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Reader Tip: We save $100 a year by simplifying our children’s wardrobes

Ashley emailed in the following tip:

One of the ways our family saves $100 per year is by simplifying our children’s wardrobes. Each of our four children have 4-5 play outfits, 2 “nice” or church outfits, a nice pair of shoes, a play pair of shoes, a package of underwear and a package of socks.

I have found that maintaining a simple wardrobe for our children compared to having a closet full of clothes, many which are hardly worn, saves me at least $30 per child per season. In a year, it saves $90-$120 per child!

An added benefit of fewer clothes is that you can’t get very far behind on your laundry, so you’ll never again have mountains of dirty laundry sitting around! -Ashley

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  • jennifer brown says:

    I love this post. I, too, keep clothing simple in our home. Just makes life a whole lot simpler.

  • Danielle says:

    Love it! I agree completely! 🙂

  • I think what you do is great but I am the complete opposite which is fine with me. We all have our “thing” that we do that isn’t super frugal but brings us joy and mine is dressing my kids, especially my daughter, in super cute outfits. I love buying her clothes and she has way more than she *needs* but at least I only buy everything on clearance with a coupon and I know that because everything is name brand I will be able to sell it for a decent amount of money.

    But again, I think what you do is a great way to save money!

    • Gina R. says:

      I’m the same way. I have fun finding cute clothes for a bargain. I don’t mind the extra laundry!

    • Lisa says:

      Me, too. Children’s clothing is my weakness. I can’t imagne having so few clothes! I’m glad it works for you, though!!

    • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

      I like having variety for my two little girls, because I do like dressing them up (the best part of having girls…since they never let me TOUCH their hair!!). Also, in our case they are in daycare and can go through several outfits a day if they spill food or have a potty accident (currently training the little one). So we would have to have at least double for them. When they are home on the weekends I’m content to let them hang out in diapers or undies or at least remove clothing at meal times to avoid some mess!

      Now, I can say all this because I am VERY blessed. My sister’s very close friend has a set of twins that are a 2 years older than my oldest daughter (also born in January). She plans on no more kids so she gives me all their clothes when they grow out of them! SOMEHOW she manages to get very high quality clothes (some stuff comes to me with tags still on). So for the most part, I need nothing for my oldest. The youngest is off season from her sister, but this summer she is in a 3T which is what her sister wore last summer, so I barely need anything for her. In the fall time I will need to pick up some jeans and long pants for her, but I’ll probably be able to find good stuff on sale.

      The only things I have to get them are underwear (I don’t even feel right passing the oldest’s down to the youngest in that category). And shoes…those I will have my girls share, but I am not comfortable using other peoples shoes unless I can run them through the washing machine! It’s a picky thing of mine! NORMALLY I only need to buy a pair of sneakers/sandals and then a nicer pair for each child for each season, but both my girls are growing REALLY fast!!

    • Tracy says:

      Our 2 daughters are now aged 14 and 10 and our little newby is a son of 7 months. The Lord may bless us with another daughter in the years to come but, for now, I really mourn buying and making sweet little dresses, skirts and jammies for my girls! So, while I’m BIG into simplifying, I totally encourage you to enjoy every moment of the cute clothes available for little girls! Certainly I encourage you to shop the sales and make things yourself to keep costs down (even in our times of plenty, I’ve loathed spending money unnecessarily and have a personal mission of not paying full price for anything!), but, enjoy it and make the most of those outfits now. You’ll miss it in the not-too-distant future!

  • What ages are your children? I readily admit, my children have too many clothes. I shop at rummage sales and haven’t done a good job keeping track of what I have vs what they need. However, once they get past baby stage, they develop preferences… so only having a few things is hard. Also, as babies, they have poop blowouts and spitups that necessitate frequent changes.

    For example, this morning after I finished nursing my almost-1-year-old son, he burped and spit up all over the two of us. Just as we needed to leave for daycare & work. So we both had to get clean clothes. Then after my husband put the baby’s clean shirt on him, he spit up again and had to have his third shirt of the day- at 7am! And yesterday at daycare he went through two shirts, because he dumped his cup of milk all over himself. So that is 5 shirts in 24 hours.

    • beth b says:

      Many sympathies! My boys, 2 and almost 5, seem to be mess magnets in the summer months. Half the time I just let them run around in “dirty” clothes because I don’t want to change them after every meal or sandbox session! Ha ha.

