Laundry Help: Clothing Limits

One last way to help with laundry management is to limit the number of clothes that each person owns or has out at a given time. In our house this is managed when the seasons change, which for us (sorry to those up in the frigid north)  is just about now.

This is a process that I find tedious, so if you have a better system, please feel free to share it.

We have our clothes sorted and stored in this manner. Gender, size and season, so I have a GIRLS box of SIZE 4 clothes for both SUMMER and WINTER. Got it?

I begin week one by pulling out the appropriate size, season, and gender  bin for one or two children.

I have two sets of girls who are less than 18 months apart and I also have a set of boys who are close in age, so I will work through each of those pairs of children together. That way if anything doesn’t fit the larger child it can be passed down for the smaller one to try and vice-versa.

So each child tries on the clothes in their bin and I check for fit and style. Dividing into two piles, 1.fits and is cute OR 2.doesn’t fit or doesn’t look cute on this child.

Next I sort  the “fits and is cute” pile into 4 categories: pajamas,  Sunday clothes,  nice going out clothes, and everyday clothes. Now the children get to “shop”. They love this part. I tell them how many from each category that they get to pick. Here are our current shopping guidelines:

  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 2 Sunday outfits for boys and 3 for girls
  • 3 pairs of nice going out clothes
  • 5 pairs of everyday clothes.

I try to be strict on these numbers, but sometimes a child has so many cute little things to choose from. However, I always regret letting them keep more than the above numbers because we simply don’t have room and they  end up just wearing a few things anyway.

When I finish with a child or pair of children I make a list of their size and any things that they might need. I put their pile of “new” clothes aside (no they don’t get to wear them yet)  and go to the next child or pair of children. I take my time with this step and it may take me a week to get through all 9 children.

After I finish getting out all of the “new” clothes for everyone in a room, the next step takes place on that rooms laundry day. When their day rolls around they get to put on one of their “new” outfits and I give special instructions in gathering all of the laundry from their room. Not only must they gather everything from the basket, under the dresser, beds, etc. they must also bring me everything out of their drawers including socks and underwear and everything (including shoes) out of the closets. I want their room to be clothing free.

Wash, wash, wash and sort, sort, sort by person.

After everything is washed, we get out the boxes that these clothes will go into and loads of empty trash bags to pack with things to give away. Since we have multiple children in each room this day is much messier than the previous week, but it will be worth it when it is all done. So, to continue our above example one of the  boxes would be GIRLS, size 3, WINTER. I sort through all of this child’s “old” clothing. Since I don’t have another girl after this one, I won’t be keeping any of this. I put it in bags to pass on to my sister-in-law. If I do have another child who will wear these clothes in the future, I sort very carefully only keeping what is still in nice shape. The rest is given away. Also, if I have more than what will fit in the box, the excess is given away.

Now, we sort the underwear and socks. Each child keeps 10 pairs of underwear and during the summer 3 -4 pairs of socks and 1 pair of Sunday socks. (Boys keep 1 pair in each color blue, tan, and black.)  I continue making my list of items that I need to purchase for each child.

Coats are put away along with any outgrown or out-of-season shoes.

Now we put their “new” clothes and shoes in the bedroom. Yes, we even have a shoe quota in our house. I know, I know I’m a clothes Nazi.

Put the boxes away, take the giveaway bags where they belong, and make a pile of socks that don’t match (we will match those up at the end of the week after switching all the bedrooms and then any that are still mate-less get tossed.)

OK, I promise this is my last laundry post and if you read all the way to the end of this one, you’re my hero. Thanks.

There is a lot more laundry info if you are interested. Now go hug your kids!

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55 Responses to Laundry Help: Clothing Limits
  1. Anita Chamblee
    March 24, 2009 | 8:56 am

    We use a very similar system for clothing storage. Boys-winter-size 8- or whatever and all are stored in the attic. As my youngest girl will soon be 10, I have been giving away her hand-me-downs. I don’t have as many children as you, so I don’t have to do a complete switch at one time. Some days we need shorts right now and the next day we may need long sleeves! I don’t label my clothes boxes with sizes. Each set of boxes is labeled with a three digit number. 100s, 200s, 300s, etc. The 200s are my boys clothes and are individually labeled 201, 202, etc. I have an index card box with cards labeled for each section indicating what size clothing is in which numbered box. This way the boxes can be reused. I learned this a few years ago from my real-life friend, Roan, at The Joyful Johnsons.

