Do you get that post-Christmas urge, as soon as all the mince pies are finished, to start tidying up and throwing things away?
It’s not strong yet, as I’m not feeling well, and the idea of doing anything much isn’t terribly appealing, but I know that as soon as I’m back on form, I’ll want to start organising. One area that’s always ripe for a bit of an overhaul in our house is Belle’s wardrobe. She has grown so quickly in the last year or so, and I don’t think we’ve quite kept up. We had a little sort out of her clothes before Christmas and so much of it was inches too short for her.
To help you get your kids’ clothes organised, I’ve come up with a few helpful hints. I’d love to hear your advice too. Or you could just bring me round a medicinal sherry. Either is fine.
Fix the foundations
There is quite literally a whole layer of clothing to get right before you start adding jumpers and trousers – underwear. I’m particularly bad at this, probably because I can’t see it on a daily basis, and it’s a long standing joke that Belle always has pants that are ridiculously small for her. She does have a teeny bottom, but not 3-4 years teeny. So, get out everything, assess it properly, and then restock, based on how many pairs of socks, pants and tights you think they realistically need.
Underwear quickly becomes a mess, so invest in some drawers dividers or mini boxes to keep the inside of the drawer tidy.
Think capsule wardrobe
Because capsule wardrobes aren’t just for women who work in offices and wear tan coloured patent shoes. (Although in my head they are.) Depending on the age of your child, and the things they like to do, you can easily create a capsule wardrobe. For example, do you have a girl who likes to dance, or run around a lot outside? If so, you’ll want to stock up on your girls’ tracksuits. If you have a teenage boy who loves nothing more than seeing how low he can wear his jeans without them actually falling down, then, well, I don’t know what you do about that.
As they get older, most children develop a style that’s pretty easy to replicate. Belle has had a couple of new pairs of skinny jeans lately, so all she needs now is a big stack of cropped girls’ t-shirts and she’s good to go.
(I’m a bit sad that she’s too big now for things like this adorable t-shirt from Mayoral…)
Listen to their opinions
You might love that dress with the Russian dolls on (or the t-shirt with the snow globe) but once your child is past a certain age, you’re going to find it harder and harder to get them to wear things they don’t like. Similarly, you are always going to do your best to keep the sparkly ‘make-up babe’ jumper they insisted you buy them at the the back of the drawer, because it makes you want to sob for the world.
Be ruthless and go through their clothes together, only keeping items that you both like. (This one is a little age dependent obviously – I’ll let you be the judge.)
This is particularly useful for younger children if you’re trying to get them into the habit of being able to find and also put away their own clothes. You can go plain or fancy, depending on how into labelling you are and if your kids are really young you could include words and pictures or symbols. I really like this one I found on Pinterest – the chest of drawers has been painted with chalkboard paint, so you can easily write on your own labels and change them as often as you need:
Make sure you have more space than you need
Nothing is guaranteed to ensure things don’t stay organised than a shortage of space. When you’re having to squeeze clothes into drawers, they just aren’t going to stay tidy, so make sure you have more than enough space, so you have room to keep things neat. Make sure you maximise the space you do have too, and use it sensibly. If you have a small child with an adult sized cupboard or wardrobe for example, could you put in an extra rail to give them a double-decker storage solution? Their current wardrobe could go on the bottom rail where they can reach it, and out of season or special occasion items could be on the top rail.
So there you go, was that useful? Any post-Christmas organisation tips you’d like to share?