Decluttering my children’s wardrobe…
Was hands down, one of the best minimalist things I have ever done. It halved our laundry load, there was less to store, resulting in extra space and I gained more time, as I was no longer constantly shopping for clothes they didn’t need. However, I know how hard it can be knowing where to start, kids seem to have so many clothes right?
But here’s the good news; the chances are that if our children are small, we brought most of the clothes in and so we can also decide, not to bring in more. I mean do they really need all of this stuff and do they even wear most of it anyways? I know when I simplified the wardrobes, there was so many items that had never been worn, or were either too big or too small. And shopping for children is so much fun, that is it any wonder, their wardrobes get too full!
Yet if you want to simplify your space and time and make it easier for all of the family to look after their wardrobes, a capsule wardrobes is definitely the way to go. My children have gone from huge wardrobes, to a small capsule each, and I’ve learnt many lessons along the way. The cupboard pictured is the children’s shared wardrobe and the contents are pictured below, which holds all of the clothes they own.
I’ve written a list of ten points to help you on your way, if you too, want to try living with less.
Sort through and use what your children already have. Sounds simple right? But how many of us buy multiple items of the same thing because we don’t really know, what our children have in their drawers. To know what we are working with, we need to get everything out and come face to face with what they already have. Only then will you discover what they truly need, instead of what you think they need.
Make three piles; keep, donate and sell (if you have clothes of value.) And when you go through the piles, be honest about what your child or children actually wear. Ask yourself; when was the last time we picked that out, does it fit, is it stained and do you really think it will be worn, if it isn’t being worn already?
Only put back in what is loved and used. Don’t put things back in for the sake of it or ‘just in case.’ chances are, if its been sat at the bottom of the wardrobe, for ages, that is where it’s likely to stay.
Build a wardrobe for your child and listen to what they want. It is their wardrobe after all. I learnt early on that my children were never going to be, the insta friendly dressed children I wanted them to be! Instead they loved comfy clothes, fluffy clothes and clothes that made it easier for them to climb. They weren’t interested in the clothes that I wanted them to wear and so effectively, we had two wardrobes - the things they loved and the things that I did. Once I forgot about what I wanted them to wear and made peace with what they wanted to wear, we had a capsule wardrobe right there.
Dress for the lifestyle they have. Do your children spend much of their time outside? Do they need clothes they can move easily in and a good set of thermals for whatever the weather? Or do they wear a uniform for most of the week and therefore, don’t wear half of what they have? Do they love sport and live in sportswear? Dress them for the people and personalities they are and for the things that they do.
Keep it simple. Add neutrals to the wardrobe, so that outfits easily go together. This is a really great point but I don’t live by it, as we quite like clashing colours here. However I think that it can be a really great practical way, to make smaller wardrobes go further.
Have an accessible set up. Are your children’s wardrobes set up for them? Can they see and reach what they need and can they pack their things away. Using this Montessori method has worked really well for us and we currently have a shared space that the children can independently use.
Organise your stockpile. I use to buy items for the future. Clothes in varying sizes, clothes that didn’t quite fit yet, clothes that were on sale and to some extent I still do. I will sometimes buy an item that the children already wear, in the next size up and I will also search for the more expensive items that we use, when they are on sale, regardless of whether they fit right now. But I will only buy the next size up and I will only do it for certain items, that I know will be worn. I also keep all stockpile items in with the kids daily capsules, so I know exactly what there is - no more hiding clothes in drawers and forgetting about them!
Stop shopping. Ah, the hard bit. Unless you have to be shopping for an item that you child needs, don’t shop for children’s clothes. Don’t window shop, don’t browse online and remember that they already have enough. Shop for necessity rather than for fun. And that may sound boring but you can’t maintain a simplified wardrobe if you keep shopping, right?!
Sit back and enjoy. As I said before, a paired back wardrobe really will reward you with more. A well curated capsule wardrobe will take care of itself, leaving you more space, to do what you actually love doing with your newfound free time.