Organizing Kid’s Closets: A Seasonal Mom Ritual

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It’s inevitable, the seasons will change and I’ve heard a rumor that the weather in Wisconsin will warm up.  The warm-“er” weather brings about a seasonal mom ritual that makes mothers across the northern half of this country shiver with dread.  The seasonal closet swap.

It takes a strong will and at least a few hours of “nobody bother mom” time to get the job done.  I always dread this task, however, once I get started I am a mama on a mission and there is no stopping.  Just the occasional apple juice break to combat the inevitable low blood sugar.

We live in a historical house which was built before there was a need for closets.  Apparently the early residents of our house lived in a time when wardrobes consisted of work clothes and church clothes.  Somewhere in the middle of sorting my kids clothes each year I begin to think that those early settlers were really onto something.

Looking for more Sweet Basal “Momming” Posts?  Here’s a few:
5 Cheap Ways To Organize Your Kids Room, 3 Things Moms Need to Pack for a Happy Trip, and Pregnant With Diabetes And Twins: The Journey And The Joy


This year my goal is to simplify.  Every season my kids eventually find their favorite outfits.  This handful of favorite outfits goes on endless trips through the washing machine as they wear them over and over.  This means that there are many other clothes that are politely shuffled around their drawers and maybe given the token day out once in a blue moon.

This summer I am limiting the selection pool for picking favorites.

On My Honor: My Shopping Code of Conduct for 2019

I am promising right now, as I write this, to obey a few kids clothes commandments for this season.

  • I will NOT stuff my kids drawers.  If they cannot see all the clothes, they will not wear all the clothes.


  • I will NOT keep things that I know my girls will not wear just because I think they are cute.  I love that striped dress but my kids will act like it doesn’t exist if I hang it in the closet.  It will get moved around, likely fall off the hanger only to be discovered in fall when it will go back into a bin to be sold.  Send the dress on its way.  Let it be free to find a new home where it will not have its feelings hurt every time it is pushed to the back of the closet.


  • I will NOT buy more clothes for this summer because I know that we are all set for this summer.


  • I WILL remember that my girls will likely get wonderful clothes as gifts for their birthday and Christmas.  These are also great times to take a look at their closets and current sizes. Grandmas are always looking for gift ideas as we head into a new season.


  • I will ONLY buy the clothes that they actually need and ONLY in the sizes they need.  I will not buy size 14 clothes and give up valuable storage space for the next three years.  Kids’ growth tends to slow a bit as they get older.

Alright, it’s in writing.  Now I have to stick to it and fight the urge to turn every time I see a rummage sale sign.

Moms Helping Moms

We found out that we were going to have twin girls in the midst of rummage sale season.  Timing is everything.  I spent that summer taking my dinosaur egg shaped belly on a tour of area subdivisions lost in the mind blowing cuteness of teeny tiny baby clothes.

Seven years later, I am still a rummage sale shopper and I love the thrill of finding a deal.     Over the years I have also matched up with a wonderful friend who has a daughter who is just slightly older than my girls.  She cuts me a great deal and I leave with beautiful clothes for the next year and hours of rummaging time saved.

Despite my best efforts, my kids keep growing and that means eventually we have to find a new home for their clothes.  Two years ago I found a lady online who needed a whole wardrobe for her girls.  They recently moved from California and had no winter clothes.

She wanted to buy my whole lot of clothes for her two daughters and we were so happy to know that the clothes were going to two sisters who really needed them.  She has bought clothes from me after each closet clean out and I am more than happy to give her a great deal on the clothes as she takes them all in one stop.

Kids grow fast and while some clothes take a beating the majority of my kids clothes have so much life left in them.  I have no problem stocking my kids closets with hand me downs from our friends and I am thankful that our clothes can continue to play with other little girls when we are finished with them.

Let The Games Begin

So last weekend the bins of summer clothes came up from the basement and it was game time.  I pulled all the winter clothes out of the closets and drawers and sorted them into piles, 1) Save for next year, 2) Sell, 3) Donate.

All laundry baskets were filled with each pile, a mountain of clothes to be folded grew on my couch, and eventually everything was emptied and taken off hangers.

All the new summer clothes were moved into drawers and folded into rows to ensure that my kids can see everything without digging to the bottom of the drawer.  I started folding this way a few years before the Marie Kondo method. It really works and my kids are perfectly capable of keeping the drawers fairly neat.

Everything was hung in their closet and organized by long sleeved sweaters and sweatshirts (we still need these in summer unfortunately) and dresses.  Last year I realized that the reason some clothes were not worn was simply because my kids couldn’t reach them.

I split their closets with mine and put all my things on top and all their things on the bottom.  So we now share two small closets and they can reach all their clothes.

Thanks to this spring being unseasonably cool I did leave a large bin of pants and long sleeve shirts next to their dresser.  Hopefully we can move the contents of this bin to the basement to join their winter buddies sometime before August…

The Finish Line

It took most of last Saturday, but their closets now have a summery feel.  My one little fashion star daughter wasted no time pulling out her favorites and planning her outfits for the next week.

I reached out to my California family and she was more than happy to pick up another batch of clothes next week.  I also sold a few other pieces to a friend from school.  It might be a new record but I managed to get all my kids clothes sold in one week.  Mom Victory!

I have kept my commitment to my shopping rules and only brought home one bin of clothes from my buddy and only plan to stop at one classmate’s rummage sale this week.

I will be strong this year and continue to resist the strong magnetic force of brightly colored rummage sale signs.

May the organizational mama force be with you.

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Diabetic Mama of Twins fueled by my family, working out, eating, dog walking, getting lost in the woods and insulin. Writing to share the journey this Type 1 diagnosis has taken me on since 2007.

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