With back to school around the corner I thought a post about kids clothing was in order. I am a quantity over quality person when it comes to clothing. I shop cheap (as in 80-90% of my kids clothes are from consignment sales) but I shop a lot. Everything my kids own typically costs $10 or less but they have a closet FULL of clothes. I can't resist a good deal ;)
Here are some of my tips for keeping kids clothing organized:
- Have a Laundry Day: I know a common thing that is said about moms is that we're always doing laundry. Not this mama! Mondays are my laundry day. I do ALL of my laundry that day (I read somewhere that it actually helps with energy costs when you do loads back to back?). As I unload the dryer I organize the clothing but where it goes. Each of us have a laundry basket that I lay out on the floor in the laundry room and toss the items into the appropriate basket as I unload the dryer. I go ahead and turn things right side in (my SIL keeps her stuff inside out for some reason? Drives me crazy haha) and lay them in the basket. Then on Tuesday I take each basket to the room where it belongs. It takes me just a few minutes to unload the basket and put everything away! Easy! My husband handles putting away his own laundry but I do everyone elses ;)
- Don't Hang it All: I only hang shirts and dresses. Each of my children have a storage shelf with cube type containers in their closets. These are the perfect size for baby leggings, shorts, bloomers, even shoes. As they get older I continue to use the bins for play clothes, jeans, etc. I keep all the bigger kids' shoes and such in drawers! I'm ALL about some storage!!! My middle daughter's bed has ammmmmazing drawers under it that are perfect and so easy to just toss all of her shoes in. My son has bins in his room for shoes and it's just not as easy as the drawers (nor does it look as neat). I also don't fold stuff too much? I just toss underwear in the drawer. Same with PJS and leggings. I lay skirts and shorts flat but don't overly stress it.
- Keep the Tags On: I know people like to wash things before their kids wear them but after baby #1 I quit doing that. Washing things tends to make it look worn and taking the tags off instantly decreases the resale value of the item. It ALWAYS happens that a baby or child won't wear something before they have outgrown it. You can make a lot more money selling an item new with tags than used without!
- Don't Iron: I know this isn't really an organizational tip but I NEVER iron. Like ever. Dove Wrinkle Releaser is AMAZING. Our dryer also has a "rapid refresh" setting so we will spray the wrinkle spray on then toss things in the dryer and majority of the time all the wrinkles are gone ;) The only real thorn in my side are the collars on my sons shirts. So annoying! Other than that I avoid buying stuff for my kids that will get very wrinkled (Like ruffles. Who needs ruffles!?) and am able to save a TON of time and energy by not having to iron!
- Wash What They Wear: I know sometimes kids only wear things for a brief period of time, but it's WAY easier to just toss anything they wear into the dirty clothes bin. That way it ensures if they don't ever wear it again that it's clean when it's put in storage. It also keeps from having piles of random clothes laying around. At bath time in the evenings we toss the kids' dirty clothes into the hall way then I simply scoop them all up after I tuck them in for bed and put them in their proper bin in the laundry room (our oldest obviously takes his own clothes to the laundry!). I'm always mindful to set aside stained items to treat before washing!
- Shop Ahead: When there are deals I ALWAYS buy future sizes. I keep a tub for each child with their next size up items in it. It's a huge blessing because when they do move up in size I'm not having to scramble to the store and aren't stuck paying full price!
- Closet Dividers: For babies I LOVE the size dividers for closets! I know I tend to buy whatever is on sale, which means often buying sizes my babies can't wear yet. It makes it so easy to keep the closet organized by knowing which size is what (and it helps make sure that things get worn before they are outgrown!)
- Group By Clothing Type: I find it easiest to sort my kids clothes by the type of pieces. My son has a drawer full of plain shorts, another full of pattern shorts, and a third filled with athletic shorts. In his closet he has a dress shirt section, a golf shirt section, a graphic t-shirt section, an athletic shirt section, and I have it organized with a short sleeve/long sleeve area. For my girls it's the same way...tanks, tank dresses, short sleeve shirts, short sleeve dresses, long sleeved shirts, long sleeved dresses. It keeps things running smoother when things are easy to find!
- Store off Season: My son's closet is large enough where I don't have to store any of his clothes when seasons change but my daughters's closets are smaller. I keep a large clear tub in each child's closet. I will pack up things that are clearly summery (things with shells on them or surfer designs etc) or clearly winterish (snowflakes, Christmas attire, etc). I will also use the tub to store future sizes.
- Keep it All: I know a lot of people sell all their kids clothes as they outgrow them but I'm team #keepitall until you're done having babies. My girls were born in opposite seasons (July and December) but the clothes have still worked out great! I store all my kids' clothing in large tubs in our attic and am careful to organize them by size. I really like this system as when my younger daughter moves up in size I just get out that tub and am good to go!
- Pack Up As You Go: I know people take time and go through ALL of their kids clothes at once to pack it up, and I do have to do that from time to time. But for the most part I just pack things up as I go. If I notice a shirt looks a little short, I know to go ahead and put it in storage on the next laundry day. As I look through their closets to pick out their outfits (nope, my kids don't pick out their own clothes) I will also grab anything that looks too little to pack up! By always keeping an eye on sizing it makes it easier to keep a well organized closet filled with clothes that actually fit!
- Sell Smart: Now that we are done having children and know that we will have a boy as our last child (we're adopting!) I'm selling ALL of the girl stuff that my youngest daughter has outgrown. If you have a local kids sale in your area, then they are a great option for reselling kids clothing! I plan to also post mine on FB for local friends to come look through before I sell it in the consignment sales. Washing everything, ironing when needed, and including as many pieces as possible really help to boost the sales of the items you have. Making outfits with the pieces, including bloomers/bows to girl items, etc. I try to take VERY good care of my kid's clothing so I will be able to resell it when they outgrow it (For us, it's going to be helpful towards our adoption fund! But I've met moms who paid for entire trips to Disney World off the money they make at the kids sales!).
- Keep Special Pieces: My mom did an awesome job at keeping pieces of my clothing from childhood. I've loved doing recreation photos with my girls! However, she kept too much stuff. I learned from this and am packing up 2-3 pieces from each size that were special or that I have some cute pictures of my girls wearing. I will do the same for my son once our last son starts growing out of things! I have a tub for each daughter, as well as one for just general girl items. Since they did wear many of the same pieces it'll be nice to have a neutral tub that they can both use when they have children of their own. I also thought if they don't have daughters, it would be just as neat for their nieces to wear some to do comparison pics!
What are some of your organization tips? Be sure to visit all the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Mama's today to see all of theirs!