Minimalism seems to be a hot trend at the moment. I can see why. It’s totally refreshing and planning a more minimalist way of living is a great way to kick off the year.
One of the hardest things about minimalism or simpler living is how to manage it with kids. I’m only a tiny way into our journey into a simpler life but having kids definitely makes it more challenging. Maybe it’s because they’re always in need of our attention, meaning it’s hard to make big changes at home. Or that there’s so much going on in their pre-school and school lives. Then there’s all the stuff – baby equipment, weaning, toys, clothes, games, puzzles, collections.
There’s SO much stuff with kids.
If you’re starting a minimalism with kids journey and need some inspiration I recommend starting somewhere small. That’s why today I’m talking through some ways to declutter and achieve a more minimalist approach to somewhere that’s easy to oversupply… the kids’ closet or wardrobe.
Why start with the closet?
Well, it’s a nice confined space. It’s easy to sort and say ‘that’s done’. Clearing the closet and adopting a cleaner approach to buying and disposing of kids’ clothes is far easier than trying to corral all their toys or simplify the weekday routine, for example.
It’s also where I started, so I’m talking from experience.
Here’s some of my top tips for achieving a minimalist kids closet…
Buy only what they need
Maybe the most obvious, but if you’re anything like me it’s so hard not to overbuy for the kids. Baby and kids’ clothing is one of my all-time favourite things to shop for. But the problem is they outgrow it so quickly, especially when they’re small, and you end up with piles of items that have barely been worn… plus a stack of ‘to wear’ in the closet.
I’ve made the overbuying mistake with my first and again with the baby (oops) but from now on I’ll only be buying what they need, when they need it.
Ignore deals and sales
This goes hand-in-hand with the above. Don’t be tempted by sales, deals, or qualifying spend offers that’ll get you £5 off if you spend £30. Think about it – do you really need £30 worth of clothes right now? Or do you just crave the feeling that you’re making a saving, getting a good deal?
I know I’m always chasing deals, looking to see what’s on offer. Waiting for sales. This tactic is fine if you need things but if you don’t it’s best to avoid window shopping altogether.
Review their wardrobe regularly
How do you work out what they need, anyway? Time to start reviewing their wardrobe regularly. If you’ve noticed the legs on their trousers are getting a little short it’s worth washing everything, laying it out and having a try-on session. See what fits and what doesn’t. If your kids are older you might only need to do this seasonally, or more often for babies as they grow so fast.
I’m guilty of looking at something and wondering when I bought that, or if I’ve ever seen the kids wear it, so will definitely be reviewing their wardrobe more often.
Wash, dry and store efficiently
The laundy is such a time suck. Wash, air dry or tumble dry, iron, fold, store. It seems to take forever and when you have more than one child it’s often multiple loads before you’re done with all their washing. I hate the laundry routine as much as the next person but I’ve found that getting it out of the way – and prioritising doing it as quickly as possible – really does help keep their closets nice and tidy.
After all, when you’ve got it all washed and hung up or stored away it’s easier to find what you’re looking for and avoid buying duplicates.
This is SUCH an important point when it comes to minimalism anywhere, but especially so with a wardrobe or closet. Do you really want to be rooting through clothes on the rail to find that one long-sleeved t-shirt you need, or wondering where there’s a spare pair of socks? Get creative and plan out how you’ll store their clothes. You might want to organise items by type, season, colour, size, style – it’s up to you. But whatever you do make sure you give things a place and return them there.
Getting organised with the kids’ closet has been revolutionary for me in achieving a more minimalist approach AND saving time. Win win.
Have a clear out
When you think minimalism you think clutter-free, right? It goes deeper than that, but having a pared-back closet definitely helps towards making life that little bit simpler. If you’ve been guilty of overbuying clothes or stockpiling things that are too small or too big, now’s the time to have a clear out. And be ruthless. It hurts to chuck out clothing but if it’s too small or doesn’t fit you don’t need it in your life.
I found clearing out the wardrobes to be SO therapeutic. It really makes you evaluate your shopping habits and change them for the better. Before working on the closets I’d see something adorable and buy it (or pop it on a to-buy list), but since then I’ve barely bought a thing for either the kids or myself.
Wondering what to do with all these clothes you’re removing from your closet (and your life)? Whatever you do, don’t throw them in the rubbish. There’s money to be had in selling at baby and toddler markets (check out my guide for tips on selling at second-hand sales). The next best thing is to pack up any that are good quality or can be re-worn and take them along to a local charity shop. If they’re no good for anything you could put them in a clothes recycling bank. Whichever you choose you’re giving new life to something that’s doing no good sat in your closet, which is one of the best things to come from downsizing your belongings.
Off to start downsizing the kids’ closet?
Have fun! I’ve found clearing out and organising the kids’ wardrobes one of the most fun parts of downsizing our stuff. Get them involved if you can – what better way to introduce them to minimalism and encourage them to have a positive relationship with items.
I’d love to know how you’re getting on, or if you have any questions about minimalism and kids’ closets. Please leave a comment below – I read and reply to each and every one.
Good luck with your minimalism journey,
– N x
Want more inspiration?
Check out my Minimalism + Kids board on Pinterest. I’m super proud of it and often refer back to it when I’m feeling stuck for inspiration or feel overwhelmed. Plus, it recently got featured by Pinterest as part of their spotlight on Minimalism – thanks, Pinterest!