Today I’ve got one of our awesome sponsors of the 29 Day Organizing Challenge here with us to help with a question that is very popular…how to organizing children’s clothing yet to be grown into or for the change of seasons. Jennifer from Listplanit.com offers some great tips and includes TWO free printables as well!! Thanks so much Jennifer and welcome!
A change in season means a rotation of the wardrobe, and unless your child has plenty of room in his or her dresser or closet, you will likely be storing the finished season’s garments and bringing out the new season’s clothing. The trick is to do it in such a way that you don’t lose track of items for which you’ve paid good money. Whether you misplace items or simply purchase too many of the same kind of item, it is a sad waste of precious family resources. By spending an hour or two organizing and inventorying your child(ren)’s clothing, you will discover both what you have and what you still need for the upcoming season.
Here are some steps and suggestions to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Make a plan and gather supplies. All it takes is an adequate amount of storage in drawers or in a closet, a large tote (or two), and a convenient yet hidden place to store it (possibly in his/her closet, in the attic/basement, at the bottom of the linen closet). We also keep a long, shallow tote under the bed for pre-season rotation (e.g. short sleeve shirts for when it starts to warm up). Have some paper and pencil ready for taking notes about your findings. Keeping track is a lot easier when you write it down.
2. Separate each child’s clothing. Keeping them separate will make the inventory process much easier.
3. Sort all of one child’s clothing into piles (shirts, shorts, etc), by seasons (spring/summer, fall/winter), and by size.
4. Make a list. List different items of clothing in the left-hand column (long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, skirts, socks, etc). I make columns for 2 or 3 sizes because I buy ahead (see example). I also make a column that says “Need” so I know what I still need. (Members to ListPlanIt.com will find several types of Clothing Inventories in the Home Management section.)
5. Count the items in each pile and record on your inventory. I once found that I had 16 pairs of shorts in a size 4 for my boy because I had bought them on sale but had not inventoried them. You may realize that you only have 1 t-shirt that will fit your daughter for the upcoming season. If a child is low in a particular item of clothing, decide how many he/she needs to get by and write it in the “Need” column.
6. Replace all of the clothing in neat, folded piles either in the drawers, in a transition place (like an under the bed box), or back into the tub. Label the tub with gender and size.
7. Create a shopping list based on each child’s “needs” for the season. Keep it in your wallet or in a notebook that you store in your purse. That way when you visit a store, you can pull out your list and look for the best prices and the right articles.
ListPlanIt has everything you need to inventory your child’s (and your own) clothing. Enjoy our Clothing Storage Labels and Clothing Inventory today for free. Simply click here to access your own printable page. For the labels, print on adhesive backed paper or just simply tape a square on the tote. Then either remove or place a new one over the top as the child grows.
Jennifer Tankersley is the founder of ListPlanIt.com, which has hundreds of lists and planning pages including to dos, schedules, inventories, worksheets, and calendars, all geared toward helping you live a more organized life.