Do you dread the change of season when you have to go through your kids’ clothes and figure out what doesn’t fit and what you need to buy? This can be a real cumbersome task, especially when you have multiple children. Learn some tips and tricks that can help you manage your children’s wardrobe and how to easily switch kids clothes over for a new season!
I’m lucky that I have two girls that are almost exactly 2 years apart (seriously, their birthdays are only 4 days apart). And although my youngest was born much bigger than my oldest and has always been ahead of her in size progression, the seasons have still lined up well and we’ve barely had to buy any clothes for her. That being said, my kids grow like weeds, as most kids do, and it can be hard to keep up with what fits and what doesn’t fit them anymore.
Over the years, I’ve developed a system that has helped me manage my kids’ clothes and one that makes switching their clothes over for a new season so much easier and more manageable. Below I’ll outline the whole process and some tips to help you out!
PIN FOR LATER!
PROCESS FOR REMOVING CLOTHES
1. REMOVE CLOTHES THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
Don’t leave this task to do all in one day. I’ve found the best approach is to remove clothing from my kids’ wardrobe as I notice it not fitting. I want my kids to be as comfortable as they can be, so if I notice that a clothing item is getting a bit too tight or too short, I remove it.
If your child has worn an item of clothing for the day and you don’t notice until later on that it doesn’t fit, one way that has helped me to remember which item to remove is to utilize a whiteboard. I keep a mini whiteboard on my dryer and whenever I notice an item doesn’t fit, I write it down on the whiteboard so I can pull it out after I’ve washed it. That way, it never gets put back into the dresser or closet and I can decide what to do with it next! I know it seems a little crazy and very type A (which I am by the way), but it’s helped me so much, especially when my kids were babies. Babies grow out of clothes so fast, it’s hard to keep up with what fits and what doesn’t. The white board method helped tremendously!
You could also have mini try-on sessions with your kids to see what fits and what doesn’t, but I find my kids (ages 2 and 4) don’t want to do that most of the time. If that works better for you though, by all means, go for it!
2. DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH OUTGROWN CLOTHES
It’s been important for me to have a system to organize the clothes my kids can no longer wear. There are two questions I ask myself to help me decide what to do with them. The first is, can this be worn again? Decide based on wear, if there are stains, holes, et cetera, whether or not the clothing item can be worn again, by any child. If so, move on to the second question. If not, dispose of it properly.
The second question is, should I donate or keep this item? If you have younger children who can wear this item in the future or plan to have more children, I highly suggest keeping it. Having hand-me-downs has saved us so much money. If you don’t have any kids that will be able to wear it, do you know someone that could use it like a friend or family member? I think most parents would be grateful for hand-me-downs! If you or anyone else you know has no use for the clothes, then donate them!
If you’ve decided to keep clothing items for a younger child or future child, you’ll need to properly store them. I make sure the clothes are clean and completely dry before storing. To make it faster and easier, I have a crate in my kids’ closet that’s up and out of the way that I throw clothes that I want to store and save for the future. Once that crate is full, I take 15 minutes, fold all the clothes and place them in a plastic storage bin that has a lid. Once that storage bin is full, I then store it in my storage area.
I also have another bin that I keep clothes my oldest daughter outgrows so that I can save them for my youngest. Having two designated bins, one for future kids and one for youngest kids helps as well!
TAKE INVENTORY OF WHAT YOU HAVE
Once you’ve removed outgrown clothes from your kids’ wardrobe, take inventory of what’s left so you can decide what your child needs. As a side note, try to be caught up with laundry when you do this, that way you have a total picture of what your child has left. If you have a bin full of hand-me-downs for one or more of your children, take inventory of it and see what you have. Check for stains, holes, or any wear and tear that you might’ve missed when you stored it. If the clothing is still good to go, wash it (sometimes the clothes smell like plastic) and then you’re ready to add it to your child’s wardrobe. Once you know what clothing they have, you can then figure out what you still need to buy for that season, if anything.
I try to have a list in my phone a month or two before the change of season so that I can grab things as I see them. That’s obviously not necessary, but I’m a planner, so that’s what I like to do. I love looking at thrift stores and places like Goodwill and Once Upon a Child (although I don’t have one close to me anymore). I also really love Target’s Cat & Jack clothes and Carter’s and Oshkosh B’Gosh (which are more expensive, but you can get deals if you look out for them). Those are the brands I’ve found have great quality and last the longest!
I hope this was helpful and allows you to better manage your kids’ clothes! For more cleaning and organizational tips, check out this page!