    Off to clean up the dropped oatmeal!!

    [Reply]

  2. Roan
    March 24, 2009 | 9:04 am

    I have a similar system, but without close attention the last couple of seasons, it has gotten a little messy! Reorganizing the clothes boxes, relabeling them, and having my 4 younger children “shop” is on my list for Spring Break later this week. We have one more day to work in the yard….it is supposed to rain the rest of the week.
    Have a great day!

    [Reply]

  3. Mandy
    March 24, 2009 | 9:37 am

    Hi Kimberly!
    Great post! I only have 3 kids…as you know…so my system is slightly easier! 😉 Thanks for sharing the “numbers” of things they should have. I like things simple and these numbers will be great for me to use when I finally get to switch our clothes over. Have a great day!

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  4. MomStarr
    March 24, 2009 | 12:19 pm

    I have told myself to limit each category of clothing so my laundry stays under control but stumble when so many “cute” outfits keep coming out of the box. I need to work on this as my 3 year old has more Sunday outfits than my husband. I have wanted to only keep what fits in the box but winter clothes are bigger and bulkier how do you handle that?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    MomStarr,
    I still limit myself to what will fit in the box for our winter clothing. I am much happier when I follow my rules, things are just more managable.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

    Stacy Reply:

    an idea for this would be to use space bags to “reduce: the size of the bulky winter clothes.

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  5. Cardamom's Pod
    May 6, 2009 | 7:48 am

    Thanks for the numbers, and the labeling system on this – it’s too easy to let things pile up quickly! Whenever a new grab bag appears, our rule is if you pick out a new outfit to wear now, you have to give away one outfit from your dresser. For shoes, we have one pair of rubber boots, one pair of tennis shoes/hiking boots, and one pair of dress shoes. I may have to add one pair of sandals to this for hot Florida.

    An idea for bulky winter clothing is to get those flat storage bags that can have the air vacuumed out of them… I’ve just used sturdy trash bags (white and labeled) with lots of children sitting on them to squish the clothing, then tied them quickly before the air gets back in. You can also just tightly roll up a bulky winter jacket like sleeping bag and tie some string around it – it just has a lot of fluff and stuff.

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  6. Heather McFadden
    May 6, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    This is such a helpful post for me. I get so frustrated with not enough room for clothes- I see how simple the solution is 🙂 Now I just need to apply this wisdom and not get hung up on all the cute dresses. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  7. Gretchen
    May 13, 2009 | 5:15 pm

    I love this idea.

    [Reply]

  8. Mindy
    August 18, 2009 | 1:17 am

    What is your shoe quota if you don’t mind my asking?

    [Reply]

  9. Jill
    November 21, 2009 | 12:43 am

    You are MY hero! Wow! I mean, I realize you’re just talking about laundry here but it’s so much more – it’s about boundaries and restraint and setting a standard and sticking to it. Organization = peace and more time with family, more time to do the things you like… All this reading on your blog is really inspiring me!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks, but don’t be too inspired. I MUST stay organized or chaos ensues. It’s a never ending battle. 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Jenn
    January 6, 2010 | 8:14 am

    Kimberly — Just found your site recently and I love, love, love it! Thank you so much for all the practical ideas.

    I used a clothing system like this for years but recently switched to a one-bin-per-child system instead of several bins covering every size and gender between the ages of 13 and infant. I like the new system better b/c there aren’t nearly as many bins of clothes to try to manage.

    Each child has a generously sized rubbermaid or similar bin with their name on it that holds all the clothes they are not currently using that will fit them someday. If something no longer fits a child when we do the seasonal clothing swap, and it is still in good shape, it gets passed to the next child of the same gender. That child may not wear it for a couple of years but it is in their box waiting for them.

