Monday, August 22, 2011

The Radical Way to Organize Kids Back To School Clothes

It's back to school time at our house, and that means getting the kids clothes ready, willing & able.

I have 3 boys, no girls, and I'll be the first to admit that back to school clothes organizing is easier with boys. However, the steps below will work with girls also, you're just going to have to give them loads more time to get it done. you might need a bigger glass of wine. (see #4 below)

I'm following the success of the Radical School Lunch post with:

shirt on the bed

  1. take all their clothes out of the closet.
  2. lay them on the biggest bed you have, shirts in one pile, pants in another, you get the picture. Any item of clothing that is too small, ripped, stained or YOU just can't stand, get rid of it.
  3. have any hand me downs from an older child? If so, pull the box out and add the clothes to the correct piles.
  4. get yourself a cup of coffee, tea or wine, you're gonna need it!
  5. call your child in.
  6. have them (not you) sort through the first pile, dividing it into two piles - I will wear this, I will never wear this. Even young children have opinions about their clothes. Let them express their individuality.
  7. repeat  with the other piles of clothes.
  8. if you're not sure if something fits that they want to keep, have them try it on.
  9. look at the piles they agreed to wear. Do you need to add anything new? Are there enough shirts? Are there too many pants? Kids don't need that many clothes. I'm going to be radical here and suggest 12 tops and 8 bottoms. Throw in a set of dress clothes and/or concert clothes. 1 sweatshirt. 1 coat. Anything over that, get rid of. You will probably need to pare down.  Ask your child which is their least favorite. Repeat until you get to the magic number of 12/8. You and your kids (unless you have all boys) will think they need more than that. Trust me, having less choices will make getting dressed in the morning sooooo much easier! If you're leery, take the excess clothes and pack them away for a month. See if you even miss them.
  10. tell your child to leave the room.
  11. the items they agreed to wear, put back into their closet. That means you're only putting 10 shirts and 8 bottoms back in. A sweatshirt, maybe a sweater. Whoa! didn't their closet just get much more spacious?
  12. the items they said they will never wear - GET RID OF! Donate them to someone/somewhere that will use it. It doesn't matter if it's your favorite. It doesn't matter if it's a present from Grandma. If they won't wear it, get rid of it. Honor their choices.
Are you mom enough to do it? I know, it sounds radical, but it's a system that will work.
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