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#1 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#2 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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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!

Mama to Ian 12/3/05 : :
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#6 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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We are totally in the same boat. I am overwhelmed by clothes. Grateful but overwhelmed. Subbing here.
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#10 of 44 Old 06-10-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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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
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#12 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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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.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#13 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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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.
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#14 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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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?
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#15 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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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.

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
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#16 of 44 Old 06-11-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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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.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#17 of 44 Old 06-13-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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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.

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#18 of 44 Old 06-13-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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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.

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#19 of 44 Old 06-15-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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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.
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#20 of 44 Old 06-15-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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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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#21 of 44 Old 06-15-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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It depends on how often you're able to do the laundry, and how many clothes they're likely to need in that time. If you can only do laundry once a week, you'll need more clothes than if you do laundry daily.

Whatever you do, make sure to have extra stuff, in case you get behind on laundry, in case somebody plays in the mud and needs a change mid day, in case somebody get sick (vomiting or diarhrea) and needs more frequent changes until he or she gets better.

If your child normally wears the same 3 outfits, I'm assuimg you do laundry every day or two. I'd keep 5-6 outfits for that child (her 3 favorite, plus 2 or 3 spares.) Also make sure to keep any "specialized" outfits- uniforms, fancier clothes for holidays or special occasions, etc. 5-8 outfits should be plenty for the baby too. I'd keep all 4 swimsuits- they don't take up that much space, and you just may end up using all of them. It's hard to put a wet suit back on if you want to go swimming a 2nd time in the same day.

I need to go through DS' clothes soon. He has exactly 4 school outfits (4 dress pants and 4 SS polo shirts) but he has WAY too many handmedowns for summertime. Now that school is nearly over, I need to tackle the shorts. Some he sleeps in, so I want to keep some softer shorts for that purpose. I also want some dressier shorts (shorts versions of khakis) so he won't need to wear pants to shul (we go every Saturday) in the summertime. We're currently getting handmedowns from 2 different families, and we simply have too many shorts and T-shirts! He probably only needs 4-5 knit shorts and 2 pairs of dressier shorts, and about 6 T-shirts (not counting the HUGE ones he wears as nightshirts. He needs 3 of those.)

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#22 of 44 Old 06-15-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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We live in New England so each of my kids has about a week's worth of warm and cool clothes. Plus about a week's worth of jammies. For example, DD will wear a larger hand-me-down shirt as a nightgown in warmer weather, then add pants when it's cooler and if it's cold then wear the pants with the matching shirt. DS will wear a onesie on hot nights, with jammy pants on cooler nights and the actual shirt and pants set on the colder nights. And on the really cold nights he will wear the onesie underneath that. They each have 2 bathing suits (I didn't buy either one) and they each have a few sweatshirts/sweaters. And DD also has a few dresses that were given to her. Everything is stored in dressers in the bathroom so I can put the clothes away as soon as they come out of the dryer.

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#23 of 44 Old 06-19-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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When I just had DS he had a pretty small wardrobe, less than 10 outfits per season. However now that I have DD that has changed a little

DD (16 months)
15 dresses (mostly casual, and some dressier for chuch)
5 tops
2 skorts
7 shorts (all but one are hand-me-downs from DS)
2 pants
3 summer pjs
2 pairs Robeez shoes

DS, who is almost 4, has about
5 pairs of shorts
2 jeans
1 pair of khakis
5 "nice" collared shirts for church
10-ish other shirts
12 underwears (we're obsessed with underwear)
3 summer pjs
2 pairs shoes (he lives in his green Crocs, lol)

I'm getting better about getting rid of our outgrown clothes because I'm sick of the growing Rubbermaid bins in my garage. We only have 3 with old clothes, one per year, but I don't want any more than that. It's so hard when I'm not sure if we're done having kids or not. ONe thing that has cured me is that very few things I saved from DS are not working out with DD because of the seasons and he was smaller. So that's frustrating. I'm finding more joy finding good homes for the clothes.

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#24 of 44 Old 06-20-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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This is what I did when we were first simplifying...

