My Daughter Has Too Much Clothing! | From Overwhelmed to Organized: My Daughter Has Too Much Clothing!

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Daughter Has Too Much Clothing!

My daughter is 5 years old and has 2 dressers...yes, count 'em...1, 2!  Plus a closet that has her dressy clothes hanging up.  Seems like a lot for a child! 

She only started out with one dresser (the taller one) and I stored all the off season clothes and items that were too big for her in bins in the basement.  But when my husband and I bought new bedroom furniture for our master bedroom a few years ago, we decided to move our old dresser into her room.  It was part of a bedroom set that I had when I was growing up and I wanted my daughter to be able to use it too (she also has the bed and night table).  We talked about selling the other dresser but then decided her room was large enough to have both dressers and we liked the idea of getting the bins out of the basement and storing those clothes in the extra dresser.  So, she has 2 dressers. 

The long dresser is her main dresser with socks, underwear, pajamas, shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, pants and her gymnastics outfits.

What a mess!

The other dresser has a mix of clothes that are too big for her and her off-season clothing (it currently has shorts and t-shirts - yes I know it's June - I need to switch her summer and winter clothes still!).

That second drawer is pretty messy since we've been digging around in there for shorts and t-shirts on warm days.

She does not have any clothes in her closet other than dresses and skirts (oh and bathing suits too).  I know some people keep all their long-sleeved shirts, t-shirts, sweaters and pants on either hangers or shelves in their closets, but her closet is pretty small so it's not practical to have all those items in there.  I also find it easier for her to access her clothing when it's in drawers. 

We are extremely lucky to have 2 people who supply us with lots of hand-me-down clothes (thank you!!), as well as family members who likes to bargain shop, so my daughter gets a lot of clothing from them for gifts (thank you too!!).  We actually hardly ever buy clothing for my daughter because she has so much given to her!  But, with all this clothing, some of the drawers are very full and her main dresser gets messy. 

Keeping her clothing organized is an ongoing challenge and it is overwhelming every time I put away clean clothes or set out clothes for the next day.  When I read on Monday about I Heart Organizing's "Conquer Your Clothing Clutter" week, I knew my daughter's room was the first place I had to start.  It was good timing too since I still needed to switch around her seasonal clothing anyway :)

The first step was to purge as much as possible.  My daughter loves to pass down her clothes to her cousin when they become too small and we have a few friends who have younger girls too.  I also sell some clothing items at Once Upon A Child or donate them to Goodwill or give them away on Freecycle.  There are usually 1 or 2 favourites that are hard to part with so I keep those in a bin in the basement with a few of her baby clothes but I'm trying to hang on to less (we have lots of pictures of her wearing her favourites anway!).

We have a give-away box in her closet to put outgrown items in whenever we come across them, which helps us purge on a more consistent basis.  Here's the box (not at all pretty but it's functional - when I organize her closet I'm going to put a pretty basket here instead!). 

This is what was passed down from the box this time:

And here's what I purged when I went through her dresser drawers:

I was more ruthless than usual this time.  Here are a few things I considered as I purged my daughter's clothes:

1.  If she didn't wear it much this year, I purged it, even if I thought it would still fit her next year.  Less clothing in the drawers means she can see what she has and hopefully wear more of a variety. 

2.  If she didn't love it, I purged it.  No sense having clothes taking up space if she isn't going to wear them. 

3.  If it won't likely fit her next season, I purged it.  I usually do a big "size purge" about 2-3 times per year.  There's no sense storing clothes that won't fit next season!

4.  If she had exessive amounts of a particular clothing item, I purged some of them.  Less clothing should mean better organization and less chaos. 

It feels great to purge!  And I especially love to pass down clothes since we've been given so many hand-me-downs ourselves.  Knowing someone else will be able to enjoy these items makes the purging process easier. 

After all the purging, I switched around the summer and winter clothes and tidied her drawers.   Here's what her main dresser looks like now:

Much better!  Less overwhelming than before :)

The bottom left drawer still has some warm clothes because we camp a lot in the summer and sometimes it can get pretty cool at night so I always keep some warm clothes and sleepers in her main dresser to keep them easily accessible and make packing easier. 

While I went through this process, I had my daughter try on a lot of the clothes rather than just going by size.  Now I know that what's in her main dresser drawers either fits her now or she will grow into it very soon.  Anything that she's not going to grow into in the current season (barring a huge growth spurt!) stays in the extra dresser.  I also kept some of the winter items that should still fit her next year in the extra dresser.   Here's what the extra dresser looks like now:

These drawers are still a little full, but winter clothes take up a lot more space than summer ones.  I may have to rethink this system when she gets older because her clothes keep taking up more space as she grows!  Since we only go into these drawers a few times a year, it shouldn't be as hard to keep them organized.  And it's so nice having clothes for her to grow into!

I put labels on the piles in these drawers so I can easily find the next size up when she has a growth spurt.  It also makes it simple to organize new items when she receives more hand-me-downs or clothing items as gifts.  You may have seen sticky notes and scraps of paper in the "before" pictures of these drawers but I like these cards much better :)

She still has a lot of clothes for a 5 year old but she is a messy girl so she goes through them quickly.  She is a sloppy eater, messy artist, and a total playground kid.  We should buy stock in Resolve for how much we use it on her clothes!

And she still has 2 dressers in her room.  But we don't have any bins of clothing in the basement for her.  Which is good because our basement is cluttered enough! (see the About Me tab for more on our cluttered basement)

Another look at her main dresser before:

And after:

Wow, it feels great to get all her clothes organized!   Her clothing went from overwhelming to organized in a matter of a few hours.  I still need to purge and organize her closet, toys, and books, and do an overall cleaning and organizing of her room (that's why there are no full-room pictures in this post!), but this is a BIG task completed. 

When I gave her a "tour" of her drawers she was really excited about how clean and neat they were.   Hopefully that will motivate her to keep it that way :)

Thanks I Heart Organizing for the tips and motivation to get this done during "Conquer Your Clothing Clutter" week!

How about you?  Do you have clothing clutter that needs to be purged and organized?  How do you store "grow into" clothes?  Do you give or receive hand-me-down clothes? 

Happy organizing!

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