Conquer Your (kid’s?) Clothes and Closet: Summer Project #1

July is a great time to clean closets and organize clothes!023
It may seem counter-intuitive (or crazy!) to tackle closets now, but think about it:
  • it’s easy to be objective and make decisions about cold-weather clothes, since we haven’t seen those items in a little while;
  • summer is well underway, so we have a good idea of what works for this current season;
  • organizing the closet and clothes now will make Back To School shopping (there, I said it!) easier; and
  • as we tackle closets with our kids, summer allows for a more relaxed schedule and a little extra time to complete this type of project.
So, let’s get started!  Tackle the kid closets first, but these guidelines work for your closet, too! Grab white kitchen garage bags (for donations and hand-me downs to others), black garbage bags (for actual garbage), clear storage containers, a black sharpie and post-it notes.

Start with Sizes:

     Most kids (and adults!) have more than one size of clothes in their closets or dressers.
     I worked on a client closet last week, with clothes present from birth to 5 or 6 years jumbled all together.  We first sorted the little girl’s clothes by size (she’s a 3T,)
     We lined up bins, labeled them (creatively!) 0-12 months, 12-24 months, 24-36 month, 3 T, 4T and up, and started sorting!
     As we sorted the clothes, we also reviewed the items, donating or scrapping anything Mom wouldn’t use again (stained t-shirts, unmatched socks, pants with big holes in the knees, etc.).
     After a recent class, a mom-of-3-boys asked me “what to do with all the clothes?!” Especially the “between sizes” that no one is wearing right now.   The answer is the same.  Sort out the clothes by size, store the “between sizes” in well-labeled stacking plastic bins, and purge the stuff that no one will use again.
      Most importantly, leave one more open bin in the closet, to receive clothes as your child outgrows them.

Off-Season Clothes:

     If you don’t have multiple sizes of clothes in your closet, you can start with off-Season clothes.
     Objectively, look at off-season clothes.  Remember, you can’t fix ugly, you can’t fix itchy, and you can’t fix the wrong color.  Pretend you are packing for a 2 week cold-weather trip, and you leave tomorrow.
     What favorites would you take along? Set those aside.
     What really useful items would you take along?  Set those aside.
     Now look at what’s left – neither favorites nor really useful items.   So, do you really need them?
     This week, get your off-season clothes repaired, tailored or cleaned.  My middle son wears ties with his high school uniform.  Drop off ties, suits and other dry cleaning this week.  Take your shoes or handbags in for repair.  Get those cold-weather pants or skirts hemmed now while you don’t need them.

To Re-Cap so far:
     We’ve pulled out off-size clothes, and off -season clothes.  We have also pulled out beat-up clothes to donate or throw away.  The closet is looking pretty good right now.

So, let’s put it back together!  Categories:
Sort the clothes you have left by categories (jackets, tops, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, socks and undergarments, etc.).
Once you sort your clothes into categories, decide where you want to keep each type of category of clothes.  Hang up the dressy stuff, school clothes or uniforms; fold the sweaters and causal stuff.  Put t-shirts, shorts, under-stuff and pjs into drawers.  And be on the look out for more items to purge!  For example, when my son and I look at the 30-40 t-shirts in his drawer, we realized 35 is too many and we can toss / donate at least a few (his idea!!).

Spend some time this week, between work and sunshine and summer activities, and create order in your closets!

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