Thursday, September 02, 2010

CHM (Chief Household Manager)

I am the Chief Household Manager and my duties are many. Dozens of sub-titles exist under this one heading. I take care of most things that fall in the "household" category including, but not limited to, making sure the shower grout is still white-ish and not moldy (Utility Spore Inspector), looking for 46 unmatched socks after each load of laundry (Missing Items Specialist), and occasionally shoveling out the vehicles so garbage doesn't spill out when we open the doors (Transportation Hazardous Waste Crew Leader) .

One job I was unprepared for when I signed on the dotted line and took this position, was that of Chief Wardrobe Controller. Every member of the family has clothes.... and I'm in charge of them. Outgrown, out of season, out of style (ehem, darling husband, you cannot wear wide-rib, black corduroy pants), worn out, reparable or irreparable... The more people in the family, the more colossal the task.

I had a hard time keeping up with everyone's wardrobe when it was just one baby who was growing through clothes. I kept all of Emma's clothes in nice blue totes.... 15 5 gallon containers for just 0-24 months. It was really insane how many clothes she had. Insane.

Then Mandy came along and grew through clothes even faster. She didn't stay consistent in the sizes like Emma had and is wearing 3T or 4T at age 2. Confused? So is my almighty tote system.

Rem didn't have even a shred of clothing until he was just about to be born. Friends would ask, "Do you need any baby boy clothes?" And I said yes. The donations started rolling in. I counted one day and realized we received blessed hand-me-down clothing from 10 different sources. Really kind friends and family who had baby boys who were no longer babies. There were some new clothes too and that is always fun. No need to worry -- the boy now has plenty of clothes.

I a couple of tricks to hopefully help us all keep our wardrobe monitoring system under control. Here are some ideas I gleaned from wise and experienced friends:

  • Limit the outfits per child. Older children will take better care of clothes when their aren't so many items. My friend Season told me this trick that she uses in her household of 7 kids, 2 adults. She suggests 8 outfits, including Sunday clothes, per child. Great idea! I think my children have 30 outfits along on the floor of their room any given evening.

  • Save a few nice things out for each coming season so you can refresh the outfits after a few months. Great idea for winter when there are lots of events a few months into the cool weather season and chances are all the winter clothes look warn and/or stained already. -- Jenni B. (mom to 4)

  • Be generous with what you have. What goes around comes around. If you have extra, share with a friend. When you are in need, someone will share with you. I heard this from a mom I attend MOPS with. When Remington was born, this principle was so true when people gave me clothes for him for absolutely free. A blessing I am now passing on as I am giving away Rem's outgrown clothes.

  • Organize by size and by season. This is especially true when you have 2 children of the same gender but who are different sizes at different seasons. It's more work at first, but quicker when you are looking for the next items for the next child.

That's all I've got. Any tips out there to share?



Grace said...

It's pretty tricky, huh? The smoothest I've found is my new system. (This works easy because I have all girls!). One too big for Lydia tote, one too big for Bethany tote, one too big for Havilah tote, one too big for Ella tote, too small totes waiting to be filled. I keep a basket in their closet for all random clothes I find that don't fit, then every fall and spring we do the amazing clothes transfer! This works much smoother for us than going by size. Once it's too small for one, it get's ready for the next girl!

Dan & Hillary said...

Sorry, no ideas here. My kids have more clothes than I do;-)

The Duggars have all their clothes per gender/size in one massive room. The older girls lay out the outfits for the younger children each night. Now... to teach Emma;-)

Season said...

I did read the Duggar's book. I think you'd really enjoy the whole book but their laundry system really inspired me. I moved all of my little ones clothes to one of my 2 closets in my bedroom right next to the laundry area. I get them all dressed at the same time and everything I need is right there including diapers and their hampers. When the clean load comes in it gets put away right away. Another helpful tip I have that has worked great for us is have your children soooooo close together that you don't have to store clothes, only move them to the next siblings drawers!

Andee said...

I have no advice for you as i am literally sitting next to a pile of size 7s I have no idea what to do with. However, I do want you to know that I love, love, love the new background.

Anonymous said...

I always have a good will or charity box. When I do laundry, I purge the clothes that don't fit right, too small and worn, and the ones that I don't like. Since my children of the same gender are 4 1/2 years apart, I save clothes, but just the ones that are worth saving. I also like to shop clearance and buy a few Good post Alysun, thanks for the helpful advice you gave us. Jenni B

joyq said...

That was more solid gold advice ! And Season, that Dugger info changed my life. I mean, I haven't done anything with that idea yet, but oh man, if I did!!! Such a great idea!