    This way my dh can just go to the shed and pull out the bins by name (only for a couple of children at a time or it gets overwhelming). Before we started doing it this way I was constantly dealing with 2 or 3 bins per child — for example the current toddler might fit in the 18 mth stuff, but some of the clothes from the 2T bin may work as well.

    I love your “going shopping” idea!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I am very intrigued by your system and have some questions.

    How much large are those bins? How do you know if you have enough summer or winter items, or enough of size 18 months and not enough of size 2.

    I can see how this might work better and am seriously considering a switch, I’d just like to know a few more particulars.

    Thanks!

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  11. Jenn
    January 7, 2010 | 2:03 pm

    I looked for the link to the website where I was introduced to this system and I can’t find it anywhere… but if I find it, I will post it for you. That would probably be the most helpful thing, because I am relatively new to the system too, and I am still working out the kinks for our family! But I can tell you what has worked for us so far.

    I checked my bins and they are mostly 18-gallon Sterilite totes. I bought mine at my local Walmart and they have lasted forever. I am thinking of moving most of the kids up to the next size bin though — so that their coats and jackets, shoe boxes, etc will fit in there along with the clothes.

    As far as knowing whether I have enough… well, I guess I am comfortable with not knowing for sure. That is probably not a good thing, is it? 🙂 I do try to think a couple of seasons ahead when we go through each child’s bin. So for example, when we changed out their clothes for this winter, I took notes for each child covering: 1) what else they need now, for this winter; 2) what they will probably need for this coming spring/summer; and 3) what I think they may need for *next* fall/winter (although that is a little far out to judge growth spurts etc).

    I keep these notes with me all the time in my purse and watch for good deals when I am out shopping. Sometimes we get hand-me-downs from other families and my lists help me to keep what we will need and pass on the rest to someone else. And often a quick check in the bin (or drawer) of the child just a little older lets me know that such-and-such an item will be ready to pass down and so I don’t need to write it on the needs list.

    Also — I find that my kids wear the same few things over and over again (I think you mentioned yours do too) and that they really don’t need all that many outfits. I actually had to make a rule that they couldn’t wear the same exact thing every day of the week, no matter how much they like it. 🙂 I find I am constantly purging and giving away because they just have more than they need or will actually wear.

    One more benefit to this system is that it is easier for my older children to be responsible for part of the process. I have everyone over about 8 yrs old do the preliminary sorting through their own current clothes and their bin before I come to help, looking for things that are too small etc.

    It has gotten a little tricky knowing what to save from the current baby — because there is no one younger yet. So I have been just keeping a box of first year stuff for a girl, and a box of first year stuff for a boy. I already use the larger size bin for this (30 gallon, I think?) and I guess we’ll see if that ends up working out or not.

    Anyway this has gotten really long! Sorry about that. Hope it helps a little! Maybe I’ll be able to find that link… 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you! I can see how this may solve some of our problems (too many boxes, keeping clothes too long), but there are a few things I’m not sure will work. Honestly, I’d love for it to work so if you find the link that’d be great.

    Thinking, thinking…

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    Chris C Reply:

    Would a computer database system help – one that your kids could use, to log what clothes they have in the closet and what is in the bin – so that you could look without getting out the boxes, and also keep an up-to-date list of items needed, so that you could check before you go out or carry it with you? Making it very kid user friendly so that from age 6 and up could use it????

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    Psyched Reply:

    This is how my sister does it and I just started trying. We’ll see how it goes. 11 year boy has 2 bins 1 bin is off season / next size and 1bin too big 2 sizes plus too big.

    Then my girls 9 and 7 oldest girl has two bins like brother, then second girl only has her off season / next size bin.

    Then my boys 5 and 2.5 same as girls. Oldest has two bins younger has 1.

    Baby due next week. Wait till I know gender then figure out the baby’s bins.

    Good luck.

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    Rachel Reply:

    Hi,

    As we will need to begin switching for the seasons; I went searching. And I remembered Michelle. She uses the one bin system per child. Here is her link http://www.myblessedhome.net/2008/11/help-for-growing-families-storing-clothes/ I have yet to use this well. I like too many of the clothes!

