I think it will be very helpful for me, from now, on to have one place where I keep any and all household inventory files. Over time I can add additional sections to the folder, with things that all relate to managing our home better (for instance, emergency contact details, a weekly menu planning outline, an inventory of linen, an inventory of what is in the chest freezer, etc).
So I literally started yesterday the very first section in my Household Logistics Organization File Folder titled, 'Clothing Inventory.' I plan to put together a master clothing inventory sheet for each family member, with the hope that it will help me determine with far more clarity, what each person has or needs.
It can be too easy to engage in impulsive purchasing. It can be too easy to loose track of who actually does need this and that, when it comes to any one specific clothing category. So with each change of season, I am going to do something of an audit and document where everything is at, when it comes to the clothing needs of my household.
Here's what the first inventory, for my daughter, looks like. I have printed it out and it is ready to fill in.
Having drafted this initial inventory, I have since realised I could have added such items as belts and scarves, so I will look to add those to the final Inventory List I have filed on the computer. At least in the meantime this list will get us started and get the sorting out under way.
I plan to do this inventory with my daughter working alongside me, so we are both on the same page as to what is a reasonable quantity of clothing for her to have.
Together we will go through her wardrobe and go over each item, checking to see if it still fits her, as well as seeing if it needs mending or replacing, and we will also determine what items we may need to go out and purchase for the coming season.
I usually do a seasonal change-over of clothing for everyone approximately every six months, when it comes to changing about what is actually hanging in bedroom wardrobes and kept in bedroom drawers, rather than stored away in our out-of-season storage totes.
I store out-of-season clothing away in large plastic totes, rather than keep them hanging about in each wardrobe, chest of drawers, etc. It has worked well so far having out-of-season items stored elsewhere, and so at this stage I will stay with that approach to organizing out-of-season clothing.
As items get laundered and put away in the totes I do another audit, as it doesn't make sense to hold on to things that in six months time are not going to be the right size, etc. Any items that can be sold, passed on to friends and family or even donated to charity, are dealt with during this audit. Items that have past their use-by-date on the wear and tear front can be recycled or put in the trash, with each seasonal audit also.
Being a single income family we just don't have money to waste on surplus goods. It is nice to have one or two special items above the usual must-haves, however impulsive purchasing is just not going to be at all helpful when trying to work with what is a very fixed budget.
I am grateful for items that are occasionally passed on to us, and it is helpful to have several charity shops in our local community also. However I am also very conscious that there is only so much limited space in our home overall and clothing can just become clutter, when there is more than enough of it lurking about. Being able to meet everyone's needs and keep within budget does take some juggling at times, and having a reference point such as an inventory list for clothing is very, very helpful.
Working on sorting out what we actually have currently for my daughter is going to be my focus for the next couple of days. We will look to have a shopping outing to purchase those items that may be needed soon also. I will share an update in a couple of days.