Tuesday, November 15, 2011

simplifying: kids clothes

For me at least, when it came time to simplify our kids' clothes I found it to be relatively... simple.

My first clue that we needed simplification in this area was realizing that their closet and dresser were stuffed full of clean clothes even when their hamper was full of dirty clothes. And there were always the same clothes in the dresser and the same clothes in the hamper.

My goal has always been to wash their clothes once a week. So one day on washing day when their clothes were in the laundry room I took a good hard look at what was left in their closet and dresser.

I took out anything that didn't fit.
Anything they hadn't worn in a few weeks.
Any of the items I was tired of having them wear.
Anything they don't like.
And anything that didn't match something else to make an outfit.

Then when their laundry was dry I brought to their room and took inventory of what was left. Here's what we kept for each of them:

  • 5 long sleeved shirts
  • 5 short sleeved shirts
  • 5 dresses (for Camille)
  • 2 rompers (for Levi)
  • 4 pants
  • 4 shorts
  • 3 pajamas
  • 3 undershirts
  • 3 swimsuits
  • 2 jackets
  • 6-8 pairs of socks
  • 2-4 pairs of shoes

All of the shirts/dresses/rompers get hung up in the closet. I don't bother folding them when they come out of the dryer. I just lay them flat on top of each other, gather empty hangers from the closet, insert the hangers while the clothes are still in a pile, then pick them all up and hang them on the rod.

(The other half of their closet has the pieces of Levi's crib)

Their dresser has four drawers.

The first is for panties, socks, and swimsuits.

The second is for pajamas and undershirts.

The third is for Levi's pants/shorts.

The fourth is for Camille's pants/shorts.

All the shoes go in a bin in the bottom of the closet next to their hamper. Their jackets hang in the closet by our front door.

Somehow during the move we've ended up with a few extra clothing items. I think that mostly had to do with the climate change and the fact that we were living out of suitcases for a couple of weeks. So my plan this week is to go through them once again and pare down what they don't need right now.

When the kids' clothes are simplified, I find that doing laundry is much more simple as well. I can literally wash all their clothes in two loads, but if I keep on top of it and wash whenever their hamper is full then I can do it in one load. And when it's only one load to do, then folding and putting them away is very quick. In fact, often all I do is hang their hanging clothes and pass the basket off to Camille for her to put away. She knows what each drawer is for and likes the responsibility of helping me with laundry.

On a side note, I've always been one to buy the kids' clothes on clearance (or at consignment or garage sales) a few sizes bigger for them to grow into. But I've found that by doing that I accumulate many more clothes than they need, and thus spending more money on them than is necessary. I still occasionally pick up a few items that I know for sure we will love, but now my goal is to buy items only for the next season/size when we are nearly ready for them. Since I know exactly how many of each item I will need, I will be able to put together outfits and still spend less than I was spending before.

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