I remember being a new mom, and a close friend was over visiting and we were in my son’s room. She looked in his closet and said, “where are all his clothes!?” I didn’t realize that I did things differently than most in regards to clothes until that comment.
Let me start off by saying that is in my nature to constantly be purging, organizing, and minimizing everything in my house. I have always been this way. My mom tells me I would regularly go through my room as a child and want to throw things away that I hadn’t used in awhile (I wish my oldest would do this, haha). Clutter causes me internal stress in a big way. I find it overwhelming to constantly be sorting through clothes, having an inordinate amount of laundry, etc. If I can simplify something, I will. Also, fashion is not super important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love for my boys to look cute and I think they always do! I’m just saying buying boutique or name brands is not a priority.
Furthermore, if buying your children clothes brings you joy, that’s wonderful! I know buying things for those you love is a true form of showing your affection for many people.
While pregnant with my first, I was blessed to receive a lot of clothes from family and friends plus I already knew I wanted to buy minimally for each season as he grew. I had heard so many friends tell me how they would have totes full of clothes with tags still on that their child outgrew before they could even wear them.
So I unintentionally started doing a “capsule” wardrobe for my kids before I ever even heard of that term. My boys are now 6 and 4 and here is what I have found that works well for us. Pictured below is most of my 6 year olds wardrobe for this Spring/Summer.
I typically buy:
5-7 “play” or everyday outfits (pants/shorts and shirts) that I can mix and match.
2 outfits that are nicer that can be worn to church or a dinner out.
3 sets of mix/match pajamas
1 pair of tennis shoes
1 pair church shoes
1 pair boots or sandals depending on the season
1 swimsuit, 1 heavy winter coat, and 1 spring/fall jacket.
And that’s it! I do the everyday or “play” outfits two times a year for Spring/Summer and again for Fall/Winter. I love to shop online and buy in the off season during their clearance sales. Which reminds me, now is the perfect time to buy all the winter clearance for next year! I buy for Spring/Summer for the following year at the first of August. Buying outfits that can easily be mixed and matched is key because you can make multiple outfits.
I often get asked if the clothes I buy hold up, and I would say for the most part yes! Of course we get holes in the knees or a stain I can’t get out so I may have to occasionally replace things or fill in the gaps throughout the year. I actually am able to save quite a few things from my first son for my younger son! Usually most of the shoes, jackets, and church clothes are in great shape and I save for my youngest and both my boys get use out of them which I find really special.
Another question you might wonder is how often I do laundry since they don’t have more than about a weeks worth of clothes. I do 1 load of laundry every single night. I got into this habit a few years ago because my husband does physical labor for work and his clothes have to be washed every night anyways.
The benefits of doing a minimalist wardrobe for kids are:
- Less laundry! To be honest, I still feel like I have a lot of laundry to keep up with but I can imagine it would be far worse the bigger wardrobes we had.
- Extra Closet space! They have so few clothes we actually hang on hangars, we use their closets mostly for storing toys, games, and puzzles.
- Extra drawer space in their dressers! I often have several drawers completely empty to put their clothes and shoes in that I have bought ahead for the next season.
- It’s fairly easy to transition clothes for the next season! It’s not too tedious of a process to sort through clothes as the weather changes.
This may or may not inspire you to pair down your children’s wardrobes but this is what works great for us! I have all boys, so I can’t speak to if this system would work well for girls or not. Living simply is beneficial for so many reasons and frees up time and mental space for more important things. My hope is that, from the start, our kids will understand that they don’t need lots of stuff to make them happy and that less truly is more.