I’m meeting my best friend for one last lunch date before the kids get out of school. Usually, we try to combine them with some thrift store shopping.
But right now, I’m running ragged trying to get e-books up on Amazon and such so I can relax at the pool next week with my kids.
I told her I could meet half-way for lunch, but . . . “I don’t need any clothes.”
I said that.
The woman who used to think she was being all self-controlled and awesome for limiting herself to only buying garage-sale-girl-clothes up to size 5.
While her girl was wearing her birthday suit full-time.
Like, inside me.
Yes, as I’m gleefully taking uniforms straight from the dryer to the store-it-for-summer-so-they-don’t-randomly-wear-it box, I’m remembering the summer when I did my crazy experiment and packed away all but 8 sets of clothing for each child.
That experiment changed me. I saw the beauty of NOT having more clothes than we need.
But it still surprised me when those words came out of my mouth.
Ahh….progress surprises us sometimes!
Great post. I hope to have that same feeling one day. Until then I’m awash in–well, the wash. Good for you!
Michelle Seavey says
I’m impressed, but I would be constantly doing laundry if I were limited to just 8 sets of clothing per child!
I have 4 girls and all their clothes are in ONE closet! I think I might try the 8 sets of clothing thing. Good job on saying no to more clothes!
Beth Klausing says
Yay! How exciting to hear and see big changes in yourself! I’m looking forward to hearing about your news!
[email protected] says
We did the Jen Hatmaker “7” study a year ago and the clothing month was my favorite. Only wearing seven articles of clothes for a month was awesome. Laundry was so quick and the mornings were painless! Way to go, girl!! I know that was HUGE!
lol, you never fail to make me laugh! Impressive self-control and awareness of your actual needs!
Jodie in MN says
I think my 5yo daughter would wear all 8 outfits every single day! I look at closets and know we need to trim back, but it’s so difficult!
Ruth S says
I’m going through my annual dilemma of do I put this up for next winter or did I not wear it enough to keep it? Then there’s the other side of the coin when, as I’m putting out my summer things, I’m missing a shirt or shorts, then remember, oh yeah, I gave that away, lol.
One of my fetishes is a coat for every occasion, and I have a beautiful Jones New York reversible fur/suede that I’ve worn three times because it’s too heavy for Mississippi winters. I got it off eBay and it came from Canada, so a rational person might have guessed that fact, but it is so pretty and I got it for $15! And am I the only one who has the “I wouldn’t be caught out dead in this but it’s ok for home” clothes? Or the shoes you wear TO church, but take off as soon as you get to your pew because they’re a little too tight but look great on?
I have learned that as much as I love thrift shops, I can’t go in and come out with nothing, I’m not that disciplined. So how do we break our hoarding, but it’s so cheap, or pretty, or whatever, habits?
If those are shoes you really love, find a shoe REPAIR shop, and have them stretch your shoes, or just one if it’s just one foot that hurts. I think the pr I had done a few yrs ago was about $10-15 but allowed me ~4 more yrs of almost daily wear of some favorites that had been just too hurtful to reach for. They finally fell apart from constant wear but it’s tempting to have them resoled & be able to wear them several more yrs.
I actually bought a shoe stretcher and use it to accommodate my one wider foot. It ran me about $30 but will last me for years.
When you don’t need clothes, you don’t need clothes. It is good that you didn’t go out and buy just because you were going “what, what, what, what…” thrift shopping.
Oh, I am intrigued by this. Do you still stick to a limited amount of clothing? Is there a middle ground? Need to look into that more…
I’ve become better and better at downsizing my wardrobe but when it comes to the kids clothes i go way overboard. You’re a strong woman to not go into thriftstores. I spend most of my days longing to go visit one (even if i haven’t been in a month, its just not as much fun when you go alone)
Well I would never say that I don’t need clothes. So I suppose I have work to do. 😉
Victoria G says
I like the idea of taking clothing down to 8 sets…I wonder if my girl would survive it?! 🙂
Girls are harder! I give her a few extras.
I’ve been going through your archives systematically, and just wanted to say that they are quite inspiring. You sound like me, except for the ability to cook, which I lack, and having fun with your kids more… but I have been working hard and decluttering and maintaining (not perfectly, but significantly better), and I feel like a nicer person to my family. Thanks for sort of cheering me on in a time-traveller sort of way! I even have hope that we will have a “normal” house for at least five minutes (my bucket list item) before I die… and maybe even by the end of the year!
Oh I love this comment, Magda! My favorite part is that you feel like a nicer person. I never realize how much the clutter has been affecting me until it’s gone.
Denise E says
Great job…so proud of you to say that. I’ve been there for a while…because I truly do not ever need another stitch of clothing for the next 5 years! The problem is that I not only need to never shop again…I need to purge – I’m talking BIG time purge…like I could probably fill 5 large dumpsters and still have things to wear! Congrats on your progress!
I’ve been loving your blog. I am so frustrated with clothes right now. I am really THIS close to trying the 8 outfit thing (maybe with a few extra dresses for church), but really. It is pathetic. Who NEEDS this many clothes? Still, I think I need to get rid of all the stained things, all the things that don’t fit, and probably WILL need to buy a few staples (like the jean skirt I have in my closet–the one that fits–with the broken zipper. Do YOU want to lay odds on whether or not I will fix it?). Anyway, thanks for the smiles. Thanks for the hope.