      I like the spirit of the original post even though my definition of keeping my kids wardrobe simple is 5-7 bottoms and 7-10 shirts. However, I’m only doing laundry for four people rather than six so I can totally see why larger families need to keep the clothing inventory down. I do get behind sometimes and it might be 5-6 days in between colored loads but that’s not a big deal for a family our size.

      Where I have started to simplify more is jackets. Only once have I bought a jacket and I regret it because we got a spring and fall out of it before my son outgrew it. I’m out of hand me downs for my oldest and he’s fine with a hoodie and a winter coat. He won’t wear a raincoat and half the time refuses anything so I’m done paying money for jackets.

      • Jennifer says:

        “However, I’m only doing laundry for four people rather than six so I can totally see why larger families need to keep the clothing inventory down.

        See, I see just the opposite. I’m a family of six and I think we need plenty of clothes because I don’t have the time or the washer space to be doing EVERYONE’s clothes more than once a week.

        So, *I* was thinking “hmm, maybe this works for smaller families, not larger.”


        • BethB says:

          Ha ha. I get overwhelmed thinking about the sheer volume of clothing involved with more children! Not to mention the Mom work of figuring out who needs what every season. I have it so easy with two kids of the same gender!

    • Maria says:

      I have to agree with you! My kids are 1 week old, 2 years old, and 4 years old. They each easily go through two outfits a day! Especially the 2 year old! So those 4-5 outfits might only last one day here… haha.

    • Jennifer says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking! My 1, 3 and 9 year old boys have a good amount of clothes and they go through ALL of them by the time their laundry day comes around.

      I try to do one type of laundry every day, so babies one day, older kids another day, etc.

      • Beth T says:

        Yep! My son wore 3 outfits today and a pair of pajamas! And I didn’t even change him EVERY time he was dirty or sticky lol–but I had to go out twice and couldn’t take him to the store looking homeless! Then, he was so sticky after lunch… there was a third time!

        • Jennifer says:

          That’s another of my “what-to-do” questions? Pajamas or clothes at breakfast? Either way, I’m putting them into the hamper when he’s done. A bib does nothing!

          Or wear nothing and a bath?

          • Stephanie says:

            I have all the kids eat breakfast in their pajamas- even the almost 10 year old. We set a timer and when it goes off breakfast is over and it is time to reset the timer to get dressed before school. He has never come close to missing the bus. We do food, teeth/face, clothes and go.
            If the baby and toddler are doing something messy at home then they just wear their diaper.
            I still have to do lots of laundry but use less pretreater this way.

    • Kara says:

      I keep it simple for my kids clothes (mine too) buying mostly solid shirts and accepting all hand me downs. But my kids are all past the ‘poop blowouts’ and major spit ups. With babies I always had a lot of extra clothing.

      One little tip that might have saved you this morning, I don’t put on my work clothes until the last possible second. I used to also keep an extra shirt or cardigan that would cover a spit up stain just in case. I usually wear three outfits a day, work clothes, pjs and a sloppy outfit that usually gets puked on or dirty face/hands wiped on, but I rewear anything not too dirty.

  • Cassy says:

    I would imagine that would work only until they hit their pre-teens! However, take advantage of the savings while you can!

  • Emily says:

    I HATE clothes shopping for myself and I’ve found that it has also spilled over into buying clothes for my kids. So I don’t do it unless I absolutely have to – meaning their bellies are hanging out of their shirts. 🙂 I always ask for clothes for them for Christmas and birthdays, so that usually covers most of the year and then I fill in what I have to. I’m so thankful that I’m not tempted to buy every cute thing I see. I guess my aversion for shopping saves us money!

  • Emily says:

    That may work with younger kids but once they get older they will want to have more variety. Enjoy it while you can! And use thrift stores and yard sales.

  • I think this is a great idea. As we pack our things to move I am reminded of how many clothes our children really have. However, since they are all hand-me-downs or gifts from family I am also reminded of our loved ones and of God’s continuing provision.

    Now, I’m looking for clothes to pass down to others so we can continue the trail of blessings 🙂

  • Laura says:

    I love this idea. What do you do with two preschool girls who change their clothes 3-4 times a day? I am NOT excited about washing every day.

    • Andrea Q says:

      Most little girls go through this phase! Pick up anything they take off and if it is still clean, fold it back up and put it back in the drawers. (Obviously, not undies, LOL)

  • Charissa says:

    At the start of last summer I realized that my almost 18 month old only had 3 pairs of shorts. I was ready to go out and buy a few more for him but held off wondering if he’d be able to “survive” with just a few pairs. In the end, as the summer came to a close, I realized we’d done it!! It was a good reminder that we often don’t need as much as we might think.

