This post was originally published on my previous blog in November 2014.
We all get overwhelmed with our homes. If you’re a parent, the stuff it takes to raise a child, let alone multiple children, is enough to send you over the edge. There are entire stores devoted to our little ones. If we want to live simply we are probably trying to minimalize clutter, stuff, and stress so that we can enjoy and do the things that matter the most to our lives. It is going to look different for each person or family. So, while my kids’ toys and closets may require different things from yours, we can still encourage and collaborate on how to cut down on all the stuff they really and truly need. As a mom I would much rather be outside or reading with my kids than washing, drying, folding, sorting and heaven forbid ironing their clothing. I’ll write about toys another day, but here are a few thoughts on kids clothes.
- Limit the clothes you save. After my first, a girl, I kept EVERYTHING. We knew we wanted more so I just felt like I should keep it all. Then we had a boy. Who couldn’t use hardly any of her stuff. We moved and Andrei said a 2 year old should not have tubs of clothing. I thought about it and it made sense, so over time I went through different tubs of her things and reduced it down drastically. If you’re like me I have friends who are still having babies. We’ve all passed around some things, whether its clothing or swings, or whatever was needed. The point is, if you need something again, you will be able to find it cheap if not for free. Need I remind you there’s always the option of going out to these giant stores devoted to our children and paying full or sale price for it.
- Only have current sizes and seasons. To keep their drawers and closets simple and to hopefully help in the daily getting dressed chore (ahem, mom’s of girls), only have current sizes and seasons out. My kids have large closets so I do have a few things in the back, like their winter coats.
- Going along with #2, don’t buy ahead. This will eliminate your need for more storage. I am thankful for hand-me downs as it saves a ton of money, so if you’re blessed to get those, I say go through them when you get them and save the ones you think will work for your kids.
- Know what your kid does and does not like. My daughter loves dresses and really dislikes jeans. While we usually have one or two pairs of pants, I usually have several “everyday” dresses she can wear most days.
- Reduce the amount of current clothes for your child. I don’t know how many seasons or growth spurts have come and gone with my child not wearing everything they have. The only logical explanation is we have too much. Think through your lifestyle and make choices based on that, not on what Pinterest or boutiques or whatever other marketing tells you your children need.
- Laundry – I don’t know of anyone who likes laundry, but I know that everyone likes everything done up and put away. So do it! We procrastinate and put it off and turn on Netflix to watch while we do it and it doesn’t get done. Is it really so torturous that we avoid it at all costs? When I’ve thought about the ridiculousness of my procrastination with laundry and seen that in 10 minutes I can take out a load fold it and put it away, I just let everyone know that I need 10 minutes to do this and be done with it, and voila! Its not on my bed, in the basket – which usually gets dumped out if you have a toddler. I try to do each load when it comes out instead of waiting until I have several piled up. On another note, I have a “Laundry day” but I usually throw another load or two in during the week.
I hope these help and would be happy for you to share your tips for cutting down on kids clothes.