I have two adorable little girls, which makes for the opportunity to buy and receive many MANY equally adorable articles of clothing. Dresses: party dresses sundresses, short sleeve, long sleeve, cotton…, leggings, jeggings, jeans and tights, sweaters, cardigans, jean jackets, shirts, skorts and shorts. You can name it, we probably had it in multiple colors for my very ultra fashionable daughters.
After the birth of my second daughter was when the laundry really got crazy. Hundreds of little itty bitty onesies, jammies, jumpers, socks and booties were piling up suffocating us. Serious! Hundreds, maybe thousands when you added the abundance of garments my two year old was also going through. At least 3 outfits per day. It got so bad I cried, I cursed and I swore to never buy another piece of clothing again. But. I am weak-willed and they had birthdays, where people bought them…wait for it….TONS of super cute little girl clothes!
Ugh, the pile was beginning to have its own zip code. I tried to keep up, but here is my excuse, a total first world problem but I’m going to tell you anyway. We have a washer/dryer combo unit. You know like the ones they have in Europe. The single unit washes then dries your clothes. You don’t take them out in between. Its just one appliance. We thought we were helping the environment with this one because I often forgot the clothes in the washer and then they got musky (you know THAT smell) and they had to be re-washed multiple times to get them clean smelling again…anyway. Our combo unit takes about 4 hours to complete one load. I know!! 4 freaking hours! The horror.
My husband even suggested I use a laundry service and send the laundry out. This is big for a guy I have nicknamed at times ‘cheap uncle Chris’. The service would come pick it up off my porch, then wash it, dry it and fold it and bring it back. Whoopee!! I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. The clothes came back like magic. Perfectly folded little piles of cuteness! But. I still had to put these away. The girls share a room with one small closet, not a walk in. A regular to small sized closet. Now my problem was where to store all of these clothes. As I sat on the floor in my daughters room with my little one rolling around on the piles I was trying to organize and my 2 yr old was jumping on the bed I had an epiphany. Why did we have all of these clothes? Why in the world did we need a supply of clothes for a village let along two small girls??
And I went crazy. I flew downstairs baby hanging on tight and got some bags… big ones! I couldn’t lose any momentum. I started purging like its never been done before (well at my house anyway). Anything that had a stain, a hole went in one bag. Why did I keep these as ‘play clothes’? all my girls did was play. No separate outfits for that and since we had all these clothes those were going first! Next! Anything that was too small or close to too small. Out! Next, anything that was too big I put into a Rubbermaid bin to go into the hall closet. For later. Then I started to match and count. I paired down my two year olds clothing to 4 jammies, 4 dresses (cotton), 4 leggings, 2 jeans, 2 shorts, 2 skirts, 4 long sleeve shirts, 4 short sleeve shirts, 2 cardigans, 2 sweatshirts, 2 jackets, 2 swimsuits, and a weeks worth of socks and underwear. If I couldn’t do 1 maybe 2 loads of laundry a week (if needed) then there was more of a problem than just the clothes. That is 30 articles of clothing! For my little one I paired it down to about the same, although she was still in baby clothes so it looked more like 10 jammy sleeper outfit things, 2 cute dresses, 2 cardigan sweaters, 2 sweatshirts, 2 jackets, 2 swimsuits, socks and booties. the closet looked great! Everything fit with room!
I donated bags of clothes to the GoodWill, the Woman & Childrens shelter and to friends. It felt wonderfully freeing. Today, 3 years later I still try to keep the clothes to these numbers, although my baby now three yr old does not wear jammy sleepers doubling as outfits. Before holidays or birthdays I try to go through the clothes extra to make room for the inevitable new ones and that seems to work out pretty good. At times things get a bit unruly and I have to go take the closet down a few pegs, so to speak, but it goes down quietly these days. No guilty voices telling me that the clothes need to stay or that for some reason that baby outfit is worth holding onto FOREVER.
I mentioned my closet purging laundry conquering to a good friend and she said, “Oh so now you’re a minimalist’. This was the first I’d heard the term minimalist. I smiled and made a mental note to look it up. What I found out BTW is…wait for it… minimalist thinking is awesome! And yes, I took that ideal to heart and went minimalistic all over the house! 🙂
I also found and fell in LOVE with these Tea Collection clothing sets. They come with mix and match high quality pieces!! http://www.teacollection.com/girls-clothing-sets
Link to the Lg washer/dryer combo in case it caught your interest http://www.lg.com/us/washer-dryer-combos
Link to creating a minimalist closet http://www.ehow.com/how_4532005_create-minimalist-wardrobe.html
and my all time personal fav minimalist blog http://www.becomingminimalist.com/