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Ask The Organizer: Clothes Clutter

Many, many of you have written in or commented in the last few months that you are really struggling with home organization. So I’m excited to let you know that I’ve teamed up with Andrea Dekker from Simple Organized Living to bring you a monthly feature called called “Ask the Organizer“.

Each month, we’ll feature one organizing question and let you weigh in your thoughts, answers, and opinions. Then later in the month, Andrea will pick one or two of the most popular responses and share her tips, ideas, and suggestions for dealing with those issues!

This month’s question is:

What is your biggest problem or issue when it comes to clothes clutter?

Leave your answers below and then check back in a couple weeks for Andrea’s expert organizing advice!

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120 Comments

  • Jenny M. says:

    Clothes piling up around the house in various rooms where we take them off

    • Lisa says:

      My Dollar Tree has smaller laundry baskets, we have this issue with the bathrooms and 2 of our three bedrooms, so I slurged $4 and got one for each room. Kept them out of the floor while making it easy to gather them for laundry.

  • julie says:

    The never-ending pile of cleab clothes on my extra couch that I just dont want to fold or put away…but I suppose that is more of a motivation issue than an organizational one 😉

  • Amanda says:

    My biggest problem with clothes clutter is having children all in different sizes. I love to buy ahead cheap but it’s a big ordeal when season change. It takes me a very long time to pack up one season and unpack another season to hang up. We have little storage in our tiny home.

    • Amy says:

      i am right there with you on this!! i could’ve written it exactly myself! we’re pregnant with #4 and the though of pulling out my girl bins and finding a place to put them is driving me nuts!

      • Laura McKeen says:

        DITTO! I have 5 kids all different sizes and yes I too keep buying ahead and store off seasons in my attic…but come season change LOOK OUT I lose my sofa (well, that’s after I dig it out from under the laundry monster so I CAN use it for season changing 😛 ).

    • Vicky says:

      Amanda, in Florida we can’t ever pack up clothes since it can be summer all year! I wish I could put away some clothes, but in January it can be 30 degrees one day and 80 degrees the next!

      • Holly says:

        Same here in Washington, but for the opposite reason – it can be chilly all year! We can pack away heavy coats (but not jackets) in the summer, and shorts in the winter. Other than that, we keep all clothes out all year long. But I have actually found this to be a good thing. We don’t have to have two different full wardrobes – just a couple of seasonal items, but mostly we wear an all-season (which here means one season – cool and probably rainy) wardrobe. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to have the fleece pajamas and sweaters out in August, but not having to have two wardrobes and not having to do the seasonal switch (I remember the hassle from growing up in the Midwest) makes life just a little bit simpler.

    • Janice says:

      Oh AMEN to this!!!! I always end up with skirts that have nothing to go with them, or shirts with no bottoms and end up with waaaaaay too many clothes bc I am not organized about changing the seasons…

  • Stephanie says:

    Getting the clothes for 3 kids to fit in 1 dresser and 1 closet. I have 2 poles in a tiny closet for the hang up clothes. I currently have 2 girls sharing the dresser…each girl gets 2 drawers-1 for pj’s, socks, underwear & swimsuits 2-pants, shirts and shorts.
    I am expecting another baby in June and we must put that baby in the same room. I’m not sure where to put his things!

    • Heather says:

      Put the girls clothes in a dresser in the hallway or another room. Then if you need something for them you don’t have to risk waking up baby to get it. My 3 girls are in one very small room – two have their clothes in there, and one has hers in my son’s room. It works.

      • Megan says:

        Just a thought… if there is room under the beds maybe put rolling bins under there for jeans/pjs/etc. Not sure how well it would really work for daily use items but just trying to use all space possible! 😉

    • Amanda says:

      Same here. Baby #3’s clothes are on a cheap rolling rack in our tiny office. The other two share one closet with 2 bars.

  • Rachel says:

    baby clothes outgrown some lent to me (that I need to give back) some that are mine.

  • Lisa-panaMOM says:

    Best clothing clutter strategy we’ve used: Move to Panama where there’s only one season! Woohoo!! Clothing is so much easier now!! (even though they still have too much)

  • Elizabeth says:

    Storing clothes we need (bigger sizes for my kids, maternity for me, etc.) but aren’t wearing at the moment.

  • Amy says:

    oh, i wish i could take a pic of our bedroom for you… but i’d be too embarrassed to post it! first problem is i hate hanging up clothes, second problem is i can’t get to our closet for the bins of kids clothes needing changed for the season/sizes/new baby (with no where to put), and third is having clothes from since we first got married (12 years ago!!!). thankfully last week i finally started purging our clothes and got 3 full garbage bags of clothes waiting to be picked up by Kidney Services! I’m expecting to get at least double that or more by the end of the month. i figure the less we own, the less i have to hang up! 😉

  • Nicole says:

    Too many clothes, shoes, and purses, but not enough space!

