Decisions, decisions, decisions. Are you overwhelmed by the decisions around what to wear today? When was the last time you said, “I have nothing to wear?” Yet, are your dresser drawers and closets overflowing? Let’s talk about taking care of all that “inventory” and how you can make it less stressful.
Clothing and taking care of it can often be a pleasure and a pain. “The average family of 4 completes 8-10 loads of laundry per week. Depending on how often the wash is done, the time spent will vary, but, on average at least 8-hours will be spent on washing, drying, and folding clothes”. If you or your kids have more than a load of laundry each, twice a week then you might want to reconsider your options.
How much is enough? Only you can decide. If you like spending your time doing laundry and all the clothes can fit in their storage spaces, then don’t worry. If, however, you can’t fit all the clean laundry in their storage spaces or you find yourself constantly with a backlog of laundry – then maybe you have too many clothes. I once had a client that complained about always being behind on the laundry. She found it difficult to “catch up” because that meant 6 loads of her clothes and many more for her husband and children and the household (sheets, towels, etc.). If the laundry was able to be completely caught up, she would not have had space to put it either.
Marie Kondo suggests collecting all your clothes in one pile and then deciding whether to keep it or not (does it spark joy?) Since we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time – why are you allowing the other 60-80% to clutter up your life? How frustrating is it to look in the closet and not find anything you WANT to wear?
- Do I wear it?
- Do I like how I feel and look when I wear it?
- How many do I have?
- Do I have space to store it?
If you hesitate to pass it along, then store it for a few months out of your closet but still somewhere where you can access it. If it is out of sight, it is not stressing you out or making your decisions more difficult when you are trying to get dressed in a hurry.
If you are not ready to tackle your own closet….
Kids grow fast. Why not start easily with clearing out what no longer fits or what your child does not wear. For younger kids, be sure to ask if it is easy to put on and take off. (As an educator I saw many students struggle with a stiff jean button when racing to the bathroom).
Kids probably need about two weeks’ worth of every day clothing. That way they have enough to change during the day if necessary and still be able to make it longer than a week before laundry needs to be done. Kids want to be able to see what they want to wear quickly and easily – here’s where the Marie Kondo method of folding can be helpful. All shirts can be seen at once and pulling one shirt out does not mess up the rest of them. Rolling is another option that can also be helpful.
Drawers are complicated. There are too many steps for them to put clothes away or even to grab clothes to put on. Often, you’ll find the drawers stay open and the pile of shirts is a mess from where they pulled out the shirt on the bottom. The same thing applies to the closet. Do you know how many steps are involved in hanging something up?
Also, a hamper filled with clean clothes often does not get put away and ends up becoming the laundry hamper again – and the cycle continues (except that this is unnecessary “do-over” work and added wear and tear on the clothes).
- Do they fit?
- Does my child wear them (Easy to put on?)
- Does my child like them?
- Is there storage space for all their clothes?
- How much do they really need?
Once you are able to reduce the “inventory” you will see that the workload decreases as well. What would it feel like to start the week with all the laundry done? Then it may be a matter of doing a load of laundry here and there throughout the week in order to have just a bit to finish up on the weekend. Some organizers suggest a load of laundry a day – but I know somedays are busier than other days. Trying to get the load all the way to finished (meaning put away) can be a challenge. Pick days and times you know you can get it all the way to completed before you start. Also, do you know how long it actually takes for your washer to complete a cycle? Figure that out and you can plan better – same for the dryer.
Clothing is one of the more challenging things to organize and maintain. You may have noticed during this past year+ of pandemic that you tend to wear the same things. Take advantage and cut down your inventory and you may find you have more to wear than you thought.