3 Easy Everyday Capsule Wardrobe Hacks

Laundry piles – they are every mom’s arch nemesis. Second only to dishes. Our family needs to wear clothes, which means at some point we have to wash, dry and put them away.

Have you ever wondered how some moms seem to have kids who are dressed pretty well most of the time AND aren’t chronically behind on laundry?

It turns out there’s no real mystery to it other than some simple capsule wardrobe hacks (this is the only way to get to a sustainable laundry routine). 

Now, if the word “capsule wardrobe” makes you wince a little, I get it. It sounds like a lot of work, boring and restrictive.

But it’s true what they say: 

Decision fatigue affects our ability to function at optimal capacity, so the more we can reduce the amount of decisions we have to make the better off we are.

A capsule wardrobe can definitely reduce the amount of decisions you and your kids have to make every day, and make it easier to keep up on not just laundry but everything else in your life that is so much more important than what to wear.  

I know because I have created very cute, functional AND affordable capsule wardrobes for my family. And I have have for over a decade. Here's how I do it!

 At first, I got tripped up by thinking we wouldn’t have enough clothes and that my kids would feel deprived. Or that I would be judged for not having a lot of clothes for my kids compared to the average household. 

I couldn’t for some reason get over the mental block of how having more clothes was better. In my mind having and saving ALL the clothes was going to make my life easier, be more affordable and more efficient. But that wasn’t true. More clothes just made things harder, more expensive and way less efficient for me (and my kids).

I won’t say we have full capsule wardrobes, or that we ever really did. But, I did massively simplify the clothes we have and wear regularly. Most people just know the term capsule wardrobe so that’s what I am calling it. Just know there is much more flexibility in the way I teach simplifying clothes for families. 

So if you’ve been struggling to simplify your kids wardrobes, you’re not alone. Most people [insert one or two mistakes people make starting out].

The real key to success is having a set guideline you can follow without fail. Something that includes exactly what you need to decide what clothes are needed now, and moving forward. This will help with shopping, accepting hand me downs and saving clothes for the future. 

Read on to discover 3 easy capsule wardrobe hacks to help you get control of the laundry situation in your home.

#1. Have what you need

Most people don’t even know how many clothes their family actually wears and needs on a regular basis. We are so used to being surrounded by excess. Excess at home and at stores, clothing is everywhere in mass amounts, all the time. 

However, knowing how much clothing your family actually wears and needs is critical. It's the only way for you to finally get control of your laundry and clothing situation. 

So if you are nervous to declutter because you are sure that all of those clothes are needed, and it will be a waste to get rid of them, or you’ll just have to buy more if you get rid of them. You’re not the only one thinking that. 

When I started this with my kids it was because we moved from Alaska to Florida. They needed new wardrobes anyway and we were really tight on money.

So I went to the local consignment store and got them 7 shorts and 7 shirts. Plus a swimsuit, flip flops and then every day tennis shoes. 

It was REALLY minimal. Scary minimal to be honest.

And a pretty textbook capsule wardrobe.

But it worked and I was so surprised to discover that they always had the clothes they needed, laundry got way easier AND they were more willing and able to put their clothes away. 

Experiencing that changed everything for me and it stuck. I never wanted to get to that place where we had more than we could ever actually wear and enjoy.

For most of us, not enough is not the problem. It’s too much. But we have a deeply rooted fear of not enough. 

But remember, you can’t build a capsule wardrobe, or get control of your laundry without first taking a chance and getting rid of some of the excess that you are hesitant to let go of so that you can truly know how much clothing you are wearing and need. 

Here’s the good news:

You don’t need jump in and go as extreme as I did, or as quickly as I did.

Start off by committing to just getting rid of some of the clothes you know won’t be missed. 

You know the clothes buried in baskets, in the bottom of the closet, or that have been stored in boxes for years. Well, you will start to realize you can let those go and everything is just fine!

You can also set clearly defined goals to help you declutter every so often. Things like doing the Just One Load method of laundry is really helpful for this.   

(Want more tips on how this works? Read this post.

