Our Laundry Experiment: Hiding Their Clothes

Thursday, 1 May 2014



There are two adults and three little kids in our home. However, I'm pretty sure that we could clothe THREE families our size. Easily.

There were these two weeks last month where I was SO GOOD at keeping up with laundry. I did one load, every day, and since we pretty much created a full load every 24 hours with our clothes, dirty dish towels, and favourite blankets that got too close to breakfast yogurt...it worked really well! (Thanks for the tip, FlyLady.)

BUT I still felt like I was drowning in laundry.

There was just SO MUCH of it! Always. All the time. And it just felt excessive; the amount of clothing we owned was (is!) waaaay more than we needed.

(Now...I suddenly feel the need to explain that almost everything we own is second-hand or hand-me-downs. We are a student family with a fluctuating income from our family business...so we tend to hold onto everything "just in case." But...still: drowning and excessive.)

SO...one day I just reached my laundry tipping point: I washed every last thing....and packed it ALL away.



Well, not ALL-all.

I started with the kids' clothing! Because, you know, it's always easier to fix someone else.

I left what I felt was the almost-bare-minimum: enough to wear, have an outfit in the wash, and have an extra or two for unforeseen wardrobe mishaps. Then I packed up the rest of their clothes in this weirdly giant box we had on hand (luckily!) and put it in the basement, with the intent of ignoring it for the next three weeks.

That was about a week ago.

So far, the experiment of living with less kid-clothing has been pretty awesome. The kids were totally on board with me putting lots of their clothes away for a little while (so long as I didn't give it all away to "some people else"...which makes me wonder if they might have been feeling a little overwhelmed, too, maybe?). I still do a load of laundry a day (I have to! Or we'll be naked in no time)...but it doesn't seem to pile up and around me like it used to; it doesn't feel overwhelming. I take care of each piece of clothing a little more (like actually taking a minute to get stains out) because I know that it's an important part of a pretty sparse selection at the moment.

I will let you know how the rest of the experiment goes (plus more photos and details of the process), once we've gotten through these three almost-naked weeks (ha!). I'm sensing that it will bring about more permanent changes; but it will be interesting to see where things actually are at the end of three weeks. I'm so curious.

Any predictions? (...Boredom? Worn out clothing? That we'll fall head-over-heels for the minimalism of it all?) Have you tried this before? What was your experience?

8 comments:

  1. We're a hand-me-down family, too. I would spend DAYS sorting and packing clothes in the spring and fall after recieving everyone's closet clearouts. Finally I decided I just didn't want to store clothes anymore - a huge purge followed. We still have way more than our needs, but I'm way less stressed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sensing this might happen at the end of our experiment as well. Especially now that you mentioned being "less stressed." I'm sold!

      Delete
  2. "A load a day keeps CHAOS away." Glad to know other FlyBabies!! I too feel utterly overwhelmed by our laundry and this is a really great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny! I think we were meant to be friends.

      Delete
  3. I'm not sure now...

    Keep-the-hand-me-downs-coming OR back-off-Auntie-Sherie ???

    The answer to my own Mount_Wash_More is giving 1/2 of everything to you. Let me know how I should proceed from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I'm glad I could help, honestly!
      The problem is not with the hand-me-downer...(we are SO GRATEFUL for them!)...it's with my 'hoarding' mindset! I need to be better at editing.

      Delete
  4. I mentioned doing something like this a couple months ago and Evan thought I was crazy. I think I'll just go ahead and do it. I doubt he'll notice... especially if it means washing, folding, and putting away less clothes.

    I guess I have my project for the week now!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! Let me know how it goes for you! I'd love to hear!

      Delete