Kids clothes spilling out of all their shelves, tired of sorting through kids clothes, spending a fortune on their clothes and still not being able to have the right thing for them to wear? Of course we all love to see our little and not so little munchkins dressed up cutely and stylishly. Hell, many of us moms spend more time, money and effort on our kids’ clothes than even ours. Here we have some tips on selecting and organizing kids’ clothes so that the little ones can be comfortable and at their best, look cute n stylish and without driving you or your budget crazy. Read on…
Simplify and de-clutter
This way you will be able to find the perfect clothes for them rather than getting lost in a sea of clothes. Remember the golden rule: if something has not been worn for a year, let go of it. Keep only the stuff they wear. Discard the stuff that they might not be comfortable in.
- Organize piles: For giving to the needy, for their memory box, for keeping for cousins or friends.
Focus on their needs and analyse their dressing pattern
School wear, everyday wear, weekend wear, party wear, ethnic wear - Think of what they like to wear, what they feel the best in and what kind of clothes do they wear and need the most. For example, no use having an excess of party clothes when they go for parties rarely. Many parents feel that it is best to focus on good everyday clothes. From time to time, see what they have and then make mental note of what they need and shop accordingly.
Organization is the key
Now that you have de-cluttered and have just the right clothes, keep them organized. Some tips:
- It is your choice whether you keep their clothes in a chest of drawers or cupboards, as long as there are shelves. Make different shelves based on the usage and how often you use them. For example, differentiate items like school uniforms, undergarments/socks, daily wear, party or infrequent wear etc. Keep the ones you need to dig into in the most accessible shelf.
- If you have more than one kid and they help themselves to their own clothes, you could separate them out by different cupboards or different shelves as well. When they are little, you could even keep their clothes together and separate them by usage - based on the occasion like everyday clothes, party clothes etc. This way you only have to dig into one set of shelves or cupboard.
- Keep just the clothes that they wear for the season in the shelves. Put the non seasonal clothes and clothes that are too big for them that you might have stocked up separately in a spare pile.
- Every now and then, take stock of their wardrobe. Take out the stuff they that have outgrown or that is not in the season or those they will not wear. And add stuff they might need from the spare pile.
- You can keep the small items like socks, handkerchiefs, undergarments, accessories etc. in small plastic or wicker bins inside the shelves. This way they will not get mixed-up.
Some tip-top thrift tips for the frugalista mommy
Do not be shy about hand-me-downs. It is great for the pocket, the environment and teaches your child about values of thrift and sharing early on. Many moms vouch for the “good vibes” that lovingly worn and shared hand-me-downs exude. So, share your hand-me-downs and be open about accepting and even asking for hand-me-downs from relatives and friends. This way, you can splurge more on that Benetton sale. ;-)
- Get more mileage out of the clothes. Be creative.
- Get quality long-lasting clothes for the older one and re-use for the younger one. Of course the young one will get new clothes but it helps. Even if you have different gender kids, you can reuse. For example, get a few gender neutral colour t-shirts, sweat pants and night suits for the older girl so that you can reuse for the younger boy and so on.
- You can reuse some clothes even when they get smaller. For example for girls: dresses and kurtas can be paired with leggings for the tunic/kurti and leggings look that is so in these days. When leggings and pants get small if they fit by the waist, then they can be used as ¾ leggings and capris respectively. For boys as well, sometimes pants that are too small can be used as capris.
Know where and how to shop
Ask your friends or the Parentree community on where to get quality clothes for kids at reasonable prices. Most cities have export surplus shops where you get great trendy bargains. Find out about the end of season sales and discounts of the leading brands and keep a tab on these. For example brands like Benetton and Lilliput have end-of-season sales twice a year. You can shop for winter clothes for the next season in January end and so on. Be careful about the sizes and get a size ahead.
Make sure that kids wear well fitting clothes. There is no point making them wear a hi-fi brand number when it is too loose for them.
- It is important that they are comfortable. There is no point make them wear something cute when they get cranky wearing it. Empower your child with their clothes and let their personality come through.
- Make them select their clothes as well. This way they will be happy wearing what they select, this will add to their confidence and self-esteem and they will also develop their fashion sense. Let the tomboy wear jeans and T-shirt and let the princess explore and indulge within the reasonable limits. The more we dictate, the more they rebel. It is always a fine balance.
Things to keep in mind while buying clothes
- Make sure you read the care instructions and match with your lifestyle as well. Try and get clothes that can be washed easy and will not run colour or need to be dry cleaned. The fact that you can just toss and wash the jumble of clothes together without thinking too much will make your life much easier.
- Try and stick to natural materials mostly. These fabrics can breathe easily and better for their skins and keeps them more comfortable.
- Instead of just picking up something randomly because it is cute, think of the occasion when your child will wear and visualize your child wearing and buy accordingly.
- Quality vs. quantity is better. It is better to spend a little more money on something just right that you feel your child will do justice to rather than many random items.
Have fun and explore that funky side in dressing them up as well
- It is not all that about being practical and the BIG perfect organized mommy all the time as well. As long as you have thought a little and done the sensible ground-work, indulge from time to time and have fun shopping and dressing them up.