    Rachel

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  12. Andrea
    March 5, 2010 | 4:46 pm

    Great list, I have been trying to figure out this for So long, Any chance you will be sharing about Mom clothing in the near future? Or do you have about the same amounts as the children? And for pregnancy and breastfeeding do you just try to keep about the same amount of clothes?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t have a great system for my clothing because of all the different sizes that I wear. 🙂 I don’t have enough to make 8 or so different outfits in any given size/season, so I just make do with what I have.

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  13. Your Child's Heart: Finding Time Part 3
    April 27, 2010 | 9:19 am

    […] may be interested some tips for minimizing laundry, how we save money by getting and using free paper for all of the children’s artwork or […]

  14. Paige
    July 29, 2010 | 10:04 pm

    I think you just solved my clothing problem. I have 3 girls and used to work in the clothing industry and also make custom children’s clothes. Do you see where I am going with this? We have WAY more than we need and I HAVE to get rid of some. This gives me an awesome goal to work towards in the next month while I actually sort through clothes.

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  15. brenda
    September 2, 2010 | 10:23 pm

    Oh I really like the idea of letting them shop! We shall be implementing this system. However, since we have only been blessed with 2 children, I might change the numbers a bit.

    Very good advice!!!

    [Reply]

  16. […] Set some clothing limits. […]

  17. Elizabeth
    September 9, 2010 | 9:45 am

    I have tried many different ways to keep the kid’s close under control and it never seems to stick. I’ve even tried to limit their clothes and somehow their dressers end up over stuffed within weeks! Time to go through their dresses and reorganize. They have so many clothes that they never wear them all, just the first layer they see in their dressers!

    I also love the idea of letting them shop. I have a couple kids that can’t seem to let anything go. Hopefully this will help them!

    Thank you for this post. Can’t wait to go through it all and be able to pass down clothes to others.

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  18. Liz
    September 10, 2010 | 1:41 am

    Came across this linked from your 4 Mums; 35 kids post.

    At this stage I only have four children but we are hoping the Lord blesses us with more. I have found since our most recent addition that I have had to start thinking more like a “large family”. We’ve reduced our outfits right down.

    We have: 2-3 pairs of pjs per child
    5-6 everyday outfits.
    2 good/church outfits.

    Summer shoes would generally just be:
    A pair of thongs (I think you call them flip flops?)
    A pair of sandals
    And perhaps a pair of tidy shoes

    Winter shoes would be:
    A pair of joggers
    A pair of slippers
    Perhaps a pair of tidy shoes

    And they have a pair of gumboots each.

    We’ve also cut down on other things like bed linen and towels, packing away the excess in Space Bags at this point.

    It’s reduced the washing by about 5 loads a week!

    [Reply]

  19. 4 Moms: Storage Solutions | Raising Olives
    September 16, 2010 | 7:26 am

    […] season, in size clothing is limited to several outfits per child and stored in a drawer in their bedroom.  Out of season, out of size children’s clothing […]

  20. Rachel B
    September 17, 2010 | 6:58 pm

    Great post! I’ve enjoyed several of your other posts, too. So I have a question about this one. Your system sounds workable and similar to what I’m doing (I have 3 kids 4 and under). However, I’m wondering how you handle hanging on to baby clothes. We, like you, leave our family planning in the Lord’s hands so we have no way of knowing how many (or what gender) children we might have in the future. I am currently hanging on to a basic wardrobe’s worth of clothes for each gender and size (so far all my kids have been born at the same time of year). But I’m wondering if that’s going to get ridiculous as there are more kids. Hope that makes sense! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I also keep a supply of baby clothes. However after we had two boys in a row (and our youngest girl, Savannah, was 4 years old) I gave most of our little girl clothes to friends who were expecting a little girl. Savannah was 5 1/2 when Isabella (our now 2 month old) was born and I continue to give away nearly all of Savannah’s clothes as she outgrows them.

    All that to say that I give away clothes that won’t be worn within a year or two. I do make a bit of an exception for baby clothes. I kept our little girl baby clothes for 4+ years before I gave them away. I also keep neutral baby clothes that are in excellent condition for longer periods of time. Most of Isabella’s clothes are fairly neutral. 😉

    Does that help clear things up or just make it more confusing?