  • Carrie says:

    Seasonal kids’ clothes! How am I supposed to keep track of different sizes and seasons?? It all becomes very stressful and ends up just piling up!

    • Stephanie says:

      I separate by sizes into totes and then put either a sun or snowflake on the outside of the bin. The bins go in our attic.

  • Amital says:

    How about clothes for me? With 4 kids in 6 years, I seem to be always going up or down the maternity ladder. I have my “regular” size, my before-maternity-fits-but-bigger-than-regular stash, and my maternity. Plus a few bigger nursing tops.

    It adds up to a lot of clothes, many of which don’t fit me at any given time.

    • sarah says:

      I try my best to keep wearing at least my regular pants when preggo and just use a rubber band around the button & through the button hole. When it gets to the point that the open zipper is digging into my belly is when I switch to maternity, but it means I only have to have a couple bottoms for that last couple months or so instead of a whole separate wardrobe!

  • kristine says:

    keeping homeschooling books and craft supplie organized on a daily basis

  • I am terrible at keeping a neat an organized underwear/sock/tights etc. drawer!

    Everything just becomes a jumbled up mess and I get very frustrated with it every morning.

    • Laureen says:

      Cari-One great way that I found online to organize is to use an over the door shoe organizer. (You can go cheap and see through if you want, but for underwear, you might want to spend a little more for a canvas one..unless it is inside a closet anyway) Label each compartment and you can store stuff like underwear and tights in each of the compartments. Not sure how well that would work for adult sized stuff, but I store all of my daughter’s tights, shoes, socks, leg warmers, etc in an over the door, neatly labeled shoe organizer.

    • Dri says:

      I have shoe boxes in several of my drawers. They kind of act as a divider. I put socks in them and undies on one side and bras on the other.

  • Stefanie says:

    Currently, my problem is that I don’t know what to do with all of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I’m due in July, and trying to clean out my clothing clutter, but I have no idea what I’ll actually be able to fit in and when, if ever, lol.

    • Stephanie says:

      LOL! I have the same problem! This is my third pregnancy in 3 years. I feel like I wear the maternity clothing more than my regular clothes. Luckily, I’ve only gained about 25 pounds each time before, so I have stayed about the same size. I actually come home and put on my regular clothes about 3-4 days after delivery. I have started going through my clothes and getting to the point where all my clothes fit in a plastic tote. I figure, I really don’t need more than that so why keep it. Hopefully, my plan works and I can just pack up and swap the clothes from the dresser/closet to the bin and pack away.

      It sounds good to me…now I just hope it works!

    • jessica says:

      🙂 congrats! i have that same problem.. and since i am very frugal and dont want to re-buy all my NON prego clothes i have been storing them in a tote under our master bed.. nicely organized and clean.. i dont get overwhelmed by seeing how large i have gotten and have enough room for my maternity clothes in the closet.. hope that helps!:)

  • Kassi says:

    Honestly, it is folding the cloths and putting them away. I hate doing it. My mom set a wonderful example and did it load by load but I can’t put it into practice. I know I just need to do it. You asked so I am simply being honest. I usually wait until I don’t have any clean under garments. Then to find them I fold the cloths. I have a good routine with cleaning my house and it is clean I promise. I just HATE folding the cloths.

    • Shelly says:

      Me, too! And if a load gets washed before I have the time, energy, or motivation to fold it an put it away, it gets stashed on the couch. Then the next one piles up, and the next one after that. Then it becomes so overwhelming I don’t even know where to start! I need a better system…

    • I’ve found that when I don’t get around to folding the clean clothes (they sit in laundry baskets in my bedroom), I just grab clean clothes straight out of the basket. If I let it go long enough, I’ve eventually worn enough of them that there’s very little left to fold. 🙂 This is not a strategy that I want to employ, but, sadly, it happens more often than I care to admit. I usually do laundry on the weekend. Two or three loads is all I need for just myself and my husband. However, if I don’t get them folded and put away by Sunday evening, it’s not going to happen until the next weekend.

  • Christy says:

    I agree with everyone above! Different sizes of kids clothes (not wanting to get rid of them in case I have another girl), maternity clothes, nursing tops, and a too small closet I share with my husband. I have some kids clothes sorted by size in Rubbermaid containers in the garage, and I have refused hand-me-downs that are more than 2 sizes too big, but I wonder if I should pare down even more.

  • Amber says:

    Hi all – well biggest issue is I dont put the clothes away like I should. I used to set aside a time of day and just get it done. Now I avoid it. Once I set out to do the job I hate being interupted and then it gets tedious and drags out longer than I want it to be. The other issue is I have saved many bags of clothes for my younger children so I often float between this stash and those clothes in drawers which ends up overflow.
    THe third issue is I am a keen upstyler , so I have saved another stash of clothing for cutting down to make babies nappies, clothing etc. Im not using as much this week cos I have been ill, and I really need some more tools to complete some of the projects Ive started . Id say clothing clutter makes up about 50 – 60% of our house clutter.

