Monday, May 11, 2009

Simplifying the Wardrobe

As I've been getting Rosalind's room ready for the addition of a little brother, I've been trying to find ways to keep it open and uncrowded feeling. One major area of challenge is the dresser. It's so easy when you have space to fill it up--especially when you're blessed with generous grandparents, lots of darling hand-me downs and great garage sale finds.

But preparing to welcome another child into our little home makes simplifying all the more alluring.

A simple goal: I'm a mom. I want my little girl to be dressed cute and "girlie" and I don't want to have to wash laundry every day. ;) But it certainly doesn't take a dresser full of clothes or half a dozen pairs of shoes to accomplish this!

While sorting through her summer clothes and determining what she'll need for the winter (so I can shop garage sales), a few questions came to mind.

How many messy is your child? Rose can easily go through two or three outfits a day (and I know sons are even messier), but usually it is more like one or two outfits daily. And of course, if it isn't dirty, don't wash it!

How often do you do laundry? I have two days each week that are "empty laundry basket" days (even if it does only last five minutes), so she needs less clothes than if I catch up on laundry just once a week.

And finally, using need in the loosest sense possible, What clothes does my child need to be presentable, cute and clean?

Here is the simple list that I compiled for Rosalind. Any suggestions would be very welcome!

  • Dress clothes: Two or three outfits.
  • Everyday clothes: Seven or eight outfits. Since Rosalind has been given so many adorable jumpers/sundresses these two categories tend to overlap. I can't bear to only let her wear them to church. :) Oh well!
  • Pajamas: Especially in the summer I don't think they're necessary. Rosalind usually just wears a fresh comfortable play outfit or onesie (that I can throw a jumper or overalls on top of in the morning) or else a comfortable but slightly-too-small outfit from last year. In the winter a couple warm snugly pairs are great.
  • Shoes: dress shoes and a pair for everyday play (if they're neutral all the better!)
  • For girls: Hair bands, ribbons and bows. Perhaps the simplest difference between unkempt and tidy is simply making sure hair isn't covering the eyes.
  • Summer fun: Swimwear, "wet shoes" and a sunhat or two.
  • Winter warmth: Jacket, gloves, hat and winter boots.
  • ...and bibs: Twenty or thirty might be enough.
Links to: the Simple Mom's spring cleaning projects
and Works for me Wedensdays


robearsgirl said...

Hey Anna, just wanted to say you're off to a great start! I've done the same thing with my Little Miss. She has 2-3 nicer dresses and 8-10 playdresses (she's messy for a girl). Right now she has no PJ's 'cuz she gets really hot at night, so she's just been sleeping in her undies. I'm going to make her 4 little cotton nightgowns. Seems like alot of PJs, but I like to give her fresh PJs every night since she often gets sweaty.

Shoes-wise, she's like me: perfectly content with a couple pair of flip-flops, so she has flip-flops (or did until the new puppy ate them!!! Grrr...), a pair of athletic shoes, and a pair of nice sandals to wear when we're out and about.

Really, for a little girl, she has a very meager wardrobe! But it is PLENTY :)

I will tell you this: boys are MUCH easier :) 8 pair of shorts/pants/jeans, a dozen t-shirts, a pair of tennis shoes, and a pair of dress shoes. Little Son DOES insist on having a clean set of PJs every night, though, so he has more PJ shorts than he does play shorts! LOL!

Oh, and I ditched the dresser. WAY too hard (for ME!) to keep neat and tidy. All their clothes get hung up or folded and set on a SHELF so I can see them and keep them looking orderly :)

Have fun "wardrobing"! :)

Jia Le said...

Is it time for confessions?! =) I think because I tend to live in such cold climates, my son is often in 2-layers. He could wear the under layer 2-3 days (and has many times) if it's not getting dirty. I just peel off the outer layer, stick him in his sleeping sack and put a new outer layer on the next morning. This saves a lot of laundry.

Also, to save on bibs... the only bib I have is a plastic one with a scoop tray at the bottom to collect everything that misses the mouth (because we only use it for meal times if it's going to be a messy meal). I definitely needed cloth bibs for the first year or so, but as soon as he was eating, he got the plastic bib. I have gotten lots of comments on it.

Ok... those are my random thoughts. (and I have never had a dresser either - out of circumstances.) I found that those cloth hanging shelves worked really well in the closet and helped me keep his clothes to a whatever fit inside. Then you can see all your options at first glance.

Have fun purging! =)

A'yi said...

I don't have any expert advise for you. Just have fun and enjoy it.:) Can't wait to see you!

Buffie said...

I know what you mean about girls having lots of clothes. My daughter is the first grandchild for my parents so she is um, a little spoiled. The toys and clothes are out of control. I regularly have to purge or our house would be bursting at the seams.

Good luck with all your purging and cleaning.

shopannies said...

thank you so much for this useful list

Brilliant Moms said...

What a brilliant plan to simplify the wardrobe and the work on the upkeep. I can't wait to read more great ideas and we appreciate you stopping by our new blog!

Us. said...

Hey there Anna! This is Kari your cousin. I've read a little on your blog. I think blogging is great! We've started one ourselves! I'm not sure exactly how to "add" friends or whatnot so somehow I'd like to be in touch!

Anna said...

Thanks for the encouragement! It feels so much better to keep it simple-- with the added benefit of her getting to wear the cutest outfits more. :)

Robearsgirl--what a naughty dog! Poor thing. Glad to hear that boys are easier. I was afraid with them being so messy it might entail *more* clothes.

Jia Le--- I am definitely going to have to get a plastic bib for Rose. She really only has two, but they get beyond dirty so quickly that I'm constantly washing them. Plastic would definitely solve that. Thanks!

Rose didn't have a dresser either until Joshua's parents gave us the matching one to her crib--both of which his dad made. It worked keeping the clothes in the closet, but our closets are SO small that her closet is mainly filled with Joshua's business clothes and the vacuum and the suitcase and the winter jackets. So I love being able to keep her clothes separate:)

Anonymous said...

Like mother, like daughter, they say...about some things :). Way to go, Anna! The only addition I'd make is to the shoes for Rosie :).

I know you know how to spell know instead of no, so I won't even correct you :).

You are blessed, and we are blessed by you,


Anna said...

Well Mother dear, spell checking is part of your job, right? At least since you're a homeschool mom! :) Thanks!

~Sara said...

I have all boys and I need to go through their clothes. I can't imagine if I had all girls. There is SO MUCH cute stuff out there!

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