Decluttering your kid’s clothes is an often overlooked area when it comes to simplifying your life as a mom. When it comes to this topic, many moms automatically think: what do I do about storing outgrown clothes for the next child or keeping items of clothing for sentimental purposes? Both are valid concerns. They’re also topics that deserve their own blog post for another day.
First, let’s just focus on what’s currently in your kid’s wardrobe, what they wear right now in the size that currently fits them. Simplifying their current wardrobe is actually pretty simple. Let’s get started.
How to Declutter Kids’ Clothes
1| Take stock of what they gravitate towards.
The first step to decluttering kids’ clothes is to consider what they gravitate towards. Can you think of particular colors, patterns or textures that your child simply will not wear? You know, those clothes that your child just won’t wear regardless of how much you spent on it, how cute it is, or how much you want them to wear it? Perhaps they have garments that don’t fit quite right or that are uncomfortable when worn.
Right now I can recall specific outfits and articles of clothing that my daughter never chose to wear because she didn’t really like them, so they’re basically still brand new (sans tags) after she’s outgrown them. For example, my daughter won’t wear solid gray or solid black, it has to have a pop of color or a pretty pattern – like a hot pink trim on black or a colorful floral print on gray – for it to see the light of day.
2| Weed out what doesn’t usually get worn.
The next step in decluttering your kids’ clothes is to lay out their entire current wardrobe.
You can do this on the floor or on your bed. With the knowledge of your child’s favorite colors, patterns and textures, weed out the clothes your child rarely wears.
Take a picture of what’s left so you have a way to remember what they have and like for the next time you need to buy clothes.
Put the decluttered clothes in separate bags or boxes to take to a consignment store, Goodwill, ThredUp, a women’s shelter or a pregnant friend. There’s always someone that could appreciate and use the unworn clothes, especially if they still have some “life” left in them.
3| Set a limit on the total number of clothes.
Setting a limit to the number of overall clothes that your child has will simplify your life. The number that’s appropriate for each family is different.
Personally, the number of clothes I’ve limited my daughter’s wardrobe to is 7 tops and 7 bottoms. In addition, I buy 2 pairs of shoes per size or season, a coat for Fall and a swimsuit for Summer. I do laundry once a week so this overall number of 7 works well for me.
Consider the number that works for you and remain under that number to keep the clutter from coming back.
4| Create a Capsule Wardrobe.
After decluttering the excess clothes and deciding on a limit for their wardrobe, look at how many clothes mix and match well. When you have a limit on the total number of clothes your child has, a capsule wardrobe is a great way to ensure their clothes coordinate well.
This allows their clothing to easily match together without having to have set “outfits” where only one top goes with one bottom and doesn’t match anything else in their wardrobe. Then you can easily change a dirty top without having to completely change their entire outfit.
Why Declutter Kids’ Clothes?
1| It will simplify your mom life.
If you declutter your kids’ wardrobe to only consist of clothes they gravitate towards, it will simplify their wardrobe and your mom life.
For example, some kids drive their moms crazy by wanting to wear their favorite shirt all of the time. Why not purchase more of that same shirt? Then they can wear their favorite shirt more than once by virtue of the fact that they own more than one.
I did this recently with one of my daughter’s shirts. She picked out a pink long-sleeved shirt that she liked so I bought two of the same shirt. She likes the shirt so I know she will wear it and I’m confident the pink shirts will match the other items in her capsule wardrobe.
2| It will reduce mismatched outfits and unworn clothes.
Decluttering will reduce the occurrence of mismatched outfits, but not eliminate. I say reduce because it’s not foolproof. Kids will and should be kids. When else will it be acceptable to wear a tutu skirt with rain boots?
That said, reducing their wardrobe to consist of the types of clothing they like the most will typically lead to a cohesive clothing scheme.
I’ve created a capsule wardrobe for my daughter and the color scheme on all her clothes allows for easy mixing and matching. This way, her outfits won’t be too terribly mismatched (happy mom) and she gets to wear clothes that she not only likes but that she picked out all by herself (happy child).
Capsule wardrobes aren’t just for adults, they’re great for kids and can be created for each season! I like to create one for Spring+Summer and another for Fall+Winter. This way, swimsuits, rain boots, and winter coats are taken into account. Your needs may be different depending on where you live and what the climate is like there.
3| Less laundry overall.
Once you’ve decluttered your kids’ clothes, you’ll have less laundry to do. In the event that ALL the clothes get dirty extremely quickly (hello, potty training!) then it won’t take as long to do ALL the laundry since there are fewer clothes overall.
4| No unworn clothes or wasted money.
By simplifying their wardrobe, there won’t be a random shirt that is in mint condition and never sees the light of day!
5| More storage space.
When you declutter your kids’ clothes, you will also have more storage space. When it’s time to store the outgrown clothes to hand down to another child, they won’t take up as much space. Especially if you put them in a vacuum seal storage bag.
When it comes to baby clothes, I only kept the “going home from the hospital” outfit and a select few of my favorites that are in great condition for the next child. If you have clothes with sentimental value but would still like to declutter them, perhaps taking a picture and including it in a baby book or family album will satisfy the desire to hold onto the memory.
What’s your experience with decluttering kids clothes?
Share in the comments below!