The Declutter 365 mission for the next several days is to get rid of kids closet clutter, of whatever variety it is, including kids clothes and shoes, but also other items that are contained within the closet, such as crafts, toys and games, or whatever else.
These several days of decluttering missions are designed to be done while working on the Organizing Kids Closets Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
That's because, as always, the first step in any organization project is to declutter, so you don't try to organize clutter, but instead get rid of it.
Of course, you can do these missions whenever you need to in your home, such as when it feels like your child's closet is starting to get out of control, it's difficult to put things away in the space, or it's hard to find the right clothes for your child to wear each day.
I've allocated three days within the Declutter 365 missions calendar just for decluttering your kids' closets (and I'll explain how I've divided up the tasks for each day below), but it will take you as long as it takes, and that's no problem.
For example, I personally have three kids, so when I work through these missions it's going to take me 3x as long, since I've got to work on each child's closet separately. I suggest you also do one closet at a time, and then repeat the steps of the process for each additional closet, so you don't try to take on too much at once and get overwhelmed or exhausted.
Remember, always break your decluttering tasks up into smaller, bite-sized chunks, such as 15 minutes at a time, or just one shelf, or just one drawer, so that you can always accomplish something, not make a huge mess that you don't have time to clean up, and don't tire yourself (or your child who is helping you) out by trying to take on too much at once, and get either you or them burned out.
The first time you fully declutter your kids' closets it is going to take a while, and life happens and we can only work on a task so long before we have to make dinner, or run an errand, or it's bedtime, so never pull everything out at once unless you want to cry from exhaustion, overwhelm and frustration.
Kids closets, just like adult closets, have a main purpose of holding clothes (and shoes), so a lot of the focus of these Declutter 365 missions is clothes.
However, please note that I know there are other places you may keep kids' clothes, beside in the closet, such as within dresser drawers in their bedroom. We've got a mission for decluttering these dresser drawers, as well as a more general mission for decluttering kids clothes within your home, wherever else they may be. That means you'll have plenty of time to fully declutter all of your kids clothes as you work through all the missions.
When decluttering clothes, and shoes, make sure to use these articles on the site which have lots of tips and guidance for you:
In addition, I know most kids closets don't exclusively hold clothes, but also are used for storage of other items for your kids. These can include things like toys, games, crafts and more. For additional guidance for decluttering these types of items, as you encounter them within your child's closets, check out the site for the appropriate decluttering missions and articles. Here are a couple articles that may apply:
Remember, we'll have a full week devoted to Organizing Toys & Games as part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, but if you want to get everything dealt with in your kids' closets now, I wanted you to have the resources available now.
As with any decluttering missions that involve you decluttering someone else's stuff, I encourage you, strongly, to get that person involved in the process with you, and that includes kids as long as they're old enough to help.
Obviously, you're going to have to declutter your baby's closet yourself, but even small children have (sometimes very strong) opinions about what they want to happen to their stuff, and can help with the process of clearing the clutter and organizing what's left.
After all, you wouldn't want someone making decisions about your own stuff without consulting you, so show the same consideration to your child.
In addition, getting kids involved will help them learn about the process of decluttering for themself, to learn how to make these decisions, to let go of unneeded items, and prepare them for when they've got a home of their own to take care of.
Letting them make decisions also helps you now, to make sure you're keeping the right things, or getting rid of stuff they don't care about. If you're decluttering clothes, for example, you may need them to try stuff on to see what still fits, so obviously they're needed for that.
But in addition, I'm often surprised by what my child really loves, versus doesn't care about, and it doesn't always fit my preconceived notions. For example, when dealing with clothes, the t-shirt I don't think twice about, I may learn during the decluttering process, is actually my child's favorite, and so after learning this I will make an effort to keep it, whereas without this information I would have perhaps tossed it, if it didn't fit well into the space.
So get your child involved. It will help them and you, and as a bonus you can learn some interesting things about your child in the process. Each time I've helped one of my kids declutter their bedroom or closet I've learned more about what they like, don't like, and what they're interested in, just from the conversations we have as we make decisions and discuss various items we come across.
It is also especially important, when decluttering kids stuff, to make sure you're not taking on too much at once, because kids often don't have as much stamina for decluttering as we, as adults, do. Trying on clothes can wear them out, they're attention span isn't as long, and all of us know that making lots of decisions can be mentally draining. That's why doing it in smaller chunks is especially important for kids areas.
