Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whittle Down Wednesday - Less is More!

We needed a Wednesday theme and we thought we'd try this one out.

As Mommy to 8 this is a favorite topic of mine. I recently finished "It's All Too Much," by Peter Walsh. It's a great book, easy read and full of terrific tips on cutting back.

The week after I finished the book I had thrown out more than 14 bags of garbage (on top of our regular trash). I had also donated 10 bags of clothing and bedding to Goodwill. In addition I have accumulated a number of rubbermaid tubs filled with items to sell at a large community yard sale I am organizing this Spring. I'm still working on rooms in my home, but I am seeing real improvement.

Let me begin with clothing. I wash laundry for ten. This is an area where less really is best! I look forward to summertime when sweatpants and sweaters are replaced with shorts and bathing suits! It really lightens the load, (pun intended). Peter Walsh points out that clothing really is inexpensive (particularly if you have hand me downs or shop yard sales). Your children need a few pairs of pants and a few more tops, a Sunday best outfit and maybe two pairs of PJs. The fewer clothing your children have in their drawers the easier it is for them to dress themselves. You reduce the risk that something falls out and gets gathered up with the dirty clothing only to increase your work load.

As we head into Spring and warmer weather mothers everywhere will be pulling out the warm season clothing, taking stock and planning purchases to fill in any gaps. This is a great time to take a step back and make a change. You want to spend these beautiful Spring days in the garden or at the park - NOT in the laundry room!

Children have favorite clothing. Like adults they wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. Go through their drawers with them. Select 2 -3 pair of pants, 5-6 tops to keep and then pack up what is left. Take what is left throw out anything that is stained or ripped, now you have a whittled down pile of pefectly fine clothing to donate to a friend, a charity or sell at a consignment sale. Get it out of the house now! Put it in the car to be given to a friend or dropped off at a local charity. If you are going to sell it, pack it away and put it in your garage or basement -- you don't want to leave it where it might make it's way back to your laundry room!

If you are anxious about letting go of too much, select a few (I mean FEW) items and pack them away, if you find you need an item it in an emergency or for a trip you have it all folded and ready to go.

Less laundry means less soap, less hot water, less time spent sorting and folding. Less laundry means more $ in your pocket and more time on your hands! You will find less clothing on the bedroom floor and lighter laundry loads, and this makes for a much more peaceful home!
Less isn't just more, Less is BEST! Don't wait, get started today!

Next week we'll tackle the linen closet.