Monday, May 16, 2016

Creating Capsule Wardrobes for Kids

I'm always looking for ways to simplify my life.  One way to do this is to create a capsule wardrobes.  I've pretty much done this for myself and now I'm trying to do it for my kids!  This lets them get dressed more easily each morning and tends to make laundry time easier for me!

I aim for eight to ten everyday/play outfits for each kid.  In the summer it is easier to think in terms of outfits rather than bottoms/tops since everything has to be washed after each wear anyway (unlike in the winter when they can wear a pair of jeans a couple of times before washing.)  I also plan three or four nicer/church outfits for each child.  I do laundry twice a week so this is more than enough!

They day after laundry day I lay out eight outfits on my bed that I like.  Then I ask them if they have any changes they would like to make.  Usually they are fine with my outfits or a a couple minor changes.  Then these clothes get put away and all other clothes get stored away out of sight.  I also do this with their nicer clothes.

In addition to their summer outfits I keep one or two pairs of jeans/pants and two sweatshirts available for cooler days.  I try to keep it to three pairs of shoes for each kid...one everyday play shoe, one pair tennis shoe, one pair church shoes.  Each child also has a light weight coat.

Ruthie's summer outfits.

Hannah's summer outfits.

Hannah's summer dresses...she mostly wears dresses so some of these are everyday dresses.

Asher's summer outfits.
I rarely buy my kids new clothes...pretty much all of their clothes, shoes and coats have been gifts and hand-me-downs or from garage sales and thrift stores. I am always keeping an eye out for clothes in the next size up (or two) when at thrift stores and garage sales.  I also always keep in mind what each kids needs for the next season...sometimes I even carry a list with me!  Any "extra" clothes we have or are given for the current season/next season is stored in a bin under their beds.  This way they are easy to get to if needed but "out of sight, out of mind".  If I haven't found something that we need by the time we need it, I am usually able to search one out at one of two local thrift stores or I watch sales and just buy new.  As the kids gets older it becomes harder and harder to find some things used...jeans and shoes for us!  However, I still have only gone to buy new a few times!

 A couple tips:

* Stick to neutral bottoms...denim, khaki, brown, olive...then kids can mix-and-match outfits and they still look good!
* Accept ALL hand-me-downs but don't look at ANY of them until you can do it WITHOUT the kids around.  You choose what you want to keep/what you need and then get rid of the rest BEFORE the kids see it!
* Think ahead...at least one to two sizes.

Do you have any other tips for managing kids clothes?

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