As I mentioned above I have devoted three different missions within the Declutter 365 missions, during the week we focus on organizing kids closets, just to the tasks of decluttering kids closet clutter.
I did this because I know it's a huge task, and I wanted to suggest a way to break the task up into more doable and manageable chunks, for you and your kids to tackle.
So here are the three suggested decluttering missions, to declutter kids' closets.
First, I suggest decluttering hanging clothes from your child's closet. This allows you to focus on only one area at a time, in this instance, the things on the closet rod, and decide what will stay and what will go.
These missions for kids closets all correspond to similar missions I recommend for decluttering adult's closets. You can get more tips on how to declutter hanging clothes from your closet here, in the article I wrote on this subject, in depth, for adults.
Here's a photo from a reader, Marissa, who has already done this mission for her child's closet.
As you can see from Marissa's photo, after she decluttered some older hanging clothes that no longer fit she had a lot of excess hangers left. If you find this is the case for you as well make sure to do the declutter hangers mission here on the site!
The next bite-sized chunk of your kids' closets that I suggest you declutter are items contained on closet shelves or within drawers of your closet.
This can include clothes, but also could include whatever else you've got placed onto these shelves or inside the drawers, such as toys, games, toiletries, diapers, wipes, etc.
You can get more tips for decluttering your closet shelves and drawers here, in this article where I wrote about this topic in depth for adult closets.
The photo above was sent in by a reader, Michelle, who showed how she placed the folded clothing for her son within his closet, into open containers on shelves.
In addition, a reader, Kelly, sent in the photo below which shows her results after doing this mission. She said, "Was full of baby clothes from birth - 2 1/2 years, extra blankets and sheets. Now it's organized and looks nice for my princess!"
Finally, to finish decluttering your kids' closets, I recommend that you focus on clearing the clutter from the closet floor. This can include items that have fallen there, and should not stay, as well as stacks of papers, clothes, shoes, or anything else purposefully placed there, but that doesn't belong, or should be better organized or placed elsewhere.
You can get more tips for how to declutter your closet floor here, in this article I wrote for adult closets.
In addition, here's a photo sent in by a reader, Beth, who did this mission, showing her results.
The first time you really declutter your kids closets, if it has been a while, it can be a big task, so it's helpful to see before and after pictures to get you inspired, so you know what a positive result doing these missions will have.
Here are two photos from a reader, Katherine, who had a huge transformation in her son's closet by decluttering, and then adding some storage solutions and organizers to help it stay more organized in the future.
Once you've cleared the clutter from your kids' closets, you're going to feel great. Unfortunately, especially with kids clothes, since they can quickly outgrow them, a child's closet won't stay clutter free forever. Instead, you're going to need to re-do this mission periodically.
If you do the mission regularly, such as every six months to a year (such as each time it comes up in the Declutter 365 calendar), it really won't take as long in the future as it did this first time though, I promise! (I speak from experience!)
In addition, you can do something else for yourself to make it even easier to declutter the closet in the future -- place a "too small" clothes container somewhere close to the closet, or within it, and then as you or your child come across clothes that are "too small" in everyday living you can place them directly into the container, instead of back into the closet or into the clothes drawers.
Culling out clothes that no longer fit properly, as you go, will make the task of clearing kids closet clutter much simpler, and you'll thank yourself as you don't have to move the too small shorts for the millionth time when searching for clothes for your child to wear that day.
Here are some photos from a reader, Cristal, who has some of these containers in her three year old son's closet.
If you're saving some of these outgrown clothes for a younger sibling to wear, make sure to check out this article about hand me down kids clothes storage ideas and organizing tips, to keep everything stored properly, and organized for the next use later.
Finally, after clearing all the kids closet clutter out of your child's bedroom, don't hold onto it! This is especially true of kids stuff because you don't want to give them a chance to start rooting through the bags and taking stuff back out that they've decided they want to salvage.
Instead, make sure you completely finish the decluttering process by getting the stuff out of your house, either to donate, sell, trash or recycle, or whatever else you're going to do with it. Only then will the closet be really decluttered!
That's exactly what a Declutter 365 participant, Carrie, recently did, as shown in the photo below. She explained that this was a "Haul from last week to donate (our 4 year old’s closet)."
I hope seeing these pictures, and these instructions for getting rid of kids closet clutter have inspired you to tackle your kids clutter in your own home.
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!
In addition, here's a round up of all the Declutter 365 missions on the site for decluttering clothes of all kinds.
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!