Simplicity

By | Posted July 24, 2012

Posted in cleaning, Random, resolutions | 2 Comments »

Shameful.  Just shameful.  That is how I would describe the closets in this house.  No, they aren’t messy.  They are just full of clothes.  Never ending amounts of clothes for my kids.

Yesterday, while the kids got their television on, I cleaned out the closets and drawers in an effort to figure out what we need to buy for school this year.  The answer: not one single thing.

With four boys, three of who are close in age and one who wears uniforms to school, we have a lot of useless clothing.  The oldest tends the wear the exact same thing when not in school.  And while in school, he seems to relish in pissing off his teachers by trying to show off his muscles.

The youngest is wearing stuff I remember buying for Goose.  If something looks ratty, I generally don’t let the next kid wear it.  But until Goose actually went to school, his clothes were in really good condition.  So instead of buying a new wardrobe for each boy, we only bought a few new shirts for the boys next in line.  Now Snax has a ton of nice shirts, shirts that he could actually wear to both mass and with shorts, but doesn’t like to wear.  Because if a shirt doesn’t have a picture, it’s not worth wearing to him.  Enter all his cool t-shirts, and by cool, I mean Star Wars or Snoopy.  He will wear his Longhorn shirt, but not as often as I want.  So we’re stuck with a closet full of nice shirts that aren’t being used.  Wasteful.

And the girl…I promise I don’t buy a thing.  My dad and Aunt Stacy do all the shopping for the princess.  But it’s not like they buy nonstop, they just buy big during the fall and during the spring.  I can safely say that Sunshine wears each of her outfits.  I rotate them.  And as I packed away outfits, there wasn’t one I would have given up.  I’m not quite ready to depart with any right this second, (too many sweet memories!), but soon I will make a keepsake box of her clothes and donate the rest.  Frankly, I could sell them, they are so nice and in great condition, but that’s just not me.

So what does this mean?  It shows me that thus far, I am failing at simplicity.  Failing.  If there is one thing I want my children to learn, it’s how good they have it.  No, they don’t have every new gadget on the market, heck they don’t even have a DS, but they aren’t worried about having food to eat.  (Except Snax.)  I don’t think they have to live in poverty to appreciate what they have.  I’m not going to force them to give up their toys.  I am going to manage what comes into this house a lot better than I have been.

I have one child in particular that I worry about when it comes to “things”.  I affectionately call him a hoarder.  And to be honest, he really is.  You should see the crap he saves.  Christmas gift labels is my favorite so far.  He also likes to buy a lot of little crap.  Yes, crap.  Yesterday we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond and he saw some angry birds toy.  He didn’t just want one, he wanted all five.  Today at Barnes and Noble, he wanted three toys, those toys by the register.  People really buy that stuff?!

I’ve been checking out as many books as possible, trying to show the kids that we don’t have to buy every book we like.  This is a hard one for me because books are supposed to be good purchases, right?  There are purchases I feel I can justify because I can use them with all the kids, even at the same time.  But how many books do we need?  I guess with simplicity I’d like to teach self control and discipline.

Recently, we had two birthdays.  And when the boys couldn’t come up with gift ideas, that was it.  I didn’t wander up and down the aisles trying to find more and more just so they could have a lot of gifts.  They had gifts, I do keep a journal of ideas, and obviously I know what my kids like.  Two years ago, I racked my brain at Christmas to come up with ideas for my family to buy gifts for the kids.  And the result was sickening.  I won’t go there again.  And the reality is that my kids had a better Christmas this year than last year.  Everyone complains that people don’t know the meaning of Christmas yet fall into the trap of over buying.  (And I’m not trying to be a grinch, I love seeing my kids happy Christmas morning, and my kids certainly know the real meaning of Christmas.  There just has to be more discipline.)

It is too easy to forget what is really important.  And while I am so far from where I’d like to be in buying stuff, I am on the road.  And hopefully, my children will be better for it.  I hope they will be better for the time spent together doing things over just buying them things.


Comments on Simplicity

  1. From Jenn:

    I get this. I do. And I should go through the stuff I’ve packed away that W has grown out of and seriously donate items that are extra or we just have too much for #2 or 3 or however many we are blessed to have.

    That being said, I just placed a great coupon order from The Children’s Place because our hand-me-downs for winter apparel probably ended last season unless my friend from NC brings more down when we visit this summer. We’ve been blessed though to have these items, but do you think there is something “fun” about buying clothes for the little people? I actually like shopping for W more than me! Not that I’ve done it all that much even. Anyway, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I have at least another year of him wearing what I pick out (or at least choice #2 or 3 given) so everything doesn’t go to waste! Miss y’all!

    • From Nicole:

      Here’s my problem, while recycling clothes down the line, I have purchased more with each kid. After this blog post, I counted the “nice” shirts in Snax’s closet. 19. 19 freaking shirts that he doesn’t ever wear. (I can try and rotate shirts on Sundays, but 19 weekends…) And that doesn’t include long sleeves! (So once again, I have to cut down, keeping 4 short and 2 long sleeves for mass.) We were also blessed with several boxes of clothes before Goose was born so I really didn’t buy too much. And I don’t feel like we overspend, I think it’s that we need to employ the rule of “something comes in, something leaves”, even in our closets. I also need to be a bit stronger. IE, Goose wants yet another backpack. But last year’s pack is still perfect and while part of me thinks, new year, new pack, the other part said “you want it, you buy it.” Hoping he won’t buy it.

      And yes, I love buying kid clothes! Esp for that little girl. It’s so hard to turn away.

      See you next week!! Swimming!

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