Laundry Wars Update: Making a List

In my ongoing battle against laundry, I’ve taken a step back to think. This is different than my normal “attack at full speed” approach (or my “avoid at all costs” approach) and it proved useful.  Over the past 10 years, I’ve had times where keeping up with laundry was a non-issue.  I’ve had other times (like now) where it feels like an all-encompassing task.  I simply tracked back to the last time the laundry was under control and figured out what changed.

I posted last week about my lack of hanging rods, shelves, or dresser drawers.  Combined with the continual sheetrock dust it makes for a huge challenge of mountainous proportions.  It’s been a growing problem ever since we moved back into the house (March) and has finally reached unmanageable proportions.    Part of it is the lack of storage space, but given that we lacked storage space for most of this past year (spend a few months in an RV and you’ll know what I’m talking about) that can hardly be the issue.  What I realized was that I had a VOLUME problem.

Until we moved back into the house, over half our clothing was in storage.  Not just out-of season stuff, but stuff I was actually wanting to wear.  When we moved back in, I gleefully dug into all those storage containers on a treasure hunt for my beloved summer dress.  I had every intention of washing, folding, and sorting all those clothes.  Instead, I washed them and piled them in a clean spot.

Three months later, I’m wondering why.  If I lived with it stored for a year, do I really need it?  If I did, chances are good that I replaced it with a similar purchase.  A quick sort told me that my kids have amassed AT LEAST thirty pairs of underwear between the two of them (they wear the same size).  That’s a full two week supply for each kid.

I’ve also figured out that simply storing my kids out-of-season clothing on a high shelf isn’t enough.  It needs to be boxed up where they can’t see it.  If they see their favorite sweat pants, they want to drag them out and wear them.  Polar fleece pants and Texas summer heat don’t go together.  Boxing stuff up will also mean the clothes are protected from sheetrock dust.

I’ve made a quick list of what I think the volume of clothing SHOULD be for each of us.  I’m basing it on what worked well over the past year. Over the next few days, my goal is to return us to that level of clothing and donate the other items.

I’m curious.  Do you have a way to limit clothing purchases/storage for your family?  What guidelines do you use on quantity?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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