Do you have any ‘friends’ who have trouble controlling themselves when it comes to shopping for their kids’ wardrobes? This topic has been on my mind lately. I was watching Hoarders: Buried Alive, which I consider professional training. One of the recovering hoarders had a problem buying her daughter too much clothes – so much that the child didn’t even end up wearing everything or wore many things only once. What she said was so poignant to me.
Of course that was obvious to the viewers (so much easier to analyze someone else’s problems), but it reminded me how on smaller scales we all struggle with this basic human issue in very different ways. How much is enough?
Today I want to share with you limits and boundaries we can set on our kids clothes so that anyone reading this can know how much is enough.
First: How often do you do your children’s laundry? I encourage you to use this system for doing your kids’ laundry, and to take it a step further. Pick a day of the week that is laundry day for either that specific child, or all the children (your choice!), and then stick with it.
Why once a week? Less laundry means less time prepping, folding, and less clothes necessary. With babies and young toddlers, I recommend doing laundry more often than weekly, because you don’t want to let food and spit-up set into the clothes and possibly mold, because mold + fabric = ruined forever.
So now you know how often you’re doing laundry, do the math on how many outfits get worn in between washing. 1 week = 7 sets of clothes. Now add in a buffer of about 3 sets of clothes (you choose your buffer) and you get 10 sets of clothes. That is 10 outfits per season, which means about 10 pants and shirts. Find your own number using my guide and STICK TO IT. Follow this same numbers path when figuring out undergarments, socks, and accessories. Use your discretion when it comes to Sunday and nice clothing that doesn’t fit in the daily wear category. My girls usually have 3 good dresses to choose from each Sunday for church – they get a new one on their birthday, Easter, and Christmas-time. Use your best discretion with your families traditions, but buying more clothes when your children already have good options is extra.
If you make the choice to have extra, don’t live in denial with excuses that the clothes are anything but extra. If you have the means, and you enjoy shopping for clothes for your children, make the ONE IN, ONE OUT RULE. This means when your children get a new outfit, they choose something to pass on to someone else or sell.
*my soapbox* - There is an entitlement epidemic in our society. When we surround our children with excess, they live with a sense of entitlement. Trying to limit the excess in our children’s lives does not mean that they can’t own nice clothes or things, it is simply saying “enough is enough”. Children, like adults, and like the recovering hoarder: we all need to learn the ability to determine enough.
Setting limits will save you:
- Space in the drawers/ closet
And, it will even be easier to clean your children’s rooms and closets, because it will be so much easier to keep drawers clean and manage-able. This is a win-scenario in every way!
…. And now let’s talk about creating organized drawers …
There are 2 ways to organize kids clothes into drawers.
The first way is to have separate drawers (or drawer dividers) for each type of clothing. This means pants go in one, shirts in another, etc. This is where I’m headed with my older girls for the fall. They are getting old enough where all of their clothes aren’t sold as sets and we are buying more jeans and shirts that could be mixed and matched.
The second way lends itself to younger children, just because this is how clothing for younger kids seems to be sold. This way is to keep clothing in little piles of outfits. I take this a step further and actually tuck the outfit into each other. For instance, I fold the pants, and then I fold the shirt and open up the shirt to insert the pants. This way looks really good inside of the drawers and helps little ones who are gaining independence getting dressed. My girls have always gotten to open their drawer and grab out an outfit – it takes all the guesswork out of what goes together!
The following is what I call “outfit sandwiches”, which keeps outfits together.
Either one of these ways of organizing kids clothes works so much better with LESS CLOTHES. When our children get to decide what they wear, it is actually easier for them to choose from fewer options. Hmmm … have I mentioned yet that limiting kids clothes is a good idea? Haha.
Teaching my organizing clients these kinds of limits is one of the most rewarding things I do, because people who give themselves boundaries like this feel an unexpected outcome: FREEDOM!
Do you remember my trick for slimming down your own adult closet? It is the easiest and most effective closet trick ever!
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