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Starting a Minimalist Wardrobe for Your Kids

Kids seem to outgrow everything. Toys, stuffed animals and, of course, clothes can all seem a little too old or small for children as they grow up.

Clothes can be especially difficult to deal with because they tend to pile up, require weekly cleanings and end up being too small before they get much use out of them.

One way to deal with this is to create a minimalist wardrobe for your children. Paring down what they own—and what you’ll buy—to what can fit in a suitcase can save both you and your children time when it comes to determining what they’ll wear each day. It should also save you money, make getting dressed simpler, leave less clutter in your home and cut down on the amount of trips to the laundry room each week.

Here are some tips for creating a minimalist wardrobe for your children:

What Do They Really Need?
Make a list of the clothes your kids need. This can change by season, but can include pajamas, pants, shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, jacket, shoes, underwear and socks.

How much of a certain type of clothing your child owns is ultimately up to you, but it should be enough to get them through four days before having to do laundry. If you don’t mind washing clothes more often, you can limit it to three days of clothes, or extend out to seven if you want to do laundry once a week.

As you begin to pare down your child’s wardrobe, be sure to keep a handful of their favorite pieces of clothing. You want them to feel that they’re a part of this process.

Create Outfits
As much as possible, each piece of clothing should work with everything else. Try to choose clothing without graphics, slogans, sequins or anything else other than a simple pattern.

Colors should be basic and bright, making it easy to shop for coordinated pieces by color. Choose a palette and stick to it—but not white, which stains easily. Most of the shirts, for example, should be able to be worn with most of the pants.

When buying clothes, it can pay off in the long run to buy higher-quality items than what you may have bought in the past. Remember, you’re buying fewer items, and higher-quality ones should last longer. Washing them more often may cut down their lifetime a little more, but not as much as it would cheaper clothing.

Keep the Extras for a Bit
Don’t pack up all of the extra clothes for donation just yet. Stash them in a bag in another room for at least a month so you can see how well the minimalist wardrobe is working.

You may need the extra clothes to fill gaps in the new wardrobe or to replace clothes that end up not working for any number of reasons.