I absolutely love reading your blog because of posts like this! I’m not a slob (I blame my grandma’s and mom’s clutter for my own aversion), but you help me understand where my loved ones are coming from in their struggles. I adore your transparency in your journey, as well!
Thank you Brianne! I always hope that what I do here will help people understand/explain the slobs they love. It has helped my husband so much to understand me.
Tania J says
Eight sets of clothes–well, maybe that is what I should strive for as I bulldoze the kids’ rooms to begin summer!
Shellee Chase says
This week was my first day of “Laundry day”. Didn’t go exactly as planned. I forgot to START the dryer with the jeans in it! Also did not do as thorough a job at gathering all clothes as I thought I did. That coupled with all the seasonal laundry, this has turned into Laundry Week. But overall I am very pleased with the outcome. Thank you for all the inspiration. I am glad I am not alone with my way of thinking in this world.
Heather Durham says
I am totally ready to try 8 sets of clothes!
Uh-oh – You mean there’s something WRONG with storing clothing 5 years ahead? That is EXACTLY how far ahead we acquire things to store…
I so need to learn this. Right now we are at the start of a month long vacation. I think I needed up packing 8 or 9 outfits for each child, and they still have packed drawers. Most from yard sales or Target 70% off.
Yes, yard sales were the main reason we were drowning in clothes at one time. Who can resist 25 cent dresses??
Oh, and I mostly limited myself to 3T for Jeb while I was pregnant with him. Unless it was really cute. Or something hard to find.
Excellent!! I’m about to do this with my kids clothes ..the boys are probably not far off from only having this much (ages – 7,5,3), but the girls seem to have 4 times the laundry in a week (ages – 10,8,3) and it’s driving me crazy.
I haven’t been over here in a while. That’s because I’ve actually been APPLYING some of the things I learned from you in the last couple of years. LOL!
Some of the changes I have made are:
1. I run the dishwasher at night, unload it in the morning
2. Monday is laundry day (and I have since added other chores for other days of the week, which may *or may not* happen, but Monday is laundry day)
3. I actually drive PAST the thrift store….even on days when I would actually have time to browse!
4. I make a menu plan every week (not strictly adhered to since it’s just the hubs and I, and we are entitled to our whims) and grocery shop based on that plan.
5. I have a schedule I follow every day that’s marked off in 1/2 hour blocks and this has helped me immensely, because if I don’t write it down I can pretty much guarantee it WON’T get done. (and, no, this diversion was NOT on my schedule today, so I’d better get back on track)
Thanks, Nony! You have made a difference in my life!
And great job acknowledging that you don’t NEED any clothes!!!
Oh wow, Shirley! Thank you so much for this comment, and GREAT job on all you’re doing!
Lisa M says
What a great idea! My kids have WAY too many clothes. I may have to give this a try. It’d be a great time to get rid of the too small clothes as well.
Counting out 8 outfits really makes me think about what we need and don’t.
I’m sure a lot of use SHOULD say that, but rarely do.
I get it. We are trying to move, so we have been pretending to live here for about 6 weeks now. We packed up about half (maybe more) of our things…clothes/toys/books and have them in storage at a friend’s house….I am amazed at how clean we can keep the house and how quickly it can be show ready. And this is from someone who didn’t think we had a “stuff” problem.
I really, really need to pack up all but 8-10 outfits for summer. I’m embarrassed to say that I have 2 garbage bags of clean clothes I bagged up and threw in the garage because I had some one coming over and I still have Mt. Washmore in my laundry room. That is a sign we have way too many clothes.
They multiply!! And I still have too many even though I’ve purged and changed my mindset and purged some more!
Nancy L. says
Impressed! My closet needs a serious purging.
Janette N. says
I need to inform my 12 year old daughter’s grandmother that we don’t need her to come home with new clothes after every visit. It’s too much, and I’m tired of picking them up off of the floor!! LOL
OMG! 8 sets of clothes. I think this is perfect. I am teaching my son to do laundry this summer. And 8 sets will make it doable.
thanks for passing the light bulb.
It is truly amazing how few of clothes you really need. Last summer we were between two houses in two states. We had more than enough clothes and had less than half at each house. (Lots was packed up already.). Another time we moved, our 2 yo girl had 18 boxes, yes, 18 boxes of too small clothes that we were saving for another daughter that we never had! (2 boys after that.). Oops!
Are we talking 8 outfits or 8 items of clothing? Just wondering…
8 outfits. Maybe a little boy would have 4 pairs jean shorts, 2 pairs nicer shorts, and 2 pairs of pants. 4 play tshirts, 2 nicer tshirts, and 2 polo shirts.
Plenty of variety for play, church, outings, whatever. But not a mountain of clothes in the drawer.
I did this with my little boys and I loved it. I limited them to either khaki or jean for pants/ shorts. I was tired of hand-me-down plaid shorts and matched NOTHING. Every single bottom could be matched with every single top. Polo shirt with khaki shorts. Superman tee with jean shorts. Superman tee with khaki pants for Sunday morning worship. Um, okay. At least it’s not plaid shorts with a stained, ripped polo that should have been tossed!
Do you still stick with the 8 sets per child now that your kiddos are older?
Wanted to add that one of the best “side-effects” of the 8 per rule is that my children learned to deal with it. That was HUGE! But now they use the “I’ll wash my own” argument on me – a skill that I am very proud of, but not really an argument I’m wanting to honor in order to get more stuff…