And if you’re really ready to build simple capsule wardrobes, use my Clothes Course to get a 4 step process to decluttering clothes, building workable wardrobes with the clothes you already have and then managing it all moving forward. 

Get instant access to the Clothes Course now >>

#2. Have what you like

I underestimated the power of having clothes you find cute, comfy and stylish, but it's crucial to being able to actually simplify the clothes situation in your home.

A lot of people think capsule wardrobes are just boring colors, classic styles and not very fun or creative. Or even practical for moms and kids because kids want to dress themselves and they’re just always a mess. Who wants to spend a ton of money on expensive, boring clothes? No one.  

When you don’t allow yourself to have the clothes you like, or limit yourself on what you can buy for the sake of it “being a capsule wardrobe” you’re likely to go back to your old ways of buying too many clothes, saying yes to all the hand-me downs and staying behind on laundry forever. 

I think a big misconception is that capsule wardrobes mean you only have what you need. And that we can’t have the fun extras that we want. 

This is not true. If you are really intentional about what you need, you have space and the money to splurge on what you want. Whether it’s a more expensive staple piece, accessories or shoes. 

So even if you have a hard time letting clothes go because they are all SO cute, make sure you go back to step 1 and make sure that all your needs are being taken care of so you can fill in the rest with the extras. If you do this you will actually overlap your needs and wants and will love it, I just know it..

#3. Stop trying to prepare so far in advance

This one can be extra challenging, especially if you’re used to saving all the clothes, buying clearance clothes seasons and sizes in advance and holding onto everything. 

I used to this, too and here is what happened. I’d go out and buy a wardrobe of clothes in sizes that my kids didn’t yet fit into. I would save them in a closet or bin until the weather was appropriate to pull them out. The season would come (or the size of my kid would) and I would forget that I had them. OR they wouldn’t fit, OR it didn’t match the season we were in. 

And then I would still have to go buy them clothes. 

You may think that buying and saving so far in advances saves you time, money and energy but the truth is for most families that is just too much to try to predict and manage. 

When you buy what you need, when you need it, you actually save time, money, space and energy in your own home. And you actually help reduce your footprint in the fast fashion world as well. 

Even if you just shop your stash right now, and use the clothes you have as if your home was a mini-clothing store and stopped buying until your kids outgrew or out-wore what you have it will save you SO much of your sanity.

Here’s a podcast on this a little bit more in depth. 

Here are a few other ways to start simplifying your clothes:

Just One Load – doing one load of laundry from start to finish including putting it away will start to show you how much clothing you are actually using on a regular basis. 

Shop your stash Go through the clothes you and your family currently have and build workable wardrobes or capsule wardrobes with your existing laundry. 

Stop saying yes to hand-me downs you don’t need. You can say thanks for thinking of us. We already have plenty! We would love if you gave them to someone who was in more need than us. 

Wrapping it up

It's not such a big deal now while they are little, but I remember as a kid who grew up with not a lot of money, how badly I wanted high quality and trendy clothing. Yet.. we couldn't always afford it. So we would go thrifting and buy 20-30 items instead of 5-6 items I really wanted. It was fun to come home with a pile of stuff, but I really would have loved my clothing and felt a lot better if I were able to buy the things I really loved and felt great in. I know this can sound a little first world problem, but honestly I really want to be able to give my kids the experience of feeling good in what they wear. Even if that means spending more on less items.

Whether you’re new to decluttering in general, and capsule wardrobes, or have been at it for a while, or you just want a way to get control of your laundry,  these capsule wardrobe hacks will help you stop having laundry piles to the sky. 

All you need to do is stick to a simple, workable amount of clothing that meets your needs AND your wants

Remember it takes time to undo the way you have been handling clothes and laundry at home. So if you go off track and end up buying more clothes than you actually need again, it’s no big deal. You can always declutter and re-set your wardrobes. With kids you have to do that any way because of how quickly they grow! 

To help you stay on track, I wrote this blog. It’s a step-by-step roadmap for how I build my kids capsule wardrobes and you can, too]. 

Click here to read it >>


Even if you have little time, energy or day to day support