Minimalist Family Life: Let’s talk about kids clothes!!
When I first began simplifying our home I was worried about going “too far” with kids clothes. My biggest fear was that I would get rid of too much and then come to realize that I needed the things I had gotten rid. This would mean that I would have to replace those things which would cost money (and we were desperately trying to get out of debt at the time).
So I’d get rid of a few things here and there but was careful not to go too far.
But then, I just got tired of the laundry situation. It seemed to be EVERYWHERE. Bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry baskets, piles on the couch…it added a sense of chaos to our house that I really didn’t like.
So one day I finally decided enough was enough and got serious about their clothing situation.
AND BOY DO I WISH I HAD DONE IT SOONER!!!!!
We have four kids ages 3 to 8, and just like they hardly need any toys, they really don’t require much clothing! Like really not much at all!!
Five bottoms, five to seven tops (making sure there is at least one nice outfit in the mix) and voila…they’re dressed for the week!
HERE I EXPLAIN THE TRICK TO SIMPLIFYING QUICKLY:
Tip: Don’t reach into the keep bin just because you don’t feel like doing laundry! It takes a little getting used to, but TRUST ME, it will be worth it in the end having fewer clothes for your kids!
A FEW FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. How often do you do laundry?: I try and do one load per day and “switch” it out during meal times. I’m programmed now to check on the washer and dryer when I’m cooking.
2. Do you regret getting rid of anything?: Nope. There has yet to be an instance where I wished I hadn’t donated something. We live in a time where we have access to SO much. Between garage sales, birthdays, Christmas, hand me downs and clearance racks, if my kids ever have a real need for a piece of clothing it is pretty easy to come by! (for example: my mom asked what our girls needed for Christmas so I said they could each use a pair of new tennis shoes and leggings…done!)
3. As the kids get older, do they naturally want more clothes?: Yes. Our 8 year old has begun asking for clothes for Christmas and her Birthday. She is starting to care what she wears. So while she wants to have input into what she wears, there are still only so many days in a week to wear new outfits! So I still help her to keep it pared down so that it isn’t overwhelming. She probably still only has four or five pairs of pants but closer to ten tops and two or three dresses.
4. Only one “nice” or “dressy” outfit? Like I mention in the video, it doesn’t bother me if our kids wear the same thing to church or family get togethers. But also, the seasons change often here in Minnesota, and they GROW, so they’re dressy outfits are constantly changing. But you can have more! Maybe you’d feel more comfortable with three or four, do what works best for your family. Let’s just be realistic. Before I simplified our kids each probably had 12-15 nice outfits and then I’d feel guilty about the clothes they never wore!
5. Do your kids have “capsule wardrobes”? Not technically. But I’ve found that by keeping mostly solid colored bottoms, that there is rarely an outfit that they put together that doesn’t look like it “goes together.” So I don’t stress too much about it, I just never choose items that wouldn’t go with the rest of their clothes.
6. How often do you go through their clothes? I do a thorough re-group when we change out clothes for the season, so in the spring and fall. I get rid of things that are outgrown or destroyed and pare back down to five bottoms and tops. But in between, I’m aware of how much they have. The bin you see in the video is our three year old’s clothes bin. ALL of his clothes fit in there…easily! So if at any point it is over flowing I KNOW he has clothes in there that aren’t getting worn and I toss or donate.
7. Do you sell, donate or pass on kids clothes you aren’t using? Quite frankly, the bulk of our kids clothes come from garage sales. I’ve found the best communities in our area to garage sale in and always have good luck finding nice clothes for our kids. However, by the time both of our girls or both of our boys have worn something that was used to begin with, IT IS DONE. So many items get thrown away and hardly is something worth selling. If there is something nice that has survived I usually donate it. We do have nieces and nephews that could potentially wear them, but it is so hard to know if the parents actually want it, and I know they have other people passing clothes on to them, so I no longer offer (and I think we’re all ok with that!). So I always have a donation bag in our garage and when it fills up I drop it off.
8. So you garage sale? YES, but strategically! I noticed that I easily became a hoarder when I garage sales too much! SO many good deals and CUTE clothes, how do you pass them up!?! So now I only allow myself two days per year in neighborhoods I’ve come to love for their garage sales. Tip: I’ve found the more middle of the road neighborhoods to have the best finds…higher end homes tend to mean HIGHER PRICES (at least where we live) and I just can’t do it! Although, since I only go out two days, I have upped what I’m willing to pay per item. For example: I’ll pay up to $2 for a pair of boy’s jeans because I know we’ll need them and they’ll be at least ten in the store. Could I look longer and find some for $1 or $.50? Probably, but there is also a good chance I’ll buy a few other things that I don’t need!!
YOU REALLY HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE!
What I really like about this approach to simplifying clothes is that the risk is gone by saving everything until you’re sure that you don’t need it.
Good luck simplifying and please let me know if you have any questions!
Let’s keep in touch!
Also, if you’re on Pinterest, here is a graphic for that! THANK YOU for sharing!!!