Organizing Kids Clothes

I am not going to pretend like I have all of this figured out, I don't! I am working on a system to keep my kids clothes purged and organized. With two kids and one on the way, the clothes really start piling up. I spent a few hours purging and organizing my kids clothes last weekend. This is what I came up with.

The best advice that I can give is that you probably don't need as much as you think you do. I have really simplified my kids clothes and it works a lot better. Go through your kids clothes and ask yourself these five questions. 

1. Do you love it? If yes, keep it. If no, go on to #2
2. Do your kids love it? If your kid has a ratty t-shirt that they LOVE, keep it. It's special to them. Get rid of something else.
3. Does someone else love it? Will they see it again? If Great Aunt Gertrude from somewhere far away bought your little girl a terrible dress, take a picture. Take a picture, send it to Aunt Gertrude (or put it on Facebook) and get rid of it. 
4. Does it fit? If it is too small or just a bad fit, the answer is obviously to get rid of it/put it away.  
5. Does it match anything? If there is one item that you love but doesn't go with anything, you should either get rid of it or buy something for it to go with. If your goal is to purge, get rid of it!

Now that you have a pile of clothes to get rid of, separate them into three more piles. One to keep for future or younger children, one to give away or sell, and one to toss. Throw out anything that is really worn or ratty, donate or sell anything nice, and keep the nice stuff if you have younger children of the same gender, or plan to have more. I read somewhere once that you can't really pass kids clothing down because they wear them out too easily. This is NOT always true. Believe it or not I have some clothes that my son, my daughter, and my nephew have all worn and they are still in good shape and waiting for baby #3. If you are keeping clothes for younger children, I advise putting them away in tubs or boxes and getting them out of the way. Otherwise they might make their way back into the mix of clothes.

I do a LOT of laundry. I cloth diaper. I am potty training a dog AND a daughter, so we use a lot of towels to clean up accidents. My husband works two jobs and has two dirty uniforms on most days of the week. It's a lot of laundry. Because of this, I don't really need my kids to have 100 outfits. I went through the clothes that my kids have and got rid of a lot. This is what I ended up with for my son:

Underwear/sock drawer. I have learned that white socks are horrible. If you want your kids to easily pair their own socks, colors or print are the way to go.
Pajama drawer. I got rid of a bunch, how many PJs does a kid really need??

Shorts. Play shorts, "nice" shorts, and swim shorts.
Pants. Jeans on on side and non-jeans on the other side.

Shirts go in the closet. There are a few different sizes here but they all fit him or are a little big. I have regular/play shirts on the left and his nicer shirts (yes, polo's are as nice as we get around here) on the right. 
In the back of his closet are long sleeved shirts that I expect will fit him this fall, along with a jacket. I also have a few things hanging up in the very back that are much too big. I always buy in advance out of season because it saves a ton of money!
I keep Kainan's dress up clothes in a bin under his bed. He has some super hero costumes/capes in here. 

Kainan has a large dresser, so half of it stores baby clothes. This drawer has bibs, socks, hats and woolies (cloth diaper covers) for the new baby.
The other drawers have baby clothes by size. This is newborn and 0-3 months. The other two drawers have 3-6 months and 6-9 months. I am keeping anything above 6-9 months in a large bin in my laundry room for now.

 Well there it is! My daughters room is pretty similar. She has a few more things because 1) she is a girl and 2) she goes through clothes a lot quicker than he does. She is a little mess! I will take pictures of her room in another blog post. She has a lot more "big" clothes saved for later, because I recently found some really awesome deals on 3T and 4T girl clothes. They do have extra clothes at each set of grandparents house, but I think this is a good amount to have here. I am going to try to keep on top of getting rid of things that we don't need or use. I am going to tackle toys next. 

One more piece of advice. When buying clothes, think ahead. I recently bought this outfit for my daughter. The shirt is a 4T and the shorts are 3T. The shirt fits her more like a dress right now, but I think it's cute and you can't tell. The shorts fit great over a cloth diaper (if underwear she could wear a 2T, but she isn't ready for underwear yet.) I purposefully bought this outfit too big, because I know she can wear it again next year! She can wear the shirt as a shirt, and the shorts should still fit since she should be potty trained for a while by then (let's hope.) 

It's hard to tell here, but the shorts are the same color as the top of the shirt. From the Old Navy outlet (on sale, of course)

I hope this was helpful! It's a learning process but hopefully this will make laundry and dressing the kids a little bit easier. If you have any tips for organizing kids clothes, I'd love to hear them!


Wildharted said...

I have to say I love this post and really appreciate it! Clothing is something I've been working on taming for a while now and my daughter and I fit all of our clothes in a 3 drawer dresser for each of us, plus a few things hanging in the closet, with room left over. I read somewhere that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it really was the case with my own wardrobe so I purged. It's been amazing and freeing and I absolutely love it and don't miss any of the clothes I was holding onto that I might wear once a year!

I get a lot of hand-me-downs for my daughter (who's almost 2 and into 24M/2T clothing) from her cousin (who's almost 4) and while I'm extremely grateful for all of those plus the clothes grandparents and her aunt like to buy her here and there, it's WAY TOO MUCH! Since I just switched over to mostly 24M/2T clothing (and more importantly, finally put away the darn winter clothing), I organized everything. Since there's so much, I go through and actually try and make outfits with her clothes rather than just hold onto things I like. The main reason for that is that then I KNOW there's something that goes with a shirt or pants AND that way daddy doesn't have to try making an outfit from pieces. That's been interesting to say the least in the past. I actually have been folding outfits up together if they're multiple pieces (pants folded up into shirts) so that it's all one neat little bundle, which dad appreciates a lot. For each season, I've been holding onto about 15-20 outfits (which is still excessive for us to be honest but it all fits in her dresser so it works for now) and everything else gets put back in a box or tote. Totes are nice and Ikea has a really nice package of cardboard storage boxes (think file storage boxes but bigger) that I've been using and love. I don't go through and purge a lot since my daughter is actually handing down her clothes to a 9 month old little girl right now (that's 3 kids clothed with one set of clothing essentially, and still going). At least I don't have to sort around the things we don't wear or have it mess with our sets.

The other amazing thing I started doing was with how I put the clothes away. There are some things hanging up in the closet but honestly, most of it gets folded and put it drawers because then it's all kept in one spot (my husband typically doesn't search the closet for outfits either). I fold up everything and actually set things on their side so you can see what everything is. Here's the pin I stole the idea from: http://pinterest.com/pin/187532771955920250/ This actually frees up a LOT of space and it's easy to find things! Plus, like I said with the outfit idea, the pants or shorts or bottoms are folded up within the shirt so it's all together. I'd be happy to send a picture if you'd like!

All of your points here are right on and great tips for organizing kids clothes! And it translates well to adult wardrobes!

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