Simplify Your Child’s Closet

 

Storing and organizing children’s clothes can be overwhelming…especially when you factor in how many clothes they go through in a day, and how quickly they move through sizes.  Paring your child’s wardrobe down to the bare essentials is an easy way to make things a lot more manageable.  Here are 5 tips that have helped me simplify my children’s closets.

1.) Figure out how much you need of each size and for each season.  This will depend on how often you wash clothes, how often you have to change their clothes, and how hard the child wears them.  I try to wash clothes twice a week, and my toddler son doesn’t need a change of clothes during the day that often.  You just never know, though.  For him, I try to have 6-7 casual tops and 6-7 bottoms.

2.) Decide if you really need all those extras.  I have never bought my son dress shoes.  He hasn’t needed them, and I feel like they would just be a waste of money and space.  When we go to a nicer function, Converse sneakers or sandals seem to work just fine.  But…if your kid wears a suit (or fancy dress) to church every Sunday, you’ll want to invest in some nice dress shoes, obviously.  I also buy limited amounts of nicer clothes.  For my son, a few pairs of nice long-sleeve button ups work just fine, paired with jeans or khaki shorts.  I don’t typically buy short-sleeve button ups, and instead just roll up his long-sleeves in the summer.  Other maybes would be snow gear (do you even get that much snow?), jammies (will old outfits do?), and bathing suits (how often do you take your baby swimming where they’d have to wear one?).

3.) Keep your favorites and donate anything extra.  Sometimes this is easier said than done.  It can be really hard to get rid of something that your child has worn, especially if you can’t even remember them being that tiny.  Really, though, keeping more than you need is a waste of space.  When I went through my son’s old clothes recently, I realized that I had 30 short sleeve onesies in the 0-3 month size.  There’s no way I’d ever need that many, even if I had another boy someday.  I went through and got rid of a lot of them, even though it was hard for me.  If you’ll miss something that much, take a picture of it to reminisce by.

4.) Organize the remaining clothes by size, then season.  I have bins and old diaper boxes full of baby boy clothes that I’ve kept in case I ever need them again.  I’ve started to do the sa
me with bigger toddler sizes, as well as the new baby girl clothes coming in.  I try to keep the right sizes and seasons together, both for sizes we’ve outgrown and sizes coming up.  It’s so much easier to see what you have, and figure out what you need, if it’s organized well!

5.) Keep track of what you have.  I’ve started using Evernote to organize my children’s clothing.  I keep a file for each size and type (long-sleeve shirts, for instance), and then take a picture of each item I have.  This gives me a visual guide both for seeing what I have, and figuring out what I need.  If I’m out and about and see a pair of pants in my son’s size, I pull out my phone and can quickly see if he needs any more pants like that, and if they’ll match the shirts he has.  This keeps me focused and keeps me from buying things that he’ll never wear or that won’t work with the rest of his clothes.  This seems to be even more important as I purchase baby girl clothes, as there’s a lot bigger selection of colors, patterns, and styles. 

The Life Of Faith

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6 Steps to Simplify Your Utensil Drawer

Three years ago when we bought this house, we lived without a real kitchen for four months.  My “kitchen” consisted of a toaster oven, two electric burners, a microwave, and a utility sink to wash everything in.  We were also on a very limited budget, and I had to cook as much from scratch as possible.  Those were the days before a rambunctious little boy made his appearance, but it was still quite the feat.  I found myself having to simplify everything…including my utensil drawer. 

When we finally moved into our newly finished kitchen, I was overwhelmed by the amount of cooking utensils I had to work with.  I quickly pared them down.  From time-to-time I still sift through them and get rid of what I don’t need.  It saves my sanity, makes an organized drawer a lot more attainable, and cuts down on dishes (because I reuse instead of getting something new out constantly).

Here are my tips for simplifying your utensil drawer:

1.) Pull everything out and lay it on the counter.  It’s much easier to see what you have when it’s all out in the open.

2.) Set aside the things you use daily.    These are probably different for every person.  For me, these include at least one wooden spoon, a spatula, a scraper, and a vegetable peeler. 

3.) Add the things that you need on occasion. I may not use it daily, but I do need a can opener (unless I want to go all mountain man and use a pocket knife…heh).  I also need a cheese grater, meat thermometer, pizza cutter, rolling pin, etc. 

4.) Evaluate if you can do without the rest.  Sure, a rotary grater and an apple slicer are nice.  Honestly, though, do you use them enough to make keeping them worthwhile?  When you make that apple pie once a year, would it that much harder to slice the apples up with a knife?  Weigh the benefit having a cleaner, neater drawer with the usefulness of the item.

5.) Reevaluate multiples.  Do you really need 6 wood spoons or 4 spatulas?  The odds are, probably not.  I’d keep enough to be able to have separate utensils for anything touching raw meat, and pitch the rest.

6.) Put everything back.  I like to group my utensils according to use.  I also like to nest my wooden spoons.  However you organize them, I can guarantee that it’ll be a lot easier without all the excess gadgets you once had.  Your sanity and your efficiency will thank you.