Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs

Learn how to declutter kid’s clothing quickly, create organized spaces, and master storage solutions that are easy to maintain.

Declutter Kid'S Clothing Quickly
Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs 8

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It can be hard to declutter kid’s clothing. And if you’re anything like me, you tend to hold onto perfectly good clothing just because it’s perfectly good clothing.

You also might be gifted with clothing a lot from very loving and generous grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, neighbors, and the list could go on and on!

But the reality is, our kids just don’t need as much as we think they do. And the more clothing we have, the more we have to store, wash, maintain, and keep organized so we can actually find it when we need it. Hello, church shirt! I’m talking to you!

So in an effort to reduce the amount of laundry I do every day and keep my kid’s bedrooms a bit more organized, I decided to eliminate some of their clothing. And I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I think might make it a bit easier for you plus one that will completely eliminate the possibility of ever making a mistake!

Plus, we’ll tackle how to deal with hand-me-downs, handling clothing gifts from others, and whether or not we should buy ahead.

How to Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly

Decluttering and organizing kid’s clothing can be a challenge. It’s a space we always feel like we want to have an abundance in for multiple reasons. From potty training to laundry, we feel an abundance will be better!

And organizing kid’s clothes is just as hard. Any space where our kids are regularly going in and out of can be a struggle. Because even the best laid out organizational system can get turned on its head with one quick move from a toddler! ?

But the reality is that we just don’t need as much as we think we do. I think there are some steps you can take to decluttering your kid’s clothing fast and still allow yourself the safety of abundance for a short time.

Head over to YouTube to learn more about how we manage kid’s clothing!

Set Limits

This is always my starting point when it comes to any good decluttering project. When we don’t give ourself limits on our possessions, that’s when clutter can really creep in.

When we declutter kid’s clothing, it’s no different. We MUST set limits on how many clothes we are willing to keep. If not, it can get out of hand quickly.

I created this quick guide for you to print out and use as you work your way through decluttering your kid’s clothing and other wearable items. It gives you three options to choose from, so you can pick the option that works best for you.

Just for reference, we fall into the middle category with our kids in most areas. But I think we all live with different circumstances so what works for one family isn’t necessarily going to work for another! That’s why I love having some options that still give me guidelines to follow.

Declutter Kid'S Clothing Quickly
Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs 9

I think purging hangers beyond your limits is a great way to maintain a clutter-free closet! This will force you to purge an item here and there as new things are brought in and eliminate the need for big decluttering sessions in the future!

Decide What You Are Keeping, Not What You Are Purging FIRST!

Instead of choosing what you want to let go of, have your child pick his or her favorites. Which shirts does he love to wear? Which dresses would she wear every day if she could? Keep those!

Then what you have leftover you can confidently purge. Those shorts that are too itchy around the waistband. The shirt that’s got a hole in the side. The sweatshirt that’s just a little too tight when your son tries to put it over his head! ?‍♀️

Utilize the Halfway Home Method

If you’ve reached the limits you set, but you still have a few items that you might want to hold onto, then use the halfway home method. I talked more in depth about halfway homes in this post. It’s basically just a tote, box, or bin where you store your “maybe items” for a short period of time before you purge them out of your home completely.

For kid’s clothes, I would reduce the time you store them to 4-6 weeks. Kids grow so quickly and there really is no need to store items that they will just out grow within a few months time anyway.

Declutter Kid'S Clothing Quickly
Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs 10

But if your child is having a hard time letting go of some things, this can be a great method to use when you declutter kid’s clothing!

Keep a Purge Bin Inside the Closet

Once you’ve purged your child’s closet, keeping a purge bin inside their closet can be a great maintenance tool!

As you come across items they are no longer wearing, don’t fit, or are looking worn out, toss them in the purge bin. Once it’s full, grab everything out of the bin and take it to your local donation center.

How many times have you been helping your child get dressed only to come across items like this? We tend to avoid dealing with them in the moment because it would mean walking across the house, out into the garage, or into the basement to find somewhere to put it.

But it doesn’t take any extra time if you have the bin right there! This one tool can help you declutter kid’s clothing day to day without having a big decluttering session every few months.

Use Open Bins to Toss and Go!

We hang up most t-shirts and any really nice pants or shorts. Everything else gets folded and put into drawers.

Most of these items are in baskets or bins within the drawer. It’s easy to just toss and go and avoid folding most items all together!

I still fold things that may be nicer and get wrinkled easily. But, honestly, my boy’s don’t care and most wrinkles fall out of clothes from body heat within a few minutes of wear anyways.

For things like socks, underwear, athletic shorts, and sweatpants, we just toss and go. It saves so much time!

