Thousands of people watched the Marie Kondo special on Netflix and started throwing away all the things. Grab a trash bag, arm sweep everything off every surface into the bag and donate it. With trinkets and basement stashed home decor, sure… but what about your kids' clothes?
For some reason, many parents think they need to keep every item their kid has ever worn neatly stashed away. You know, that pile of clothes you threw on the top shelf as they outgrew things?
How about the clothes they don’t fit in yet? Or, the bittersweet gift of hand-me-downs tied up in bags you need to (eventually) go through. You aren’t alone if you have considered buying a storage unit for kids clothing.
Most parents keep kids clothes for a few key reasons.
- They remind you of a treasured memory. You know, that onesie your kid had his first blowout in?
- Once the baby stuff is gone, you have to face the fact your kid is growing up. For some reason, we tend to mourn the loss of the spitups and hair pulling.
- What a waste, all that money, laundry, folding… they wore it once and now it’s too small. That can be tough to swallow
- You may need it again some day, or maybe your mailman’s nephews sister will need it.
Do any of those sound familiar?
Purging your kids' clothes is good for the whole family.
Sure, you may have theoretical plans for each item but, surely, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the kids' clothes, you may need to minimize the stuff. The piles and buckets have negative effects on behavior and your emotional state.
When you find some time in between wiping noses and reheating your coffee, do yourself a favor and clear some space!
Top 4 tips for Minimizing Piles of Kids Clothes
Define your space
If you have a dresser and its overflowing, you’ll want to minimize so it fits. If you don’t have much room, make space under the bed or in another area. Keep it simple, defined and plan to fill ONLY that space.
Sort by Type
Organize the clothes into doesn’t fit anymore, fits now and will fit someday. If you don’t have a lot of room, minimize or donate the stuff that is too big. Take the items that fit and put them away. You’ll be amazed at how much less stress you have when there is room for the clothing. Then, you are left with items that no longer fit.
Purge, Purge, Purge
You may have more kids, you may not. You shouldn’t hold on to anything that is stained, you never liked enough for your first nor things that can be replaced at a price you can afford. Sure, if your MIL bought a wool sweater in Ireland for your son, ok, keep that. But the white, use to be stained onesies you can replace for $1.00/piece? You need to decide what’s more important, your space and freedom from excess stuff or the $1.00.
Plan For The Future
No, you don't need to decide on the size of your family in order to purge kids clothing. Plan for the future growth spurts and have a place you’ll put things they outgrow. The best way to do this is NOT by the size on the clothing but rather when they outgrew it. Some 3 month clothing is the same size as other 6 month clothing. Store them in batches of what they wore at the same time. This way, you know the fit is the same. Do not save the items that are stained, need mending you won't get around to or were so not your style that you refused to put your first in.
Pro Tip: Grab a bin and a few paper grocery bags. As your kids outgrow things, put them in the bin. You’ll find this tends to happen in waves. When they start to outgrow the next wave of things. Put a flat paper grocery bag next to that first batch and use it as a divider. You’ll end up with a bucket that is sorted by realistic sizes vs needing to text every single thing next time around to see what is true to size and what isn’t.
You may not have a ton of time but you’ll have more after you eliminate the need to sort and refold 400 outdated onesies when your toddler sprawls the closet. Store smart, save yourself the stress and the extra laundry.
What is your favorite trick for minimizing kids clothes?