Organizing Kids’ Clothes

This guest post is written by Meredith Delap, an amazing organized mom who inspires me!

When it comes to staying organized with our small childrens’ clothing, there are so many challenges.  If you can somehow manage to figure out a laundry system that works, you still have to deal with the ever-present problem of outgrown clothes.  It is shocking how quickly my son’s onesies start getting too tight to snap and how a modest skirt on my 4 year old all of the sudden becomes a mini skirt.  It’s something we all have to deal with ALL the time, it’s not like you can organize once or twice a year and be set. 

What’s tricky about this is that it’s not clear cut where things either fit or don’t fit – there are varying degrees of fitting-ness.  All you moms know this, there are the items that fit perfectly (today at least), the items that are a little small but she can still squeeze into it so it works, the jeans that only fit if you roll the waistband and cuffs up, and often the items that you’ve received as hand me downs that kinda fit but are really a tad big.  Now, it really isn’t a problem when I’m the only one making clothing decisions, but when my husband is helping out in the evenings or weekends (or my fashionista 4 year old is picking out her outfit) I am often saying “That doesn’t fit anymore!”  or “Don’t put those jammies on Sam, they’re way too small!”  To which my husband responds, “If they don’t fit, why are they in the drawer?”  Good question. 

So I try to stay on top of this issue by going through their wardrobes often, definitely with each season change and sometimes a few extra times too.  I pull EVERYTHING out and lay it on the bed and put back in the drawers only the clothes that fit or still have room to grow.  What’s unpleasant about this task is that things have to get so much worse before they get better…..but I guess that’s true of most organizing projects.  It’s amazing how nicely everything fits back in once I pull out the things they weren’t wearing.  And I like the independence it gives my preschooler because she can find something to wear and I know I will be happy with her choice (because it won’t be her favorite pink fleece snowman sweats in size 3T when she currently wears a 5T.  She would wear those high water pants if they were still in her closet). 

The outgrown clothes go into boxes and storage for me because 1) we aren’t sure if we will have another baby or not 2) my husband and I both have several siblings that may have kids in the future and we would like to share with them our over-abundance of baby/toddler clothes.  Once we know our family is complete and we have shared the good quality clothes with our nieces and nephews, I plan to give everything else to friends who want hand-me-downs and donate what’s left. 

This is just one of the many things we have to stay on top of to keep our homes running smoothly.  I think it’s important though because it sets the stage for clothing organization early on.  I’m trying to teach my kids that we treat all of our things nicely and take care of them, and for clothes that means hanging them up or folding them and putting them away.  My daughter is pretty used to a (usually) tidy closet now and I like to think this will help her as she gets older and her clothing becomes more of her responsibility.  Or maybe I’m in denial and just don’t want to think about those messy teen years ahead.  And the verdict is still out on my son, who is not even 2 yet….he may be a major slob and have my pulling my hair out.  Oh well, we can always call Gigi – one of the perks of having a professional organizer for a mother-in-law!

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