  • Brenda Emery says:

    Too much! I have four dear daughters ages 2, 4, 7 and 9. They are all different sizes. We live in upstate NY where the weather changes litterly by the minute, so I have to have light stuff and heavy stuff available to them at all times. It’s nothing to wake up to 60 degree temps and be in the 20’s by dinner time or vice versa. Anyway, I have tried what seems to be about a billion different organizational ways. I’m about ready to put it all in two piles. A clean pile and a dirty pile.

    Thank you so much for your help and suggestions.

    • Lisa says:

      Agreed! We have had 80’s in the last month and pulled out a bunch of summer and crammed it in the drawer with turtle necks etc. Now today it was winter coat and hat weather and I have winter coats, snow pants, hats, sping coats, sunscreen, sandals, winter boots and rain boots all crammed in a small walk thru from the garage/laundry room-what do you do to keep that all organized when we all have to share a small full area?

    • Andrea says:

      With the exception of outerwear for snow, all of my children’s clothes fit in the dresser/closet space they have available. I live in New England and don’t bother to rotate by season, as sometimes we need long sleeves in the summer! If it doesn’t fit in the drawers/closet, then we sort through and make a bag for the Good Will. Their snow clothes fit in the entryway closet and hang there all year.

  • Ann Marie says:

    My biggest trouble is getting the children to stay out of the clean clothing! What would be helpful for us is probably simplifying the amount of clothing items we have. maybe you can give advice on the different clothing categories and what should be kept (for example: play clothes, work clothes, dress clothes or how many might be two weeks worth of different outfits for each of the days and get rid of the rest) I hope that makes sense 🙂 Can’t wait to see what your ideas are!!!

  • Lisa says:

    I am done with having kids, and I have all the future stuff in totes by size and season in my basement. I struggle with daily circulation of clothes thru the laundry-some hanging to air dry and be re-united with the opposite color top/bottom and be placed back in the correct closet. Hand wash-waiting for me to find time?? Things that need to have special stain attention etc. It is just a big jumbled mess…

  • Laurie G says:

    I think mine is making the best use of outgrown clothes. I used to hang onto them to try to garage sale or ebay them, but I could never keep on top of it and just ended up with bags of clothes everywhere. Finally, I gave up and either donated or gave away my stash. Now, since my kids have gotten older I give them away to some friends, which is nice- BUT I do wish I could find a way to deal with them until I could sell them or consign them- at least some of them. It would be nice to have some money to put back into clothing for mine.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Trying to keep kids clothes organized by when they clothes really fit them instead of strictly by size because the sizing varies so much between brands and also keeping my clothes organized with very little dresser space. Also just not having the time to go through my clothes and weed them out.

  • Liz says:

    Getting myself to part with clothes that no longer fit me or my family. When i try to tackle it, I’m always plagued with thoughts like “I might get back down to that size” or “I got that from my Mom at Christmas 3 years ago, shed be hurt if she knew I got rid of it” or “I can’t get rid of those 2 giant boxes of kids clothes, what if we have another baby?” and so on. so we keep accumulating clothes that I don’t even have places in which to store them. Help!

    • WilliamB says:

      Liz, I have a possible answer for this problem since I used to face it all the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can keep some but you don’t have to keep all.

      For example: if you had another baby girl, I bet you would find sources for more baby clothes: gifts, gift cards, hand me downs, putting word out. Maybe you only need one box to tide you over till more started coming in.

      • Liz says:

        Thank you! Now if I can only make my self pare the collection down. I take a look into those boxes and remember my kids in each outfit, where they got it, who gave it, etc., and I can’t make myself give it away most of the time! But maybe at least I can take out some of the more generic play clothes and end up with a slightly more manageable collection! 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      YES! This is my problem too! I’ve been through so many stages in the past 4 years. Working in a professional environment, working in a casual environment, staying at home with the kids, pregnant, not pregnant, 10 lbs heavier/thinner etc.! I hate to get rid of the clothes because many are so nice and almost brand new and I always think I might use them in the future. Add to this the kids’ clothes and hubby’s and we are drowning in clothes lol! I need help letting go!

  • Brooke says:

    I agree with everyone about the kids clothes. But I also have questions about the linen closet (kind of clothes related right?) how do you get the fitted she to fold up nicely and not get frustrated and roll it into a ball and throw it into the closet.

