project 333: tackling the kids’ closet

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One of my goals for the year is to consciously participate in Project 333.  The main purpose of Project 333 is to have a complete wardrobe of only 33 items and to wear that wardrobe for a period of three months. You can learn more about Project 333 here

I’ve been busy this past week posting outgrown clothing from my kids’ closet on Craigslist, and having sold two large lots of clothing, their closet is feeling manageable again.  After buying a ton of clothing for my kids at the end of last summer in a $1 sale, the contents of their closet ballooned, but I was thrilled to have gotten some great clothing at amazing prices.  However, the time had come to pare down again – my youngest is quickly moving into size 4, so it was time to start strategizing about how all his size 3T clothing was going to make an exit from the building.  Funnily enough, it all sold very quickly after I posted a couple of bundles of clothing on our local Craigslist, and I didn’t have to think too much about what I would have to do with it all if it ended up sitting around for too long.  I managed to recoup $125, which is almost exactly what I paid for it all, and some of it was worn by two kids!  I really does pay to take a little time and effort to re-sell kids clothing – they grow out of everything far too quickly to do much damage, and a lot of what I managed to sell on Craigslist was in nearly new condition.  I’m especially thrilled when the buyer as excited about the deal they are getting as I am happy to have it sold!

Thankfully, my kids never get this dirty - so I don't have to worry about them being too careful in their clothes!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m not going to be buying any clothing for my children this year.  They have enough, more than enough, and my oldest is also getting to an age where clothing fits him longer than a season or two.  My boys are three years apart in age, but I see a time in the not-so-distant future when they will be very close in size and might even be able to share some of their clothes.  Wouldn’t that be a boon in the minimalist wardrobe department?  In an effort to stay true to the spirit of buying no more clothing for my kids, I’ve created my own version of a family closet.  Since I am using only about one third of my own closet space in my bedroom walk-in-closet, I’ve used the remaining space to hang all of my kids clothing that is either out of season or too large for them at this time.  I am a very visual person and so instead of having any extra clothing tucked away in storage where I can’t see it, it’s all out in plain sight and is a good reminder for me to shop in the closet if there’s something they need.

Here’s what I’m aiming for in terms of wardrobe size for each of my children (ages 6 and 3):

  • 7 shirts, including at least one dress shirt
  • 5 pair of pants or shorts (depending on the season), including at least one pair of bottoms that can be worn for dressier occasions
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 sweater
  • 6 pair of socks
  • 6 pair of underwear
  • 1 pair of well-made runners or hikers
  • 1 pair of rain boots
  • 1 pair of sandals / flip flops
  • 1 swim outfit – 1 pair of swim trunks, 1 UV swim shirt and 1 pair of swim shoes
  • 1 jacket, either a winter or lightweight coat depending on the season
  • 1 baseball cap
  • 1 summer hat

I’m finally in a place where I am happier to NOT shop for my kids than I am to spend money on cute clothing that no one appreciates but me.  Paring down on their clothing has already resulted in less clothing being strewn around their room, and has made choosing what to wear for the day easier on my youngest, as there are simply less choices now that there is less clothing to choose from.  And what could be more enjoyable that NOT having to listen to a three year old whine about too many choices?  Not much, I say.

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4 responses »

  1. This is wonderful, my kids still have waaay to much clothing. They´ve helped me sort out the items the don´t like to wear, but it´s still to much left. Luckily my oldest is growing right now and for his next size we don´t have many items, just the way I like it. The only problem is that he´s very active and wears trousers out (not sure about the grammatics in the latest sentence), now we´re trying more jeans but they´ll all have patches on the knees soon….

    • I’m pretty lucky that my boys are both very easy on their clothing. Like between them, they have worn out one article of clothing in the past seven years. Crazy, I know. Good luck with the knee patching, and if all else fails, I’ve had good luck finding jeans on the cheap at the thrift shop!

  2. I just found your blog and have been read a lot tonight. I love that you are not buying kid clothes this year. You are my hero. I struggle with buying my girls clothing. I have very little clothes, but some how feel that the kids need more. I struggle with buying cute clothes, not clothes that are really useful. I am working on the this problem right now. I love your line “I’m finally in a place where I am happier to NOT shop for my kids than I am to spend money on cute clothing that no one appreciates but me.” Thank you, this is something I will strive for. Just today I was walking behind my daughter ride her bike, she was so happy to ride. It made me so happy, it was not her cute clothes, it was her big smile that makes her so pretty on the inside and out. She was wear the same red fleece sweatshirt that she wears almost everyday, nothing special. Made me realize clothes are not as important as I make them out to be.

    • Thank you for your very kind words. 🙂 You make a really good point that kids can often teach us a lot about wanting and needing very little in the clothing department. My kids have favourite shirts and pants too, and it’s a real reminder that even though they don’t have a ton of stuff, there are generally still things that don’t get worn and that they have more than enough for this year.

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