how few clothes do you really need? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-21-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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(Waving to Jster....I was in your Aug DDC...how is that babe?)

Back to topic....we don't have a ton of clothing....well except for my dh...he's the clothes horse LOL I can say without a doubt that he has enough clothes for several husbands. He recently traveled out of the country for 6 mos, and took quite a bit of stuff with him, but I was just putting the last of his laundry away today and realized I cannot tell what he took! LOL

My boys (11 and 8) share one smallish 6 drawer dresser (small one for unders/socks and another small one for pj's, 1 for t-shirts, 1 for pants, 1 for misc sports clothes/jerseys, and the 6th drawer is actually for ds's bird stuff LOL). Then they have about a dozen hangers for sweatshirts/sweaters/long sleeve shirts. I have a similar sized dresser for myself including one drawer for misc 'stuff' not really clothes and then a few dozen things hanging.

I just thin their clothes frequently! They tend to get a lot of t-shirts because they run road races and people gift them. I don't really buy them many new things or we thrift or I sew things, so I don't worry if something wears out quicker than it normally would, I just get an inexpensive replacement. Though, I'm not SURE they wear out sooner.....the boys wore the SAME shorts 4 years in a row. Not the same size...but the same actual shorts. And many of their sweatshirts that get worn often have been in service for 3-4 years as well!

We also spent 3 weeks in England a while back and we each took only a carry-on sized backpack that also included games, camera, coats, etc. We had two pairs of pants, 5 shirts, 7 unders, 7 socks, and a sweatshirt.

I think if you want to go down to just a few things...do it! IMO it DOES make laundry easier! You cannot get 'behind' on laundry, because you don't have much to wear, so it has to be done and putting away is easier because you don't have to find space and cram it into the small available space.

We've also taught the boys to hang their clothes up over the end of the bed, and if they aren't dirty, to wear them again. Pants can be worn multiple days. Unders and socks changed every day. T-shirts maybe 2 days. Sweatshirts can be used all week usually.

~Mama to my boys~ to a teen, a tween & a toddler and surro-mama to twins and their sister

Livin' in the sticks with my chicks chicken3.gif and lovin' it!

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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My rule of thumb for DD's clothes has been two weeks' worth of clothes. This isn't a simple 14 outfits, though. I look at an actual two weeks of upcoming activities for each season (sleep, school, play, gymnastics, swimming, sports, weddings, parties, etc) and she chooses her favorite items for those activities. She wears most clothes twice before laundering. The rest goes away (charity or friends). When she was younger (and growing so much more rapidly), I would need to fill in quite a few gaps each new season simply because we'd always have a ton of certain things and nothing in other categories. Over the last couple years, I have let family know exactly which clothing items she needs for Christmas and birthday (usually pajamas, swimsuits, and shoes) and they've been terrific about honoring those requests.

I chose two weeks because I keep up with laundry easily and do not wish to HAVE to do a specific load due to some "emergency". We have a three-bin sorter and I generally wash whichever load is fullest each morning. When none are full enough, I wash towels or sheets. I don't have to do a load of laundry every single day, but I consciously make that decision each morning. My DD is very fashion-conscious and she simply LOVES clothes! She loves fabrics and details and on and on. For me, one week is too few due to laundry issues and a month is too long due to space issues. Two weeks has worked very well for us for about 4-5 years now.

DH hasn't bought into this concept at all. He doesn't own a ton of clothes, though, so I leave him alone. His natural tendency is "what if?" and he leans toward the pack-rack side of things. His world is about to get rocked in this regard. We finally, after nearly nine years of marriage and making do with his old hand-me-down stuff and my childhood furniture, purchased new bedroom furniture and it is arriving in early May. He is already aware that there will be some significant changes going on in our bedroom regarding clothing!

For myself, I think I have reached a good balance. We only have 2-3 seasons, depending on how technical you want to get. For each season, I feel that I have adequate clothing without going overboard. I do find I HAVE to wash certain clothing items of mine more frequently than anything of DD's or DH's. However, I have been losing weight and only own one pair of jeans, black pants, and black capris that fit at any given point. I've been giving away the too-large items as they fall off. Tops are far more forgiving than bottoms, so I have a lot more of those. I tend to wear them all, though, so I just don't buy any new ones. I go through my clothes about three times a year and donate the ones I no longer like for whatever reason. I probably have too many of the non-staple items, though, like nice dresses. They take up so little space in my closet that I haven't bothered assessing their value in my life, yet. With the new furniture arriving soon, though, I plan to go through our entire bedroom with a fine-tooth comb...

