Switching out seasonal wardrobes used to be a major struggle for me, but I’ve finally learned the secret to switching out seasonal wardrobes fast! I hope these tips will encourage and help you as well!
Ah–the seasonal wardrobe switch-up. If you don’t switch out your wardrobe seasonally for yourself, you most likely still do it for your kids.
Switching out seasonal wardrobes used to send me into major stress-out mode.
When we lived in the townhouse, I would pull huge rubbermaid containers of my girls’ clothes from our attic at the start of each season, and I would go through the containers in our master bedroom.
We had so many clothes to go through that it would take me weeks–and sometimes the entire season–to complete the seasonal wardrobe switch!
It was painful–especially for my husband, who would spend this days tripping over little girl shoes and trying to maneuver himself around our bedroom in such a way as to not get wrapped up in a pair of tights.
In addition to creating stress, taking so long to switch out the seasonal wardrobe stole my time–not only the time it took to go through the clothing and switch out the drawers and closet, but also the time it took me to find certain clothes when we needed them because they were so disorganized.
This season, that has all changed. In fact, a couple weeks ago I decided to try switching out seasonal wardrobes for my girls in an afternoon. Could I do it? I was hopeful.
I expected to spend several hours.
But, from start to finish, it ended up only taking me 45 minutes to complete the seasonal wardrobe switch-out!
I was shocked, and I couldn’t wait to share this process with you all!
If I can set up systems to eliminate the stress from switching out seasonal wardrobes, then so can you!
Setting up a Seasonal Wardrobe Switch-Out System that Works
Last fall, my mentor Holly spent several days with me, helping set up systems to curb the stress and time it was taking me to manage my kids’ clothing.
Here are the steps we took to help me with the process of switching out seasonal wardrobes–fast!
1. Trim down your wardrobe.
This first step is HUGE! We had an excess of clothing for our girls. It was really way, way too much!
We decided on ten outfits per child–but that didn’t count church dresses, holiday clothes, pajamas, or swimwear. I decided on no more than four church dresses per season, no more than five pairs of pajamas, and two swimsuits per child.
I got rid of bags and bags of clothing. Some I donated. Others I took to our local children’s consignment store. Then, I threw away clothing that was badly stained or torn.
Trimming down the wardrobe made switching out the seasonal wardrobe much faster.
2. Create a boundary for your wardrobe.
A foundational tip that Holly has taught me is the concept of the “boundary.”
Boundaries are something I have always struggled with–in all aspects of my life. In fact, my one word for 2014 was “boundaries”!
I’ve learned to love using boundaries in my life. Operating with solid boundaries in place really takes away so much stress and overwhelm!
Holly suggested that I create a boundary for my family’s wardrobe–for both the in-season and out-of-season clothing.
Our three girls all share a room with one small closet. Instead of cramming the closet to the brim, I decided to section it off into quarters.
Each of my three girls has one fourth of the closet for her dresses and dressier clothing, and the final fourth is for my kindergartener’s school uniforms.
The fact that we had already trimmed down their wardrobes really helped with easily fitting their dressier clothes in the closet.
Instead of using a dresser in the room, I decided to utilize the drawers attached to their bunk bed. The bunk bed has enough drawers for each child to have one drawer for her play clothes.
In the past, I would have shoved the drawers full and then found some other dresser, etc. to house the excess clothing, but I now realize that they really need no more than what will fit into those drawers!
Lastly, I have two small plastic sets of drawers that fit in their closet, underneath their dresses. Each child has one drawer for her pajamas and one drawer for underwear, socks, and tights.
I used something completely different for the boundary for the out-of-season clothing: Each size and season gets one large drawer in a dresser in our guest room.
Every family’s situation is unique. You might want to assign one dresser per child, etc.
Regardless, you can use the concept of the “boundary,” in order to keep your child’s wardrobe from getting out of hand.
3. Designate a place where your seasonal wardrobe will live in between seasons.
Your out-of-season clothing has to live somewhere in between seasons.
I personally recommend that your off-season clothing live somewhere that is easily accessible.
Previously, we kept our out-of-season wardrobes in our attic. At the time, I thought it was the only space we had, although, if we had trimmed down our wardrobes, we would have had the space elsewhere!
We personally use our guest room to store out-of-season clothing.
We have a large dresser and chest-of-drawers in this room, and it has been resourceful for us to assign each drawer a size and season. Fancy dresses and holiday clothing get stored in the guest room closet.
We can do this because we keep all three of our children in one bedroom.
Since we use the dresser and chest-of-drawers, instead of totes, to store the clothes, the guest room can stay relatively neat and clean and multi-functional.
You might not have access to a guest room where you can store out-of-season clothing. For you, it might be using containers underneath beds or in your garage, etc.
Regardless, designating an easily-accessible place for your off-season clothing to live can help you easily find this clothing when the next season rolls around!
Switching out Seasonal Wardrobes–FAST
Because I had trimmed down our wardrobes, assigned them boundaries, and designated a place for off-season clothing to live, I was able switch out my children’s seasonal wardrobes in 45 minutes flat this spring!
Here’s how I did it:
1. I set the timer, deciding that I was not going to let switching out the wardrobe take up my whole day.
I wanted to do it as quickly as possible!
2. Drawer-by-drawer, I emptied the current’s season’s clothing into a laundry basket and took it into the room where we store the off-season clothing.
