Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just to Prove Me Wrong

I was staring in the girls' closets the other day wondering how they ended up with so many clothes. Believe me, I do know the answer to the question. They have so many clothes because I buy them lots of clothes.

In some ways, I still have the farm school mentality. Every school day required two outfits, and at least one thing -- shirt or pants -- was destroyed each week. I never panicked about the cost because nearly all their clothes come from my favorite resale shops. It's hard to be upset about throwing away a shirt that you paid $2 for.

These days the girls are in a public school, so I need to adjust my clothing counts. They really only need one outfit per day with a few extra items for special occasions. I could reduce the number of clothes they have because they wear the same few things all the time. As soon as their favorite items are washed, they wear them.

I am still planning to reduce the number of clothes, but last night the blond twin reminded me why I always have extras. We were at a local park when I looked at her favorite pink capris. She has a large stain in the middle of the pants and marker on the back. It's possible we'll be able to salvage them, but not likely. We've been down this road before and to be honest, it's not always worth the trouble to try to salvage the clothing. Most of the time we spend more money trying to clean the item (water, soap, stain remover, etc.) than it cost to buy it. This might not work for most people, but when you shop as much resale as I do, it's usually the case.

I don't have this problem with the brunette twin. She rarely ruins her clothing, except for the knees in her jeans. The blond twin is a different story. A few weeks ago I asked her how she ended up with dark purple marker in the back of her white shirt. She said, "I don't know, but my back still itches." She then took her hand and tried to scratch her back. In her hand was the dark purple marker. I just sighed. I looked at the shirt, thought about it for a minute, and decided it was probably going in the garbage.

Even thought the marker is washable, we're talking about a dark purple marker on a white shirt. I know from experience the marker will not completely come out, so why bother? I washed it once. It didn't come out. I threw out the shirt.

I think I need to adjust my thinking. I'll buy fewer clothes at once, recognizing that I'll need to fill in the gaps more often. I'd like to think the blond twin will grow out of this, but I know better. I spent enough time with our now-college-age nieces to know she'll get a little better, but not completely outgrow it. It's just not in her genes.


Julie K said...

My 'Motherhood' milestone most recently reached is iron-on patches... my son has blown out the knees on all his pants this last 6 months or so. I'm taking a proactive approach and putting patches on the inside of his 'new pants' to prolong having to put patches on the outside (I really only buy new PJs, socks and underwear for my son... the rest of his clothes are primarily from garage sales and resale). I'd rather spend $1 or $2 for several pair of jeans at a garage sale vs 1 new pair. At anyrate, I can pass on some of his clothes to nephews... but there are some just too worn (or stained) now to be handed down so I save them for recycling. See they'll take clothes even in tatters to make rags or reuse the fiber. I keep a bag in my car and drop off when I see one of their boxes (they are few/far between, but I like it better than throwing away any textiles). On the cleaning front, try the old stand-by of our Grand-ma-mas... Fels Naptha Laundry Soap. If it's white... bleach it.

Bethany said...

My girls have way too many clothes. I can't seem to direct myself out of the store or I find a great deal! Most of the time instead of wearing the cute clothes I have bought they wear the dance recital costumes I bought on ebay! I could save so much $$$$!