Every mom knows that dressing cute little babies is one of the perks of being a mom. Those little baby boy and girl outfits are so adorable. As the babies become toddlers and preschoolers you may suddenly find yourself with a pile of used clothes that need a new home. Here is a simple guide to help you decide how to declutter your child’s clothing and what to do with it.
How Often Should You Declutter Kid’s Clothing?
Kids grow fast and before you know it the clothing you bought for them looks way too small. The younger they are, the faster this happens. Follow the guidelines below to declutter your children’s clothing.
- Age 0-2 Declutter every 3 months or sooner if their baby clothes are snug.
- Age 3-7 Sort clothes twice a year. I suggest on daylight savings weekend before the seasons change.
- Age 8-12 Continue with sorting twice a year, but enlist their help. Now is a good time to teach your children how to declutter their clothes. It is a skill they will need the rest of their lives.
- Age 12-18 Kids this age should do this themselves. Give guidance as necessary.
How Do You Sort Clothes As You Declutter?
When to Toss Clothes
- The clothing is torn
- The clothing is permanently stained
- The clothing is severely faded
- The clothing is stretched out of shape.
When to Keep Clothes
- Your child wears it
- The item fits your child
- The clothing is in season.
- The clothes are in good condition.
When to Save Clothes for Later
- It is in good condition.
- It will still fit your child during the next warm or cold season.
- A sibling or future child can wear it as long as it won’t look dated.
When to Donate Clothes To Charity
- You lack the time or desire to re-sell the item for money.
- The item is in good condition and does not show more than normal signs of wear and tear.
- Friends, family members, or co-workers don’t need it or want it.
- TIP-Get donation receipts for your tax records
When to Donate Clothes to Friends or Family
- A friend, family member or co-worker would need the items and welcome the clothing as a gift.
- The person truly needs the donation.
- The clothing would not burden someone who is already overwhelmed.
- TIP-Wash all clothes before giving them to someone else.
- TIP-Don’t give away clothes you might want back
When to Sell Clothes
- You have a place you can store them.
- Only if you have the time to sell them.
- You can sell it at a consignment store, consignment sales, a Garage Sale or a website like Craigslist, Ebay, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, or Offer Up.
- TIP-Set a sell by date for all items. If they haven’t sold by that date donate any unsold clothing to charity. The whole idea is to clear the clutter, not create more. So be willing to let unsold items go when the time comes.
- TIP- If you end up donating clothing, make sure you get a receipt for your taxes.
When to Save Clothes for Keepsakes
I reserve this pile for items that have significant sentimental value. They can be family heirlooms, or a favorite outfit your child wore. The clothing items that you keep may include the outfit that your child came home from the hospital in, their christening gown, their first Halloween costume or just an outfit you always loved seeing them in. If you have pictures of your child in that outfit and that is enough for you then don’t keep it.
When To Save Clothing
- It has sentimental value to you or it is a family heirloom that you want.
- You have a place to store it.
- You could make a keepsake like a quilt from it if you wanted.
- I suggest keeping at least one piece from your child’s first month home to share with your child when they are older. It may make for a great conversation piece.
- TIP-Keep Only a Reasonable Amount
- You don’t have the storage space.
- A picture is enough of a keepsake.
- It is not sentimental.
- You are keeping it out of guilt because someone else gave it to you. If you don’t want it, politely and gently ask if they want it back. Always ask permission before selling it or donating it. Chances are if they gave it to you they probably do not really want to keep it anyway.
The secret to keeping your child’s drawers and closets from overflowing is to consistently declutter the clothing according to the guidelines above. You can always do this in phases. Sort a drawer or two at a time. Once you are finished going through all of their drawers and their closet be sure to set aside time to decide where each item will go and put it there.
Need More Help With Home Organization and Clutter?
Learn about the 10 Routines that will keep your home organized here. If you struggle with clutter, learn how to deal with it here.