3. I only emptied one drawer at a time.
In the past, I would have emptied everything at once, and all it did was create a big mess of clothing!
Because I just focused on one child’s clothing and one drawer for each child at a time, I knew that I could stop if I needed to, and it wouldn’t leave a mess.
4. Once in the room with off-season clothing, I swapped the clothing in the laundry basket with the clothes in the drawers.
5. I carried the new clothing back into the girls’ room and placed them in the drawers.
Then, I went through the same scenario with dresses, special clothes, and pajamas.
I was shocked that this system took so little time, but I reminded myself that it had taken Holly and me several days to set up this system last fall.
If you are currently working on switching out seasonal wardrobes, I encourage you to take the extra time this season to trim down the wardrobes, create boundaries for them, and designate a specific place for the off-season wardrobes to live.
If you’re like me and don’t like to work alone, recruit a friend to help you through this process–and then go over to her house and help her do the same!
I just did this for myself. I took three bags out from the closet. I have a ton of space! I really want to look like I am in my twenties since I am 26. I took all my teenage clothes and put in them separate bag . They are going to a teenager that truly needs them. I did discover what I actually needed (more skirts and a few more nice professional pieces of clothing). I will buying new clothing. I will not be filling up a closet full of things I don’t wear. I will be shopping for colors that I look good in and things will rotate in similar outfits. My baseline is black. The colors are pink in spring/summer, purple in the fall/winter, a few dash of red. To save time and money is my goal!
I recently cleaned my girls’ closets out as well. We did a massive clean out in the fall, so this spring it was much easier. They each have their own tiny closet, but I have them keep the in season clothes in front and their out of season clothes in the back. If the closet is full, they don’t need any more clothes!
I definitely need to do a major clean out of my kids’ clothes. Our kids each have their own closet so storage isn’t as much of a problem but our laundry is totally out of control because both my daughters have three times as many clothes as they probably need. I rarely buy them any clothes but they are all small for their age and as a result get a ton of hand me downs (which I am really grateful for, of course) but it is getting out of hand. It is so much simpler with my boy.
Thank you so much for this post! We have 5 kiddos. 3 girls and 2 boys. 8, 6, 4, 2. 14 months. I kept all my girls clotges to pass down to my younger ones. I kept way too much. Trying to destash now. This will help a lot:)
I definitely need to trim down our closets! Switching wardrobes is always very stressful for me. Thanks for the motivation!
Our seasons are not so well-defined. We had 80’s and 90’s in February! I had to get my summer dresses out way to early! We do have some clothes that could be put away seasonally, but not a lot.
What I need to get under control are the hand-me-downs for my grandchildren. My youngest is 12; my oldest grandchild is 6. It’s fun to see my grandsons wear their daddy’s clothes! Especially since some clothing they survived 6 boys! I have 6 boys, 2 girls, 6 grandsons and 3 granddaughters so far…
We are working to pairing down our things.
Thank you for sharing! Good stuff!
I keep each person’s clothing in one closet and clothing is sorted by type, color, and whether it’s long sleeves or short sleeve which means I do not have to change out by season. I do a bi- monthly review of the clothing for torn, stained, too small, haven’t worn in a year and give good clothing to charity for tax write off. I repair any items that we still want to wear (favorites). I also get rid of an item if I bring a new one in the house, including toys. This keeps the clutter down or never getting to clutter, teaches my children to be givers, to take care of the things they have and to not place too high of importance on things. It also means I never have to spend more than 20 minutes on this tasks.
We’ve got 6 children, and I know your (previous) pain. I’m not sure all your tips would help with us, but I have been trying to cut down on what we have stored up– especially I’ve trying to get rid of the things that have fit NONE of the children or are just plain ugly. Too often I kept things people gave us because I was worried we might need them. I know now that some things just aren’t necessary.
I am facing needing to do that seasonal change (at least partly) today to see what our needs are for the coming summer. I’m not looking forward to it.
This is so good. And if you are reserving hand-me-downs for the next child, labeling can be as simple as “Too small for Wendy” or whatever. No need to kill yourself with detailed labels. 🙂
Another thing that can help when putting away is to fold shirts and prop them vertically in the drawer — so much better than stacking, because you can see all the shirts at once and flip through them, not just see the top one on a stack. My girls have tons of “special” school tees that they love, so that drawer has always been my nemesis!
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
The first two tips are so helpful. I significantly pared down my kids’ clothes last spring and the result was great. They naturally gravitate towards a few favorite t-shirts anyway, and the surplus clothing was just unnecessary. Up until recently, all of their clothes (three kids worth) was in one room. So, yeah, boundaries were a must!
Honestly, it’s harder not to want to accumulate more clothes for my daughter (because after two boys, little girl clothes are so cute!), but I try to remind myself of the boundary principle. Not only is there not enough space (or money), but the extras are not needed. Even though the clothes are cute, she is just as content playing in her simple wardrobe, as she would be if she was super stylish.
This is a great idea. I totally feel youon having too many clothes in the closet. I have a lot of things I need to get rid of for my boys. I am not ready to switch the season yet, but it is getting close to the time.
The more I get rid of, the more I want to get rid of more! LOL
I wrote a funny post about this just the other day!
Awesome! I’ll have to give it a look! It can be such a stressful thing for a mama!