Raise your hand if you enjoy inventorying and purging your kids’ wardrobe? Yeah… I don’t either! But if you implement these tips I have for you, I promise, it will make it much easier and less stressful to get it done!
CREATE A WARDROBE INVENTORY CHECKLIST
Make sure you have a predetermined wardrobe inventory list for each child before getting started.
You can download one of our FREE printables (linked below) if you don’t have one and/or need some ideas.
But you can just create one in the notes section on your phone, or on a Google spreadsheet, or just a plain notebook works too.
WHAT SHOULD THE CHECKLIST CONTAIN?
This is totally up to you, and your child’s wardrobe needs, and/or the weather where you live, etc.
If you’d like I have this blank Checklist, you can download for FREE and fill in yourself. But I have also added pre-filled ones that I use. (you can find these linked below)
But keep in mind, each child and family is different.
Some items on my list may not apply to your child or your family’s needs. Make sure your checklist contains wardrobe items that your child needs/wears. Don’t worry about matching someone else’s child’s wardrobe.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just make your checklist realistic to your child.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU INVENTORY/PURGE KIDS CLOTHES?
I know most people typically inventory and purge their kids’ closets maybe every season and then once before school starts.
But I have noticed that by the time those seasons come around, my kids have outgrown a lot of their clothes.
Then I rush to buy them new clothes, shoes, etc and end up buying items that I would otherwise not buy.
I rather inventory and purge their clothes more often and be up to date with their wardrobe needs so I can plan and also stick to my budget.
With that said, I take on this task on a bi-monthly basis. Sometimes sooner. It just depends on how fast my kids are growing. Some months it seems like they grow overnight! But to be on the safe side, I would say that by-monthly is the most I would wait.
This way it’s not a huge, daunting task. If you do it often, it won’t take you half the day to get it done. For example, I take about 10 minutes just to update my lists and purge a few items, instead of it taking me a few hours.
Also, keep in mind, you’re not buying clothes every time you inventory.
The point is to have an updated list so that if your child needs something, you already know ahead of time. And you can calmly shop for this item and also make sure it’s within your budget.
HOW TO PREPARE
Wash all your child’s clothing before you get started on an inventory/purge. This way you make sure you go through all their wardrobe and nothing gets left behind.
I usually wash all their clothes a day before so I can make sure most of it is clean. This is also helpful because if you are purging something, at least it’s clean and you don’t have to worry about having to wash it to either sell it, donate it, etc.
And although you inventory/purge often, you want to set a system up for “in-between.”
I set up a large labeled basket or container inside my kids’ closets. This way, when they wear something and it either does not fit anymore, or it’s torn, or they no longer like it, they can throw it in there and I can give it one last look when I do my larger inventory/purge.
This system also cuts down on the time my bi-monthly inventory/purge will take me to complete.
In case you have not noticed, I am always looking to maximize my time over here! Haha!
I prefer to first pull all the clothes, shoes, etc. out of my kids’ drawers and closets and put them all into one pile. Once I have gone through all their drawers and closet, I set four boxes up. I label the boxes – to sell, to donate, toss, and keep. Then I go through each item one by one and start sorting them into each box.
And I recommend you sort and decide what you’re doing with the items on the same day.
Otherwise, you forget about them, and they just end up in a box in the garage. Or worst, back in the closet!
I donate or give away most of the clothing my kids grow out of. Because I try not to spend too much on their clothes, so most items are not worth my time to sell.
However, there are some items I try to sell first. Usually, items such as clothes that are in great condition and are of good quality.
I also try to sell items in bulk. For example, if my son outgrew of all his t-shirts and I have a few of the same size, ill post them to sell as a “package.”
Because some items aren’t worth over two bucks and posting individually takes too much time and I don’t think it’s worth it. But if you bulk them together, you save time and still get to sell them.
Also, jackets, sweaters, and dresses, skirts, stuff like that sell very well. Because these items are typically expensive when purchased brand new, so people are always looking for these types of items.
So I would suggest seeing for yourself what is worth selling and if it’s worth your time, etc.
Also, some items sell well in different areas and not so well in others. It just depends on what the people in your area are looking for. At least that has been my experience.
DECIDING WHERE TO SELL
I have only sold items on Facebook Marketplace. And most things have sold quickly for me here. I like it because you can just do porch pick up and not have to meet with anyone in person.
But I know there are other apps like Poshmak, Mercari, OfferUp, etc. I have not sold items on these apps yet, but have heard good things about them. I have purchased items from OfferUp, though. It all went well.
But just do your research before trying any of these apps out.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU HOLD UNSOLD ITEMS?
LET IT GO…
Honestly, I am the worst person to ask this to. I wait way too long to pull from selling and just donate it or give it away.
So, this is up to you. Ideally, I would say one month, and if it does not sell, let it go. But I have been guilty of waiting for way too long before I finally just give it away.
