First of all, my daughter has way waayyy more clothing than I’d like her to have as a toddler. It’s been really hard to be a minimalist when my daughter is the first grandchild to two generous and doting grandmothers. One of her grandmas works at a major retail store and always has her eye out for sales. When they hit, she buys them “el cheapo” as she likes to say, by the trunkful.
This has meant that in the two and a half years of my child’s life, I’ve bought her clothes maybe twice. This has been awesome as I have never really been drawn in to the experience of being in kids clothing stores. But ,having grandmas who love to shop also means I have to manage stockpiles of clothing.
My eventual goal is to have all my daughter’s belongings- clothing, outerwear, books, toys and miscellaneous, fit into two of those big plastic bins. Currently I’d say we’re at four .
On the way to the goal, here’s what I learning about organizing for easy selection and for sanity:
- Pack away seasonal items. This allows for more space for items that I am currently using and for more “breathing space” to move things around and that doesn’t even have to be filled.
- Pack away clothing that is too big. My daughter has clothes that are up to size 5 ( as in for five-year-olds). She’s two. I’ve put both seasonal and oversize clothes into one bin. Pack it away into one bin and get rid of what wont’ fit ( or get rid of most of it in the first place).
- Let Good Things Go. This is an important one. Just because someone gives you something and just because it’s in good condition, you don’t need to keep it. If you like it and want it, sure. If you really don’t need these things now and you have to find more places to store them, I say let it go. I am blessed to have these things given to me and I know they will come back around when I need them. I gave away some clothes that were multiples, others that wouldn’t fit Baby Girl for years and more others that were sort of too small and had already been well-loved and/or worn. Some things I just gave away because I didn’t think they were as cute as others hehe ( don’t be mad grandmas!). Someone else will think they are perfect.
- Arrange clothes by size. This allows me to so to get the most wear out of smaller items and long-time use of larger ones too.
- Wear “special clothes” more often. My mom is always saying ” Put that dress on her, it will get small”. Clothes got small before she could wear them because a) she had too many so she couldn’t get to them all without multiple outfit changes a day which I didn’t do if I didn’t have to; and b) I had separated fancy stuff from everyday stuff everyday clothes. Though mama and I aren’t on the same page regarding multiple changes a day just for fun, I do agree that it’s a fine practice to not to wait for a special occasion to dress up. This journey isn’t just about getting rid of stuff, its about making space to appreciate what we have.
This whole process didn’t take long once I decided how to approach it. Maybe two or three hours in total when we first moved into our new place. It has meant that I spend less than four minutes picking out clothes and putting them away. My daughter’s wardrobe selection process is even simpler than mine: layer favorite floral dresses. Top with sparkly black skirt/tube top. Add layers of mismatched socks. Slay around the house until naptime.