Thursday, April 29, 2010

Handling the overwhelming pile of children’s clothes!


I just went on a shopping spree yesterday and picked up these marvelous outfits for the kids.  I am having a feeling it is the hormones at the very end that just encourage me to spend without the desire to hold back.  So back to my shopping spree. I went to a Family Thrift Center in the “city”.  I am going to call it the city, because it is much larger than the county I live in, but it is mostly just a large county with a bunch of people that give rise to these awesome thrift stores with brand names.  In my county, the thrifting is donated by a majority of full time and seasonal retired folks.  They make up over a majority of our populations, so finding good children’s clothes is not worth the time.

So I picked up 6 dresses for #1, 3 dresses for #3, and 2 long sleeve shirts for #2 and a set of the hard headbands for under $30.  Now when I went in, I was on a mission.  #1 had a growth spirit and her legs grew about 6 inches, turning her everyday dress collection into minis.  So I went in with the intention to just replace those dresses, #3 is not in need of anymore dress, but I couldn’t help myself.  Well, I can’t leave my little man out of the equation.  SO this is what I ended with.

Now, for the first time ever, I knew what I had and what I could use.  A large THANK YOU goes to a post I read at

Kimberly is expecting her 10th child and writes a ton of articles within her blog about keep order in it all.  The most inspirational and the one I could implement immediately, most for the shear need of it was limiting the clothing.  Here full article is located here.

Now I had spoken to a friend about this, or more, she kept telling me to pair down the clothes.  My children’s clothing method was anything that came we came across that fit went into the drawers.  For my children I had 12 dresser drawers and 8 feet of hanging space and clothes piled on the surfaces.  And they could never find anything to wear.  Everything was the wrong item for the occasion.  Play clothes were on for Sunday morning service and then I would catch them in church clothes digging in the yard on Tuesday afternoon.  I swore that I just need to get it organized.  I couldn’t consider ever getting rid of the clothes because they were so pretty and nice.  TRUTH!  After reading her post, I had way too many.

After reading her post: This is what I did! 

1. Wrote down a list of what is needed for clothing.

Based mostly on what works for her, We consolidated down to 10 pairs of undies, 2 pajamas, 1 bathing suit, 5 play clothes (everyday) outfits, 1 painting clothes (I never know what my husband will get them into), 2-3 nice going out outfits, 3 church outfits.  That is it.

2. Pulled all their clothes out, one child at a time.

Now, being prego, I mentally reminded myself I had 7 days to start and finish, not 1.  My normal self would expect this done in 1 day and went into a complete turrets breakdown for it then being out.  So I got the laundry all done for the most part and then took out every article of clothing for #1 and everything out of my size 5 box for her.  I laid it all out by each of my categories.  Anything that did not make the cut, that I was holding on to, to just have because I have it, went into a large black garbage bag for a clothes swap.

Then I had her stand in front of me and we checked seen what fit.  from here, if it did not, it went into the sized bag for the next girl.

3. Shopping for her clothes.

Now once I got the piles of appropriate clothes that are the right size, I laid them out by category.  Note, I only had in the pile the things I liked.  Next, I called her in and said, you get to go shopping.  You can pick out 3 dresses you want for church from this pile, it is all your choice.

Ohh, this was nice.  She had a huge grin on her face, knowing she had control of her clothes.  I did this each time and when she was done with each category, I had her hang up the few items and put them away.  The remaining clothes went to storage.

4.  Determining what is really needed.

When we were finished with the process, for each child I knew what was lacking.  One needed pajamas, because it was all flannel nightgowns for summer.  This is my #1, during the picking process, I really began to see what is it she likes.  And she likes the old style girly-ness. So I knew I needed to make her a cotton nightgown. ( I will have to show them to you later).

Also as time went on, I was able to see that she had outgrown here everyday dresses.  So I knew, that we were in need dresses.  All because of having limits.



  • All their clothes now fit in 6 drawers, if that. 
  • The hanging space required is about 4 feet, so now everything is spaced and can easily be picked through.
  • Laundry can go to the point there are no clothes and it only takes 5 loads to have everything put away.
  • Everyone is always looking nice and put together each day, appropriate for each occasion.
  • No more fighting over what they are wearing.
  • I know get to SHOP with a purpose, not just buying something on a limb.
  • My house doesn’t look as cluttered from all the clothes.


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