    [Reply]

    Rachel B Reply:

    Yes, thanks, Kimberly. I just wanted some confirmation that I’m not crazy for thinking of getting rid of baby clothes that might not be used again for a few years if ever. And also, that I’m not crazy for hanging on to them!! Sounds like you’ve done some of both, too. I guess you just have to play it by ear to a certain extent. Thanks, again, for sharing your experience with us newer moms!

    [Reply]

  21. Marilyn Brauer
    October 27, 2010 | 12:05 am

    Kimberly, I recently discovered your blog and I love it! I have always been big on limiting clothes, but I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions. We live in Texas. so we have insanely hot summers and the winters are insanely spastic. We could have thunderstorms, snow (yes we do occasionally get snow) or blistering heat in the same week! So how would you suggest we handle the seasonal clothes and still keep the wardrobe limited?

    [Reply]

  22. Kim
    January 16, 2011 | 12:18 am

    Do you know of any families who travel and are unable to have this many outfits per child in use and also may be unable to store? We think we may be in this situation soon, and I don’t know how to prepare for it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t know anyone in that position, although I’ve seriously considered paring our children’s clothes down to 2 outfits each. It would require washing every day which would not work if you were traveling.

    I’m sorry that I’m not able to be more helpful.

    [Reply]

  23. Popsiclesontheporch
    March 12, 2011 | 1:19 am

    Enjoyed your blog and especially loved all of your organizational posts! I love organizing and love your comment in another post about how “everything has a place.” This is my mantra around here too! My kids probably get sick and tired of hearing it, but it really is the truth and certainly does make for smoother days! I’ve even convinced hubby too! I think he realizes how much better I am and enjoys the result of having a happy wife and an orderly (but lived in) home.

    I particularly enjoyed this post and organize my laundry and seasonal clothes exactly as you do. I have four children all under the age of six, and so far, it’s seems to work the best for our family. The only downfall as you mentioned is all of the storage boxes. I think the last time I checked I had about 25 storage toes in the attic, so I can’t even imagine how many boxes you have with 10 children!! Wow!

    Do you store your totes in the attic? Do you do anything special to preserve your clothing? I’m not a big fan of moth balls, so have opted not to do anything. I really haven’t figured that part out, but so far have never really had any problems. Thanks so much for sharing! I look forward to dropping by again. ; )

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We store our totes in the garage. We don’t have any attic storage space.

    Since our space is limited, I give away a lot of clothes between children. For example, I have boys ages 11, 9, 4 and 2. After the 9 year old grows out of something I give it away and do not keep it for the 4 year old. I do the same thing with girls clothing, giving away clothes where we have space between our girls.

    We enjoy being able to bless people and God has always provided inexpensive clothing for our younger children without us keeping the things the older children wore. 🙂

    [Reply]

  24. dele85
    May 15, 2011 | 10:02 am

    (sorry i postd this under yard sale before!)Yippee for your post! thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and all the comments!I have just welcomed my fourth, i have learnt something with each child… with her it was “with each addition comes more stuff!” more stuff takes more time, more time with that stuff, takes away from time with my family…and come on, whats the point? so i was specifically looking for someone to tell me what my kids neeeed in there limited wardrobe space, and my ‘motherly clever’ told me that a person with a larger family may have become laundry desperate and may have posted there “outrageous” solution for me to view!! so i typed in “limited clothes” and here you are! My brave hero of the laudry!thankyou for defying society, saying no to consumerism, and speaking the truth… less is more! And that is, more of the Good things in life, that make it worth living… Now to decide if we should have more children… i could use your help with that one?!Point me in the right direction??

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Of course I don’t know what God’s specific plan is for your life 🙂 , but in this post I share a little bit about our journey to having the children that we do today.

    May the Lord bless you and your family.

