My post from yesterday focused on this week being National Clutter Awareness Week and Clean Your Closet Week. You can read it here if you would like to catch up. I’ve also been focusing on my own Operation Spring Cleaning and Decluttering, so this week I am putting a focus on getting closets in order.
Today’s focus is on the kids’ closets. Now, this might elicit fear into some parents because decluttering a child’s closet seems like a never ending task.
Since I love statistics and studies…according to the USDA Expenditures on Children by Families Report (2015 was the latest I found. It was published in 2017), it will cost $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015. Of that amount roughly 6% will be spent on clothing. That math works out to a lot of clothes that need to be regularly gone through.
The challenge for today is to do a little decluttering of your kids’ closet(s). Here are a few quick tips to get you started.
Have the Child(ren) Help
If the child is old enough, or has opinions on their clothing, then it’s a great idea to get them involved. You can even have them get started for you. Try to make it a game. “When I say start, go into your closet and take out anything you don’t like.” Chances are you may need to check their pile for items that need to stay…that button down shirt that they will need come Easter comes to mind!
Another great reason to have kids help is so you can begin to instill good habits around caring for clothing and managing clutter.
Take Out Stuff that Doesn’t Fit
Now that you have a pile of things they don’t like chances are they left a few things in the closet that don’t fit. It’s now up to you to pry those items away. If you don’t feel like fighting it…let then hang on to them a little longer. Short pants never hurt anyone – at least I don’t think they have.
Trash/Recycle Items That Are Past Their Prime
Hopefully you will be able to donate or hand-down some of the items that are still in good shape. Please keep in mind that most donation centers don’t accept items that are not in good enough condition to resell. If you have items that don’t meet salable criteria then they may need to be trashed or recycled. Give a quick online search for places to recycle clothing near you.
The Finish Line
Once you have gotten rid of all the obvious things that needed to be decluttered, you can decide if you want to finish with a full Spring Cleaning. Take out the rest of the clothing, give the closet a good vacuum or sweep, wipe down the shelves, straighten any toys or other items kept in the closet, and put everything back in. This is another great place to have them help you. When it comes to kids closets you should consider simplicity if you have any hope of the child putting their own clothing away. If you have a complicated system you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle moving forward. So really, keep it simple, you won’t regret it.
If you find that you don’t have the time or energy to do a full declutter and clean of the closet then you can choose just one of the categories above to purge. Occasionally I will have my son take out anything he doesn’t like and make a pile. Then all I need to do is go through the pile and sort for donate, hand-down, or sell online.
Another helpful tip is to use yearly milestones to keep the closet as decluttered as possible. We go through my son’s closet before school starts, before Christmas, and during Spring Break. These usually coincide with when he gets new clothes, so it has begun to teach him that in order to get new you need to get rid of old.
My theme for this week is to give you a new closet decluttering challenge each day. Don’t let that overwhelm you, do what you can with the time and energy you have. If you would like some support and encouragement, I created the Organized Priorities Collective. This is a private Facebook group where you can get accountability, share your progress, and even ask questions. If this sounds like something you need, I would love to see you there. And, don’t forget to follow along on this blog, or social media for lots of tips to help you along the way.