How to Organize Kid’s Clothes


Kids grow up fast, and so does their wardrobe. The change of season is a reminder that they will need more long pants, a new winter coat, and long sleeve pajamas soon. We use a simple system to keep only properly fitting, regularly worn clothes in the kid’s easily accessible drawers and hanging space. This helps keep their closet organized. It also makes seasonal clean outs much easier rather than constantly making piles and doing the mental gymnastics about who to hand them down to or where to donate. In this blog post, I will provide you with my method on how to clean out and how to organize kid’s clothes with minimal time and effort.

Closest with organized hanging clothes

1. How to Organize Kid’s clothes

When diving into the organization process, start with an assessment of the situation. Look through your child’s clothes and identify items that no longer fit or never worn. The kids love to get in on this part because I usually let then take everything out of their drawers and throw it on the floor in their room. At this point don’t worry about where each individual item is going. Focus on two main categories 1. Get rid of or 2. Keep.

Put the clothes that currently fit and your kids wear regularly back in their drawers or closet. Put everything else that will be handed down, consigned, or donated in one pile. This process is a big job in and of itself and if you only make it this far in one day this is a great start! As you finish this first step put final touches of organizing the clothes that are in the closest and drawer and will be worn during the current season. With less in drawers or hung on their closet if will be easier to tell if there are items that will be needed during the coming season. New jeans ? church shoes? Long sleeve pajamas?

Laundry Bin with clothes overflowing.

2. Sorting the “get rid of” pile

Everything that did not get put back in their drawers is now considered a “get rid of”item. This is always the part of the process that bogs me down. I am always glad that I focused getting the “keep” items back in their kids closets and ready for the upcoming season. When you are ready to go through his pile it’s easiest to find a place to spread everything out on the floor or a bed. If you can do this while kids are at school or otherwise occupied I think it goes more smoothly. Even if they haven’t worn something in months or it is way too small they always want to start wearing it again the moment I mention cleaning it out!

3. Hand-Me-Downs

First pull out the hand-me-downs. If you have a younger child (or cousin or neighbor) that will wear some of the clothes sort and pack these away first. As time goes on I realize what the brands and items that do well with repeated use. Some of our most loved hand me downs are pajamas, snow and winter gear, sports gear (soccer cleats and shin guards), and special occasion dresses. Handing down clothes can save a lot of money especially on items that kids will only wear a few times.

4. Consign or Donate

This is where it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of individual clothing items. If there is not a sibling or cousin to hand them down to, the next decision is to decide consign or donate the items. It really comes down to time to determine if attempting to consign will be worth it or not. Name brand clothing that is in very good condition has the best chance of selling. Local consignment stores are a good option.

Before you show up and drag in bags or bins of clothes it’s a good idea to do your homework first. Call the store to learn their “consignment hours.” This may be different than their regular business hours. Also ask if they are currently looking for certain brands or sizes of clothing. I think it is because I have some investment in my kids clothing (financially because I initially purchased them and some sweat equity taking care of them) but I usually feel somewhat disappointed about the monetary offer I receive for kids clothing item.

There are now many online consignment stores such as ThredUp. I have used ThreadUp to consign some kids clothes in the past. They make it super easy to mail in the clothes. There is no hauling clothes across town, waiting to see what a store will take, and then still having to find a donation facility for the clothes they won’t take. ThredUp also typically offers a better rate for store credit. They have a wide selection of items you are bound to find something your kids will use there.

If you do not want to do the extra work of consigning or prefer donating items it usually much simpler. Local shelters, charities, or organizations helping families in need can benefit greatly from these donations.

5. Start the basket system to keep kid’s clothes organized

Now you have paired down draws and closets with only seasonal clothes that fit and are ready to wear. Clothes that your kids have outgrown or no longer wear have been handed down, consigned, or donated. Yay! If your kids grow like mine this will last about 3 days!

This is where the basket system begins. Keep a small laundry basket in your child’s closet, a hall closet, or somewhere near their clothing. Whenever there is an item of clothing that is too small, they will no longer wear, or gets damaged have them put it in the basket. This will help to keep the clothes in their drawers limited to items they are currently wearing. Having less in their drawer will make it easier to keep drawers and closets organized.

When the basket gets full (hopefully no more than 2-3 times per year) you can repeat steps 3 and 4. If you have a baby it will probably be much more frequently since they can go through many wardrobes per year. Now that my kid are elementary age they know to put things in the basket that don’t fit them anymore. I go through it once in the fall and once in the spring. There is so much mental load that we carry around as parents. It is nice to have system that keeps clothes organization and clean out on auto pilot.


With the Basket System is my answer to how to organize kid’s clothes. It is much easier to maintain an organized and functional closet for your kids when there aren’t clothing items that don’t fit in the mix. By following this system, you can declutter and then get rid of clothing that is no longer used just once or twice per year. Involving your children in this process helps them have some control over what stays in their closet.


  1. How often should I organize my kid’s clothes?
    • with the basket system you can probably get away with doing this twice per year at a time that is convenient for you. I like to go through the clean out basket. shortly after school starts and then right before school gets out for the summer.
  2. Can I donate clothes with minor damages?
    • It’s best to donate clothes that are still in good condition. However, if the damages are minor and easily repairable, most donation sites will still take them.
  3. What type of basket do you use?
    • We use a regular sized laundry bin from Target. It sits on a shelf in the kid’s closet. Now they know to toss up things they have outgrown or just no longer wear.

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