    [Reply]

  25. Tiana @ God Made, Home Grown
    June 2, 2011 | 6:27 pm

    I’m looking to significantly downsize the amount of clothing each of my children have, and a friend pointed me to this post. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    One thing I’m wondering about is whether your system is any different with littler children–for instance, a potty-training toddler who might wet himself three times on a bad day, or a baby who spits up a lot? Also, do you set aside any clothes for days when the kids might get *really* dirty (like working out in the garden). My children are all under the age of seven, and they seem to go through a lot of clothes, especially the 2 year old. Thanks Again!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Tiana,

    Yes, I take into account children who may be in a particularly messy stage, although usually I just keep up with laundry when we’re potty training by throwing in the wet clothes with the laundry I’m already doing that day. However, I nearly always have extra things out for the baby.

    We have certain outfits that are designated as “back yard” outfits. They are supposed to wear these and only these when playing outside (we have a creek and lots of dirt, so it’s always messy). Hope that helps. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Tiana @ God Made, Home Grown Reply:

    Thanks! It does! 🙂

    [Reply]

  26. Krista
    October 17, 2011 | 9:13 pm

    My husband and I have 3 small boys. I have found keeping everyone’s dirty laundry separate works well for us. Each person’s laundry is done on a different day. For now they “help” on their day. As they get older my hope is they will mostly handle it themselves on their day.

    [Reply]

  27. LongTribe
    March 12, 2012 | 10:17 am

    Kimberly-

    I love your blog, you have great ideas and I appreciate you sharing them with us! This post made me think that we really need to limit how much clothes each child has out, so that will be my goal as we sort through clothes for our seasonal change soon!

    My children are girls (16, 14, 12), a son age 10, girls (ages 8, almost 6, and almost 4), and a baby boy (15 months). We switched to the one (18 gal) tub per child system a few years ago, and it works really well for us. I am able to let the oldest three shop through their tub with little to no supervision from me. They know if something doesn’t fit they should pass it down to the next girl. If they don’t like something (color or style) they pass it down. This works well with the oldest 4 girls because they are basically in consecutive sizes. The 8yo wears sz 8 pants and size 10-12 tops. So she has an abundance of sz 10 and 12 jeans from the 12 yr old in her tub, but with limits we only kept what fit in her tub, she shops from there when we do seasonal changes or with a growth spurt. For instance I have been noticing that a lot of her jeans are short… So I could go get her larger ones, but since we’re about past needing them I will probably just pack them away for when the nearly 6 yo can wear them. Since we have a large gap between girl 4 and 5 I do have an extra tub, it’s not marked but I’ve though of marking it with Lisa+ or a size.

    This also helps a lot when we get a bag of clothes given to us. I just sort through the sizes, start with the oldest and what is too big goes in her tub or dresser, then move down the line. =)

    With the boys I have kept some of the oldest boys clothes each season, but not a lot (I had a 0-12m tub, a 2-5y tub, and a 6-8y tub). I like knowing i have a barebones wardrobe for the baby boy that I can fill out as convenient or as I find ‘bargains’.

    [Reply]

  28. Debs
    March 12, 2012 | 11:19 am

    How do you cope with things like the potty training stage? We’re on the cusp of that (toddler wants to wear pull ups rather than nappies, but i also have a 12 wk old, so i’m not in a hurry to totally do it!)
    Anyway, we get through a lot more clothes than that with little accidents and not to mention food mess etc etc!

    [Reply]

    Debs Reply:

    oh i just realised you answered that further up! 🙂

    [Reply]

  29. Lisa
    March 14, 2012 | 6:08 pm

    You might already do this, but “gender neutral only” clothes until they’re old enough to ask for different (so babies) has been a huge help as far as sorting goes.

    Oh, and black socks for everyone unless they want to wash themselves. Makes sharing way easier (no “boys socks/girls socks”) and black tends to last longer than white.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    For our family, dressing our girls like girls and our boys like boys is something that we prefer. Even at 1 (and too young to ask for something different) Bella loves to be dressed in something pretty. 😉

    We do all white socks. True, it’s harder to keep them looking clean, but I’m just not sure that I’ve ever had the occasion to wear black socks.

    It’s nice to hear how different people tackle these tasks. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  30. Karin
    March 24, 2012 | 12:49 am

    Thankyou so much for your laundry wisdom. My husband have 7 going on 8 children. I’ve been really having a hard time with morning sickness and exhaustion and needless to say, our laundry situation and many other household tasks are in a woefully negected state right now. Praying for strength to make it through for a couple more weeks of this. You have re-inspired me in my journey. I’m not naturally organized and need all the help I can get!

