I am not one for “click bate” titles, so when I say this trick will help you pare down your child’s wardrobe, I MEAN IT! Set aside ten minutes and you will be done!! We have four kids ages three through eight and they have a nana who LOVES buying them clothes! She can’t resist a good garage sale and it is SUPER helpful (we rarely have to buy clothes for them), BUT, it can also get a little bit out of control.
And part of the success of my (AWESOME) laundry system is keeping everyone’s wardrobes pared down. So I came up with this quick trick to simplify their wardrobes. It also works well for adult clothes, too.
TIPS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR CHILD’S WARDROBE QUICKLY
I have a video about this organizing process that you can watch here:
Or, you can read about the process here:
Materials needed: One medium-sized cardboard box or Rubbermaid storage tote. A plastic garbage bag could also work!
1) Gather ALL of your child’s clothes. It is helpful to do this when all of the laundry is done in your house (I know, I’m laughing about that, too ;), but basically, make sure you have 95% of their clothes together when you do this.
2) Decide how many items they NEED. Now we’re talking “NEED” here, not like to have, or how much we can cram into their dresser. Truly NEED. For our kids we can get by with 5 bottoms and 5 tops (seriously, I’m not high! They NEED WAY LESS than you think!). But do what is best for your family! Your kids may require more.
3) THIS IS THE KEY: Pull out the pieces that you would like to keep. So for us, I pull out 5 bottoms and 5 tops. I pick that ones that are most versatile, comfortable and durable. What we DON’T WANT TO DO: what we’re avoiding here is going through and examining each piece of clothing. That takes too long and most often it is too hard to decide. Instead, we pull out what we NEED and move on to the next step.
4) Set aside your keep items and ALL OF THE REST gets put into the box or bin. DON’T WORRY! We’re not going to donate or sell anything just yet! I like to set it aside for 2-6 weeks to see if we truly miss any of it. Most likely you won’t need anything from the set-aside box, but if you do, it’s still there. Stick the box in the garage, basement or at the back of the closet and just see how the new wardrobe works.
5) Once you feel comfortable that you don’t need anything out of the set-aside bin, DONATE or SELL! It sometimes feels odd getting rid of perfectly good kids clothes, BUT, your house will feel cleaner and more under control with the excess gone!
BENEFITS OF A SIMPLER WARDROBE FOR KIDS
I know that you probably know this already, but life is SO much easier when the kids’ wardrobes are under control! Here is what we notice:
1) Their bedrooms stay cleaner! Even if they pull out every piece of clothing that they have, it isn’t that much so putting it back is a breeze.
2) They get dressed quicker. Fewer options means less time debating what to wear in the morning.
3) Our whole house feels cleaner. No more gigantic piles of clothes in the bathrooms, laundry room and on the couches.
4) I have to stay on top of laundry. This might seem like a negative at first, but hear me out! Instead of having one dedicated laundry day per week (which didn’t work at all!), I now do one load of laundry per day. This took a little getting used to, but now I LOVE it, no more laundry monster at our house!!
Again, I know this may seem a little extreme, but it really has made a HUGE difference in how our house functions (and the kids didn’t even notice the difference!).
OUR LAUNDRY SYSTEM
If you want to see more about our laundry system (I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was life-changing!) you can find that here: The Laundry System that Changed My Life. Laundry is no longer a pain point at our house and our whole home feels cleaner because it isn’t EVERYWHERE anymore! I also talk about how we store the kids’ clothes in bins and the few things that we hang.
You can also see a video of it here:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MY KIDS’ CLOTHES TIPS
Again, I know these tips for kids clothes are slightly unconventional, here are questions that often come up:
1. Has there been anything you regret getting rid of ? Nope. There has yet to be an instance where I wished I hadn’t donated, given away or sold something. We live in a time where we have access to SO much. Between garage sales, birthdays, Christmas, hand me downs and clearance racks, if my kids ever have a real need for a piece of clothing it is pretty easy to come by!
2. As the kids get older, do they naturally want more clothes? Yes. Our 8-year-old has begun asking for clothes for Christmas and her birthday. She is starting to care what she wears. So while she wants to have input into what she wears, there are still only so many days in a week to wear new outfits! So I still help her to keep it pared down so that it isn’t overwhelming. She probably still only has four or five pairs of pants but closer to ten tops and two or three dresses.
3. Only one “nice” or “dressy” outfit, do you ever need more? Like I mention in the video, each child has only one “nice” outfit at any given time. This works for us because it doesn’t bother me if our kids wear the same thing to church or family get togethers every time. But also, the seasons change often here in Minnesota, and they GROW, so they’re dressy outfits are constantly changing. But you can have more! Maybe you’d feel more comfortable with three or four, do what works best for your family. In the past, our kids each probably had 12-15 nice outfits and then I’d feel guilty about the clothes they never wore!
4. Do your kids have “capsule wardrobes”? Not technically. But I’ve found that by keeping mostly solid colored bottoms, that there is rarely an outfit that they put together that doesn’t look like it “goes together.” So I don’t stress too much about capsule wardrobes, I just never choose items that wouldn’t go with the rest of their clothes.
5. How often do you go through their clothes? I do a thorough re-group when we change out clothes for the season, so in the spring and fall. I get rid of things that are outgrown or destroyed and pare back down to five bottoms and tops. But in between, I’m aware of how much they have. The bin you see in the video is our three-year-old’s clothes bin. ALL of his clothes fit in there…easily! So if at any point it is overflowing I KNOW he has clothes in there that aren’t getting worn and I toss or donate.
6. Do you sell, donate or pass on kids clothes you aren’t using? Quite frankly, the bulk of our kids clothes come from garage sales. So, by the time both of our girls or both of our boys have worn something that was used to begin with, IT IS DONE. So most items get thrown or donated. As far as handing things down, we do have nieces and nephews that could potentially wear them, but it is so hard to know if the parents actually want it, and I know they have other people passing clothes on to them, so I no longer offer (and I think we’re all ok with that!).
7. So you garage sale? YES, but strategically! I noticed that I easily became a hoarder when I garage sale too much! SO many good deals and CUTE clothes, how do you pass them up!?! So now I only allow myself two days per year in neighborhoods I’ve come to love for their garage sales.
Garage Saling Tip: I’ve found the more middle of the road neighborhoods to have the best finds…higher end homes tend to mean HIGHER PRICES (at least where we live) and I just can’t do it! But, since I only go out two days, I have upped what I’m willing to pay per item. For example: I’ll pay up to $2 for a pair of boy’s jeans because I know we’ll need them and they’ll be at least $10 in the store. Could I look longer and find some for $1 or $.50? Probably, but there is also a good chance I’ll buy a few other things that I don’t need!!
BEST WISHES WITH YOUR CHILDREN’S CLOTHES!
I truly hope that you find an idea or tip here that you can apply to your home! I know it takes a little time and work to get things simplified, but for us, it has been incredibly worthwhile!
Here’s to simplified wardrobes!
Have any great laundry tips? PLEASE share them below!