How I switch out my kids' wardrobes
Get the exact steps for how to switch out kids' wardrobes.
By KRISTA LOCKWOOD
Here we go! I am going to take you on a wardrobe change out for my two youngest daughters. They are 8 months and 2 years old at the time of this blog.
This is the process I have used for my kids (I have five) for the past 5 years and it works really well for me. It has worked in all seasons and sizes. I have lived in Alaska, Florida, Idaho, SoCal and now in the midwest. Trust me when I say I understand the need for diverse clothing to make sure you are prepared for the weather.
I also know how easy it is to think you won't have enough clothing. Or you will be forced to do laundry all the time if you downsize the amount of clothes. I promise you that's not true.
What keeps you in the cycle of having too much laundry to do is too much clothing.
It is a mental shift to step out of to be honest. When you are used to piles, drawers and closets jam packed of course you worry that less won't be enough. I assure you that it will and that you won't let any of your family members go naked because you decluttered the excess clothing.
I am going to include the amounts I typically buy and keep AND show you photos. It is helpful to actually see what I have, and how it works. And that you can see how much it really is, even though it doesn't fill up an entire closet or big dresser.
I think clutter, especially clothes clutter, leaves us very disconnected from the reality of how much we have, need, use and want.
If we don't even know what we have, or how much of it, we can't possibly know what we need, or how much.
I firmly believe in keeping a clothing inventory. This probably sounds overwhelming, especially if you have a large family like I do, but it can be very simple and actually should be! The hardest part will be when you're first starting out and making a dent in Mount Washmore (that pile of clothes that lives in your home).
Taking an inventory is always my step one in this process.
Step one – take inventory
The very first thing I do is go through the child's wardrobe and declutter it. I don't buy clothes to keep and pass on to the next. I buy clothes to be worn and worn out. This means that since I buy less with mindset of them being a consumable item, the majority of their clothing has stains, holes, or is just so worn out it's not worth saving and keeping for the next kid.
This was a game changer for me when it came to the amount of clothes I had to manage, and my budget.
No more buying clothes that no one ever wore, or feeling guilty about not passing them on to someone. I personally believe most of us have been a clothes decluttering scapegoat and it's largely why we are so overwhelmed by clothing. We buy too much.
Since I have two daughters under two years apart now though, if there is something that is in useable and wearable condition still I will save it and keep it – the yellow cardigan and dresses in the photo carousel above are what I am saving from my toddler for my eight month old! They're cute and I want to keep them.
I view clothes as a consumable item, so I buy less with the intention of them being worn, and worn out, not passed on to friends.
Many of us are drowning in hand me downs and this is my solution to the issues of over consumption.
Step two – create a plan for what's needed next
Next I start creating my plan for what's needed next. Right now it is Spring in the midwest which means that this afternoon it is sunny, dry and shorts weather. Tomorrow it is projected to be windy, rainy, and just above freezing. So I plan for that.
When I did my toddler's inventory she still had five pair of long pants with a lot of life left in them and that still fit. So I know that I didn't need to buy more long pants. What she needed was skirts and shorts, so I got three of each! Easy peasy.
We also need hoodies and short sleeves. Based on the inventory I took I knew she needed a whole new set of t-shirts. She wears a 2t in bottoms but her shirt size is a 3t and she had none that fit. So I got her I think 8-10 t- shirts. We are in quarantine right now so I had to do my shopping online which is hard for me – and I don't remember how many came in a pack or exactly how many I got. Just keeping it real, not perfect ;).
Of course I like to have fun with their clothes as well so I got her a new baby shark hoodie
(she's famous for her baby shark costume she wore every day for six months. And by famous I mean.. that's how I will remember her second year of life). I also got them matching leopard hoodies and pants because I just can't resist an adorable matching sister set.
Below are photos of the new items I got her so you can see how I pick a general color palette and make it so everything can be mixed and matched.
When I say I create a base wardrobe of about 10 outfits this is what it looks like.
5 long pants
3-6 shorts and skirts
10 t shirts
This covers all of the potential weather needs as I can layer her up as needed. Plus socks, her outdoor jacket, hat, gloves, boots, etc. We're covered – and I'm not drowning in laundry or hemorrhaging the clothing budget.
Kids and clothes aren't meant to be kept clean, and moms aren't meant to be burdened by never ending laundry.
Step three – hang/fold all the new, donate the rest
Finally I hang it all up (or fold it, don't take this blog post as the literal way YOU need to do this. I'm just sharing what works for me).
Then responsibly get rid of the rest. Like I said, I don't prefer to buy clothes with the intention of keeping them for the future. I find it much more efficient for my life to just buy smaller amounts and expect for them to be used up like a paper plate – clothes are meant to be a consumable item when kids are so small.
It's also why I don't obsess over my kids keeping their clothes clean or nice.. I have a few outfits I will keep separate, and just naturally there are always some clothes they don't want to wear so we even still always have nice clothes for when we need them.
Kids and clothes aren't meant to be kept clean ;). And moms aren't meant to be burdened by laundry.
This is how I did it for my 8 month old as well. To be honest I LOVE this system because baby girl clothes are the cutest and I had so much fun picking out the next size up for her. I mean.. check out her full wardrobe below and tell me it's not the sweetest thing? Rompers for days, short and long, onesies and hoodies for layers. I. Can't. Deal.
Oh, and just a fun fact – pretty much all of the sentimental clothes I have kept for my kids over the years were made or gifted to me by my friends – like the mermaid pants Tara is wearing below that my friend made for Kaylee. The leopard onesie both the girls have worn. The dino romper a sweet Motherhood Simplified mama, Mandy made. I am blessed with friends with great fashion sense and a giving heart. Hand me downs don't overwhelm me now that I “do” clothes this way. I just receive and am blessed and enjoy them.
PS.. No links to the clothes because that's not the point of this! Don't get shiny object syndrome and go buy more clothes before you actually do the work of decluttering what you have ;).
Create an inventory of what you have so that you know what you need, and can get rid of
Create wardrobes that work no matter your kids ages, sizes, or what season you are in
Shop your stash so that you aren't wasting money on clothes you don't need, or already have (and you will know because you've done your inventory)
Mindfully declutter the clothing you do not need.