  • marie says:

    One thing that helps me organizing outgrown clothes is 66quart sterilite bins and a label gun. I have the girl and boy bins seperate.
    For clothes I buy ahead I keep bins in their closet and organize by fall/winter and spring /summer.
    I admit I’m not a fan of changing over seasons! My biggest problem is my kid are small for their age. Last summer my daughter were clothes from the previous season but we struggle with her waist. She needs the smaller size for waisted but bigger size for length. She’s 5 and still wearing 2t and 3t shorts. Trying everything on is a chore but I try to not do it all at once anymore. I will do some when she gets up and then schedule extra time at bedtime.

    it

    • Jeanne says:

      Marie, my daughter is also very slender, 50th percentile for height and 5th for weight. In the summer, bermuda shorts are our friend. Also, some dresses can be worn as tunics with leggings when the dresses get a bit shorter than I prefer, but still have plenty of room in the girth. She still wears bib-overall snowpants, as the other style are much too wide in the waist. It is definitely a challenge dressing anyone who doesn’t closely match the industry sizing norms. Good luck!

  • Leanne says:

    hanging on to clothes that don’t fit because you wish they did…
    hanging on to clothes for “sentimental” purposes (I wore that 10 years ago when he proposed or he wore that for his 9 month pictures)….
    hanging on to clothes because they were “on sale” (but you never wear them!)…
    hanging on to clothes because they were NOT “on sale” (but you never wear them)…
    hanging on to clothes that were “gifted”, but, again… YOU DON’T WEAR THEM!
    If you analyze all of your family’s clothes and get rid of the above categories and then buy clothes that fit your current lifestyle as a professional or homemaker or part-time volunteer, etc your clothes clutter will reduce dramatically!

  • Jessica says:

    My kids’ outgrown clothes. We’re not sure if we’ll be having more children, and keeping the kids’ outgrown clothes is my issue. I’ve donated a lot and passed a lot on, but still have a lot stored away. I have a 5 year old daughter and 21 month old son, so I had stuff for both genders.

  • By far my biggest clothing struggle is that my weight/size hasn’t remained stable throughout my adult life. Therefore I have clothes ranging in size from 8 to 18! It’s so hard to store them all. I am losing weight, so it’s not like I’m saving size 4’s from 20 years ago that are just a dream.

  • lori says:

    We get a lot of hand-me-down clothes, and being budget minded, I never turn them down. We live in Ohio where the weather changes almost hourly, so we need to have four seasons worth of clothes available almost all year long.

    However, it gets to the point where the kids simply have too many clothes. I am ready to go through their closets and pass about half of what they have on to somebody else.

    What is an appropriate amount of clothes they should have? How many pairs of jeans, shorts, shirts, shoes, etc. does each kid need?

    • Andrea says:

      It depends on the child (some are messier than others, some need dress clothes) and how often you do laundry.

  • Jennifer says:

    Storing, sorting, organizing, and not forgetting about all the kids clothes of various sizes! Hand me down’s are great, but hard to keep control of!

  • Chris says:

    My biggest problem is the clothes that are in what I call a “temporary holding pattern”. What I mean is the clothes that can be worn more than once before being washed, such as jeans or a shirt that was only worn for a couple of hours and isn’t really dirty yet. I don’t want to put those clothes in with the completely clean, unworn clothes, but they aren’t ready for the laundry basket, so they end up in various piles like on dressers, chairs, etc. We don’t usually wear the same clothes two days in a row, so the amount of clothes in this “holding pattern” starts to pile up. My husband, my two teenage boys, and I all seem to do this and none of us has come up with a workable solution. Help!

  • Jan says:

    Clothes that my 6 yr old has outgrown but I don’t know whether to save or not for the next kid- they are piling up in the spare bedroom!

  • Kristi says:

    Not enough closet or dresser space in my home for 7 people. I hang on to all the boys (4boys) clothes for hand me downs…

  • Amanda L says:

    Shoes!!

    Its not that we have a ton of them, its what to do with them. My husband hates having to move his shoes one inch from the front door. I agree its a hassle to carry them around. Is there a way to keep them organized. Our front door open into the living/dining room, so there’s not a ton of space there to leave them lying around.

  • Amanda says:

    Lots of hand-me-downs in sizes that my children (6 yr boy and 9 yr girl) can’t currently wear, but I definitely need/want to keep. Also, things that may still fit next year (and often do) when the seasons change.

    Finally, once we get current clothes put away in drawers, the children pull things out to find what they want to wear and then things are no longer neatly folded in the drawer but big messy black holes.

    Thanks for the help!

  • Bethany M says:

    Un-matched socks

    • Paula says:

      I finally solved this problem at my house! I keep a small-ish plastic bin on top of my dryer for this purpose (ours is about shoe box size for our family of 3, but you could use whatever size bin works best for your family). After all of the socks are matched and put away, any “strays” go into the bin. Each time I do a load of laundry, I add any new stray socks to the bin, checking first to see if any of them has a mate already in the bin. If so, they are reunited and put away! If not, they remain in the bin to await their mate. This does not stop socks from disappearing, but it has made it much easier to reunite them and keeps our dresser drawers from being cluttered with unmatched socks. It has really worked for our family! Hope it’s helpful to someone else!!

      Fwiw – this bin can be purged periodically if needed and/or raided for cleaning/dusting/polishing cloths, sock puppet materials, etc.

