Generally you would never know it, but I really do LOVE a clean house. I just don't even come close these days. Between filling the freezer and cold storage for winter, taxiing children to their extra curricular activities, Bible study, volunteer positions, watching over homework, and keeping us clothed and fed, who has time to clean?!? Not me! So far the cleaning fairies haven't made an appearance either.
However, I firmly believe that the less stuff we have, the less there is to clean. Not to say that I'm going to sell off the brunt of our furniture or anything, but I feel that there can and should be a good limit on what the children have for clothing and footwear -- until they're old enough to properly look after it themselves.
Clothes with the three youngest has been a HUGE battle. The two youngest especially have no concept of appropriate clothing. Red and blue plaid shorts with a pink and yellow polkadot T-shirt and it's 12 degrees Celsius out? Sure! After all it's sunny! Let me just say, I am totally not one of those Duggar family worshippers who think they're so amazing and wonderful, but they havet one thing correct. I totally love the family closet idea! Unfortunately, we have no appropriate place for such a thing, but if we did, I would have one in a heartbeat!
123lbs (in 8 large bags) of clothes and some other items off to the thrift store! Happy Dance!!
Next was Peach. She does hers completely on her own. Whatever she decides doesn't fit or that she doesn't want immediately goes to Beans because Beans is right behind her in size. Then Beans goes through it and gets rid of what she doesn't want or what doesn't fit. I have to keep a bit of an eye on her though because she is far more sentimental and likes to hang on to things because she LIKES it -- even if it doesn't fit any more.
There is a significant size gap between Beans and Squirt, so if anything is kept or wanted by Squirt, it goes into boxes for a year or two. Squirt and Bella are back to back in sizes too. Then there is a huge gap between Bella and Bright Eyes again, so now only the least worn, non trendy, classic and classy stuff is stored, and even then, it might not be worn by the last two girls. Bright Eyes and Peanut are again back to back in sizes.
Purging the two youngest of excess clothing was easy because they both had waaaaay too much! They are horribly hard on their clothes. So anything that was worn out, torn, faded, stained, misshapen, out of style, or just plain ugly was tossed into the appropriate bag and then tossed in the trunk of the van. Oh I'm sorry girls! You no longer have any clothes left! Well, that's not quite true, but I did make a list. Unfortunately in our part of the country, we have very distinct seasons. That means we have about two and a half wardrobes. The half? Well that's because no one it seems has ever really figured out what to wear in the spring and fall.
So far I have only come up with the winter basics. They are as follows:
3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of black dress pants (needed for various school functions)
1 denim skirt/or jumper
1 black skirt
1 dressy white blouse/shirt
1 pair black leggings
1 pair black tights
1 pair navy leggings/or tights
6 long sleeved shirts
3 sweatshirts -- zip up and/or hoodie style
1 or 2 sweaters
I haven't decided the minimum on footwear. Perhaps because I myself know that I am a bit of a shoe lover. I don't have many, but definitely enough. Some of my girls have far more than others. I have some other ideas on how to make this whole clothing and footwear thing work for the younger girls, but I have to implement it first and see if it works. I'm hoping it's going to save what little sanity I have left. ;o)
If you have any thoughts or suggestions on another way to minimize or simplify the girls' wardrobes, feel free to share it with me because I'm all for simple, and I love to hear what others do to make their lives easier.