As a mom of six, I’ve had to come up with an easy way to store and organize my kids clothes. This method makes it super simple to swap out their seasonal wardrobe in just MINUTES!
Little kid’s clothes, so precious and adorable but oh how they can take over all of your storage space! They grow out of everything so fast, put holes in the knees of their jeans in just weeks and you really need to have multiple sizes of Winter boots and snow bibs, just in case. Its not as easy as having the size and season they’re in right now. You have to be thinking ahead to the next size and season. And if you plan to have more babies, you have to hold on to everything they outgrow too!!
So how do you go about finding a good way to store and organize all of your kids clothes in a way that doesn’t take over your house? The answer is to keep it simple. You don’t need fancy organizers, or labels (although, those are fun, aren’t they?) You just need a basic plan to keep things sorted into as few places as possible so your kids clothes are easy to find and easy to get to. I have 6 kids, who all have clothes, don’t have big closets, and all grow at a ridiculously rapid rate! If this method works for me, it will work for you too.
Seasonal and Hand-Me-Down Storage Made Simple
3 basic steps to store and organize your kids clothes:
3 basic categories of kids clothes we need to store and organize for each child:
- clothes and shoes that fit right now in this season
- clothes and shoes that will fit in the next year or two
- and clothes and shoes that no longer fit
What Supplies You Will Need to Store and Organize Your Kids Clothes
For each of your kids you will need:
- 2 storage totes (18 gallon totes work great)
- 1 small bin (I use a 14″ x 14″ bin)
- a permanent marker
- some closet space for hanging clothes and 1-2 dresser drawers
Declutter What Clothes You Don’t Need
This is going to be the hardest part, but it really cant be skipped. You need a plan for limiting the amount of clothing your kids have so that you don’t have to waste a lot of your storage space on extra kids clothes they will never probably use! I love using a capsule wardrobe method so we keep only what we really need and shop smarter when it comes time to buy the next size up.
Some of the benefits of having a minimal/capsule wardrobe for your kids:
- Less Laundry
- A lot less time spent keeping track of clothing.
- Less space taken up in your home.
- The less clothes you allow yourself to buy for your kids, the better for your budget.
- Hand me downs are much easier to keep track of.
- You can afford to buy better quality clothing that will last through more than one child.
To learn more about getting started using this method to declutter, check out my kids capsule wardrobe post that comes with a free printable checklist to help make this step as easy as possible!
How Do You Sort Kid’s Clothes?
Step #1: Gather Up All of The Kids Clothing in Your House
Oh yes, we’re getting serious now! You really do need to get all of the clothes in one area to get a feel for what you have to work with (and maybe a reality check!)
Step #2: Divide Up The Clothes By Gender and Size
Next, start by making piles of like “girl size 3T” or “boy size 24 months”. For shoes, sort them by size as well. This is a good point to use the checklist I mentioned before and decide wat to keep and what to donate or give away.
Step #3: Create a “Next Size Up Bin” For Each Child
Use storage bins to sort these piles of clothes you just made. For each of your kids, you want to have one bin for sizes they will grow into. For your oldest, maybe you won’t have much for this bin, but the younger kids probably will have hand me downs to go in this “next size up bin”. I’m able to fit 2-3 sizes in each of my kids’ bins.
For example: for my 4 year old, I have sizes 5 and 6 in his next size up bin, as well as size 4T clothes that he isn’t wearing right now because they’re off season.
Step #4: Store Clothes That Your Child Fits Right Now
The clothes that your kids fit right now, in this season should go in 1 or two dresser drawers and hang the ones that can be hung on a hanger in their closet. If you don’t have a lot of space, it totally ok for kids to share a closet and a dresser! And if you don’t have a dresser, you can use a shallow bin like this one to slide under their bed.
Having in drawer organizers like these help make the most of limited drawer storage.
Step #5: Store Clothes That Your Kids Have Outgrown or Donate
Grab another storage bin, and label it “clothes ___________ has outgrown”. Stick everything that is too small for that child, in that bin. Do the same thing with the rest of the clothes you have not sorted into a “next size up bin” or you child doesn’t currently fit.
