kids' clothes organization, clothes piles on couch

Our Kids’ Clothes Organization

organizing kids' clothes, image of clothes piles on couch

Our Kids’ Clothes Organization

We’re working on our kids’ clothes organization for three of our sons. Before too long, we’ll be moving our little guy into the room with two of his older brothers. This means we’ll need to make room for all their clothes in two closets. We’ve also decided we could minimize the amount of clothing all the kids have available to them to cut down on all the laundry that needs to be done weekly.

And the kids’ clothes…


My boys are horrible about not getting their clothes into the hamper and then hollering later about not having any socks, or underwear, or pants. Why, oh why will they not just put the clothes into the hamper? (They each have one for their own clothes in their room.) So frustrating!

Sooooo, now we implement a new system. This is what we’re doing…

(Disclaimer — This is not a be-all and end-all system for everyone. I know there are other systems floating around out there that may work better for some. This one seems to be a good fit for us and so, we’re going to try it for a while. Stay tuned to this channel for updates. 😁)

Before you get started

kid's clothes organization, clothes in piles

If you saw this picture on Instagram or Facebook of my living room while I was organizing children’s clothes, you’ll know I had a terrible mess. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. Well, all the time at my house it has to get worse before it gets better.

Anyway, my point is it WILL GET BETTER.

The first thing you need to do is to clean the kids’ bedrooms and collect all the clothing in the floor of their closets that fell off or was knocked off the hangers. Now, go check under the beds for dirty clothes, in any corners, and behind the dressers or chests of drawers. Gather all of that dirty stuff up and get it washed and ready to go through and pack away or giveaway.

Once all the clothes are clean, take all the clothes hanging in the closet and from their dresser or chest of drawers.

You’ll want all of one child’s clothes in the place you’ll be doing your sorting.

I would suggest only going through one child’s clothes at a time. I didn’t do this and by the end of the day, I was having anxiety-induced chest pains from not being able to use my living room. It was bad. Looking back, I might have just concentrated on one child’s clothing per day and stretched this chore out over several days.

Supplies Needed

  • Storage totes or sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Hangers
  • Laundry supplies

You’ll need something to store all the clothes you won’t be using in and somewhere to store them if you intend on keeping them for other children to grow into.

I used duct tape and a fat Sharpie marker to label our Sterlite Storage Totes. (Note: Put your labels on more than one side and the top. If you store these stacked on top of each other, you’ll need to be able to see the side to know what’s inside the tote.)

Kids’ clothes organization in the dresser drawers

  • 7 outfits for daily wear or play clothes — these are clothes that they can play in the mud with, get grass stains on, paint in, etc. (These outfits are rolled up to keep pants and shirts together that halfway match.)
  • 3 extra shirts — long sleeve or short sleeve depending on the season
  • 5 sets of pajamas — the weather is pretty unpredictable here in Tennessee, so I’m giving them 2 sets for cool weather, 2 sets for warm weather, and 1 set that could be for either
  • They each have quite a few pairs of socks and underwear that I’ll leave for now. We store these in plastic shoe boxes in their drawers.

Kids’ clothes organization in the closet

  • 2 or 3 pairs of jeans or nice pants
  • 3 short-sleeved t-shirts
  • 3 short-sleeved dressy shirts or Polos
  • 3 long-sleeved t-shirts
  • 3 long-sleeved dressy shirts
  • My daughters have 3 dressy outfits and a couple of dresses.

Organizing kids’ clothes that don’t fit right now

We still have quite a few clothes packed away for our older kids to grow into, but all of our little guy’s clothes that don’t fit will be donated or passed down. I have them packed and ready to go, just haven’t made it out to get rid of them yet.

I’m hoping this will cut down on laundry and will encourage the kids to put. their. clothes. in. the. hamper. Fingers crossed!

Small spaces…

Another challenge we face while working on our kids’ clothes organization is small spaces.

On Pinterest, I see all these beautiful large closets with clean white walls showing closets that look amazingly organized.

While I’m sure I’ll never have that, I know we can do better than having closets spilling out into my kids’ rooms.

My kids’ clothes still have to be stored in their closets. Our storage totes are probably bigger than most, because we store all of the clothing for that size in one tote. That includes jackets, coats, and vests. The only things we don’t store in the tote are shoes. They’re kept separate in a box, but still all in the same place.

One of my sons even stores his tent in his closet. Here are a couple of pictures of the after. And trust me, the before was so much worse.

kids' clothes organization in closet

Perks of this kids’ clothes organization system

  • Everyone gets one laundry day a week.
  • Laundry isn’t all over my house.
  • The kids understand if their laundry doesn’t make it to the hamper, they won’t have clothes because I took almost all of the overflow away.

Other things I’m doing to make this work

I can plan and minimize the kids’ wardrobes all I want, but all the planning in the world will do no good if I don’t do my part. Currently, my children are responsible for folding and putting away their own laundry. So, minimizing the amount of clothing my kids have available to them will eliminate the overwhelm associated with folding and putting away the large loads.

Things I’ll still need to do are:

  1. Stay on top of the kids’ laundry and make sure the kids know to bring me their hampers when they have only one or two play outfits remaining.
  2. Stress the importance of spot treating laundry.
  3. Inspect bedrooms twice daily to make sure all the dirty clothes actually go into the hamper.
  4. Help the kids get clean clothing to the proper drawer is essential to them knowing how many outfits of play clothes they have left for the week.
  5. Keep the kids out of the stored clothing.
  6. Make sure we have a quick place to throw the clothes that the kids have outgrown after laundering.
  7. Remind my kids daily of their roles in making sure their clothing stays organized.

I saw a video from The Minimal Mom about simplifying your child’s wardrobe and that helped with some of the ideas behind our new system.

Hey, I’m working on a home chore system that includes editable chore charts for kids, weekly and monthly cleaning lists, and cleaning lists for each room of our homes. Click here if you’d like to know when it’s completed.

Need some ideas for organizing homeschool paperwork? Look no further.

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