"God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell" Psalm 68:6

Friday, October 15, 2010

How much is enough?

The past several weeks have gone by and Rob and I have noticed something:  we are changing. I don't yet know how many different ways, but as God shows us we'll share with you! One question that was been sticking in my mind often as a I lay in bed at night or am sitting at a traffic light is this, "how much is enough?" We think so often about what our children in DRC don't have, even as we bemoan (while picking up toys) what our children in Loganville do have. So, where is God's will in our stuff? I'm sorting through clothes now, putting sleeveless away and airing out sweaters, storing what has been outgrown and unpacking new sizes to grow into, and I want to know "how much is enough?"

Share with me. How much is enough for your family? Is it a week's worth of clothing? Two weeks? One pair of jeans, or two, or six? When do you say, "Thank you, God! Who can I share this with?" When do you spend family resources to get more?

Thanks for helping me work this out!


  1. In our house, it has varied by age. When they are little, I enjoy endless supplies of pjs or onesies b/c of spit up or leaky diapers. It was nothing when J was little to have to change her clothes 4-5 times a day bc of the massive ammounts of urp-age. My kids now tend to ruin pants more than anything, so if I see a good deal on jeans, I snatch them up. As a rule NOW: 7-9 tops, 2-3 dresses and 4-5 pants or shorts. After that any extra is usually from b-day gifts or Christmas (lots of aunties and Grandmas, lol) Once they settle in to their 'faves' and I know what shirts they 'dislike', I try to thin it down. I HATE keeping things they 'might' wear just bc I like it. As for pjs, I have found 4 to be a good number. Gives me leeway with bed wetting or sickness.

    These are all my 'ideals'. I have had less for each child, and I have had more. I am in the same boat as you, Laura. How much is enough vs what is wasteful. I know when my conscience says 'enough...time to give" and when we really 'need' something....

  2. So, sounds like you have a week's supply, plus special occasion/purpose wear. Does definitely depend on the age of the child (right now Anthony has 15-20 pairs of underwear and a few months ago that wouldn't last a week!)and maybe how often you can do laundry? I think you've got a good handle on it.

  3. Laura-I am so passionate about this-"Live Simply so others can simply live"
    I'm all about less is more, it just keeps me sane. Jacob has about 5-6 pairs of pants, & about a week's worth of short sleeve shirts & a week's worth of long sleeve. I've never bought Owen any clothes, he wears Jacob's old stuff.
    I found with Maggie, she wears the same 5 outfits all the time, so that's all she needs. They each have one coat & one pair of shoes. Ok...Maggie has a few pairs of shoes, but they're mostly garage sale finds.
    I do about 2-3 loads of laundry a day, I fold clothes at night, while watching t.v.
    Even if all of our clothes were dirty, it still wouldn't be a ton of stuff.
    I hated living with a laundry room full of dirty clothes & more in the just felt yucky.
    With the kids & with us, we keep colors simple.
    The boys only wear jeans, & khakis or navy pants. So, whatever shirt I pull out, it'll match.
    Another thing I heard, but haven't started yet. Is to buy a big bag of white socks, so all their socks are the same. You never have to pair up socks, just put them all in a drawer. Then, you can throw them out individually.
    Hope some of this helps.

  4. Thanks, Mandi! The color pallet is a great idea! We may try that as we purchase new things.

  5. We've challenged ourselves to not buy any clothes for the kids... so far so good except for a pair of jeans for Z (she could still use another pair, but 1 will do for now). Every time I think there is something the kids need, someone has offered us a bag of "hand-me-downs" & my kids love it! I haven't figured out how to not purchase shoes yet, but for summer we pretty much wore $2 flip-flops. Everyone does have 1 pair of tennis shoes and I'm thankful that we go to a church where tennis shoes work there too! Great post - lots to think about!!!

  6. That's a great concept--to challenge your family! So many times we challenge eachother to consume more, especially over the holidays. Keep an eye on Target clearance for shoes. I recently saw several different styles of girls and women's sized flats for $3-$6 and was wishing I knew Liza's size.

  7. I love all the comments. I have 2 boys, ages 10 & 8. For them, I keep about 8 short sleeve shirts (2 being collar shirts), 2 long sleeve shirts, 4 pairs of navy pants or jeans per child. And 2 pairs of p.j. pants with a pack of white undershirts, which are versatile & can be used in summer for in and out of pool... I like to have 2 pairs of shoes per child, but if I had more children one pair would do, just dark enough to hide all the dirt, lol! One lightweight jacket (thus not needing so many long sleeve shirts) and one heavier jacket. Socks - I buy different brands/looks for them so no confusion when sorting. Oh - and in the summer 2 pairs pants & 2 pairs shorts. And swap the long p.j. pants for gym shorts to hang around the house in.