Organizing your clothes can be daunting. Clothes hold an emotional attachment for you on many fronts. If you bought an adorable top but never wore it, you see the money you spent as wasted if you get rid of it. You found the perfect pair of jeans that have since been worn so much that they are falling apart. Throwing them out is hard because when you look at them you are flooded with how amazing they looked after you slid them on. Then there is that gorgeous dress that you love so much you hold onto it even though the last time it actually fit was 2 kids ago. Of course, that is all just your clothes. Throw in all of the kids’ clothes, your husband’s ridiculously large collection of t-shirts, and the never-ending laundry monster and you are ready to throw your hands up and cry. While I may not be able to make your kids instantly neater or make your husband stop hoarding shirts, I can give you some tips for organizing your clothes to give you some sanity.
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Organizing Kids’ Clothes
The most important aspect for organizing kids’ clothes is creating zones (much like you do for your craft supplies). There are 5 important zones every child’s room should have.
- Daily Outfits – Create an area to organize and pre-gather his or her outfits for the week. This will make your week run so much more smoothly, especially during the school year. You can find out how we do this and get some free printable labels for organizing outfits here.
- Dirty Clothes – Make sure you have clear and defined area to corral dirty laundry. Small pop-up hampers are great for this. They are inexpensive and most come with a carrying handle.
- Unmatched Socks – I don’t know what it is about kids but I swear there are sock monsters that only eat the socks of tiny humans. There are so many unmatched socks in kids’ laundry that we have a plastic box to hold them until the mates are found.
- Outgrown Clothes – It’s no secret that kids grow like weeds. Make life easier by creating a zone to toss outgrown clothes into. This can be as simple as a box or basket in the bottom of their closet. When the basket fills, take the clothes to be donated.
- Play Clothes – Instead of mixing school clothes and play clothes together, designate a drawer exclusively for play clothes. This way, when they want to play outside after school they will know exactly what clothes they are change into for play.
Organizing Your Clothes
As you become an adult (and subsequently stop growing), you begin to collect clothes that seem to only multiply. Before attempting to organize your clothes I highly recommend purging a large amount of them. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to become a minimalist with your wardrobe but I guarantee there are plenty of items that you no longer wear that can be gotten rid of. Since beginning this process I have already filled 2 huge boxes with clothes and I’m still not done. Once you do temper your wardrobe, there are a few things that will help you keep it organized.
Drawer Organizers – Drawer organizers are phenomenal. No more searching for undergarments or forgetting where your warm, fuzzy socks are. I use these ones from IKEA and they are perfect. I got a set of 4 for $5 a couple of years ago and I couldn’t find the same 4 pack but there is a 6 pack available now. They are easy to set up (you just zip the bottom) and they can nest inside of each other if you so choose.
Roll Your Socks – Socks take up a lot less space if you roll them military style. This is especially great for tall socks. Here’s how to do this:
- Place socks flat on top of each other.
2. Next, fold in half.
3. Roll the socks up starting at the folded end.
4. Secure roll together by folding the end over the roll.
Donate Zone – Like you did with the kids’ clothes, create an area for clothes to get rid of for you, too. As you come across pieces that no longer fit, suit your current style, or are good condition toss them in. Again, as the basket fills, simply empty it and donate the clothes.
Organizing Your Laundry
Organizing your laundry is an area I think too often gets overlooked. I’m not talking just about organizing your laundry room, either. Here are 3 tips to help you completely organize your laundry system:
- Hampers – Make sure there is some sort of hamper for every situation. You likely already have hampers in your bedrooms but that isn’t enough. Successful organization is absolutely dependent on ease of use. For that reason, I recommend also having a hamper in the linen closet for towels or clothes after showers. You also should have a small hamper under the sink in the kitchen for towels and dish cloths. Having these at your fingertips ensures their use.
- Divided System – Create a divided system for your laundry to separate whites, darks, and delicates. Whites and delicates may take longer to accumulate and entire load for wash, so having a separate system to store them in will help you tame the laundry monster.
- Laundry Schedule – Create a laundry schedule and stick to it. This will help you always have clean clothes. Plus, once you get in the groove of your schedule, you won’t have to spend all of your time doing laundry. If you do better with lists like me, here is a free laundry schedule for you to print and fill out.
Whew! This is a lot of work initially but once you establish these systems if will get easier. In case all of these ideas weren’t enough, I have one last tip to help you out with your husband’s t-shirts:
If many of his shirts hold sentimental value for him, but you seriously don’t have the space for his ever-expanding hoard, ask him to pick out the most important ones for you. Cut out the images and sew them into an awesome new quilt for him. Now he can cover up with all of those memories anytime he wants!
If you want even more organizing awesomeness, check out the other posts in the A to Z series!