to give them away with the same openness with which I received them, to bless another mama. I do not need to have 34 shirts for one child.

My best advice is to keep only what you need - what fits well into your laundry schedule/family habits/use cycles. Give the rest away.
YES!! I am trying also to do this...oh, but it's soooo cute..how can I get rid of it?? Easy..cause she is a little girl and there will ALWAYS be cute little girl clothes. And it makes me nuts when we can't find anything anyway. And yes, also, we have been given so many hand-me-downs also that I feel bad keeping them from some child who might NEED clothes and their parents DON'T have piles everywhere. Also, with my clothes...if it wasn't for church and work I would only have a week's worth of outfits..I swear...how many outfits do you guys hace for yourselves when you need some nicer type stuff for work or church or some other outings where you need to wear something besides a tshirt and jeans?
post #15 of 44
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)
3 dishcloths
3 dishtowels
3 bread-towels
10 cloth napkins
12 cloth diapers with their covers and extra soakers

For Spring/Summer:
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

For Fall/Winter:
5 long sleeved shirts
2 sweaters
2 t-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.
post #16 of 44
It's summer, so right now we have:

5 pairs shorts
1 pair of jeans
12ish shirts
1 swimsuit
1 jean jacket

In the winter substitute jeans for the shorts and add a sweatshirt and a few sweaters.
post #17 of 44
Our son has, for all seasons
6 pants
8 long sleeve shirts
10 tee shirts
4 shorts
10 socks
10 boxers
2 sweaters
5 sweatshirts
Then there is outerwear etc but we're in Canada so that's pretty important for survival : and lucky we are to only be in Toronto (thank you banana belt)
Anyway, honestly this is more clothing than he needs, but he wears an outfit for two days so he needs about four a week, plus we hang dry which takes some time, particularly in winter.
post #18 of 44
You know, I don't count, it's just what fits easily in the small dresser space. So DS' long sleeve shirts were overflowing the space alloted them, the drawer was hard to open and close, etc. And it's summer, so we don't need long sleeve very often, just chilly nights. So I put 2-3 that might fit in the fall/winter into the "growing into" box and I gifted on about 4 more. I think that leaves about 6 in the drawer/laundry, but that should be plenty this time of year.

The washing is just determined by how much they wear or dirty in a day, and that's different than how much is in the drawer IME.
post #19 of 44
It's a process. We are very grateful recipients of a few older boys hand me downs. So much is in great shape and just wonderful. All of a sudden the clothes are not fitting in the drawers - laundry is way up and I have bins and bags to store.

I'm a big declutter and donate person. So went to work and so did a girlfriend with her two children's clothes. In the end, we each have plenty and 7 friend's were the recipients as we sorted out what we had by season and size.

Still kept too much. So today I went through and bagged up about half the clothes. I left them about

5 shorts each
1 nice pants
1 play pants
1 sweats
6 sets of jammies (1 long)
probably 10 t shirts and 1 or two long sleeve.
8 or so underwear and about a week's worth of socks.

I set up a closet hanger with a beach towel for each of us, the swim suits, beach bag and goggles and sandals. Less to worry about in the dresser. Also, made one slot of it a warm shirt/sweater for each of us so when we are on the go I can make one stop and not taking up room in the dresser.

So, half the stuff is in a basket for rotation in a month or so and another pile to pass along.

So much easier and the boys both liked that they could see everything in their drawers.

Will take note of what they wear over the next couple of weeks and take out and replace what they are not wearing.
post #20 of 44
I probably still have too much but I go through their clothes a lot, like every time I do laundry. They both have small drawers for their clothes so that helps. DS goes through a lot of shorts/pants so I keep a lot of those. He probably has about a dozen shirts how where he had 30-40 over the winter (so many blessings from the thrift loving nannies ). I do hang up all of DD"s shirts and dresses. She has two small drawers in her bed (a lot smaller than I though), so that gave me a reason to pare down even further. I am extremely minimalist in my own clothing and it's a work in progress for the kids.
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