Minimize Your Storage of Hand-Me-Downs

I have two boys who are almost exactly 4 years apart. And while built slightly differently, they can easily wear many of the same clothing items. Yes, I do keep some hand-me-downs from my older one for my younger one, I’ve greatly minimized how much I store and I think you should too!

When I had my first son, I kept everything! Even though I wasn’t sure whether or not we’d have a boy or girl next or even if they would line up seasonally in clothing, I kept it all. And looking back, I realize how silly that was.

Declutter Kid'S Clothing Quickly
Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs 11

First, I kept the good and the bad. I kept things my older son never wore. I kept items that weren’t practical for babies to wear. And by the end of the first two years of his life, I had 6-8 totes of clothing in my basement!

But over the year’s I’ve realized a few things:

  1. If I’m keeping something, then that means someone else isn’t able to get use out of it.
  2. The chances were slim that I would actually have a baby of the same gender in the same season.
  3. Just because I store it, doesn’t mean I will actually use it when the time comes.
  4. Styles, even for boys, do change very quickly.
  5. Stored clothing does, in fact, deteriorate over time.

So I began to ask myself why. Why was I hoarding something that I knew others could use right now? While I’m pretty frugal by nature, this wasn’t actually saving me all that much money. Because kid’s clothes are easy to come by at thrift stores, garage sales, or on sale at places like Old Navy, Target, or Kohl’s.

And while I did end up having a baby of the same gender in the same season, I’ve still changed my system.

My Hand-Me-Down System

Now I deal with hand-me-downs a little differently. I keep 4 tubs, no more. That’s one tub per size between my boys. And honestly, they aren’t even close to full! I only keep the best of the best.

Jeans with holes aren’t saved. Shirts with stains are gone. Clothing my older son never wore heads straight for the donation bin.

Why? Because I’m not holding onto things when I know that I will just be replacing them anyway.

Plus, I know that I will want to get my younger son a few new items of his own when we go clothing shopping each spring and fall. So there really is no reason for me to hold onto an entire wardrobe in each size.

I am thankful each season change for that small tub of clothing to get me started with clothing! It is a blessing and something I’m glad I keep on hand. But keeping it minimal is the way to go! For us at least.

Shop for Less, Not Ahead

I often get asked if I shop ahead for clothes for my boys. And the answer is always NO. And there are some good reasons for this.

In the past, I have shopped ahead. And I realized a few things while doing so.

1. The more I store, the more I have to manage. Everything I bring into my home is stuff I have to keep track, organize, maintain, and remember where I stored it! More times than I can count when I did purchase ahead, I wouldn’t remember where it was and ended up buying it again! This didn’t save me money or time!

2. There is no guarantee they will be in a specific size in a specific season. Kid’s grow. FAST! And sometimes they skip sizes all together or grow 2-3 sizes in one year. There is no guarantee that a child will even wear clothing that I buy ahead.

3. Good deals are found on all things year round. While you can get a deep discount on out of season clothing, I’ve found that you can get good deals on in-season clothing too. And for me, it’s worth the couple extra bucks to not have any more clothing to manage in my home!

Declutter Kid'S Clothing Quickly
Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs 12

So what do I do?!

I choose to save by buying less clothes rather than buying ahead. In the past when I’ve shopped ahead I’ve ended up with at least double the amount of clothes I now keep on hand for each child.

And while I’m sure many of those clothes were purchased at a deep discount, I’d personally rather pay more per item and just buy less items. This is less to maintain, less laundry to wash, less to organize, and less money wasted on clothing we don’t actually need.

If I do receive clothing items as gifts from family or friends, we put those items in the labeled bins in our garage. My older son (who doesn’t have a hand-me-down tub) has a very small tub under his bed. We store any items that he might grow into in that tub. But we never keep anything more than one size too big. It’s just not worth it to me.

I don’t have the capacity to manage that much clothing! Nor do I want to spend hours decluttering kid’s clothing every few months. And I’m willing to bet if you stumbled upon this article you might feel the same way.

Kid’s Clothing Organization Source List

I’m a firm believer in the less you have, the less organizing you actually have to do. But I also have a few organizing tools that help my kid’s and I maintain their organized spaces! Just click on each item to grab it for yourself!

Cube Organizers

Non-slip Hangers

Drawer Organizers

Sterilite Latch Totes

I hope you found these tips helpful. Let me know in the comments below how you maintain a simple wardrobe for your kids. Do you declutter kid’s clothing frequently? Do you set limits? How do you handle hand-me-downs? I’d love to know!

More posts like this:

  • Where to Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed
  • Simplify Your Wardrobe in 30 Minutes or LESS!!

The post Declutter Kid’s Clothing Quickly + How We Manage Hand-Me-Downs appeared first on The Simply Organized Home.

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