Oh Glory. The Laundry.
“Out.” I say “Out.” I have finally had enough. Enough laundry. Enough random articles of children’s clothing. Is it clean? Is it dirty? Does it fit you still? Why are your drawers stuffed when we just cleaned them out and sent a bag of clothes to the thrift shop? And why, in only 2 days is this 3-hamper laundry cart full to the top AGAIN! Oh I wish I’d taken a picture of that for you.
(Note: About a year or 2 ago, I got rid of the 14 73-quart Walmart bins that I stored in the garage with every child’s article of clothing that I liked and wanted to keep, for each age and each season, so I could pass it down. They are all gone now, hopefully blessing someone else. Doing this might be your first step to clothing freedom.)
Children’s clothing. Notice the half empty drawers. Love it! We do have closets and built in drawers, but having their clothes by the W&D is life-changing! And their closets become play areas.
A New Way Of Life
I have now embraced my friend Jen’s clothing/laundry system. She started this system in her house about a year ago with her 7 children (now 8) and she is very happy. Previously I have thought, well I only have 4 children. I should be able to deal with the regular clothes, right? To heck with that. I want the easy way out (again!) So we can do the important things.
Who Cares About Clothes
Our clothes don’t really matter. Don’t you just wear a few things in your closet over and over and over again? I do. My sister looked in my closet recently and said “Are these all the clothes you have?” It was so funny. Actually I thought I had too many at that moment. I’ve been in a severe cutting down mode for a good year or two now.
But, now……. I’m really SERIOUS! Today is Friday. I woke up Monday morning and said “Look out! I’m on a mission!” (Do you think I wear my family out with my missions? That makes me smile.)
So during the day, on Tuesday, I went to Walmart and bought 5 short-sleeve polo shirts for each child. Red, light blue, navy, gray and orange. $5 bucks each. They are $7 at Kmart, if your interested.
Shirts. (not pictured: red and gray)
The children were excited about new clothes and so getting rid of the old didn’t really matter. (even though Meg LOVES pink – hey, she can wear pink PJ’s, pink jacket, pink sweatshirt, pink boots, pink sunday dress. That should be enough pink.)
Don’t worry Mama. Your girls will still be cute and you will be smiling.
That night after the children went to bed, I threw every bit of clothing that my 4 precious babies own onto the laundry floor. Again, I totally apologize for not photographing that. That tells you a little about my state of mind. I will do better next time.
This Is What I Kept
1-2 jeans (play)
1 blue or denim and 1 khaki ankle length skirts (play),
1 khaki or camo pants (play)
2 winter pjs and 2 summer pjs,
1 sweatshirt each,
2 nice dresses each, (only for Sunday or something else special)
2 nice boy shirts/pants each (only for Sunday or something else special)
2 khaki or jean shorts (summer)
These are the few nice outfits and the sweatshirts for all 4.
Out With The Old, In With The New
I stuffed everything else in 4 kitchen trash bags and got them in my car before anyone could say anything.
Hint: Don’t ask your children about this. Present it as an exciting new thing that you ARE going to do.
So in the morning everyone woke up to almost empty clothing drawers, and a set of red shirts waiting to be donned. Next, we went to our local thrift shop and got a pair of jeans and/or khakis for the various child that needed new (or new to us anyway.) Those were about $2-3 each.
That night I turned into Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men. Pardon me while I re-experience this awesome scene: (warning: one bad word in 2 spots near the end. I would bleep them out if I knew how.)
Oops, sorry. Got lost there for a moment. Ok. Back to laundry.
So I Became JACK
OK EVERYONE! LISTEN UP! TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF! THROW THEM IN THE LAUNDRY BASKET! PUT YOUR PAJAMAS ON! NOW! AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, SAY THANK YOU MOM, YOU’RE THE BEST! (Much of my life I feel like Jack.)
Seriously, Here Is The Key
Throw that day’s clothing into the washer at bedtime and turn it on!
(Is your heart still beating fast like mine is after that scene?)
And if you are still up, toss it in the dryer. If not, no big deal. Switch it in the morning. There are less clothes now, so if a couple of days go by without doing laundry, your children will be wearing dirty clothes. Well, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Anyway, this habit of throwing it in each night will make this a great system. I’ve been listening to Jen talk about this for a year. So I know it is good.
Red shirt Day. Don’t they look cute!
The Coup De Grace Of This Entire Thing
Just look what God says about this. This leads up to, maybe, my favorite verse in the entire Bible. Matthew 6:33. In fact, that is the verse I put at the bottom of the “frame your names” hanging in our hallway.
Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Well, I think that about sums it up. Should have just started with that. Have a great weekend and get rid of some stuff!