More than once, I’ve walked into clients who were nearly in tears or having a meltdown over their kid’s rooms and stuff everywhere. This can be utterly frustrating, especially with most of us at home, almost all the time right now, living, working, eating, schooling together! Kids and their stuff, their messy rooms, and their over-bulging closets and drawers filled with way more clothes than needed can create the perfect storm for overwhelm and overreacting. Sadly what can often happen is parents beat themselves up, thinking “this is my fault, I let them have all these things and I don’t have the time and energy to manage it all!” No, No, No, it’s not all your fault!
I’m thrilled to work with parents who want to model and teach their kids how to manage the stuff overload. This is not just a problem for parents and kids, it’s something we all are dealing with to some degree or another.
Today, we will tackle one category of stuff that tends to make a lot of work for all of us, our clothes! There are strategies for parents and kids to help make it easier to choose what to wear. A kids capsule wardrobe can help reduce decision fatigue, save money, and the time it takes to get ready in the morning.
How to create a fun & easy kids capsule wardrobe
Here’s a step by step plan which works best when you can involve your kids, even the little one’s can have a strong opinion about the process!
Start with clean laundry that’s been sorted, and purged in each kid’s room which will give you a wardrobe to “Shop” from. The process isn’t that different than any other organizing one, where donations, trash, and items to keep are sorted into categories. The main thing to do differently is to create a simple and easy kids wardrobe for them to look through and purge further. Count how many items in each category of clothing they have and established some guidelines for what seems reasonable for them to pick their favorites from.
Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe in 5 easy steps:
1. Clean all the clothes and gather in one place.
2. Sort and eliminate any that are not in good shape, don’t fit, or are impractical.
3. Look at the overall colors, styles your kids gravitate towards, and start gathering them into categories eliminating duplicates and oddballs that don’t fit with the scheme.
4. Put clothes away, hanging, and folding. You might want to try the Kon-Marie method of folding (Tee-shirt video here) or use a folding board. Arranged by category (shirts, pants, shorts, etc) and color to make it easier to mix and match outfits.
To make this work you may need to fill in some pieces if you find wardrobe gaps. Now you have the makings for a funky, fun, and easy mix and match wardrobe system! This could be a great way to simplify your kid’s wardrobe and from there, the closet’s and clothes storage might be a little easier!
Here is a general idea of what categories you might find helpful and how many of each item seems appropriate, some of these might differ for your kids:
- Pants, shorts, and jeans-5-10 per season
- Skirts and dresses-5-10
- Shirts (not tee-shirts)-10-15
- Tee Shirts-10-15
- Sweatshirts and Long sleeve tees-5-10
- Sports gear (yoga pants/tanks/athletic shorts)-5-10
- Bathing suits-5-10
If your kids go to a private school or wear uniforms, that will be a separate category but manage the number of each style needed. They may also be very involved in sports and have a lot of gear, so count that as another category and keep the number of items per sport manageable.
These guidelines should help you create a basic and easy kids capsule wardrobe. These categories and quantities are a starting point for you and your kids if you think it’s still too much then whittle it down further. Less is more when it comes to maintaining an easy kids wardrobe, especially when kids grow quickly and tend to need things replaced more frequently than adults. Have fun and maybe this will inspire you to create a capsule wardrobe of your own!