    [Reply]

  31. Jennifer
    April 13, 2012 | 11:09 pm

    My husband would love this post. I must try to hide it from him (hmm… delete history?). I have too many bins, that are way too disorganized since moving. Some are sort of what they used to be still– “Boys, 0-12m”, “Girls, 0-12m”, “Girls, 18-24m” and then probably 6 bins that have stuff just tossed in and I have no idea what’s there, except for the great big one with all the winter coats, hats, mitts in it. Not sure if any more babies will come, so I can’t bear to part with baby clothes. Hubby thinks I’m nuts. He wants me down to 2 bins (for 8 kids? I think he’s the one who’s nuts, but anyway…).

    I really like your storage system. But the tearing apart the room part would drive me insane. I do need to set a limit, though, on # of outfits, because we just don’t have the dresser space.

    [Reply]

  32. Ashley
    April 14, 2012 | 11:43 am

    Thanks for sharing that you get rid of the clothes that u don’t have another child waiting for. Im struggling with this for our 1 year old as I’m deciding to keep or sell. The “what if we have another baby” scenario keeps playing and the my heart says “u have little faith in gods provision for another baby”. Thank you!

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  33. Cheryl
    April 26, 2012 | 6:57 am

    Great post. Thank you for inspiring me to pare down Again! what my children have. Somehow by the end of a season, their drawers are bulging from a sweater bought here, an outfit given there, etc.

    A dear girl friend dressed her children mainly in swimsuits the Summer long. This kept her laundry to a minimum.

    My issue is socks (how do we have so many unmatched pairs?) and clean clothing that gets folded and put into bedrooms to find their way back down to the laundry room to while still clean — so frustrating! Must mean too many clothes if they’re being irresponsible with them.

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  34. Melissa
    May 19, 2012 | 2:26 pm

    This is great! We only have two children, but already we have way more than we need. I don’t personally like having a lot out at one time, but here in Missouri it can be chilly and then sweltering in the same week. I feel like I can never put anything away!

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  35. Mrs H
    May 19, 2012 | 8:10 pm

    When we travel, there are 6 of us ( hubby & I plus our 4 children aged 15, 13, 10, 6) in a small mini van, sometimes 7 if grandma comes along, plus the dog. We do not pull a trailer so for each traveler we are each allowed one bag which must contain: three complete (with underthings) outfits, one dress-up outfit, one pr pjs, swim suit, a zippered sweatshirt, flip-flops & tennis shoes wrapped in a grocery sack, one towel, and a few personal items. There’s also a meds/toiletry bag, an entertainment bag, & one cooler that fits between the two front seats.

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  36. Cheryl @ Moms in Need of Mercy
    July 24, 2012 | 4:32 pm

    Researching Handwriting without tears vs. Getty Dubay, so that brought me here, and then I thought, “She’s ME!” and it is so refreshing to find someone who is so similar in homeschool styles/parenting/housekeeping, so I’m searching around & found this.

    I bought two packs of black/tan/navy socks which each had two pairs of each color, so we would have 4 black pairs, 4 tan, 4 navy for our 3 boys. We have one black sock…

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  37. Amy
    July 18, 2013 | 7:50 am

    Thank you for taking the time to share your system! I am a homeschooling mom of eight. Clothes overwhelm me! I did not grow up in a large family, and I had never met anyone with more than three kids growing up. I have begun to realize that we need to do things a little differently! Your list of the amount of clothes allowed per child is a God send!!! We get clothes given to us often, and I would just let them be added to the clothes we already had. Laundry became so overwhelming. I was in the process of going through the boys clothes when I found your list. Praise The Lord! I am a little embarrassed to admit, after going through just one son’s clothing, and pulling out his allotted outfits, I was left with two big black trash bags full of clothes to give away! No wonder the boys room was always messy!
    I cannot wait to continue searching your blog for more helpful hints! We do need to do things different, because we are different. I LOVE my large family, and I want to be able to enjoy them more. This is definitely a step in the right direction. God Bless you and yours! 🙂

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