Now this can be one of those things like the chicken or the egg, what come first.
I understand not everyone has the "perfect laundry room" like we see in Better Homes and Gardens. It is an area that we must address. Your washing machines are to your clothes as your dishwasher is to your dishes, or your shower is to you. If it is piled up then make the resolution to clean it up once and for all. What you are going for here is an "easy flow of laundry", in then out. I have seen bare closets with piles of laundry to do, if you fit this bill then you must devolope a system and routine to get them put away. I have seen stuffed closets with piles of laundry. Fit the bill?then it is time to get rid of some things. With folks that have minimal to moderate amounts of clothing, ie stuff they wear,use and love, they are the ones that can and do stay on top of it. So while you are decluttering your closets and dressers, start that washer. and be ruthless when it comes time to address the skinny jeans and fat jeans. Only keep what you wear. Toss out any stained shirts, use them as rags whatever. Just do not keep them in your clothing rotation.
My husband taught me laundry simplicity. He is out in the field away from home in the summer, his solution was to only buy navy colored t-shirts and light gray t-shirts. I asked him why? "Well that way I only have 2 loads of laundry, darks and whites." He put the navy t-shirts in with his jeans and the light gray ones in with his socks and underwear. Simple solution.
What I have for the kids's wardrobe
for each child
I keep a minimum of 10 complete outfits for each season. Good mix and match for maximum usability. It really is plenty.
8 extra shirts
2 winter coats
2 hats and gloves
2 swim suits
4 pairs of shoes including their winter boots, and 1 pair of Keens for the summer.
10 pairs of all same colored socks and underwear
2 pairs of jammies
2 pair of long john base layers
and a few more odds and ends such as belts, hats, cami's, tights and scarves
We are teaching them to keep it simple. We are also teaching them to keep track of their stuff. My two youngest have had the same pair of winter gloves for 1 year and have not lost them. When they do misplace them they know they must find them or they dont get to play outside when its winter.
They have a hamper in their room and when its time for laundry......it is their job to bring it to me. They can push all sorts of wagons and what not outside, they can push a hamper to the laundry room. They put away their pants, jammies, socks and underwear as well. The shirts I hang. This is teaching them 1. To take care of their stuff and 2. Mom is not your maid.
Off season stuff is stored in a vacuum bag and not in the daily rotation.
To simplify my wardrobe I went to What not to Wear and got a baseline of what to keep. I follow it religiously and even if you are on tight clothing budget like I am, its still no excuse to hold on to stuff that doesn't fit, or is in tatters. My favorite sweater to this day is a black silk merino wool blend with V neck line I found for 3 bucks. I have alot of basics, like brown, black, navy, ivory, gray and good jeans, a few dress slacks and a few great accesories to mix and match. A decent rotation of underthings and a must have for all women.. good fitting bra! Once I was properly sized at Breakout Bras, there was no looking back in this department!! Do it, it can make a world of difference. I have my favorite winter shoes (a pair of brown Ariat fat baby's) and my favorite summer shoe...keen. Some nice heels, a few birki's, my good snow boots and my tennis shoes. I do need some casual all purpose wrap dresses for the summer. So I am on the look out for those now.
Remember we only use 20% of our clothing 80% of the time, so you really could ditch most of your closet.
Any"what if" stuff for children, like baby stuff will be addressed in a post unto itself.