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Wednesday, September 19, 2012


My quest to simplify has not gone away, I've actually been working on it a lot since coming home from the hospital a month ago.

A few weeks ago I was part of a multi-family garage sale at my mom's house. I took 12 huge boxes, a table and chair set, a baby stroller, and three large totes of items. I returned with just half a box of items left. It felt good to have the whole van loaded full and to return almost empty handed. That cleared out a lot of space but there is lots left to organize and get rid of.

Right now the bane of my existence is clothing. I know that I had a problem before grabbing up any cute item that would fit any of my children but while pulling out and washing all the fall clothing I noticed just what a problem I had on my hands when it took me days to wash and try to put away the clothing. I mentioned this on my blog in the last post and it's something that I have been organizing and pairing down this week. I need help though as I still need to go back through the clothing and pair it down even more to fit in drawers. How many pairs of pants, tops, and sweaters do you think is a fair amount for each child? I'd love to hear how you keep your children's clothing paired down to a reasonable amount.

Adding a 4th child to an already small house in just 6 months means that I need to maximise the space that we do have and pair down all our belongings to have an organized and clean space. So while I have been working on this task all year I really want to finish it in the next six months. One goal is to take a large bag to Goodwill each time I visit the midwife (this was one thing I did while pregnant with Joe and it helped to clear out space...knowing that I needed a full box every month, then every two weeks, and the last month of my pregnancy meant I was dropping off a full box or bag every week at Goodwill...I know that my nesting instinct helped me meet my goal!).

That's one thing I've been busy with lately...it takes a lot of hard work to live simply!


  1. We do laundry once a week, with a load or two during the week, as needed. This fall is the first time I've done it this way. So I'm making sure I have 8 of pants, shirts, underwear, etc. One outfit per day, plus an extra. :) Congrats on the pregnancy!:)

  2. Is this the first mention of pregnancy? I didn't remember hearing this. CONGRATULATIONS!! That is wonderful news.

  3. I'm thinking with little ones like you have 10 outfits would be plenty. That way you only HAVE to do laundry 1x per week and if there is a need to change outfits you have a few extra. Plus if you have an off week where kids are sick, right after the baby is born, etc. you can let laundry go because the kids have enough for at least a week plus. I feel your pain on the weeding out of kid's clothes, we just did that yesterday and discovered that my oldest only has 2 shirts for winter that still fit.

  4. Kelly, no, I've snuck it into a few of my posts recently but only in a way that you have to read carefully to catch it (the biggest reveal was in the post a few weeks back showcasing the baby quilts!).
    Jessica and Elana- a week to 10 days worth of outfits sounds perfect! Deciding which outfits to keep and which to get rid of will be the problem - they are all so cute. But considering how much stress these piles are causing me it will be the perfect solution. That will fit nicely in the dressers and cut down on the laundry. Wish me luck - I'll keep you all updated!

  5. Congratulations on the newest blessing!! I wondered about that, when you said you've been feeling tired, when you should be feeling energetic!

    Hm. My opinion is very different on the laundry, though I think a lot depends on family size, weekly routine in terms of time spent at home, and of course personal preference. Wouldn't you want to do a load every other day at least (or every day), with four children, one of whom is a baby? Babies spit up, have diaper blow-outs, etc, and I don't like that laundry to sit too long... I would ask, "how often will you have a full load?" When I had a family of six or more, I personally found it easier to do a load right away when I have a full load (dark or light load). So I actually do a load (or two) each day (Sundays are off) for my family size, and find that much more manageable than trying to lots of loads all at once.

    With that caveat, four of everything (shirts, pants or skirts) is more than enough, though some extra underwear and socks are great for good measure. One summer church outfit, and one for winter, especially for the boys is enough. For the girls we have some extra options on church clothes.

    Though if you were truly doing only a dark load every second or third day, and a light load every second or third day, maybe a few extra - six total would be needed. I guess my mathematical formula would be to take the longest number of days between washing, and add two extra for good measure.

    Elizabeth, consider doing one load a day as part of your daily routine, (and just skip any day if you don't have a large load worth of laundry.) To me it simplifies a lot! It is just a smaller daily chore, there are less clothes to find space for and store, the children's drawers stay neater, and the laundry job doesn't build up into a detestable, smelly, Herculean mountain! An added bonus is that your children are probably approaching the age when they can truly be a big help with it - (transferring the wet clothes into the dryer, folding and putting away laundry). Asking them to help with one load a day is reasonable, but helping with three or four loads at once is probably asking too much, IMO!

    Good luck culling through! You can do it!

  6. Anonymous- I agree that I couldn't get away with just doing laundry weekly. We do at least a load a day here and I know with baby clothes it is going to add a lot more laundry to the pile.

    With that said, I don't mind washing or folding laundry (and the kids do like to help with that chore!) but rather putting it away. It's a mess trying to fit it all into the dressers and closet as everything is packed in so tightly. So I *hope* that once I can pair things down a reasonable amount that it will make the whole laundry process much easier.

    I worked on that a little today and have a box filled already of clothing to get rid of! It's a little start but I really need to get ruthless with this process and pair it down much more -- I'm not sure why it's so hard for me but I have a thing for cute little kid's clothing! Thank you for your comment though, it gives me ideas!

  7. With four moves this past year, I really pared down on my children's clothing as well. I have enough everyday clothing for each day of the week for each child for both summer and winter. They have a couple outfits for good for summer as well as winter. When we did pare down, I let the children pick out their favorites with mom getting to pick a couple of her favorites. If they do not like it, they will not choose to wear it and there it sits. Each of my four children has there own dresser/chest-of-drawers. All clothes have to fit in there or their closet. Anything extra has to go. If you do bring anymore clothing into your house, then choose something to replace it with and get rid of that item.

  8. Amy- That is the *bad* thing about living somewhere for six years...things pile up without one noticing. Though I don't envy you moving four times this year...ugh! Are you still blogging...I'd love to follow along again!
    Good idea on getting the kids involved in helping pair down their dressers. You are so right that they each have their "go to" favorite outfits and let others just sit in their dressers untouched. Maybe they can help me with that task this afternoon.



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