It’s about that time here in Georgia. The humidity is finally giving us a break and fall is in the air. Along with the change in seasons comes the time to switch out the summer clothes to make way for some warmer ones. It’s always challenging for me to declutter kids clothes so I tend to put it off. This time I’m armed with my new minimalist mindset and I’m attacking the kids’ closets with renewed enthusiasm.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about tips on how to cut down the number of pieces in my wardrobe. There is a really neat project going on right now called Project 333 where a bunch of people have decided to cut down their wardrobe to 33 items for three months. But what are some things we can do for trimming down our children’s wardrobes?
At this point, my wardrobe is smaller than my kids’ wardrobes. That’s due more to the fact that most of my clothes don’t currently fit me, but that’s another story and not the recommended way to cut down your clothing choices. It’s easy to let your kids’ clothes get out of control. They have school clothes, play clothes, and maybe some dress clothes too. So how do you deal with so many clothing choices when they keep growing from one size to the next season after season?
How to Minimize Your Child’s Wardrobe:
1) Start with the dirty clothes. I like to weed through clothes the day before laundry day. Start by looking at the clean clothes that didn’t get touched. Are they at the back of the drawer because they aren’t among the favorite choices or simply because they’re overlooked from having too many choices? Either way, the dirty clothes are the ones that were chosen so the chances are they are the preferred choices. There are always exceptions to this of course. I’m convinced my 8 year old gets dressed in the dark everyday and doesn’t care what he wears or where he’s going. Just remember we want to “Prioritize, then Organize” the clothes.
2) Realize they don’t need as many choices as we think they do. I never went to a school that required uniforms, but I always thought not wondering what to wear would make getting ready in the morning so much easier. In most cases, we give children too many choices when it comes to their clothing. What typically happens is that they end up wearing the same thing over and over anyway, so why not skip a step and limit the choices from the beginning? It’s always a good idea to have a few pairs of play clothes on hand that can get messed up, but don’t hold onto too many clothes for “what if” situations.
3) Make the clothes easily accessible and organized. One of the ways I like to organize clothes and see what additional items need to be purchased is to put outfits together. This is also how I pack for vacations and it helps cut down the amount of clothes we take on a trip by seeing what can mix and match. I loved the reader comment by “MostlySunny” on managing her children’s clothing. She uses those hanging organizers for closets that have six compartments and puts and outfit in each one. That’s a great idea for keeping down the clothing clutter but it still gives a child the opportunity to choose what they’d like to wear. Awesome!
4) Remember to shop with purpose. If there are holes in your child’s wardrobe decide what they are at home and make a list. If they just need an extra pair of jeans and a light jacket, then make sure you note that and then go shopping with a purpose. Otherwise, when you go shopping you’ll be lured by cute items or things on sale that will unnecessarily increase the size of their wardrobe.
These basic principles can work for kids, teenagers, and even be applied to our own wardrobes. It’s never too late (or too early) to start applying the minimalist mindset to our clothing. What tips have you found that work for you when you’re decluttering children’s clothes?
Article originally published on 10/13/2010