Back to School preparation is now in full swing here at my house! And the place where I really like to dig in and start is in the kids clothes closets. At this point in the year, it seems that half of what is in each kid’s closet is too small….. and the other half is a mixture of stuff that fits and is good to go for school and stuff that is just too worn out and needs to tossed out! And by mid-August I am just itching to get into these closets with the kids and start having them try things on and sort through items with me!
Step 1: Start this process before you put away this week’s laundry
It is easiest to start cleaning out a closet (dresser, etc) when some of the items are already removed. So I prefer to do a week’s worth of laundry, sort the clean clothes into baskets, and then wait to put them away until after I’ve gone through everything that is remaining in the closet.
Step 2: Start in the closet with the largest-sized kid
That way when you pull out half of his stuff to hand down to his younger brother, you can have that basket of clothes to work with when organizing the younger brother’s closet.
Step 3: Work the closet top to bottom, left to right
Start at the top shelf and then work you way down to the bottom shelf… moving from the left to the right. Pick up every single item that you find on each shelf or drawer and decide whether it stays or goes….
Step 4: Make piles
Sort through your items… if it fits, fold it neatly and return it to its proper shelf. If it is outgrown but can worn by a sibling, the put it into a laundry basket to be taken to that sibling’s side of the closet. And if it is too worn out and needs to be donated, then put that in a separate laundry basket, which you can bag up later. (As you can see above, we netted over a dozen bags of clothes that needed to be donated!)
Step 5: Make a list
Once you have sorted through the entire contents of the closet and added in items that trickled down from larger siblings closets (or items from friends who were kind enough to drop off their kids outgrown clothing!) and put away the newly washed items as well, it’s time to assess what you still need to kick off the school year. I definitely make sure that my kids have enough shorts, tees, and warm weather clothing- because it will still be in the 70′s and 80′s during Sept and early October. But I do ask my kids to try on a pair of their jeans and a long sleeve shirt, just so I can see if we will be needing the next size up once fall weather arrives. I can then add those items that I need to buy to a list, and be ready to pounce once these items are on sale at the Gap and Old Navy!
And don’t forget “special” items that you’ll need during the year- like say a white button down shirt and black pants for band concerts. I can tell you from experience that they are much easier to find this time of year when stores are pushing their “uniform” items- and many of the stores already have these on sale. But if you wait until say the spring band concert, they will be impossible to find!
What’s Next on my Back to School “hit list”?
At out house it was time to re-assess the coast closet. My husband installed these built-in shelves and drawers nine years ago- when our kids were babies. But we really needed to raise all of the shelves up on the wall about a foot, so the kids could hang up their coats without having them drag on the floor, and leave a little room to fit the shoe bins on the floor. Steve is working on getting us some better hooks to use for the coats (they older they get the heavier their coats get, and we don’t want to rip up the walls!) So once we gets that done, it will be time to sort through all of the stuff that has been currently dumped out onto the floor!
To stay up to date on the latest tips and ideas, please consider signing up to have Momof6 delivered daily to your email inbox!