Friday, November 2, 2007

Frugal Fridays - Managing All the Clothes

This has been the week of the Great Fall Clothes Swap. Yes, we removed our light sundresses, most of our cotton t-shirts, and our breezy skirts. We've replaced them with our soft fleece, our favorite non-scratchy sweaters, and the like. Bear in mind we have 5 people in our family and no one wears the same size.

It's a big job.

Coincidentally we are also preparing for a big donation to the VVA, who called asking if I please had any clothes to give them. We've donated in the past to them because they actually come pick up your donations, making it a lot easier on me. I admit, I pretty much hate to leave the house with my three girls by myself. Until Sweet Pea is able to walk and Tigger is reliably good tempered. Maybe when she's twenty-one.

These two things happening at the same time got me to thinking. Again, in case you haven't heard me say it before, "We live in a very small house". To clarify: a very small, very old house. The basement and central part of the house date from oh, the Civil War. Yep, we're living in history here. As you can imagine, storage is at a premium.

I store the girls' clothes in Rubbermaid or Sterilite containers, with large 8 1/2 x 11 labels on the front and sides of the boxes. Because we don't think our family is complete yet, we've kept baby clothes so we have sizes from 0-3 Months all the way up to 10-12 Girls (hand me downs given to Polly).

I can hear you now, "Enough with the explanation - get to what you were thinking about!" Here it is: As I sorted all these boxes it occurred to me that the God who provided these clothes would surely provide more as we need them. Are you shocked yet?

Now I didn't get rid of all the clothes we are not currently wearing. We still have all the same boxes, though they're a bit lighter. But I decided that Christian Frugality does not mean hanging on to everything that we've been given. Sometimes it may be best to let things go to bless someone else. If it was an outfit I didn't like the first time on Polly, what made me think I would have Tigger or Sweet Pea wear it? And some things, like white socks, just don't make sense to save. I buy the girls new swim suits every year, so why was I hanging on to old ones?

Prince Charming and I sorted our own things with a similar mindset. If we haven't worn something in the past year or two, what are the chances that we ever will? If it made me feel frumpy new, time is certainly not going to improve it! And if we get to a time where we truly need that item we gave away won't our gracious Father help us find what we need or do without?

So there you have it, my philosophical pondering for this week. How do you manage your family's wardrobe? And how do you balance being wise for the future with simplicity?

Don't forget to check out Biblical Womanhood for many great frugal ideas!


WesternWarmth said...

I agree with this view. Most of my maternity wardrobe was given to me by friends so I passed it along to my sister. When my next pregnancy came and I had no wardrobe Heavenly Father was faithful and provided through various means and gifts a whole new one. Which I passed along again! So many people have been generous and blessed me it is wonderful to do the same and practice faith for the future. Blessing others is different than just throwing it away.

Dana said...

We are foster parents so I've always kept some clothes in almost every size and for each sex for "just in case". Lately I've been rethinking our clothes, just as you have. (I posted about it in my blog in Sept:

Anyway, I've decided that if God provides any more children for us, he'll provide the room and the clothes too. I did keep one or two outfits that would work for either sex in small sizes. Our license will soon lapse and I'll donate those items too.

It's liberating to know you don't have to worry about what you or your kids are going to wear. We've never gone without!


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