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So how many clothing items should my kids have?

Uncategorized Jul 19, 2018

It was late spring 2013, and I had just found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was beyond excited (and nervous), and I vividly remember the day after I got that plus sign on the test going to Target on my lunch break to look at baby clothes. I mean, this baby girl had just barely been conceived and I was ready to fill a closet with a brand new wardrobe.

What is it with baby clothes? You can take a plain white tee and shrink it down to baby size and it’s instantly adorable.

It is SO easy to go overboard, SO fast.

Fast forward to the baby showers and I was overwhelmed with gifts, with at least half of them being, you guessed it, CLOTHES!

She was one well-dressed baby. I remember packing away clothes when she grew out of a size, and putting clothes in the bins that she never even wore before. That’s how much she had.

The buying clothes never stopped and the gifts never stopped, until I decided to declutter and purge 70% of our household items early 2017. I had just had my second daughter, and when I pulled out the 3 month clothes bin - I realized I had way more than one bin.

I had THREE 30 gallon bins of JUST 3 month size clothes. 90 GALLONS OF 3 MONTH CLOTHES. Let me remind you, a 3 month outfit does not take much space at all - so you can just imagine how many outfits were in those suckers.

Needless to say, I went through them and donated all but ½ of one bin at that point. I went from 90 gallons to 15 gallons of just the essentials and a few (unbelievably) cute outfits.

Fast forward to now and the clothing situation in our home looks VERY different. We keep far less clothes than most people for our kids, and it works really well for us. 

We live in Colorado so wardrobes change with the season. In the winter, each of my girls have 10-12 outfits and in the summer 10-15. (Including dresses) The reason they have more in the summer is that I've found they need a change of clothes more often since they are outside so much more. 

Breakdown of my 1.5 year old's Wardrobe

Five short-sleeve tops/tee's.

Two tank-tops.

One romper.

Three Dresses (she was wearing one when I took these photos).

Three pairs of Leggings.

Four pairs of Shorts.

She also has two swimsuits, one cardigan, and one zip-up hoodie. As for pajamas, she has 6 pairs of those. 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of tennis shoes.

All in all, she currently has 11 outfits which I have found is perfect for her age!

Breakdown of my 4.5 year old's Wardrobe

Five short sleeve tops/tee's.

Five tank-top's.

Five Dresses.

Five pairs of Pants.

Five pairs of Shorts.

She also has two swimsuits and two hoodie's. One pair of sandals, one pair of water shoes and one pair of tennis shoes. 

She also has an entire drawer of tutu skirts. You read that right, an entire drawer in her dresser. But here's the thing. She wears one every single day. She is a self-proclaimed fashionista and layers her clothes everyday, which is the only reason she has 15 outfits which is the higher end of my limit. She will basically wear 2-3 outfits in one day at a time. I don't want to discourage her creativity and independence, so I let her dress herself and keep the tutu's. She knows that she has that one drawer for them though, so if she gets a new one and it doesn't fit into that drawer - then she has to get rid of one. She also knows that if she leaves the tutu's out and doesn't put them away and take care of them - then she doesn't get to keep them. I've found it has helped her to take responsibility and learn how to take good care of her belongings. 

You may be thinking, Ok great, but why do you limit kids clothes?

1. Having less clothes for each child means less picking up.

Simple as that. 

It is a super effective way to limit the time you spend on your children's clothes!

When you have 10-15 outfits total for one child, you find that you use them well. There's no room for clothes to be left all over the floor, because you need to wash them often in order for them to have clean clothes to wear! 

We have a laundry routine of doing one load of laundry every other morning - which also means we typically have almost their full wardrobe to pick from every day. I will be coming out with another blog post soon about my laundry routine that helps keep our home minimalish and allows us to maintain this type of wardrobe.

2. We are reducing decision fatigue in our home. 

You guys, decision fatigue is a real thing. You ever end the day with your brain just feeling tired? Like you cannot possibly make even one more decision?

We are faced CONSTANTLY with decisions all. day. long. So if we can limit some of that stress by simplifying certain areas of our daily lives, don't you think that's worth considering?

How many times have you walked into your closet and felt like you had nothing to wear, even when it was packed FULL of clothes? How many minutes a week do you spend deciding what you and your kids will wear everyday?

When we have less choices, we spend less time making decisions. I've found it to be good for me and for my kids!

3. It creates less waste.

Have you ever gone through a full season and switched out the clothes at the end, only to realize your kid NEVER wore that shirt or dress? I sure have. What a waste! 

What if, instead, we only purchased the amount of clothes our kids need, and spent the extra money on some clothes for kids in the foster system? Or put it towards a zoo membership or other experience to have with our kids instead? 

Each season when we need to buy new clothes, i've started a new tradition with my girls. We pick out their clothes but then they also get to pick out a few more outfits for us to drop off at a charity on our way home. That way - we still get to have our cute clothes fix, but we also get to help another family out - and my girls get to learn more about giving. 

And that's not to say that if your kids have a ton of clothes, you aren't a giving person. Not. at. all. Not even close. 

I just get a lot of questions about how to get kids involved in this minimal-ish life more, and I think this is SUCH a great opportunity to do so!

But aren't you a minimalist? Why aren't you doing a capsule wardrobe?

I've tried capsule wardrobes and they are just too limiting for me. I found that I like certain outfits that just don't go well together, and I didn't want to limit that side of things. That doesn't mean i'm against capsule wardrobes, I just didn't like them for my family personally. I have several friends who SWEAR by them - so if you have any interest in them - try it!

So how many outfits do each of your kids have currently? Do you think you could minimize?


 Ready to utilize that spring cleaning fever to jump-start decluttering your entire home?! Be sure to sign up for our FREE 3 day decluttering challenge that starts April 15, 2019! You can register here!

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