Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Key Tip for Organizing Kid's Clothing: The Rule of 5

I have become a convert to the less is more philosophy-in the area of clothes. Not my clothes, exactly. My kids' clothes.

I don't know about your kids, but I have a couple kids who gravitate towards a favorite outfit that they wear one day, wash it, and then wear it again the next day. Over and over and over again. Ad nauseum.

It really doesn't matter if those children have 2 outfits or 200, they still wear the same 2 outfits over and over again.

So why fight destiny?

I have made a loose rule of 5 for my kids' clothes. 5 complete outfits for the current season in the current size. 

While this might sound extreme, think of how many areas in the world that people live with less. Much less. We are rather extravagant. And, my kids at least, don't seem to appreciate the variety. Like I said, they wear the same thing over and over again.

Why five?
-I do laundry on M-W-F. Generally 3 outfits is enough, but 5 gives allowance for accidents and long weekends and such.

-For almost any trip we go on, 5 outfits spans enough days so that we can travel and arrive, and still have clean clothes for a couple days before I have to do laundry.

-By limiting to 5 outfits, we are able to keep dirty laundry piles and clean/to-be-folded piles manageable. I will never have more that 3-5 loads of laundry to do, because there isn't more than that around.

-Allows me to assess what clothes my kids need before I go shopping.

-If a certain young toddler likes to empty drawers, 5 of everything is a whole lot less to put back into drawers.

What does a loose 5 look like?
-at least 5 pairs of underwear and socks
-5 jeans, pants, or shorts for every day wearing
-5 short sleeved and long sleeved shirts
-1-2 pairs of dress pants
-1-2 each long and short sleeved dress shirts
-no more than 5 sweatshirts, fleeces and sweaters
-running pants and athletic clothing, pajamas
-employ the one in-one out rule.
-the loose comes in that if they happen to have more than five of one thing, but they wear all of them, I leave it-so long as the drawer shuts.
-5 skirts for girls
-5 jumpers or dresses (church worthy) for the season

How do I make this work?
-All the outfits must fit into the limited drawer and closet space.
-Seasonally get rid of stained and hole-riddled clothing.
-Store hand me downs for my younger kids, but only store what I liked and what the older ones wore.
-Share your abundance.

What about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by overflowing closets and drawers? What system do you use to keep kids' clothes organized and streamlined? For some great questions to ask yourself when organizing clothes, check out my friend Becky's awesome post. She is an organizing maven that puts me to shame.