I started writing this in February with every intention of adding pictures. That never happened, obviously, so I'm just going to post it. But I'm going to update it because
I HAD A BABY!!! :-)
and I want that reflected in the writing.
I have two girls who share a room. Next year it will be three. It is a room that never seems to be clean, despite there being a place for everything. Toys aren't the problem though, it's clothes. My girls will change their clothes 3-4 times a day and of course each time they do, they leave them on the floor.
One day a number of months ago I had a profound realization: they just have too many clothes.
Sounds obvious now, but my adult mind forgot how kids work. I can keep all my summer and winter clothes and accessories in my room and simply not use it unless needed. But children never work that way. I noticed when my children were toddlers that too many toys were overwhelming and they enjoyed them more when they only had a few to chose from. That meant the rest had to be out of sight and out of mind.
So I had each child choose 7 outfits. They had to match and be seasonally appropriate. They were also allowed two church dresses for Sundays.
The change has been significant!!!
Now they aren't overwhelmed, and there's less laundry to do! Everything has been simplified.
As a bonus, they are also learning about choosing clothing carefully. I let them choose whatever they wanted and they both chose cute impractical dresses because they loved them. But then they would inevitably run out of clothes because despite the cuteness, they don't actually like wearing those dresses. They learned quickly to choose outfits that they actually knew they would wear. How many of us have spent good money on clothes we never actually wear?
I'm hoping this will prepare them for adulthood better by helping them make better choices about what they spend their money on. But mostly I'm just glad it helps them keep their room cleaner. Definitely a need when living small.