Monday, March 10, 2008

Decluttering just like everyone else

I wonder if the decluttering bug hits everyone this time of year. After a long winter of being cooped up in our messy little houses we just want to get rid of everything. I guess I've got the bug just like everyone else. The decluttering bug is so widespread, in fact, that I'm not even going to try to link to everyone who has been blogging about. And I know that a whole lot of moms have realized that they can't declutter and blog so they're doing the former. It is so freeing. I finally got a new camera yesterday so I'm newly motivated to blog about my homemaking.

The latest spate of purging involved the kids' clothes. Thing were getting out of hand and that with only two children and four years of clothes collection under my belt. I remember when I was pregnant with Margaret that I was really hoping for another boy so that I wouldn't have to store two sets of clothes! I'm pretty glad to have a girl, as it turns out, and I've finally managed it so that the clothes for both kids take up the same amount of space as the clothes for only Joseph used to. It was really, really time to reorganize the clothes storage bins, anyway. The seasons are changing just as Margaret is getting into the next size and I was sick of kicking aside piles of too-small pink onesies every time I tried to close the closet door.

I thought long and hard about how many clothes we really need and I realized something: I do laundry every day. I usually wash two loads each day, in fact, because we use cloth diapers and all cloth in the kitchen. I do not need two weeks worth of clothes for all the kids. I decided that five outfits for each size/season/gender was reasonable. It allows for variety, sickness, a missed day of laundry, whatever. So I went through every size and kept the best five tops and five bottoms for each size/season/gender. A dress replaced a top and bottom (one of many reasons I love putting Margaret in dresses). I also kept one "Sunday" outfit for each group. My kids dress pretty well every day. We don't do sweatpants or sweatshirts, here. We go out almost every day besides trying to get to Daily Mass and I like all of us to look neat and respectable. The only bin that got more than five outfits per gender was the newborn bin. I kept more like ten each for that size because newborns go through a lot of clothes in a day.

I additionally kept some kind of cardigan or sweater for each size and all the socks we currently own. I'm not sure what to do about socks, yet, but I've been thinking for a long time about doing one color per size to simplify. We can't afford to implement this across the board right now so I've just put each size in its own gallon-size ziploc. I'll revisit socks when I need to buy new ones for Joseph next fall. Shoes got their own bin but we don't have very many as Joseph doesn't wear out shoes.

Our winter coats and seasonal accessories also have their own bin though I think we might not fit everything back in after this winter. I'll have to think about that.

When I was all done (and, amazingly, this project only took a couple hours, even with Margaret's help) I was able to make one bin for each size and put four sets of clothes in each: boy summer, boy winter, girl summer, and girl winter. My sizes go in six-month increments up to 24 months and then go one year at a time. I didn't even get very big bins. I think they are the 14-gallon Rubbermaids. I would say they are on the small side of medium in terms of size. I suppose I'll need bigger bins for bigger kids but I'm feeling really good about my storage situation, now. I was able to donate two large bags of clothes to the inpatients at the hospital where Joseph is treated.

Okay, time to make dinner . . . More later on what I was able to do after this project was completed.

12 comments:

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Robyn said...

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Why are you a target for this stuff? They must have some program that targets people that might fall for this stuff. ;) And you are a likely target!

TSS said...

Wow, that's a lot of bins. I like the idea of five outfits per person, it must help you reduce the "unsure" piles that end up accumulating slowly over time.