Simplify Your Life: Declutter Your Kids Clothes
I don't know about you, but I love a baby in a baby grow - there is nothing more delicious and squishable.
When my daughter was born, we were given lots of clothes as gifts. Now, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because it was lovely to get those presents, but it did mean that we were inundated with several frilly dresses or tops with no matching trousers, leggings with no matching tops...
As a new mum who was attempting breastfeeding I did not have the capacity to shop for more clothes to make matching outfits and in the end a lot of the clothes were dropped off at the charity shop unworn. Kids grow so fast and then the seasons change leaving you constantly needing to update their wardrobe.
As my daughter grew from baby to toddler, my mental load didn't get any lighter and the regular shopping needed to keep my daughter in comfy clothes that fit is something I find quite draining.
I hate waste and it really bothers me that so many of my daughters clothes can go unworn after every growth spurt. Not to mention the time it takes to pick out her outfit each morning and then matching extras for the changing bag.
As a young family, life is hectic and I'm all about finding ways to make day-to-day life easier - decluttering my daughter's wardrobe is one of the things I do to keep life simple.
Why you should declutter
Lighten your mental load
We all know that being a parent is a full-time job and then some. Keeping tiny people healthy, happy and where they need to be, when they need to be there is tiring and that's before you've thought about housework, your job, a social life, seeing your family. We have to deal with our kids clothes every day so, decluttering their wardrobe can help with decision fatigue - it's a real thing, and it's no surprise given that we're bombarded with information from the moment we wake up. Fewer items to choose from means less time deciding.
Cut down on waste
Keeping your kid's wardrobe clutter free means you'll always know what you have; nothing will end up hidden at the back of a drawer and go unworn. Your kids will get better wear out of their clothes so that by the time they've outgrown them you won't need to feel guilty about having a clear out and buying a new batch.
Fewer clothes means less washing - you might have to wash each item more often but ultimately there are less items to wash, dry, iron and put away. What's not to like?!
Spending less time washing clothes and deciding which clothes to pull out for the next days outfit (and changing bag) means more time to spend on the stuff you do want to be doing.
Having fewer items means you're more aware of what you do have which makes you less likely to over-buy, duplicate or spend money on something you don't really need.
How Do I Declutter?
I can definitely get quite sentimental about clothes - my mum kept a lot of my baby clothes and my little girl has worn some of them over the last few years, so I'm not ruthless about getting rid of everything. If there are items I want to save, I'll put them in a vacuum bag and store them but I've found as my daughter has got older there are fewer items that I'm attached to. When it comes to having a clear out here are some of the things I ask myself:
Does it fit?
It's obvious, but we're all busy aren't we, so we might not have had time to pull out the latest items which have been out-grown. Starting here will help you sort through things quickly as it's a simple yes or no answer.
Is it stained or damaged?
Some stains are a fact of life (if anyone knows how to remove suncream stains let me know in the comments!) but others might mean you've stopped dressing your child in that item. If anything is so stained or damaged that you can't repair it, it needs to go. You could recycle or repurpose them to help make sure they don't end up in landfill - I'll write more about this in another post.
Does it go with anything else?
Lay tops and trousers out on the floor and match up outfits - do things go together? If you have items which don't match anything then it's time for them to go.
Do they wear it?
It sounds simple but we all have favorite items of clothing that we wear again and again meaning other things are left unworn and we're no different when it comes to dressing our kids. If it's not being worn, add it to the donations pile or sell it on a resale site.
Stick to a colour palette
When it comes to restocking your kid's wardrobe after their next growth spurt or the change of seasons, try sticking to a colour palette - this will make it easier to get more wear out of each item as everything will be part of an outfit.
I hope that's helpful - if you have any other tips or tricks to declutter with kids, or simplify parent-life, I'd love to hear them in the comments.