Organising your child’s wardrobe for the school year


Even if you haven’t done it yet, you may have started thinking about a re-org in your child’s closet  and updating their wardorbe for the season. Every spring, like many do, we spend some time deep cleaning our home. We put the heavier coats and boots away and bring out lighter clothing and sandals. But in the autumn, I like to do a massive re-organization of our wardrobes. It’s time to bring back our cozy clothes!

Even though in southern Germany we are lucky to still enjoy very nice temperatures (the weather is quite pleasant and we can wear some of our summer pieces with just a cardigan), a couple of weeks ago I started pulling out my daughter’s clothes that had been put away in the spring. It was time to see what still fit and what needed to go. I also checked to see if any mending was required. Then I made a list of the things to replace. I also took the time wash what I had unpacked and any new items previously purchased. Most of my daughter’s clothes have been worn in the prior seasons. That’s because I like to purchase items that are transitional and large enough to give her room to play and grow comfortably.

After that, I started packing away what we no longer needed. I also took the opportunity to do a thorough cleaning of our closet, shelves and drawers. We return whatever we have borrowed, things that no longer fit her such as outwear. There are some very durable items that can last forever, passed down from child to child. We are lucky that we could do so on a few occasions.

Tips for organizing your child’s wardrobe from autumn to spring:

  1. Unpack and wash whatever you stored away in prior seasons.
  2. Make a list of what needs to be replaced, including outwear (purchased or borrowed), decide what to keep and what to donate.
  3. See if you can keep any transitional pieces for layering such as T-shirts and leggings.
  4. Categorise by putting likes with likes, this will help in checking how many outfits are available.
  5. Choose a storing style: what to hang, what to fold, what to roll, what to stack. Select a way that closely fits your natural organisation style (type, colour, use). Make it to your liking so you can keep doing it throughout the year, without thinking about it too much. Tip: Teach your partner and children how to do this too, so they can help throughout the year.
  6. Now it is time to choose an organisation style: Do you want to create each outfit ahead of time, or do you prefer to put like-items together and let your child pick a top and a bottom along with what to layer each day? (This will depend on your and/or your child’s preference). Keep it simple so that it’s easy to put back and find your clothes. In case you prefer to create the outfits ahead of time, maybe doing so on laundry day could help. This will also help your child select a look without having to find each piece separately.
  7. Don’t be afraid to use boxes to keep smaller items such as underwear or socks together. For example, I used an empty shoe boxes to keep the socks and tights neatly organised as well as undergarments and additional nightwear.
  8. Have your winter items available in a nearby spot so you can pull them out and add them to the rotation quickly. We also keep additional hats, gloves and scarves handy.

I do enjoy organising clothes at the beginning of the season. It reminds me of the new beginning that each school year brings. An opportunity to reflect of what is important and how to best achieve new goals. It also helps children with the transition to the darker, colder months, knowing that most of what they will need is already there, ready for use. But I keep it simple, so my daughter knows what goes where after folding on laundry day. That way, she can easily access her clothes without my help, and get dressed quickly.

At her age, she doesn’t mind me putting the outfits together. But I always give her two options to choose from — choice without making her feel overwhelmed is a good strategy in my book! She can also make an edit to the outfit if she wants to make a change. And, she is in charge of selecting her hair ties and style, her outerwear (we check the weather predictions together for the day every morning) and her shoes.

And what about you: how do you organise your children’s closets and drawers? Do you let them choose their outfits for the day? I am curious to hear about your preferences when organising your kids’ closets. I love putting  new tips in practice and seeing if it’s something that can make our lives easier. So, please comment and share your own tips, trials and errors! I look forward to reading them.

x Mariam

PS: Did you see Esther’s post on fridge organisation? Check out her wonderful tips here!


Comments (6)

September 30, 2020

When our son was younger we labeled every shelf in his closet so that he knew where he can find what kind of clothing and where to put i back. I chose his outfits until he was 13. Because he was too bored, and din´t want to make the decision. Now when he turned 14 he mostly decides it on his own. We have a organization in his closet like shirts on one shelf shorts there and so on, so that it is easy for him to find what he wants to wear…. and to put it back.. but fron time to time you have to clean and reorganize the whole closet, but thats ok. When you are an adult the same is going to happen 😀

Mariam in Germany
October 1, 2020

I love this idea of labelling the shelves, Laura! I have seen some people make picture labels for each category. That way the youngest children would know where everything goes with little assistance (when helping putting things away) and where to find their clothes if they needed something. And what a cute project that would be: they may even want to help draw pants, shirts and so forth! – On a side note, I am glad your son is now finding selecting clothes more appealing, sometimes having the right organisation style for them is what will help them be more independent. Looks like you found what speaks to him.
Really nice, thanks for sharing! 😀

September 30, 2020

Love this post! We live in Los Angeles, and it can be cold for a few weeks during winter and then all of a sudden summer again. We tend to have the hottest days during fall. I miss the seasons a bit, and this makes organizing our kids clothes a little trickier because I don’t really pack away any seasonal clothes. Or maybe that’s easier? Summer clothes keep coming back all year long it seems!

Mariam in Germany
October 1, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Stephanie! 😀 We had the same issue when we lived in Arizona, it was a very short cool season. We had limited outerwear because we lived in the Valley of the Sun, but we still needed a warm jacket when going up north. That didn’t take much space for us as we are a small family, so we kept them at the back of in the coat closet the rest of the time (we used waterproof hiking boots all year long, so only our daughter needed a new pair of boots each year). I placed a simple shoe-rack that fit inside the closet for off season shoes. Depending on how much gear you have to put away, maybe sing larger transparent bins could be an option? They should fit quite nicely in an average size American coat closets (labelling them by season, size or owner and then you could stack them up at the back of a closet so they don’t take too much valuable real estate. Let me know if you try something different, I am always looking for new solutions! x

October 2, 2020

Thank you Mariam – loved to read it & love your colors!
Actually for all of us I go for capsule wardrobe, so that most pieces match each other. So my season switch isn‘t that big of a deal because we (for my daughter 4y, my son 7m and myself) go for „Zwiebellook“ ~onionlook~ … since we prepare her clothes for the next day in the evening routine by also checking the weather forecast, we have easy mornings with zero discussion (at least on clothes not 😂).

Mariam in Germany
October 4, 2020

Thanks for your kind words, Betti, and yay for the evening routine! I love the “Zwiebellook” suggestion, especially for autumn and spring when the weather can be so unpredictable. Peeling off layers is an excellent way to keep our kiddos more comfortable as the day goes by. Our family also tries to go for a capsule wardrobe, but it seems to be a lot easier to do so in the summer as we need so little and everything dries much faster after being washed. xx 😀

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