Thanks to Small Notebook for a Simple Home for this fantastic article on Organizing Your Children’s Clothes.
Like the Small Notebook experience, I have found that the children’s clothing is quite a time and space consuming ordeal. I dread it when the kids grow and I have to reorganize closets and drawers yet again. Some of the clothes still fit but they are clearly ready for the next size. Do I just haul out the whole current sized wardrobe and move to the next?
We also have been blessed with hand-me-downs in very good condition up to size 6 for Ava and are now starting to get hand me downs for Travis (going on size 2).
What I have been doing is having a tote per size, regardless or season or gender. When it is time to move the child’s wardrobe to that size I move the entire tote into their drawers and closet and then sub-sort into seasonal piles (shorts, tee shirts, long sleeves, pants, Capri’s, jackets/sweaters). They grow fast enough, I don’t want to do this every 3 months for crying out loud!
“Generally, getting organized is not about finding the ideal storage container. Donating and sorting always comes first, and the times that you need to buy something new to store something else should be few and far between.” (Small Notebook)
Our friend at Small Notebook (SN) switched when SN found the amount of clothes suddenly doubled, to tote boxes. They’re sweater-box size, and they stack at the top of the closet. However, SN finds the amount overwhelming.
SN’s advice on how to keep the clothes storage from taking over your space:
1. Have a limit. The totes limit how much storage space we can fill. Each size has to fit in only one box.
2. Limit the keepsakes. For each kid I have one tote of sentimental clothes to keep, so I won’t accidentally give away the hospital hat or heirloom sweater. Anything else not in that tote can be freely given away when I’m ready.
3. Keep the best stuff. Don’t keep anything worn out or stained. Nicer clothes show less wear, and play clothes can be easily replaced.
4. Don’t accept extra handed-down clothes, just because they’re free. When we were offered all of these little boy clothes, I only took home a small portion of them, although I could have taken more. There was enough clothing for several families, so I got to be selective and pick out my favorites, the things I knew we would use.
This is the question I have to deal with each and every time I pull out the current and next size totes … What’s a reasonable amount of clothes for children?
SN’s “preference is to have one week’s worth of clothes in the current size and season for each child, so that I can go a week before doing laundry. Sometimes we have a little more, but that’s my preferred amount so that everything can be fully used.” I like this idea – a lot. I mean, how many tee shirts can one little kid go through any way?
The timing of this article is perfect as I need to go through Ava’s wardrobe. She’s grown almost 2 inches since February and it seems like it all happened in the last month!