      Paula

  • Ellen says:

    I re-wear some of my clothing (mostly jeans and sweaters that are worn with a t-shirt underneath). I have a particularly difficult time putting already worn things back into a drawer or my closet!!!! Where’s the best place to store such items?

    And what’s the best way to store and keep track of children’s clothes that are being saved for younger siblings that haven’t grown into them yet?

    • Dri says:

      We have the same problem. We end up with a pile of slightly worn clothes in our closet that I have to sort through to decide what to wash when it’s time to wash. Hubby wore a pair of shorts for an hour in the evening or I didn’t get dressed until late in the day and I’ll probably wear the same outfit later in the week for part of the day. They aren’t dirty, but they aren’t clean either!

  • cwaltz says:

    I have a small house. My 3 boys share a room with one closet that contains a dresser for one of the boys. I am having a difficult time finding a space for the youngers out of season clothing.

  • Chris says:

    I have 5 kids from 7 to 20. (20 year old is away at school) I have searched and tried many different things when it comes to managing the clothes/laundry monster but I still haven’t figured out living without the unmatched sock basket. This is one of my latest challenges. I have learned that keeping less in their rooms is the key to having it organized. And if I don’t have room to store it, I give it away or sell it. My kids have always had nice clothes. 🙂

    • Melissa says:

      I saw a great idea on Pinterest the other day…hang a clothes line against the wall in your laundry room and clothes pin single socks to it…that way, when you find yet another unmatching sock you can look for it’s mate without having to dig through a basket. They took it one step further and put up a cute sign saying “Department of Missing Socks, no sock left behind”…another one said “Single Socks looking for Mates”…very cheesy, but it does help if the socks just hanging there bother you.

    • Jeanne says:

      I heard about someone who supplied each person with a mesh lingerie bag to put his/her dirty sock in, and then into the laundry. Each person’s socks stayed together. I suppose you might need 2 each if you sort by light and dark.

      Also, you can reduce sorting by buying multiple pairs of identical socks for an individual. For example, a bunch of identical black dress socks, and another bunch of identical blue dress socks, a bunch of white gym socks, etc., instead buying random pairs of similar black (or whatever color) socks.

      For those with multiple families members of same gender and similar size, it sometimes helps to buy a different brand or style per person if you would like to be able to differentiate them.

  • Tara H says:

    We have 5 boys all in one room. Right now we have 5 different places in the room to house each of their clothes, but the biggest boys are running out of room since their clothes are getting bigger too! 🙂

  • Angi says:

    When my children were little and I did all the laundry I did it all in one day – on Mondays. I’d pile it all on the couch and then when my husband and I watched the news we would fold it up and make piles on the floor for each child. In the morning, each child would put away his/her own clothes. With the littlest ones I’d give them their socks and say “Go put these in our drawer, properly.” When that was done I’d give them another set of items and say the same thing. It only took a few minutes and they learned how to put their clothes away.

    I also marked my boys clothes (I only had one girl at the time) with “hash marks” with a laundry marker. Each item for my oldest son got 1 hash mark, for my second son 2 hash marks, and so on down to the youngest with 4 hash marks. When something got handed down to a younger brother we just added another hash mark to it. That really helped with the sorting, esp. when my husband was helping.

    Now that my children are older each one is completely responsible for his own clothes – washing, drying, putting away, etc. They each get this responsibility once they are about 10 years old. Each person has an assigned day that he does laundry. And each person has one of those pop up hampers in their room to put dirty clothes. My older daughter does hers and my younger daughters’ since they share laundry hampers. The earlier you can get your children to be responsible for at least a portion of their clothes and laundry the smoother it will run.

  • Candi May says:

    My mom is a Goodwill addict! She’s always picking up this or that for a buck and giving it to me. I personally would prefer to have about a dozen tops and 3 or 4 of Sunday outfits that I have picked out. She tends to buy stuff that she wouldn’t even wear. Then I could wear a different shirt every day for 2 weeks and rotate my Sunday outfits throughout the month. Now I have OODLES of clothes that I do not like or just never wear. So I guess my problem is two-fold. I keep accepting what she gives and I fail to get rid of what I don’t use. 🙁

  • Laura says:

    My biggest issue is my own clothes!!! I went from 130lbs on my wedding (3.5 yrs ago) to 169 after 2 kids. 🙁 I am now workingout and convinced I will be a smaller version of myself. Now I don’t know what clothes to keep, I DON’T love ANY piece of clothing but do “like” how some items fit… when I was in that size. I would LOVE to get rid of EVERYTHING and just start over. But as we all know… building up a wardrobe is anything but CHEAP!

    Just had an idea! I show you my closet, you use my problem spot (aka closet) as an example on how to fix the closet issue, and I get a gift card to get clothes that ACTUALLY fits and looks GOOD! Hate the frumpy version I have become. :'( please help!!!!

