In our home, the number of clothes we have is a constant battle. From generous hand me downs, great gifts, to bargain prices it is hard to stay on top of all the laundry. With 3 kids 3 and under it seems like the piles of clothes never end. Kids grow quickly, seasons change and without fail the favorite outfits end up at the bottom of the hamper, I’m digging around and find some pieced together outfits, which is annoying because they have so many clothes… I just can’t find what I’m looking for! Then before I know it we are running late, someone needs to be changed, kids are hungry or unattended to and I am barely dressed myself! Ahh! So what to do?
Ultimately, the Lord sees my heart. He hears my anger, knows my heart and my heart is just pumping out the sin. Hands down the most important thing is my heart. Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart, with all vigilance for from it flows the springs of life.” Psalm 51:17 reminds us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The first thing to look after is my heart. A peaceful heart is more important than a cute outfit. Repeat. A peaceful heart is more important than a cute outfit.
Regardless of the state of the house or laundry, My kids need a mother who is modeling a heart that is self controlled, kind and patient MORE than they need to be on-time. I pray and ask the Lord to convict and reveal wisdom about my heart, I ask for patience and self control. I ask the Lord to help me “put off” anger and “put on” joy and thankfulness. After observing a pattern in my life I am making changes to remove this “trigger” for anger and sin in our home. Not to say the clothes have been solved or my heart is perfect, but by God’s grace our hearts have made progress.
A few benefits I have observed from simplifying the clothes have been:
-my 3 year old can independently pick out an outfit that matches and help her brothers too
-the drawers are not bursting open and they close easily
– I love all of their outfits
-we can all get up and dressed quickly
-the kids can put their clothes away in the right place, they can’t fold but getting them in the right spot helps!
-we have saved money because we aren’t buying more than we need or buying duplicates.
-my heart is joyful instead of anxious
Practically this is my approach to the clothes based on the ages and needs of our kids:
- 5-10 good quality mix and match outfits. 1sweatshirt, 1 jacket (girls add sweater & dresses as needed)
- 5 pairs of shoes.
- 5 pairs of Jammies
- Do laundry with clothes inside out. Hang dry or on low
- Don’t save anything unless you have a plan to reuse soon or you love it. Keep them in a bin out of the way
- Pass on or donate any clothes you don’t like, have stains, don’t fit or are out of season. I also don’t keep around to many “singles” (things that only match one other thing)
The weather in California is so mild that we can wear most things year round.
Be encouraged that there is grace and hope for you in Jesus Christ. Our identity is found in Christ and His victory over death and conquering sin. We are not justified by cute outfits, organized dressers and punctual schedules. Those things are great, but not eternal or a means for justification.