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 05-05-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I totally downsized our clothes.

Everyone in my family (two parents and five kids) fits their clothes in two small closets and two dressers. I have definitely found (especially with clothes) that less is more!

Although, just to be honest (and really, prove my point)...I was doing good until the change of season, and then the change back to cool weather, and now its getting warmer again...so hopefully, this time next week I'll be back on track.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I got a lot more of a hold on things...I am finally done with law school, so the house is actually under control again!

It's really interesting the way the responses on this thread went...some interpreted my question as how many clothes do you need to have clean clothes for a reasonable length of time, and others interpreted it as how many clothes do you need to present yourself fashionably. We're definitely not the fashionable sort so I was more thinking in terms of actual practicality...more like how someone a hundred years ago would have a few outfits, wear them a couple of times before washing, and get by.

We haven't gotton there quite yet, but I bagged up a whole bunch of clothes, put them away, and no one has missed anything yet. And the laundry isn't out of control, even if DD2 goes crazy on clothes changes in a day she still can't do much damage. I'm not sure what we've got interms of outfits, but the girls are both fitting in to a three-big-drawer dresser (one for undies and pjs, one for tops, one for shorts/skirts/pants) as well as some dresses hung up (probably about ten, down from about 40). We definitely had gotton out of control...I just hate to throw things away, and it seems no one wants something if it has even the slightest stain, so...

Thanks again for all your thoughts!

And Crunchy, my little boy is doing great...he's practicing crawling right now and getting in loads of trouble It's a whole lotta fun to have a baby around again, and best wishes to you with TTC!
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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Lurker, de-lurking here to share laundry experience that works for me...

I know this wasn't your question BUT we are a family with lots of clothes and the wanted to share how I keep up with the laundry:

I grew up with a one laundry basket family that we threw everything into and my father would trudge downstairs when it got full and wash it.

That doesn't seem to work for me now that I have my own family

So in my laundry room I have two of those divided rolling thingys and one small basket into which I separate them as they get dirty.

They are:
Dark
Colors
Pinks and Red (yes, I've got a 3yo DD )
White
Colored socks and underwear
Light towels
Dark towels

Then every day I make myself wash one load. It's kind of freeing to only have to do one load and then be done!!!

Off to wash my one load....at least I learned SOMETHING from Flylady, even if nothing else stuck, LOL!

Emily in Germany
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I have downsized mine and would like to do everyone elses clothes (although they greatly protest about getting rid of any clothing, so I just pick things out here and there to get rid of).

I have all my clothes hanging. I have 6 skirts, about 10 tops, two tanks to wear under some tops, one pair of pants, two pairs of capris, a couple of dresses and a few coats (need coats here, lol!). I keep my undergarments, socks (don't wear but keep a few pairs), 2 nightgowns and 2 bathing suits in a medium tote and I have a medium tote of clothes I hope to fit into someday . It has made life so much easier having everything hung up as I can see everything and almost everything matches, except for a couple of skirts. There are still a few items I could probably get rid of but I like having some older clothes to wear around the house when cleaning
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
To echo a PP's thought, pregnancy really made me realize how minimal my wardrobe *could* be. At any time during my pregnancies, I only had 5-6 outfits to choose from. Basic Ts and mix and match outfits layered with cardigans were my go-to look.
I hadn't really thought about this before, but I think pregnancy really made me realize how minimal my wardrobe could be, too. I bought very few maternity items, and made do.

It is very true that you don't need a lot of clothes.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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well for my children I have an 18 month old boy and a 4 yr old DD
I got them their summer clothes and they each have 7 short sets. Which could get us through 5-6 days but I wash every other day. Then they both have 4 church/dressy outfits and my DD has alot of dresses on the other side of closet for parties etc.. that dont get worn very often.

For me I just pared down to
(im preggos so I have a bunch in attic of different sizes)
2 prs stretchy dress black pants
3 capri pants
3 long board shorts
7 nice tops
5 tees
4 workout outfits

My DH is another story he has a closet PACKED of clothes he hasnt worn in 10+ yrs weve been together

Shelly, Mom to Sophia 5 Nicholas 3 & 2 Angels
Its a GIRL! Alyssa Ann 6/29/10 7lbs 5 oz
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