    • I totally have this problem, only worse because I gained even more weight! I have nice, professional clothing in smaller sizes that I many realistically be able to fit into some day. I am losing weight, but very slowly. I could get rid of the smaller clothing, but I hate to think how much it would cost and how much trouble it would be to re-buy a professional wardrobe in a new size.

  • Michele says:

    Our master closet has shelves and we don’t have dressers so we try to neatly pile t-shirts, sweaters, etc on the shelves. It is inevitable that the closet is a mess by the end of the week. Is there any easier way to keep piles of clothes neat?

  • Bonny says:

    That is my biggest problem too!!

  • Jamie says:

    Since I got into sewing, I want to save all the raggy clothes just in case I want the material later, LOL! Cotten t-shirts are the worst!

  • Amy says:

    My biggest problem is that we just have too many clothes. We have five children (four girls) and get a lot of hand-me-downs. For a while laundry and clothes and messy bedrooms were much more manageable because each child had 4 play outfits, 4 church outfits, and two pair of pajamas in their drawers (plus undergarmets.) Now their drawers are overflowing! I hardly wear any of my clothes (meaning I don’t like most of them, not that I don’t like to be dressed :)), and have a closet full of clothes that I don’t wear, but I’m afraid to get rid of them…

  • Not enough storage space… it’s a small home, and my hubby’s shorts and some of my summer stuff all live in bins since there isn’t enough closet or dresser space. And then when stuff lives in bins, it seems to invite chaos and disorder! Pieces of clothing that have homes in the closet or dressers end up on the edge of the bin with their friends the shorts! How do we create more space and control the bin chaos?

  • Jennifer says:

    By biggest problems are that we live in a little house with a little closet that we have to make work for two…and it’s not happening so clothes end up in various places. Also, what to do with the “worn once, but not really dirty yet” clothes.

  • Lisa says:

    EASILY my worst problem is storing away hand-me-downs in a manner that they can be found again. Far too often I find a box of clothes after the younger ones have already outgrown them!

  • TeamBonk says:

    My biggest clothes issues revolve around our children’s clothes. We live in Ontario where we fully enjoy the weather of all four seasons … sometimes at the same time!

    With four children (3 of whom are girls – 10, 6 and 3) we have a lot of clothes to “keep for the next child”. We’re also blessed with hand-me-downs that are sometimes too big for my oldest and need to be stored for a “while” before she can wear them.

    I do try to use Rubbermaid bins to store clothes by size (and, if possible, season). I just get overwhelmed at the seasonal swap out … and often the clothes end up living in our hallway for far too long.

    We are a family of six living in a 1400 square foot house … and all 3 girls share a room (where they are fortunate enough to each have a dresser and then they share the closet).

    • Stephanie says:

      This is my problem as well. I keep saving clothes for the “next child” but my kids are only 2 &1 and I feel overwhelmed like I have too many! Should I just get rid of clothes in between? Or just save a few for each size and buy again when the time comes? We don’t have a lot of closet space since we live in an old house. So storage is hard.

      • Anitra says:

        Stephanie, I hear you! My kids are 3.5 and 1 (and not the same gender). I got so overwhelmed with the clothes I was keeping around that I have decided to regularly purge out. Anything I don’t love goes away. Our church has a twice-yearly kids’ clothing swap, so I figure I can get some of the clothes back if I need to. But even if we didn’t have the official swap, I would probably give away clothes to families I know with kids younger than mine, or donate/give via freecycle.

        And hey, it seems to be working! I only have 1 bin now of clothes that I’m hanging onto for a “someday” baby, and 2 bins “to grow into” for my younger child (one of which will go away this summer) and 1 bin “to grow into” for my older child. (Contrast that to a few months ago, when I had 6-7 bins full of clothes, all sizes between 6mo and 4T!)

        • Stephanie says:

          Thanks for your encouragement. I have a baby due the middle of this year and I don’t know what it is…so I think I’ll wait till this baby is here then I will get my clothes down to just a bin as well. Makes sense, I can sell them and then just save that money and put it towards “new” ones if the Lord blesses us with more children. Thanks for you advice because it is right where I am.

  • diane says:

    I would love my closet to burn down then have someone pick out clothes for me. I have too many clothes that make me look frumpy. I just turned 40 and have a 2 month old…need help!

    • Karen says:

      That’s such a normal time to feel that way. I’ve learned not to buy new clothes or get rid of clothes until I’m back to (or close to being back to!) the size I want to be. It’s hard, because now that the baby is out ya just want feel NORMAL again! If you’re able to breast feed, all that baby fat drops faster, if not you just have to work a little harder at it. I encourage you to give it another 6 months or so and I’m sure you’ll feel much better about the choices in your closet. Congratulations on your new baby!!