Choose your kids' favorite clothes, or have them choose if they're old enough & put them together to make complete outfits (shirt, shorts or pants depending on season, socks, undies). Make a guess at how many outfits they will go through before wash day - maybe 5? (Depends on how often you wash obviously, once a week you'll need more than 5) Pack away EVERYTHING else in a bin but don't put it somewhere that you can't get at it easily. Then...just wait and see how many clothes you really need. Do you find yourself needing extra undies for a little one? Get out a few more pairs. A messy eater who gets food on his shirt every time he eats? Get out a few more shirts that match the pants in your chosen outfits...You get the idea. After a couple of weeks with this system you will know exactly how many pieces of clothing your child needs. Give away the extras so you aren't tempted to say "this is cute" and get it out again!!
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#25 of 44 Old 06-21-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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well I'm jealous!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBreeze View Post
"moving to Hawaii" ... When I got done I had 4 boxes left. I felt liberated!

It was a little difficult to get use to, but ohhhhh so liberating. I am no longer a slave to my laundry. Good luck.
Question: How are you no longer a slave to laundry? Don't you have to wash daily? I'd end up skipping a day, which might turn into 2 or 3 and then have to have a 'naked day'. Hmm...

I am jealous though! Good for you for increasing your happiness!
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#26 of 44 Old 06-22-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sothisislove View Post
well I'm jealous!!



Question: How are you no longer a slave to laundry? Don't you have to wash daily? I'd end up skipping a day, which might turn into 2 or 3 and then have to have a 'naked day'. Hmm...

I am jealous though! Good for you for increasing your happiness!
Thank you, and good question.

Before the radical redo I tried, oh I tried sooo hard to stay on top of things with laundry but I was just fighting a loosing battle. The kids, dh, and yes even I would get clothes out drop some in the closet floor or bedroom floor think "oh, I'll get that later" said clothes would get kicked around mixed with dirty laundry and put in with the dirty clothes. My children would try on outfit after outfit throwing the ones they didn't want in the floor to end up in the laundry. I was doing at least 3 loads of laundry a day (well, most days I had my weak moments) and still drowning in the stuff. I felt trapped in a thankless never ending job. Washing clothes all day that no one wore.

Now, yes, I do still have to do laundry daily but there is a difference. The difference is that I feel like I have a say in the matter. I have chosen to make my job easier by eliminating a problem that has hung around for over a decade. There has been a handful of times that I have skipped a day or two here or there because of being busy but the great thing is that even if I took every single clothing item we own and dumped them in the laundry I would still have less laundry than I use to have on a regular basis.

Of course having a laundry service would be a dream, but since that is not going to be happening any time soon I decided to act on my frustrations and haven't regretted since.

Hope my answer helped.

Loved wife to JT and grateful mother to M (dd age 13) L (dd age 10) T (ds age 6) A (ds age 4) E (dd age 2) and C & S (twin boys born 10/13/10)
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#27 of 44 Old 06-22-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopefulmama View Post
We are totally in the same boat. I am overwhelmed by clothes. Grateful but overwhelmed. Subbing here.
This is the best thread EVER:

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#28 of 44 Old 06-22-2009, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here! Thanks for all the input, mamas! I am moving next week (ahh!) and I have narowed it down to:
For DD:
4 shorts
6 shirts ( this includes play and nice ones)
3 dresses (she has 1 that she wears every day, the other 2 are for when the fave is dirty)
lots of undies b/c she goes to grandma's and we have extra to send over there
2 swimsuits
lots of socks, maybe 10 pr


For DS:
about 10 shirts (he is MESSY!)
4 shorts
3 pants
lots of socks
potty training undies
1 swim trunks



I need to tackle their shoes. Scary amounts of shoes. I also have about 4 tubs of clothes up to sz 6/7 for DS in the basement (from SIL). I need to sort those and get rid of 2/3 of it. Sigh.

I am determined never to get this burdened by blessings again!
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#29 of 44 Old 06-22-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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we do laundry once a week. My kids are kinda messy. I like for them to have 12-14 regular outfits and then 1-2 dressier outfits (our church isn't really dressy so for DS esp it is mainly for weddings etc). MIL LOVES buying girl clothes so DD has I dunno 3x that many. DRIVES ME CRAZY. I had to talk to her recently about buying so many dresses.... we play outside-in the dirt-in SHORTS not dresses.
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#30 of 44 Old 06-22-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBreeze View Post

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!
That's really a cute idea

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