I’ve shared how I decluttered my closet. Now I’m going to share how I work through my girls’ closets. I have three girls, L – 7 years, V – 4 years, and M – 16 months. The awesome thing about having three girls is that we save a lot of money using hand-me-downs for our middle and youngest daughter. The not-so-awesome thing is that by the time I start unpacking tubs for our youngest, we accumulated clothes from L and V and lets not forget those birthday and Christmas clothes that M also received. Don’t get me wrong, we are SO thankful for those gifts and appreciate all things given to us, bit does make for a packed closet if all things are kept after each girl grows out of them.
All three girls have different issues with their closets. I’m going to share a little about each one then talk about what steps I took to declutter!
L’s closet doesn’t give me a lot of trouble. In fact, I have to keep stuff in her closet so I can make her wear something different every once in a while. If it were up to her, she’d have three outfits in there. The main problem I have with her is keeping her t-shirts in check. She’s at that age where she gets a t-shirt for every sport, sometimes one for a fundraiser (depending on what it is), and other extra-curricular activities that she may be involved in. I have this issue with V too.
V’s closet on the other hand is terribly jam-packed with clothes. Not only does she get hand-me-downs from big sister, but she also receives hand-me-downs from a good friend of mine. This girl is like a celebrity with her wardrobe. I was getting exhausted of the amount of clothes I was washing because this child can change no less than four times a day. I’m not always there for these wardrobe changes and she’s infamous for putting clean clothes in the hamper. After several days of smelling the clothes to see what was actually dirty, I knew it was time to get rid of some stuff. She also has a shoe problem, but the deal with her, is she is REALLY rough on shoes, so I have to keep more than usual around for her. She can easily go through a new pair of shoes and have them completely ruined before the season is over. I don’t apply my shoe rule to V as strictly as I do the others. 😉
I had a long talk with her (as long as you can with a 4-year-old) about how she had so many clothes and there are some little girls who don’t have very many or maybe none at all. The look on her face was so innocent in this whole situation. We are so blessed in our home and they don’t always get to see those less fortunate than us. At the same time, this makes my heart smile because they don’t see a difference in those at school who have more than we do or less. They play with everyone. They are friends with everyone. I pray this sticks with them. I actually had a step by step video that I was going to share of V’s closet secondary purge and it got deleted from my camera. I was devastated.
M’s closet is not terrible. Since she is still young and I’m starting this process now, I hope to not have to deal with her clothes as much! There will always be new clothes coming into the mix so there will always be a continual mini-purge, but it won’t be anything like what I’ve gone through this first time.
Here are the general guidelines I used when going through this process. Note: L and V have to be dealt with much differently because of their ages as well as their personalities. I’ve learned from the pros, like Allie Casazza, to include your children in these purge processes and explain to them what is going on, that it is not a punishment, and that you are taking their opinions into account even though on certain things you will be the ultimate decision maker.
- T-shirts: If it is a shirt that was a team shirt from something like soccer, t-ball, cheer clinic, I donated it. Shirts that are school specific (we are the Bulldogs) I let them keep because we do go to ballgames and they are involved in things like spirit week and they do wear them for those events.
- Pants/Shorts: If they came from t-ball, softball, basketball, etc…they are donated. My girls WILL NOT wear them again by their own choice so they don’t have a problem donating. Play shorts that are still in used condition usually get donated. I don’t usually keep play shorts unless they are in good used condition or better because I know by the time they get to the next daughter, they’ll be destroyed. I’d rather let a little girl who has no shorts at all play in them.
- Shoes: For L & V, anything that is falling apart or close to it gets tossed. I will usually keep 1-2 pairs of tennis shoes, a few varieties of nice shoes (V calls them “church shoes”), and a nicer pair of sandals for summer. Flip flops are another story. I typically buy a few pairs of the cheapos (I’m talking $3) and they are ready to be tossed at the end of summer. M, she currently has one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of Chuck’s, a few church shoes, and her two favorite pairs of shoes she has recently found and do not fit her, but she doesn’t care…..snow boots and rain boots.
- Tops (anything other than a t-shirt): Each girl has around 10 tops that they can wear to daycare/school out to family functions or to church. This includes casual and dressy.
- Dresses: Each has 3-6 dresses that vary from fun casual dresses to ones they can wear to church.
- Pajamas: I am a firm believer of wearing pajamas more than once before washing. This is a personal decision, but you don’t do much in pjs but sleep. If they aren’t soiled, they can be worn again. I think one pair of pjs for each day of the week is fine since you may not do laundry every single week (or at least may not be able to).
Again each daughter is different so I approached each closet differently.
- L – I keep what she likes and I know she will wear. I also keep a handful of tops that I may make her wear if we’re going somewhere where I make the decision on clothing.
- V – The first round through I would pick two similar shirts in her closet and hold them up. She got to keep one and donate one. This is a VERY quick way to eliminate a lot of unnecessary clothing. The second round I did without her because I could tell during the first round the ones that she didn’t absolutely love.
- M – Her closet hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been able to purge articles of clothing when I get them out of the storage tub before even getting them in her closet and that helps a lot. When purging from the tubs, I just make sure that she has enough “play clothes” to go to daycare in and a good variety of “church clothes” that I would dress in her to out of the house. 😉
This is basically how I went about simplifying my life by paring down the clothes in my girls’ closets. I learned some of this stuff from pros like Allie Casazza and then discovered different techniques that worked best for us as a family. As I have stated in the post about my closet seen here, I don’t go by any special number of clothes in the closet or pants in the drawer. I keep what makes my kids happy when they wear it and what keeps me sane when taking care of it.
What techniques or guidelines do you use for cleaning out your closets??