Kids & Organizing: Managing Kids Clothes as they Grow

I don’t know about you, but my daughters’ clothes seem to multiply in their closets! Fortunately for me, I have two daughters, and the younger one can eventually wear the hand me downs of the older one (given that they’re still in decent shape).

A while ago, I adopted a crating method for our family’s off-season and “too small clothes”.

Here’s what you need:

1) Plastic storage containers:
My favorite is Rubbermaid’s 14 gallon Roughneck Tote, but there are many options out there. Allot one tote per season per person.
2) Duct tape and Sharpie markers to label the totes.


Here’s how it works:
Sort through each child’s closet with said child at the end of the season. Decide what to give away (two small, younger sister won’t wear it, not in good shape), and what to keep (will wear next year or younger sibling will wear it).

Create appropriate labels for each storage tote. For example, this fall when we switched over to fall/winter clothing, I labeled three new totes for my daughters.
– First, a “Spring/Summer 10-year-old” tote for our younger daughter for next summer.
– Second, a “Spring/Summer 12-year-old” tote for our older daughter for next summer.
– Third, a “Spring/Summer 11-year-old” tote for our older daughter’s clothes that no longer fit her that she will pass to her younger sister.

Put clothes in totes: Any clothes that we thought would fit either of them next summer, we put into these various totes. We store these totes in our attic so they’re easy to access if we’re going away to a warm location mid-winter, and we need to see what they have. As the new season approaches, we can pull the appropriate tote into each child’s room, and go through it together.

Anything, we thought wouldn’t fit either of them next summer, we put into give away bags. Giveaway organizations that may pick up weekly at your house are Big Brother Big Sister Foundation and Vietnam Veterans of America. Check out their websites to schedule easy donations!

This method has really helped all of us get our clothes in order, especially the kids. Give it a try with your family and let us know how it works!

About Sarah Stockwell

Sarah has been informally helping her family and friends organize their closets and kitchens for years. A co-worker once said “Sarah’s never met a spreadsheet she didn’t love.” As a strong J on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment, Sarah feels most comfortable and at peace when her outside world is organized, decisions have been made, and her surroundings are structured. Sarah’s thrilled to have found professional organizing as a way to leverage her innate personality type. Sarah is currently being trained through the Living Peace Apprentice Program, and also lectures part-time at Tufts University in career development seminars. Sarah brings 18 years of human resources experience in the private and educational sectors where she specialized in training and development. Her expertise includes content development and facilitation of workshops in career development, leadership, coaching, communication, time management, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Sarah has lived and worked abroad in Hong Kong, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and China where she enjoyed learning about diverse cultures and ways of organizing. Sarah lives in Arlington, MA with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. She’s an active volunteer in her local community – Arlington Education Foundation board member, Parent Teacher Organization co-president, and pastor search committee co-chair. In her free time, Sarah loves exercising outdoors, doing yoga, cooking and baking for friends and family, reading the New York Times style section, and playing family board games. Sarah recently completed her first sprint triathalon.

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