Summer is a great time to simplify your closet since there’s less requirement to wear something different all the time and the temperature isn’t hopping around on you. So, here’s my favorite 10 ways to simplify summer laundry.
1. Resolve to do laundry once a week.
This eliminates the need for 17 pairs of undies and 12 pairs of shorts. That right there changes EVERYTHING.
2. Remove out of season clothing.
My kids hate to re-hang clothes. I can’t tell you how many winter sweaters I find in summer laundry because someone accidentally pulled it off the hanger and didn’t want to put it back. Put hat out of season stuff up in the attic and it won’t end up in your laundry so often.
3. Mark 8 complete sets of t-shirts, shorts, and undies for each child.
Match and mark them in the back by day. I do M,T,W,TH,F,S, a set of crosses for Sunday, and X for Xtra set. Sunday is the only weird set. No shirt. There are shorts for after church, undies, a pair of khakis and they choose one of four polos hanging in the closet.
*I found that this exercise taught me a lot about my children’s clothing needs. Who has tons of shorts? Who is naked? Who is short on shirts or comfortable undies? Who has tons of clothes that don’t match ANYTHING?
4. Banish socks for the season.
Each kid has one pair of play flops, crocks, and “dress” flops for church. No socks! But, for those times that we NEED sneakers, I have a small stash of sneakers and socks hiding in my bedroom.
5. Keep extra in-season clothing out of reach for them, but in reach for you.
All the rest of the clothes that work for this season are in a basket at the very top of the closet. This is what I pull from when something gets torn or irreparably stained.
6. Organize the drawers by DAY, not type of clothing.
Top drawer is Xtra set and Sunday. Next drawers are M-T, W-TH, F-S respectively. I started out using marked clothes pins to keep the clothes together on the right day, but that died almost immediately. It’s easier to label the drawer itself.
7. Check their tags.
When a kid comes out, for the first few days you may need to check the tags to make sure they aren’t mixing and matching. But most importantly, check tags to know if they remembered to change undies lately.
8. If you need to buy, go for dark shirts, especially for baby.
I’m not big on bibs, so every baby outfit needs to be able to stand up to spillage and that under the neck snack-storage wrinkle. Less white, means less stains, means less stain-fighting and losing and having to dip into the “extras” basket at the top of the closet for new sets.
9. Color-code the grown-up towels
My kids go through towels like toilet paper in the summer. Dirty feet from not wearing our shoes, mostly. Then, Jeff or I end up towel-less after showers because the kids used them all. I tried giving each kid a color coded towel, but unless I did laundry every day, that wouldn’t work. So, Jeff came up with a great idea. He colored coded OUR towels. The kids can use any towel in the house for baths or quick clean-up, except the Burgundy one or the BRIGHT blue one. These are for Mama and Papa’s baths.
10. Cast an eye on your own closet.
I don’t mark my clothes, but I do ask myself, “Would this be in my weekly rotation, if I did?” Again, Sunday is the exception. I have a choice of two pairs of pants and five dressier shirts, so I don’t look the same at mass each week. But, WOW, a lot of clothing gets donated. I didn’t realize how many shirts and shorts and holey yoga pants I was keeping for the “I don’t feel like doing laundry days” and the stacks of clothes that will only fit “When I lose some weight.” It was just clutter! And who needs TEN sleep shirts? Seriously, Deanna.