Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Long Post On Organizing and Minimizing

With every new year comes change and change is inevitable. I decided to take this change a step further and really tackle some things around the house.
I first started with organizing craft supplies. Let me tell you they were everywhere!

This mess of stuff became this ...

 The containers are now very full as I took the time to gather sources of creativity from all through the house.

In the drawers to the left there are general craft supplies in the top two drawers. Miscellaneous things like poms, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, stickers, oil pastels, hot glue guns, cutting mat, and any other things that don't have a category. The bottom drawer holds paper of all kinds and paint chip cards.
In the drawers on the right there are soap making supplies in the top drawer. I have some candle making supplies in the attic to add but the drawer is too full already, oops. In the middle drawer are some old shirts, fabric, plastic canvas and needles, cross stitching supplies(which reminds me I have pattern books in the attic) and a few odds and ends. I am calling these "tinker tools". The bottom drawer is all fabrics.
The goal here is so that our supplies are more accessible to little children. I want them to feel comfortable and able to open up a drawer and start a project.
Between the drawers is a bin for Playdoh and a metal box that is currently empty but I think I will put magazines in it since we seem to have a growing collection.

This was phase one of organizing. 
Minimizing Clothing! 

In phase two I have combined organizing with minimizing. 
You see my children have WAY too many clothes. Make that had, because I did some serious sorting yesterday and the piles of clothes were insane. These are the clothes that belong to my 5 year old, Arayla.
I narrowed this down to 3 pairs of pajamas, 4 pairs of jeans, 3 comfy pants, 2 pairs of leggings, and 7 shirts. This all fits into one drawer. She has 1 jean jacket, 1 sweater, and 3 casual dresses in the closet. Also there are 4 dresses for special occasions or for dressing up as girls often do.
Her reaction was "Mama! .... There is something messed up with my dresser." Since the bottom drawer is completely empty.
She went on today to tell me that she is upset it won't take very long to put her clothes away. And what if she wears them all. And what if I don't wash them. We'll have to be more open about clothing needs and also with putting them into the basket for washing. I'm excited, I think this is going to work well overall. Here is the after dresser picture.
She does have a full summer wardrobe too that consists of 3 dresses, 2 skirts, 5 shorts, 7 shirts and 3 pairs of pajamas. Again it will only fill ONE drawer.

Next kid is my 8 year old Cambria.
She doesn't really have attachments to things which is amazing and a wonderful quality to have. All of her clothes before sorting. 
 Clothes remaining after sorting. She has 3 pairs of jeans, but none fit properly, she has 2 pairs of 10s and 1 pair of 7s and she is right between sizes. So we will have to find some good sales and soon. she has 6 shirts, 1 pair of comfortable pants, and 3 pairs of pajamas.

I think it is much easier to go crazy with kids wardrobes because of a few different things. For one thing, kids are always growing and there seem to be a surplus of clothing being handed down. Another source are grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends. I know many parents who buy almost no clothing at all for their own children because relatives are always handing them down or buying for them. Which is absolutely a blessing! Although sometimes this is done in such excess the children simply cannot properly wear them all, let alone wear them out before they grow out of them. Which is great for the next kids who get them!
I'm making it a point to try to only keep what will be used and loved. This is going to spread outward in all areas of our life and our home.

I have one more kids clothes to go through but his won't be nearly so drastic. 

Don't forget, you can donate excess, obtain a receipt for taxes and write off donations when it is time to do taxes. This is a huge motivator for me. Maybe that isn't "paying it forward" enough for some and I totally get that. I've donated for years and never even thought to ask for receipts but this year I'm donating in EXCESS. Because I do not have the patience to have a yard sale, to sell online, to meet strangers in parking lots to sell things. So I will donate them, track donations, get slips from the organizations I donate to and claim them on our taxes next year. I urge you to think about it as well! You can get a lot more out of donating things than you will if someone wants to haggle you at your yard sale or online sale items. Added bonus, it is much safer to donate. Also, I know for a fact that you can get more out of donating items than you can trading for credit at consignment shops. I made that mistake once and I'm still kicking myself.

If you like this kind of thing... well then stay tuned as I plan to destroy organize our entire home this year!

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