Get Rid of It

How many clothes does one person need?

Back at the house I'd walk into my girls' room and instantly feel my blood pressure rise because I couldn't even see the floor through all of the clothes when I had just cleaned it two days before. There'd be underwear hanging from a dresser handle and I didn't care to determine if they were clean or dirty. A pile in the bathroom, pants in the hall, and 6 baskets of dirty clothes waiting to be laundered, that's over the top. "That's it! Bring me all of your clothes" I would say for what seemed like the tenth time that month. We would sort out all of the the dirty, fold all of the clean, and get rid of anything that hadn't been worn since the last time we did this routine.

If I wasn't doing 3 loads of laundry a day, it wouldn't take long for me to be sinking in piles of dirty clothes. I tried every different tip I could find. Three houses ago I even had my hubby move all of the dressers into the laundry room (he thought I was crazy, but he is so good to me.) This way, when the children shucked their clothes off at least they were on the laundry room floor, that makes sense, right? Whatever, it didn't work.

So I finally decided to get rid of stuff. I went through each child's clothes and pulled out anything I wasn't emotionally attached to. I had a big yard sale and felt pretty good about it. I only had to do 2 loads of laundry each day. Wait, why did I still have so much laundry, and why do I have an emotional attachment to clothes? I made excuses. Wasn't I being a good steward by sorting and saving my children's clothes to pass down from one to the next? Well, it's a good thought in theory, but we've moved about 9 times in 10 years, our children are different sizes in different seasons and I was just swimming in clothes. A good friend pointed out that I didn't need to hang on to it all. The clothes will always show up, she said, and she pointed out that maybe I wasn't really trusting in God to provide what I needed for each child, lovingly of course. I realized that I do rarely ever buy clothes. Everything we need does just sort of show up, either passed down or gifted. Besides, she has 9 children, 7 of which are girls, so she might know what she is talking about.

Then we decided to move into a travel trailer. We had three more sales and before each one I'd gather more clothes to get rid of. I gave myself a huge pat on the back when I very carefully selected my favorite outfits for each of my children and narrowed it down so each child had only one rubbermaid. Every thing that didn't sell, we donated. I even got rid of the dressers. Surely that would be enough. (I did keep one small rubbermaid of the coming home outfits, the baby clothes that were mine, and the really special stuff, and one rubbermaid of infant clothes for boy and girl)

After 6 weeks in the trailer, I have a huge pile of clothes to donate. One small rubbermaid is still too much. The 3 youngest children now have one small drawer in a little kitchen stand and the two older children have a really small rubbermaid. They don't miss a thing. And I certainly don't miss the laundry. It is awesome, now I only have to do it once a week! ONCE A WEEK. Did you hear me?

I am really trying to weed through everything in our lives. If something is becoming too much work, or if I am up to my eyes in something, I am getting rid of it! Watch out!


  1. Wow, what a testimony! I agree, as a society and as individuals we do tend to think we need way, way, way more than we actually do. Bravo to you guys, you are definitely a positive influence on me!
    ~ Dawn

  2. Nicely done! I have been trying to clear out clutter too, and we opted to not have a TV after we moved, which has been a great choice. I tend to have a weakness for thrift stores, so it helps that we're no longer half a mile from two of them! I'm so impressed with your stories from the travel trailer, and so glad that everything is going well for you guys. The kids are just getting cuter and cuter (I'm sure Boy will be glad to hear that...)
    I saw on your reading list that you read the Idiots Guide To Eating Raw. Did you like it? I've been really inspired by raw food over the last year or so, and have found so many great recipes and web sites about it.
    Say hi to all the gang for us, and take care!

  3. First, thanks everyone, for your encouragement! It means a TON to me! It is not I...

    I love the book. Lots of recipies and great tips. It is so hard here because there are NO health food stores and not much in the line of organics at the grocery stores either. Add in trying to eat like that for 7 people and it breaks the bank. I am trying to figure it all out though, and will be posting about my trials with it in the near future...
    Oh, and I am a former thrift store junkie too, and it all started there at the ARC with the 1/2 Saturdays. There was a great one in Florida too. I haven't looked since we've been here, and don't plan on it. :) Thanks for staying in touch, I can't wait to hear more about your little farm!


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