If you don’t have any kids to grow into those clothes, decide what to do with them. Are you planning to save them in case you have another baby to wear them? If you are, try to store them in as few bins as possible to save for down the road. Maybe give yourself a limit on how many bins of outgrown clothing items you are allowed to hold onto.
If you aren’t anticipating having more kids, consider donating them to a charity, a friend or family member who could use them. Just make sure you don’t dump them on someone, unless you know for sure they can use them. (because we all probably have experience with having unwanted clothes unloaded on us!) You can also try to sell them at a local consignment event.
Step #6: Sorting Shoes and Coats
I store my kids shoes in the same way I store their clothes. I keep a small storage bin in each of my kids closets to store shoes in the next size up as well as off season shoes. Shoes they wear on a daily basis are kept in our mud room/entry way. The shoes they wear to Church on Sunday are kept on their closet floor where they’re out of the way during the week, but easy for the kids to get to by themselves.
The shoes each of my kids have outgrown, that none of their siblings are about to grow into, are stored in a large tub together in our basement. If you don’t have a basement, stick the bin under one of the kid’s beds.
Lastly, we need to talk about coats and jackets. During the Summer, I like to store the coats my kids will be wearing that coming Winter in their closet (off to the side). That way I can make sure everyone has one, and if I’m shopping sales, I don’t buy sizes we already have! For coats my kids are not about to grow into, we have a huge bin in the basement that fits all of the outgrown coats for our family. Again, if you don’t have a basement, storing them under the bed works!
How Should I Store and Organize My Kid’s Clothes?
Now that all of your kids’ clothes are all sorted into bins and drawers, its time to store them!
- Clothes your kids fit right now should be stored hung in the closet and in 1-2 dresser drawers. If you don’t have a dresser, use a bin under the bed or in the closet.
- Store shoes your kids wear on a daily basis in an entry way or hall closet. Shoes that are worn less often can be kept in their bedrooms.
- Store each of your children’s “next size up bins” in their closet so that its easy to get to for season and size changes. Also, keeping it easily accessible makes it easy to stay organized when you bring new clothing purchases home.
- Store each of their next size up shoe bins in their closet or under their bed. Keeping this bin out of reach is a good idea, because you know how kids are with shoes…They’ll end up everywhere!
- Clothes your kids do not fit now and won’t fit in the next few years should be stored in a sealed bin out of the way in the basement, garage or under the bed.
- In the Summer, store coats your kids will wear that Winter, off to the side in each of the kids closets. Coats your kids have outgrown, but you want to hold on to, can be stored in a tote in the basement, or some other out of the way place.
How this storage system works
Kids don’t grow out of an entire size of clothing at once (because not every brand is on the same page when it comes to sizing!) .And its really easy to end up with outgrown articles of clothing set aside around the house til we can decide what to do with them. Luckily when you have a storage system in place, its super quick and easy to stick that item in the proper bin right away so it doesn’t just become another thing to sort in the extra time we never seem to have!
Every time one of my kids has outgrown a certain clothing item, first I wash it. Next, when I’m sorting laundry, I’ll stick it in either a younger sibling’s “next size up bin” or into the bin that is labeled “clothes ________has outgrown”.
Since I keep those bins in easy to get to places, its just a matter of minutes to get it “filed away” in the appropriate place. No more digging through unorganized masses of clothing items. I know exactly where to look when I need something.
We do the same thing with clothes that are given to us.
Swapping Seasons Made Easy
Switching out Summer for Winter wardrobes or visa versa can be done in a matter of minutes now that everything is sorted out! Since the “next size up bin” is right there in each child’s closet, when the weather changes, we just pull out that bin, and fill their drawers with the appropriate size and seasonal clothing.
The clothes that were in their drawers that are now off season need to get stored away. If they are looking small like they won’t fit next season, we store them in the bin of “clothes ___________ has outgrown”. If they look like they might still fit in 6 months or so, we stick them in the “next size up bin”. Its really that simple!
Kids love this process, so getting them involved will make it more fun!
And there you have it! a simple way to store and organize your kids’ clothes!
I hope you found these ideas helpful! As a mom of many little ones, I know the struggle of having a crazy amount of kids clothes taking over our closets. Getting this system in place has given us room to spare and saved me SO much time when it comes to swapping out the seasons. If you have any questions or ideas to share, leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.