So in this case, do as I say, not as I do. Don’t hold items forever, they just take physical and mental space in your life. I am working hard on following my advice on this one!
Like I mentioned above, I donate or give away most of my kids outgrown items.
I typically give the best items to people I know that have younger children than mine. But if I have sizes that don’t fit anyone I know or items that are still good but not great, I donate to places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or most recently a women’s shelter.
I would suggest doing your own research on where to donate. I usually just take it wherever it is most convenient at the moment. But have recently done more research and have been donating more to women’s shelters. But they only accept certain items, so the rest I am still just taking to goodwill, mostly.
Okay, so some things are just not worth giving to anyone, or donating. There are some items that are just ready for the trash. And I don’t like taking items like these to donate because I know they are trash. Items with holes or stains, stuff like that. Just throw it away! Trust me, I hate throwing things away, but some things are just trash and there is no way around it.
All right, so there are some items I keep. Not so much now, but more so when my kids were smaller.
I don’t know about you, but there are some outfits that just seeing them take me back to the moment they wore it. And I cannot let it go. Nor do I want to. These items are few, so I don’t mind keeping them as a memento. I keep a baby box for each of my kids’ and I keep these items in there too.
Also, winter and summer clothing, jackets, etc. I store these on the offseason in a labeled container in my garage.
Whenever the season comes back, I check if anything still fits, and if it does not, then I either donate or try to sell. However, I live in Southern California so the weather is mostly sunny so our seasonal clothing is not a lot. I can usually fit both my kids’ stuff in one container.
However, for you, it may be a few containers per child, but the idea is the same. Have designated containers that you rotate through the season. This keeps their closets tidy!
When I do my bi-monthly inventory/purging of my kids’ wardrobes is the only time I fold and put my kids’ clothes away. I see it as a reset of their closet and drawers. Any other time, my kids put away their own laundry.
In our family, we either hang clothes or use the roll or file folding method to store clothes in drawers. Mostly we file fold, but there are some clothing pieces that just don’t fold well, so we roll those. This keeps our drawers nice and tidy but also allows for more items per drawer. And because we do not have a lot of storage room in our house, this is very helpful.
However, I know that this folding method is not attainable for all families.
It is a very time-consuming method of folding. But since we don’t have tons of clothing, it works fine for us. I suggest going with a method that works for you and your family, don’t stress too much about what everyone else is doing.
If it doesn’t work for you, then find something that works. It is just not worth stressing out over.
Kid’s clothes are so expensive. And you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on one shopping trip.
Therefore, I think it is so important to have a predetermined budget so you keep yourself accountable when shopping for your kids.
HAVE A BUDGETING METHOD IN PLACE
The dollar amount to budget for kids’ wardrobes is different for everyone, so I won’t talk about that. Instead, I will explain how we set our budget. But keep in mind, this is just what WE do, and what has worked for OUR family.
In our family, we have one bank account specifically for things like clothing, shoes, etc. One account for all four of us.
We use this same account for back to school clothes, holiday clothes, literally for ALL our clothing and shoe needs.
When I first set this account up, I went back to the previous year of our bank statements to get an idea of what we were spending annually on things like clothing. Well, let’s just say it terrified me! It was WAY too much! So we cut back! A lot.
Now we do two bi-weekly deposits to this one account for a set dollar amount. We determine this set dollar amount based on the goal date we would like to reach a certain dollar amount. Also, when we sell items such as clothing, we put that money back into this account. I also subtract whatever amount I am depositing from items we sold that month, from the bi-weekly deposit.
And when the year ends, any money left over, we just let it roll over to the next year. And, in case you were wondering, no, it is usually not much! Haha.
HOW I KEEP TRACK OF EACH PERSONS INDIVIDUAL BUDGET WITH ONE BANK ACCOUNT
So I am sure you’re wondering, wait… one bank account for all four of you? How do you keep track of what you spend for each person? Great questions!
I keep a spreadsheet on Google sheets. It is perfect because I can also pull it up on my phone whenever I need it. In this spreadsheet, I have one tab designated for this account. I have all our names on it, with each person’s predetermined dollar amount. And as I purchase items for each person, I update the spreadsheet to reflect those purchases. This way I can easily see each person’s current balance so I do not overspend. It’s very easy and has really helped us save so much money.
NOTE: If there is enough interest, ill work on a blog post to share more about my spreadsheet.
Click HERE to Download
Click HERE to Download
Click HERE to Download
And there you have it!
Wow, that was a long one. If you read all of it, thank you so much! I really hope it helped you. If you would like a little more of a visual explanation, head on over to my Instagram, I have a story highlight about it over there.
And here are other organizational blog post you may also enjoy reading!
- Refrigerator Organization and Cleaning Tips + Tricks.
- How to Organize a Small Closet.
- Best way to Declutter Trophies and Medals.
- How to Organize Kids Studio, School, and Sports Photos.
- How to Organize Pesky Cords.
- Kids’ School Paper Organization – Step-by-Step Guide.