As the seasons change and school starts, it’s the perfect time to sort through your kids' clothes -- filter out things that are too small or unwanted, bring out the hand-me-downs, and of course, shop for all the new clothes.
It can seem pretty overwhelming, especially with several kids and bins of hand-me-downs, so I have a few tips to keep things simple, practical, and organized!
Love It, Leave It, Lose It
Now I’m no Marie Kondo, but I have had quite a bit of success organizing my kids' closets, and keeping the bins to a minimum. I do that by following my "Love It, Leave It, Lose It” method.
Anything that has sentimental value, is in really good condition, or is an item I loved, I put in the “Love It” pile. This pile will be washed, organized, and put in bins or bags to either be kept for my next kid or passed onto friends or family.
Anything that is in good condition that I didn’t love, didn’t even use, or maybe has even gone out of style I’ll put in the “Leave It” pile. These clothes will be donated. I don’t worry about sorting these clothes -- I just bag or box them up and take them to the closest donation center.
The “Lose It” pile is mostly just reserved for clothes that are past their prime -- stained or torn clothes that are beyond repair. Some of these clothes I might keep for paint or messy clothes, but for the most part these clothes are tossed.
For me, it’s pretty critical to go through this process so that I am not storing or passing along unneeded or unwanted clothes. It makes the process of organizing much easier as well.
Oh My Bins
Whether you are one who has hand-me-downs from your older kids, from other family, or just want to pass along your clothes to another family, then you’re going to have some bins involved. And organization of bins is key!
The smaller the clothes, the easier it is to organize them up by size: Newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 month, and so on. Personally, I have loved using Magic Bags or vacuum-sealed bags instead of bins for these smaller-sized clothes. Using these bags condenses down the space and since they’re a bit smaller than a bin, you can divide them up easier. You can always put several of these vacuum sealed bags in a bin as well. Using bags will also help you keep items such as socks, burp clothes, swaddles, and hats separated as well.
As your kids get older, there will be less and less that you’ll be able to keep, or pass along if you prefer. Kids will wear clothes out more, and your other kids will start preferring their own style of clothes. While this might mean a little more pulling on your purse strings, it can come as nice break from the constant sorting of clothes. You will still, however, want to store any outerwear such as coats, snow pants, hats, etc. and items that have sentimental value.
Much like dishes, laundry, and cleaning your baseboards, this process is a chore. Probably one that you don’t look forward to. That being said, the more often you do it, the easier and more organized you’ll stay. I aim to go through all my kids’ closets, and reorganize the bins every season, essentially four times a year. I’ll do this before I do any shopping for school clothes, holidays, or seasonal shopping -- that way I know exactly what my kids need.
Going through their closets more frequently will keep them from building up a reserve of clothes that don’t fit anymore, and will keep you from having to organize several size groups at a time. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the more frequently you do it, the faster it will go.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I would dream of all the baby clothes and outfits I would dress them in, and couldn’t help buying every cute outfit that came my way. However, it didn’t take very long after she was born for those very clothes to be the bane of my existence.