  • joanna says:

    my problem…our bedroom has 1 closet, & since my husband had this bedroom before we married, it made sense to let him have that closet. besides, not all my clothes would fit into half of that closet despite my efforts @ downsizing my wardrobe. so, i have 2 closets in the room next to our bedroom. however, when we get home from something, my husband can get ready for bed so quickly, & i don’t want to make him wait up for me while i’m running my clothes to the next room. so…i end up plopping them on the couch. that pile seems to grow w/ time, & before i know it, we can’t use that couch! =( thanks for your help!

  • Hannah says:

    My biggest issue is sorting and storing clothing for various stages of pregnancy, clothes for immediately after birth and the graduated size changes until I’m back in ‘normal’ clothes.

    • katharine says:

      I have this same problem. I’ve had 6 kids in the last 11 years, so my size is constantly yo-yo-ing up and down. I need so many in-between variations for the many months it takes me to lose the ‘baby weight’ and then the cycle starts over again before long. Don’t feel like I’m “done” yet.

  • Erin says:

    My biggest problem: the clothes in storage. The maternity clothes and the clothes to save for the next kiddo. {we for sure want more!} They are all in 66 qt. plastic bins, neatly labeled and have been paired down to eliminate ones we didn’t love or were damaged/stained. But where to put them?? As our daughter keeps growing, so does the stack of bins! Every 6 months, with the season change, a new bin is bought and clothes from the last season are stored and I have a new bin to find a home for. We don’t have an attic, or a garage, or a storage room. So the bins are taking over our closets!!

  • Beth says:

    We have very limited storage space in our house, so I struggle with the out-of-season clothes cluttering up the drawers and closets. It seems like in the summer, the winter clothes are in the way and in the winter the summer clothes are in the way! I try to put the off season clothes to the back of the closet, or in the less convenient drawers. Also, spring and fall are tough when you need to get to ALL the clothes because the weather changes so much!

  • Erica W says:

    I try to pare down on the clothes, but we never get hand-me-downs (we got them 2 times BEFORE our oldest was born 11+ years ago)… we GIVE them, but never GET them. So for me, I can’t afford to get rid of clothes until I KNOW we are **done** having babies because we just can’t afford to keep replacing them. I buy ALL of our clothes used, but we don’t get ultrasounds, & our kiddos have always been born AFTER a 1x per year mega church garage sale I have attended annually, so if I wait until the baby is born, it will be way too late to get clothes we need. Going to Goodwill & Salvation Army is still way too expensive for us if I needed to buy a bunch of clothes. The sale I go to annually is a giant bag for $20, so it can’t be beat! I buy clothes for the entire YEAR for our whole family & if I have extra room in my bags, I buy for family, friends, etc. What I get at Goodwill or SA, even on 1/2 price day, would be 1/8 – 1/4 of what I can get at that sale. For the time being, we have some storage space in our basement, so it isn’t a big issue though. Our kids are also VERY tall, so they outgrow their clothes on a weekly basis… it is CRAZY!! Our 11 YO DD is 5’6″ & wears some of MY clothes & shoes!! Right now I am pregnant though (after we said we were DONE 2 times previously! HAH! God sure is funny how He changes things… LOL), so she is not wearing my maternity clothes, at least! LOL Some ways it is fun to share clothes, but in other ways, like when the knees get busted out on MY pants because DD was playing in the yard… LOL. I sure can’t wait for that rummage sale, because I (myself) really need some clothes to replace what has been ruined… & some clothes to accommodate my growing belly :).

    • Lisa says:

      If it makes you feel any better on the tall front, my son is almost 3/4 my height and I’m 5’11. Also, I was about this tall by the time I was 12! So my mom shared your plight for a long time. lol. Clothes get easier for taller girls as you get older, best of luck to you!(and I’m sure you guys love adjustable waist items like we do, best invention ever!)

    • april says:

      oiy, do I know about tall…my now 15 year old girl is 6’2…she was 6′ in middle school and leggy. even pants labeled tall arent long enough for her so im glad for capri’s and long basketball shorts

  • Sarah says:

    Storing the clothes that we “might” want to keep. Things like maternity clothes, my daughter’s baby clothes, etc. Don’t really want to get rid of those things just in case, but the “just in case” day may never come and my house will hold boxes and boxes of clothes that are just sitting there.

  • Carole says:

    It makes me glad I am elderly and don’t have to deal with all the stuff anymore. It sounds overwhelming. I don’t remember it being so much of a problem with children’s clothes. I don’t think I had as much stuff simply because garage sales weren’t as common and I seldom had the opportunity to go to thrift stores. My 3 children were tall and didn’t get many hand me downs from others. My husband was a stickler for order and complained mightily if there was much clutter.

    • Kayla P says:

      I don’t ever remember my grandma complaining that she didn’t have anywhere to put clothes either! 🙂 We accumulate too much these days. Use it up, wear it up, make do or do without! 🙂

  • Kerry says:

    Organizing clothes for 5 kids in two bedrooms so that they don’t create mess trying to find something. I’ve tried rubberbanding outfits but this takes time. I’ve tried eleminating only to discover that a child needs what I didn’t keep.

