Here are tips for how to declutter kids clothes, including criteria to consider and questions to ask during the decluttering process.
Today's mission is to declutter additional kids clothes, wherever they may be. But really this mission is a culmination of quite a few missions we've had in the Declutter 365 calendar where we've been decluttering clothes for kids, and so today is meant to act as a catch up day for additional clothes you may have that you haven't dealt with yet.
The mission is designed to be done while working through the Organizing Kids Closets Challenge, and the Kids Bedroom Organizing Challenge here on the site, which are both part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
It also follows up missions to declutter various areas in the closet and bedroom where you most likely keep kids clothes, including:
As always, when we work on decluttering anything that is not our own, it's important, whenever possible, to get the person involved whose stuff is being decluttered.
This is just as important for kids as it is for adults, because no one wants their stuff decluttered without their input and approval, and that includes kids.
The obvious exception to this is when your kids are too young to help with the decluttering process, such as if they're babies. However, even older toddlers can provide some input, and the older the child is the more they need to participate in the process.
This is true, practically, because they'll most likely need to try some things on, but in addition, only they know what clothes they like, or what they don't, or what feels uncomfortable or is scratchy or whatever else that will inform the choices you make.
Further, making decisions together will keep kids from feeling like their things were taken away from them without warning, or without their input, which could make them, in the future, less likely to part with any types of clutter.
Finally, involving kids in the process also helps them learn a good life lesson about how the process of decluttering works, and the positive results it can have, so that they're prepared to do this for themselves, in their own homes, when they're adults and out on their own.
Once you've decluttered your kids excess clothes you and they will see the benefits.
Getting ready in the morning will get easier and more streamlined, you or they won't have to wade through lots of stained, worn out, or too small clothing for them to find something appropriate to wear, and both doing laundry and putting it away afterward will be easier.
In other words, doing this mission will allow you to feel a sense of relief.
That's exactly how a reader, Malinda, felt when she got rid of some of her excess kids' clothes, as shown in the image she sent in above, with several bags full of clothes. She stated, "Did the kids' cupboards and drawers this morning, wow that feels so good. We have way too many clothes, this is all being donated."
You can check out my article about even more reasons that getting rid of clothing clutter is awesome here, if you want more motivation to begin this task.
This photo above was provided by a reader, Tara, who said of the photo, "Pile of purged clothes to be sorted into groups for swap pages."
Remember to always do small chunks of decluttering at a time, so neither you nor your child get exhausted and overwhelmed by the process.
You can, for example, work in 15 minute increments, or focus on just one drawer or one shelf, or one rod of hanging clothes at a time, to make the task more manageable.
You can also focus on just one type of clothing at a time, such as all the shirts, then all the pants and shorts, etc. Whatever method works best for you! (You can see a list of all the decluttering missions for types of clothes here, in the Organize Closet Challenge article.)
Once you begin the decluttering process you'll be examining each item of clothing, and you and your child, together, need to decide whether you'll keep that item of clothing, or not. To help you make your decisions here are some criteria to consider, and questions to ask of yourself or answer together:
If you'd like even more questions to help you declutter any type of clothing, including clothes for adults, you can check out this article with 9 questions to ask when you declutter clothes.
Below are some photos from readers who've already done this mission, and gathered up kids clothes they're going to declutter from their home. The top photo of this collage is from Kelly, who slowly gathered these items from her child's closet and she or her child noticed an item was too small. That's using the strategy of the "too small container" that I discussed in more depth in this article, to make decluttering easier.
Further, the bottom photo in the collage below is from another reader, Sarah, who already knew where these decluttered outgrown clothes would go, to a relative who is a year and a half younger than her child, and could therefore use the clothes soon.
When you're decluttering kids clothes I want you to pull out of their closets and drawers items that are too small for your child to wear, currently. Those types of things should not be taking up space with the clothing that they can still wear, because it makes it confusing what is actually available to be worn right now for your child.
Just because it's too small for one child though doesn't mean you can't use it in the future. After all, it may fit a younger sibling.
If you're saving clothes as hand me downs make sure you have a different and separate space, away from your child's current clothing, in which to save those hand me downs.
You can get more tips for hand me down kids clothes storage ideas and organizing tips here.
Once you've decided which kids clothes you're not keeping anymore you're not really done decluttering them until they leave your home.
You can bag them up and take them to be donated, or sell them through consignment or in an Internet based buy/sell group, or give them to a friend or family member with a smaller child who could use them, but until they're out of your home the job is not complete!
Above you can see several more pictures from readers who bagged up their kids clothes clutter, to get rid of it. The left hand photo in the collage was provided by Eleanor who said, "Outgrown kids clothes ready to be taken to charity!" Then, the top right photo was provided by Alethea, and the bottom right photo was provided by Nikki, who said, "With my husband's help, we purged his and the kid's clothes."
I know you'll be tired when you've sorted through all your children's clothes, but doing those last few steps to drop stuff off at the donation shop, or list the items for sale, will help you complete the project and help you breathe a sigh of relief.
I hope these tips, questions to ask yourself, and pictures from other Declutter 365 participants has inspired you to get rid of your kids' clothing clutter.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!