How to Simplify your Kids’ Wardrobes with 5 Questions
Parenting & Family,  Simplify & Slow Down

How to Simplify Kids’ Wardrobes with 5 Questions

5 Questions to help clean out kids’ clothes

Simplify, declutter, minimize…whatever you call it, that’s what’s happening in my house right now. And I’m starting on my kids’ stuff for 2 reasons. 

1. The change in seasons. We live in the Chicago area and Springtime for us means coats when we walk to school in the morning and then 80 and sunny by 3 pm for school pick up.  

I’ve held out on swapping out my kids’ summer clothes because of this dramatic temperature swing, but just kept adding more and more “summer” items to their already crammed drawers. 0/10 do not recommend. It’s time to fix that. 

2. Birthdays. My twins have a birthday in May and my son in July. This means no matter how many times we say “no gifts,” we get an influx of things throughout the summer months.  

We appreciate it all! But it means I have to be vigilant about what stays and what goes when cleaning out my kids’ toys, books, clothes, and shoes.  

Cleaning out kids’ clothes

There are 5 questions I ask when cleaning out my kids’ clothes. These questions help guide me through the process and make decisions much simpler. 

5 Questions I ask myself when cleaning out the closet

Does it fit? 

Maybe the most obvious, but make sure everything that remains in your child’s drawers or closet is their current size. If something is too small, make a pile of things that need to be removed.  

If something is too big, have a pile for storage. Things that are too big should not be cluttering up your child’s drawer. This makes it harder to sift through. 

Is it in season? 

Don’t keep heavy sweaters or a drawer of long-sleeve shirts in the summer. You don’t need to. My kids’ hoodie drawer is replaced by bathing suits. I keep one or two thin hoodies or sweaters but otherwise, they go in storage.  

This is also true for seasonal wear like Halloween printed leggings or dresses with Christmas trees. Only keep things in their drawer that you want them to wear in this season.  

Is it damaged in some way? 

Do holes have to be patched? Is something damaged or stained beyond repair? Have a separate pile for clothes that need to be mended. If you can easily fix it in the next week, put it on your to-do list. If you already know you’re not fixing anything, get rid of it.  

Does my kid enjoy wearing it? 

Sometimes we keep clothes because WE like them, even though kids complain that they’re itchy or the waistband rolls down. It’s not worth the struggle. If your child doesn’t like wearing something, it’s time to let it go.  

Do I have multiples/is there room for it?  

How many bathing suits do you need for the summer? Do you need 3 gymnastics leotards when your child only goes once a week? How many free giveaway promo t-shirts could your child possibly wear? An easy way to minimize is by paring down the multiples.  

You could also look at the space you have and see if you have enough room for it. If there is a questionable item you’re not sure to keep, will it fit in the drawer or closet? It doesn’t hurt to keep something you’re not sure of. If after a couple of weeks it doesn’t get worn, you got your answer.  

If you need to impose further limits, you can keep drawers and closets clean by limiting the number of items your child has per season. 5 pants, 10 shirts, 2 bathing suits, etc.  

What to do with clothes that you’re getting rid of? 


Gently used items can be donated to your local charity of choice. Make sure everything is clean and in good condition before donating. 

Pass on to friends

Have a friend who has kids a year or two younger than your own? Pass on your hand-me-downs. 


You can sell your items on Thredup, Facebook Marketplace, or other second-hand sites. 

Reuse as rags/bedding

If something is damaged or in poor condition and you can’t donate or pass it on, consider reusing it as rags or animal bedding. There are a ton of ways to upcycle old clothes on Pinterest. Have a search and see what you find. 

Recycle responsibly

More and more companies are offering sustainable clothes recycling. They send you a bag to fill, you fill it up and send it back. They recycle it responsibly. Here are some to get you started: 

The Take Back Bag 

Retold Recycling

Blue Jeans Go Green

Trash it

If something is truly unusable, it’s time to throw it out.  

Simplify Your Kids’ Clothes with 5 Questions

Go forth and simplify!  

Cleaning out closets can be easier than you think when you use these 5 questions. If you enjoy simplifying, why not keep going? Join me next week for decluttering kids’ toys!  

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You May Also Like: 

How to Slow Down with a 5 Finger Affirmation Practice
How to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less
Flash Sale: Summer Survival Guide for Parents

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