Paring down: Kid clothes

Yesterday as I was folding Liv’s laundry off the line I decided that was the perfect moment to sort through some of her stuff. I had already decided that I wouldn’t go through her drawers until the laundry was done because there was no point in doing it twice, right? So, I sorted as stuff came off the line into the basket and it was immediately freeing.

When I took stuff into her room to put away I went through the drawers as I was emptying the contents of the laundry basket. Since I already had a pile in the basket of “give away” clothes it was actually really easy to sort through the other stuff and just add to it.

I have to be honest, Olivia’s clothes are one of my sore spots. She has SO many. Since she was a baby we’ve been blessed with lots of gifts, and I’ve always added to things when needed. One thing I’ve done several times in the past is buy a small lot of clothes off ebay. I always try to stick to what I know she needs, like dresses she can wear every day, or a lot of t-shirts and shorts.

The truth that I’ve learned over the last two years though, is that often the lots, while great clothes, are too much for what her needs really are. Especially since she LOVES clothes. They are almost like a toy for her. If she had her choice she would change them every hour. And this is what drives me crazy. Every time she decides she’s changing her clothes the previous set end up on the floor. And her drawers are left wide open and they look like a crazed naked person has ravaged them because they just could decide what to wear. When Yonese cleans, things often just get put in the drawers and closed. I can spend time sorting them, but the cycle continues. And that’s not even mentioning the overflow that moves into the bathroom or the kitchen and living room. Yesterday when I was tidying up the house I believe I picked up at least 5 items of clothing that had accumulated in a 24 hour period. And then there’s the shoes.

So what is the solution?

Less.

Less clothing for Little Missy to experiment with. Less clothing for me to wash. Less for me to pick up. Less to put away. Less that can ooze out of the drawer. Less to sort. Less, period.

The truth is, she’s only three. She can only wear so many items of clothing each week. She does not need 7 play dresses, 7 t-shirts, 10 tank tops, 8 pairs of shorts etc. She needs enough clothing to wear in a week and then a little extra. And now she has just that. Just enough to get her through the week and then a bit more. There are play clothes, a few dresses for church, and a few nicer t-shirts etc for going places. She does still have her stash of cool weather clothes for going to Canada next month, but I’ve already decided that what doesn’t fit her when we’re ready to come back will go to the thrift store there or someone else, and not in the suitcase.

I did keep all her underwear and most of her pjs, just giving away the ones that don’t fit her. She’s three, so accidents happen during the day and at night.

The other thing that spawned this part of the “Rolling Family De-Cluttering” is that Olivia currently has use of two small dressers. When I say small, they are really no more that about 28″ tall with three drawers each. That will be changing shortly so we need to make her stuff fit in one to make room for her little brother’s stuff. That’s the goal – one dresser for each kid.

I will be honest, the freaky side of me is feeling like I might be able to let out a breath that I’ve been holding for a very long time because I will have less stuff to manage, less clothing controlling me. Less times I have to bend over as my belly grows to pick stuff up, and less times that I have to wash stuff that’s been worn and tossed on the floor and stepped on.

It’s kind of like opening a window when spring hits after a long winter.

~Leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

One thought on “Paring down: Kid clothes

  1. My daughter is the exact same way! Drives me bonkers! I hope to do the big sort in the next week or two. Thanks for the inspiration.

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