Spring Cleaning: Clothing Clean-Out

Kids grow. There are very few times where your kid is going to fit in the same item of clothing they wore frequently a year prior. That’s why every spring (and fall) we usually do a huge ‘Clothing Clean-Out’, where we dig through closets, dressers, hampers, baskets, and the far corners of the laundry room where we never dared trek before. Then go through our 8 step process to getting rid of everything we really don’t need to store any longer.

Is it stained, torn, fraying, or damaged in some way?
Kids wear clothes out. If the item in your hand is irreparably damaged (or you don’t plan on repairing it), it’s time to toss it. Check over every item for bad stains, holes, fraying (especially in the bottoms of pants), and loose seams.

Does it have it’s matching set?
Some items, like socks, shoes, mittens, and gloves require two items in order to be worn. Your kiddo can’t wear one glove to school. If you can’t find the matching pair to a certain item, it’s probably time to throw the lone one left, away.

Can they fit it?
If that pair of pants you’re holding look more like capris when your child puts them on, it’s probably time to get rid of them. If your child can grow into the item, hold onto it. But anything they’re too big for has no use being held onto any longer. They’re not going to get any smaller, are they?

Do they wear it?
You know that suit your son wore 3 months ago to your cousin’s wedding when he was the ring bearer? It’s adorable, isn’t it? But is he truly ever going to wear that suit again? If he hasn’t worn it in three months and you don’t foresee another occasion to put it on in the near future- it’s time to store it or donate it. This also goes for other dress clothes, specialty wear (like sports uniforms, recital outfits, and clothes that only get worn on vacation).

Do they like it?
We as parents have a wonderful habit of buying clothes –we- like for our children. But if our kids don’t like it, and hence don’t wear it, it’s only cluttering up space in their closet drawer. Whether the tag is too itchy, your kid doesn’t like the color, or the style just doesn’t fit their “I’m only wearing pink now” phase, it’s best to kick that clutter to the curb.

Can it be passed down to a younger child?
Before you totally get rid of any wearable item, consider your younger kiddos. Can the item you have be passed onto them? Clothing for very young kids (children newborn to 1 year) typically only gets worn a couple of times before your baby outgrows it. If the item is still in great shape, it may be worth holding on to.
Will that child wear it?
But before you decide to hang onto items your older kids have outgrown you need to do a quick reality check with yourself. Will the child you’re saving this item for, actually wear it? Your older child may be tall and thin, where as your younger kid is a bit rounder around the midsection. Are all of the items from your older kiddo going to appropriately fit your younger kid? If not, they probably won’t actually end up wearing their older siblings clothing.
Does that child like it?
If your kid is old enough to decide for themselves about clothing, get their opinion on an item before you pass it along to them. Do they like the item? Are they actually going to want to wear it? If they seem genuinely excited about the item, great- give it to them. If not, maybe it’s best not to have it still taking up space, just in a new and different area.