  • Diana says:

    I have 66-gallon tubs for organizing kids’ clothes. My biggest problem is how to store multiple sizes of clothes in the same tub and still keep them organized. For example, the newborn and 0-3 months clothes don’t fill up an entire tub, and I don’t want to have a lot of wasted space in the tubs. What’s the best way to subdivide those tubs so that the sizes are easy to find?

    Right now the sizes are in plastic grocery bags which are labeled according to size. But there are multiple bags for each size, because not all the clothes fit into one bag, either. And it’s hard to keep those bags in any kind of particular order. Anybody have success with this? 🙂

    Clothes are definitely hard to keep neatly organized! Can’t wait to read the tips!

    • Jessie says:

      I have this problem, too, and something that helped was to buy space bags….fill ’em up, stick a label of some sorts on them, and then you can store several in a tub (or under the bed/crib-which is what I ended up doing)

  • Anitra says:

    Kids’ clothes when kids share a room/closet/dresser. We don’t have much “in-season” space (bins in the attic don’t count). Right now our kids’ room has a 3-drawer dresser: one is for cloth diapers, and one for each kid. We put dressy clothes and sweaters/sweatshirts in the closet, but we also store certain toys in there, so it always feels like there’s no room for the clothes that my kids WANT to wear.

  • kriswithmany says:

    Keeping the kid’s clothes “up to date” – that is, in season and the correct size, and keeping the clothes in storage organized so I can find what I need. We have 6 kids, so this is no small task. Also, I have the hardest time getting rid of my own and my husband’s old clothes. I literally still have some clothes from high school, and I graduated over 15 years ago.

  • Christy says:

    I guess a lot of people already said it–storing clothes for the next child and storing future clothing for the oldest as I acquire it on clearance or at garage sales. Live in 1300 square foot townhome–no garage and only a tiny little “attic” space that holds our baby swing, bouncy seat, crib bumbers, maternity clothes, and infant – 4 months clothes in case we decide to have another. That is all that will fit up there (just around the opening to the crawl space that is up there. So every thing else they’ve outgrown is in every nook and cranny imaginable (closets, under bed, etc.). Since I’m leaning towards not having a 3rd, part of me wants to get rid of all the stuff the youngest outgrew, but we are not 100% yet!

  • Liv says:

    We only have one child who is a year, so I don’t have a huge struggle with kids clothes, yet. My clothing struggle is my own clothes. I have a fairly nice and some what extensive career wardrobe, that I built over the past 12 years, that never gets used because I’m now a stay at home mom. How do I transition from a meager casual wardrobe and pare down a business wardrobe that I don’t wear. I admit I’m a bit of a hoarder ;(

  • Melissa says:

    The biggest problem in this house is there are five people, and we all have a lot of clothes. The problem is, we’re not wearing ALL of them. Everywhere you look there are clothes. I try to keep them washed, but nobody helps with keeping them put away. They just rip and run through their clothes, and I’m washing clothes every single day. I feel like the ceilings and floors are swallowing me up, and I’m laying in a continual pile of clothes. Help.

  • Catherine says:

    It appears I’m not alone! With three little ones and still hoping for more babies, how much should I save? Also my clothes are a struggle as my size is up and down like a roller coaster with the pregnancies and different seasons. It seems as though I need a new wardrobe with each baby. Since that would be difficult, I save, but I have a closet full of clothes that don’t all fit.

  • Patrice says:

    The foot of our bed! If something has been worn only for an hour or so and isn’t really dirty, it usually gets draped over the footboard of our bed. I don’t want to put it away because then I don’t know wha’s been worn and what hasn’t, but then I always forget to “rewear” the stuff on the foot of the bed and just end up adding to the pile throughout the week.

  • Danielle says:

    I have a problem with everything dealing with clothes!! We have to many and not enough room for them. I wash them and fold them and then they get knocked all over the floor so I have to rewash them… I need help!! Plus having three kids and all of their clothes since they were born! Don’t know how to organize and handle all of it!!:(

  • Cindy says:

    I am in the same spot as most other commenters: I am expecting my 6th child in a few weeks and I have a 1400 sq ft home. A large part of out two car garage is taken up with plastic tubs all labeled. I have a 6 year gap between the older 4 and the last two. I get rid of things after the older two girls have worn it because there is 8 years till the next girl. That’s too long to save. I also pass on the boy stuff ater the older two boys wear it for the same reason. It’s just too long to store it. Fortunately my sister has two just older than my last two and we get hand me downs. Often those have to be stored for 2-3 years before they will fit but I am willing to do it. We store summer clothes under the bed and maternity in our small attic. I like my system because it’s organized and labeled. We hit consignment and second hand to fill in our needs. Be realistic about what to save and give to others when you can. You will be blessed for your generosity.

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