“Mom, do you know where my …. ?” “Mom, I can’t find my …” “Mom, I have nothing to wear!!!!” Sound familiar? If you have kids old enough to dress themselves, these words likely cause you to grit your teeth and roll your eyes. Nothing can ruin a day faster than a wardrobe malfunction, a lost boot or a child who has “no clothes!” My preteens have closets and drawers busting at the seams, and yet, finding something to put on is a constant challenge. I know what needs to be done and on January 1st, I am doing it! Here are some tips for sensible kids’ closet cleanouts.
– Most kids have their own style. They want to wear the same style over and over. Take out their most often worn clothes and set a special drawer or part of the closet aside for them. This is their “Go-To” area. On those mornings there is barely time for breakfast, they can grab and go.
– If your child can’t reach the hangers, get a second, lower rod. It will give you more room and will make them more independent.
– Put dressy, fancy clothes in the way back of the closet, under bed storage or another closet completely.
– Utilize high shelves by separating items worn less frequently.
– Look at their shoes. If they wear only two or three pairs, put the rest in accessible storage.
– If you have kids sharing a closet, put big dividers between clothes to avoid not only lost items, but to curb sibling fighting. You and your kids can make these by decorating a think piece of cardboard and duct taping it to a hanger.
– Install hooks in closets or on bedroom walls for favorite sweatshirts, sweaters and accessories to make them easy to find and for a quick cleanup.
– Get rid of the clothes you wish they would wear, but deep down you know they never will. Fight the battles worth fighting. The less they have, the easier it will be for them to dress.
– For kids who have a really hard time matching, arrange clothes by color. When you shop for them, focus on solids.
– Allow for messy drawers. Don’t waste your time on underwear and sock drawers. They only stay neat for about 30 seconds in my house. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
– Take inventory. After the holidays is a great time to stock up. Make sure they have the basics – t-shirts for layering, a couple pairs of jeans and pants and 5 or 6 everyday shirts you both agree on.
The best way to make your morning easier, is to cut down on the clothing chaos. The better organized their closets and the more space they have to see their choices, the simpler it will be for them … and the happier you will be. So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get organized, do yourself a favor and tackle your kids’ stuff first.