Laundry. At times it can be quite overwhelming! I recently heard someone say that if you feel like laundry sometimes takes over your home (whether it's dirty, folded, ready to be hung, or in a pile on the couch) then it's time to redo your laundry system! And what better time than summertime, right?
I watched a few organizing and minimalizing videos on youtube. I learned a lot from the Minimal Mom (again) on how she does laundry. I decided to put into practice some tips from others, and some things I'm learning.
1. We really don't need that many clothes. My kiddos drawers were overflowing and it was getting difficult to put things away for them.
It made me think of 2 summers ago and our time at the cabin in Blueridge. What a vacation! On that vacation we brought just enough clothes for everyone. We knew we'd have access to a washer, so I wasn't worried we wouldn't have enough. At the end of the day, I put all of our clothes from the day into the washer. Usually it fit into 1 or 2 loads. You know vacation....swimming, hiking, dinner....you end up wearing a good bit of clothes. But knowing everyone had just enough, it made me not dread the laundry process. Even on vacation! It made me want to put in a load real quick. Fold when done, and Voila, laundry was easy! Could it work that way at home? Oh yes! That's the plan!
Since Camp was coming I knew it was the perfect time to figure out the right amount of clothes according to what they would need for a week at camp.
5 play clothes
3-4 nicer clothes
2 sets swim clothes
2 sets of jammmies
As far as church clothes, I didn't limit the number of outfits for my Callie. (although some of her "nicer clothes" were fine for church) For my boys, I had them pick 3 bottoms (which some of them were already in their "nicer clothes" pile) they liked. 3 suit coats (if they had them) and about 5 dress shirts. Since they had bunches of ties, that made church clothes options almost limitless.
I know this is actually a good bit of clothes. But, for us, it was what I felt we could go down to easily.
After we picked what they needed, we dumped the rest of the clothes left into a rubbermaid. This was the change from my normal going through clothes routine. Usually I would look through their drawers and try to eliminate. But with this way we picked out we needed and put the rest away.
2. Pay attention to what your kids actually wear. Usually my kiddos wear a lot of the same things over and over because it's what they like and what is comfortable. I had bought Callie this jean skirt about a year ago. Every girl needs a good jean skirt, right? Well, she wore it once and pronounced it "uncomfortable" A couple months later I would find it and try to get her to wear it. She would, but you could tell she didn't like it much. It was never something she picked out so it sat in her drawer. Why were we keeping it? So, this was one of those that went into the rubbermaid.
3. I have veto power. Even if they like something and think it's comfortable, I'm still the parent and get to ultimately choose their clothes. This particular dress Callie likes to wear. But, as she's grown, it doesn't fit her too well anymore ( she's worn it plenty) and the shirt she wore under it didn't lay right. I chose to override her decision and put this one in the rubbermaid.
4. Do you really need duplicates? We live in Florida. Even though it's North Florida and does get cold in the winter, does Callie really need 2 vests? These were adorable! And she did wear the pink one a couple of times last winter. But, she didn't wear them enough to keep 2. So, it was time to pick one to keep in her closet. Want to hear the sad part? Neither fit! So both had to go into giveaway box.
We then ended up with a rubbermaid full of clothes. Good clothes! These were the ones that we just had too many of, weren't the kids favorites, were duplicates and didn't fit well. What do we do with them? What if we got rid of too many and we needed more clothes? I decided to let this lovely rubbermaid sit in my room for a month. If it wasn't touched, then it was time to donate to the thrift store. Do you know what happened? We didn't touch the rubbermaid! So all those clothes will find their way to the thrift store so they can be a blessing to another child.
So it's been a month since we've adopted this new laundry system. I have found that the hampers usually aren't overflowing because I just do a load every night, and it's done! It's taught the kids to remember to reuse their towels at least 3 times to make less laundry for Mom. It's taught them to put their jammies under their pillow and wear for 3 nights in a row. It's taught them that it's not so hard to put clothes away in the right place when there is room for them in the right spot and they don't have to jam everything into the right place.
I'm thankful we've got a better handle on our clothes and laundry. Just in time for the school year to begin. It's just right around the corner!!