A Minimalist Wardrobe for Kids 

For sling shot week I thought I’d share one of the ways we have simplified in our family. Over the last year I have taken steps to cull our stock of kid clothes. Even with a utilitarian storage system in place, things were getting out of control to the point where swapping seasonal clothes, and inevitably which boxes held each size, took several hours one afternoon. There had to be a way to streamline this semiannual process.
Thankfully, minimizing our children’s wardrobe is proving successful.

The generous hand-me-downs of several friends have blessed our children with no lack of clothing. And when our oldest son grows out of the largest size in storage, we go and buy used clothing for him.

Growing up with a mentality of scarcity, I was hesitant to get rid of certain clothes on the off chance our next son would wear them. This year, however, I was convicted. After seeing the abundance of what God has provided during our marriage, and an extra push from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my outlook shifted drastically. It was suddenly blatantly clear that it was better to give the rarely worn pieces away so they could actually be put to use by those who really needed them.

With an assurance that I can only describe as divinely imparted peace – we will have enough, there will be more available if a need arises – I ruthlessly began to weed through all the kids’ drawers, then the storage bins, and fill trash bags for donation. This is how our sons’ minimalist wardrobe was created.


What our kids’ minimalist wardrobe looks like: 
Currently eight plastic bins house all seasons of clothing, and shoes not in use, size newborn to boys 8. I’m not including cloth diapers here.

Clothes are separated into two age groups:

  • Kid – 24M/2T and up
  • Baby – newborn to size 24M/2t

Each group has basic uniforms for each season:

  • Play outfits, 6 max
  • Church outfits, around 2

Down here in Texas we only have two seasons – hotter than hades and a gusty breeze – so, if you don’t reside in the south your uniforms will need some modifying.

Baby Clothes

  • cotton rompers, suitable for play and church. These are my favorite pieces for Texas summers. (photo below)
  • footed sleepers, cotton and fleece
  • short sleeve collared shirts
  • long sleeve collared shirts
  • long sleeve button down shirts
  • denim shorts
  • jeans
  • khaki or black pants
  • fleece jacket
  • heavier jacket 

 IMG_0225

Kid Clothes

  • short sleeve collared shirts
  • long sleeve collared shirts
  • long sleeve button down shirts
  • denim shorts
  • jeans
  • khaki or black pants
  • pajamas, 2 sets per season
  • fleece jacket
  • heavier jacket 

          
Shoes
Each child has 2 pairs of shoes per season.

  • sandals and church shoes in summer
  • tennis shoes and church shoes in winter

To prevent losses and scrambling to find missing mates, all the kid shoes live in a plastic bin together. Currently this bin stays hidden in the bottom of their school hutch in the dining room, adjacent to the front door. If I had an out in the open rack, shoes would be pulled out and strewn all over the house.

Another shoe storage idea I’ve read is keeping kid shoes in the car. Not being a fan of dirty feet/socks, or carrying all the barefoot to our van, it did not seem practical as a large-family solution. With a little practice, a two year old can put on socks and shoes that velcro, leaving little incentive for us to wait to put them on until in a car seat. I think this method could, however, work better for small families with fewer children. If you utilize this system please let me know how it works for your family.

What do you do with your kid shoes?

 IMG_0226

Miscellaneous

  • socks – various sizes in a group drawer, used as mittens too
  • “dundies” (underwear) – various sizes in a group drawer, these are one of the few things we buy new
  • winter hats – each son has one of these
  • swimsuits – one per size
  • ties – a few from past suits
  • denim overalls – various sizes
  • “wellies” (rain boots) – various sizes
  • Easter clothes – For sanity’s sake, we get the 4 piece suit sets Walmart has for $15 once a year.

As mentioned in my last post, less laundry is one of the most impactful benefits I have enjoyed for this switch to substantially less kids’ clothes. Other positives include: less room needed for storage, no more kids digging through drawers to find what they actually want to wear, and being able to see what clothes are missing and needed more easily.

Have you tried a minimalist wardrobe with your children? What would your suggestions be for a baby girl’s minimalist wardrobe? Please leave me a comment with your ideas! 

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