When our kids are growing at lightning speed, us parents are tasked with keeping the clothes that fit them in circulation while cycling out those they’ve outgrown. Add more than one kid, and we’re looking at a juggling act.
From infancy through childhood, our kids are moving from one size to the next in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re starting off with your first child or keeping up with three or more, there are ways to create and maintain an efficient system in your home without losing your mind. With a few helpful tips, you can keep your kids’ closets organized, whether you’re settled or in the middle of a move.
If you have a game plan, you’re starting off on the right foot. Determine how you want to handle your child’s wardrobe organization. Do you plan to keep too-small clothes as hand-me-downs for family, friends or future siblings, or will you be getting rid of items as soon as they are outgrown? Do you plan to donate or consign clothes when your family is done with them? Having a clear purpose helps you stay organized—plus, you’ll avoid having bags of unused clothes hanging around or drawers overflowing with clothes that don’t fit.
Create a defined system for storing children’s clothing. Pull everything they have out of their dresser or closet and go through each item. Before you put anything back, donate or toss old or outgrown clothing so it’s not hogging usable space.
Next, assign a spot for each category of clothing, such as socks, undies, pajamas, shirts, pants and seasonal clothing. This can be as simple as labeling a dresser drawer, or you can corral clothing in a bin or basket and keep it on a closet shelf or in a cubby. If you prefer to hang everything in a closet, organize clothing into sections so you always know where to find something. Find a method that works for you so it’s easy to put clothes that do fit back where they belong.
Whether you’re saving clothes for your family’s little ones or planning to consign outgrown pieces, purchase stackable plastic bins (with lids) that can be easily labeled for storage. There are so many positives to using these for organizing. Plastic bins are reusable, protect clothing from damage and are easily moved from place to place. If you’re storing clothes in an attic, closet, basement or in storage—or even packing for a move—this is the best option for organizing and storing clothes efficiently. When you’re ready to donate, use cardboard boxes to transport clothes. They’re a recyclable, eco-friendly alternative to throwing clothes into trash bags. Alternatively, you can ship clothes to an online thrift store.
Do Laundry with Purpose
If you notice your child’s pants are looking a little short or a shirt is getting tight, pay attention when doing the household laundry. Once cleaned, you can keep a working pile of clothes that don’t fit to ensure that they don’t end up back in the mix, causing unnecessary clothing clutter. I like to store my kids’ clothes by similar size and season to make it easier to move items to their next destination.
Handle Your Hand-Me-Downs
If you’re saving clothing for someone else, make sure you’re keeping only the things you know they’ll need. This is especially important if you’re moving to a new home. There’s no reason to cart extra clothes in and out of storage when you could use that precious moving truck space for more important items.
Donate and Consign in a Timely Manner
Good intentions will only get you so far. If you plan to donate clothes or consign those gently used items, make sure that you’re getting them out of the house as soon as possible. Waiting too long to make a trip to the local consignment shop will cost you time and space, both of which you’re looking to optimize. If you’re in the process of moving, it’s even more important to get these items out of your current home so you can settle into a new place clutter-free. Try to pass off, donate or consign all of your outgrown kids clothing before moving day.
Our biggest recommendation when considering what will work for your family is not to let things pile up, both figuratively and literally. If you wait too long to organize your kids’ clothes or fall behind in getting sizes out of the rotation, it will be a frustrating task to get yourself caught up.
If you make it a point to follow your plan as you go along, you’ll find that it’s very easy to keep your kids in clothes that fit and are comfortable, without losing your cool. The years fly by, and you want to spend all the time you can appreciating their childhood, not getting lost in endless piles of their clothes.
Ready to get organized?
Start small and work on going through your child’s closet today—you’ll be thankful you did once you have a system in place!