This is the fifth installment in our series, Homemaking Your Way. Catch up on the first four here.
Clothing. Ugh. Emily did such a great job explaining her “system” for clothes, I really don’t think I can add anything super helpful to the discussion (hence the five day late post…). But I’ll give it a try.
Here’s the deal. The Davises have long been our friends and family’s personal Goodwill. We get hand-me-downs like crazy, or at least we used to. When my daughter (my first) was about 2.5 years old, I saw a children’s clothing consignment event advertised on Craigslist and I thought I would quickly go through Audrey’s clothes and try to make some money.
Hours (and I mean HOURS) later, I had what amounts to 6 clothes full of clothing hanging in our basement. My mother-in-law stopped by and after she saw the room exclaimed, “You could push me over with a feather.” It was absolutely crazy.
Since then, I have worked at weeding through the piles and piles of children’s clothing and I finally feel like I have some sort of a handle on things. I realized recently that I was spending way too much valuable time managing all the extra items in our home, including clothing, and the only solution was to get rid of most of it.
The one thing that motivated me to get ruthless on my kids’ clothing was moving our third child, Nathan (3.5) into the “big” kids’ room. I challenged myself to only keep what could fit into their medium sized dresser.
Seven drawers for three kids. It was tough, but I think I succeeded.
Note that I did not fix anything when I took these pictures. I just walked into the mess and start clicking. If I was trying to impress, I would have at least folded the clothes. But I know most of you enjoy real life, so here’s our real life!
Here’s how the dresser is organized:
Each child has one small drawer for socks and underwear. I may be putting their swimming suits in these drawers if and when it ever warms up enough to hit the pool.
They also each have one drawer for pants, tops and shorts.
See? Total chaos.
This has forced me to get rid of a lot of items. And I really want each drawer to be organized enough for each of them to be able to find what they are looking for (work in progress). The boys have a couple of collared shirts for church, but other than that, all of their clothing is everyday wear.
We also have one drawer for pajamas.
It’s a tight fit, as you can tell. The kids oftentimes sleep in their clothes, so we really don’t need or use many PJs.
I really need to work on training these people how to fold clothes. Add it to the list!
Each child has a shoe basket.
I have also worked at having a minimum number of shoe options per person. Ideally I want each person to have one pair of everyday shoes, one pair of rain boots that double as snow boots for the once-a-year blizzard and one pair of summer shoes (sandles or Crocs). My daughter does have a pair of trendy boots and one pair of sparkly shoes for church. The boys just wear their regular shoes to church. I don’t have time to mess with shoes that are worn for three hours a week.
My kids’ closet contains multiple shelves and I do store some clothing in bins in there for my daughter’s dance class gear, her school uniform, soccer shoes and shorts and all of their swimming suits. My daughter’s nice dresses are hanging in my closet.
My youngest, Matthew (18 months), rolls solo in the other room and has a small dresser to himself.
There really are too many items in this dresser, but I am too lazy to get rid of items right now. He also has a shoe box. The plastic bag on the left are all the 18 month clothes that Chunk has grown out of. Great ready, Emily! I have more clothes for ya!
We have just enough clothing to last two weeks if life happens and I have to skip laundry one week. I absolutely love the lack of clothing clutter in the house right now and I really love that we have been able to make three kids in one room work.
As for clothes storage, right now I have a box for each size that I am storing in my closet.
I also have one “grow into” box for my oldest two (the size 5-6 box). If I pick something up that will fit them in the next year or so, it just gets thrown into that box. I also have a “keepsake” box that I am storing clothes I can’t part with — like the first outfit all four of my kids wore right after birth (it’s tiny and from Italy), everyone’s first shoes and some adorable girl clothing that I am saving in case a baby girl gets left on our doorstep. I’m not terribly sentimental, so the box is a bit empty right now!
I won’t speak for my husband when it comes to clothing — he’s content wearing his work shirts and shorts on most days. He is planning to replace his entire wardrobe when the Portland Trail Blazers win a championship, so he’s in a holding pattern right now.
As for me, I did chuckle when Emily wrote about the “the pre-pregnancy clothes, the maternity clothes, the post-pregnancy clothes, and those clothes that you are hanging onto for the day when you lose those last ten pounds.” Currently, I have clothing that spans five regular sizes and four pregnancy sizes (yes, small to extra large) because I get crazy big when pregnant and I don’t lose the weight or mass as quickly as I’d like afterward.
Other than a box that is labeled “Skinny Clothes” I have no organization. It’s just utter mayhem. I am planning to get ruthless on my closet in the next few weeks and figure out what I truly love and get the rest out of my house! I am truly looking forward to moving out of the clothing-holding-pattern phase of life and having a closet with clothes that fit and that I enjoy wearing.
Now it’s your turn! How do you manage your family’s clothing?
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