In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How many outfits does 1 child really need?

Ok, so you know that I'm always trying to improve things around here.  Always trying to find a more efficient or effective way of doing things.

With such a large family, one of my biggest weaknesses is the dreaded laundry.  It piles up...and I mean PILES up until I have to do it.  Which isn't very often, considering my younger kids all have about 30-60 outfits each....not to mention the 40 or so pairs of pajamas they all have.  Now, my older kids don't have nearly as many clothes...but just multiply those numbers times 3 and you'd be overwhelmed on laundry day...right!?

When my washer went out and caused such a fuss with the flood and all, I realized that this lovely machine...this modern day convience had put me in quite a position.  I had so many clothes piled on the basement floor and they all got wet!  It caused quite a problem as I continued washing the clothes my basement kept flooding and numerous items got washed down into the main drain and then it got stopped up and then we were without plumbing.  Geesh, what a mess!

So, anyways...long story short (you can read the long version here ) I fell in love with handwashing.  The main reason I fell in love with it, was quite simply...our clothes were cleaner!  Secondly, they were put away immediately because I wasn't waiting for mounds of clothes to get finished before putting them away.  Also, I saw just how much water drained out of my washer and WOW, it was like seeing $ go right down the drain (well, onto my floor actually).  So...we will not be getting a new washer here!

I did cheat before beginning this adventure.  I went to the laundry mat and did a few loads of laundry.  In my defense, I came home and did a huge load of towels and some whites but one other thing has to change before I begin this new journey...we have to downsize the amount of clothes we have in this house!  There was a day when my kids could wear a different outfit each day and sometimes they didn't wear the same outfit twice in a season.  Now, they don't all have that many clothes anymore but my smaller ones have all of these hand me downs from the older ones, so Macaw and Duckling easily have about 60 outfits each and 30-40 pairs of pj's. 

In my downsizing project I was originally going to just keep 7 outfits and 7 pairs of pj's for each of my little ones.  I re-thought that decision and changed it to 14 outfits and 11 pairs of pj's.  This way if they wear a different outfit everyday (which rarely happens around here) they will only wear the same outfit twice each month (and 8-10 times for the season) and they have a different pair of pj's for each night and a few extra (just in case).  This to me seems like a bit much as it is still more than they really "need" but, even if I don't do my laundry daily as planned the mound of clothes won't be as overwhelming and laundry will be much more managable around here.

Now, if you ask Falcon, he'll say all they need is 2.  One to wash and one to wear.  With his theory we'd really only need one outfit because the only time we are found out of our pj's is if we are going somewhere important.  I had a friend say that my 14 outfits didn't seem like near enough.  So, it leaves me many outfits does 1 child REALLY "need"?????

I won't change my mind, as I'm keeping 14 and 11 regardless.  A few outfits and pj's will be taken to leave at grandma's and the rest will be given away to someone more in need.  My older kids clothes will not be downsized near as much, as they are old enough to manage their clothes a bit better than the little ones.  They don't change their clothes 50 times a day!

I'm curious though...what is your opinion!  How many outfits do your children have?


  1. Each of my 3 boys have around 20 "outfits"

  2. We simplified a few months ago after I read this blog post:

    My 3 kids (who are 5, 4, and 1)started with around 40 outfits each, and 20+ pairs of pj's. They are the only kids in 2 huge extended families, so we are gifted a ton of stuff for birthdays and any holiday you can think of. We downsized to 10 outfits each, 2 more outfits for getting extra dirty, and 5 pairs of pj's. The older 2 kids were very excited to give their clothes to 2 families we know, who were even more excited to get them :)
    My DH and I also downsized, I got rid of the extra 13 pairs of jeans I never wore and kept the 5 pairs I actually like. He went from 60+ t-shirts to 20 (wears them under his work shirts and needs to change usually 2-3 times a shift). All of this has made life SO much easier. It takes me a lot less time to pick out something to wear in the morning, and the kids have a much easier time getting ready. Out went their huge dressers and in came a simple closet system, giving them all more play space in their rooms. I tend to do laundry about once a week, but now if I put it off til there are no clean undies or socks I am only doing 5 loads instead of a huge 10+ load mountain. For us less clothing = more time, less stress on this momma and a lots less craziness in the laundry area :)