  • kristen says:

    I really need to simplify my daughters wardrobe. I tend to get caught up in all the deals, and I know that even if I get a great deal it’s still a waste of money if it’s not needed. I looked in her closet yesterday and she has over 30 full outfits just for the summer :/

  • Carrie says:

    I envy people that can do that and have that self-control. While I am a complete bargain shopper, I adore picking out and dressing up my kiddos in cute clothing and it’s hard for me to resist a cute item on sale. I’ve often thought that this is something I should strive towards, though! I can’t see how it doesn’t save you MORE than $30 per child, though!

  • Tracey says:

    I think that what you are doing is great. Small children don’t really need that many clothes because to be honest we all do laundry every day or at least I know I do. But please prepare yourself for adolescence. This will not work with teenagers–especially girls–be prepared!!!!!!!!!

    • Susan says:

      Ah, if the teens want extra variety/quantity of clothes they can buy it with the money they earn and wash the clothes for themselves. 😉

      • Liz says:

        Susan, I love this! My children are still very young (22-month old daughter and 4.5-year old son) but my parents did this with me and my siblings when we were growing up. Whenever we asked my mom to buy us something (be it clothes or something else) she would always ask, “Do you want it badly enough to use your own money on it?” If we said no, then she would say that she is not spending her money on something we don’t “badly” want. 😛 It was a win-win situation for her every time because if we agreed that we DID want it badly enough to use our own money, then she would tell us to go do it! 😛 Anyway, as a parent, I now like this way of thinking. 😛

  • Amber says:

    I have three boys: 5, 2, and 10 months. My 5 yr. old has two favorite shirts. If I let him, he’d wear only those. I sometimes have to make him wear something else to wash his favorites. I finally realized buying him more clothes would be a waste, because he won’t wear them anyway. He easily has at least 6 or 7 shirts that never get touched, so even if I see a great deal on clothes, I don’t buy them because $0 is less than any amount and they will just collect dust.

    • BethB says:

      My almost 5 y/o is the same way except he at least has 4-5 favorite shirts. 🙂 As he gets older and develops is own tastes I’m realizing I need to change the way I shop for him. Oh well.

  • Kadee says:

    My boys are 8, 6, and 4. We do this for them and it works great. I do it for me, too! I am not a fashionista, hate to shop, and hate stuffed closets and drawers, so maybe that helps 😉

  • Dana says:

    I just have to say that I have loved all of the posts about clothing on this site. Crystal posted about only having a small number of outfits for herself and her children and this really made me think. When it was time to clean out the closets and get out summer clothes, I was way more conscious of what my kids really needed. I matched up things to see how many outfits they each had and decided the only thing I really needed to buy was a pair of jean shorts for my daughter! Had this site not made me think, I probably would have gone out and bought several things for each of them and then ended up with way too many clothes, yet again! I love this site because you get the deal updates, but there are so many posts that make you think about how you should spend money.

    • BethB says:

      I’ve stopped myself a few times from buying my older son more shorts because of how much I expect him to grow this summer. Even if he outgrows the smaller shorts next week we can easily make do with the four pairs he has in the larger size!

    • Wendy says:

      Dana, I second you with your comment. Thanks Crystal, I truly appreciate your topics in your blog.

  • Lynne says:

    This is great if your kids aren’t in school, but once they are in school, they want and need variety. Other kids start to notice that they only have 4 shirts and 4 pairs of pants. I am all for saving money and I get loads of hand me downs and buy the rest on sale and in clearance. I don’t want my girls to be the butt of others kids jokes. Kids can be very mean in the blink of an eye! Plus I don’t want to do laundry a few times a week — my 8 and 6 year old girls can run through clothing like crazy! Once a week is plenty for me and sometimes I push that back to once every 10 days!

    • Marsha says:

      I agree. Dressing my kids well is a pleasure of mine, but I can see where others don’t want or can’t do it to the extent that I do and still feel that limited wardrobes have diminishing returns as children grow up. I do buy a lot used (ebay, loobalee, etc.) and I’m lucky to live in an area that has numerous warehouse sales so I seldom-to-never pay full price. Plus my children’s Godparents gift us with hand me downs. Their wardrobes are extensive! But a lot of that comes with being active in community organizations, a faith community, school clubs, athletic pursuits and so on. Even scouts seems to add to their closets via uniforms and brown, green, navy or tan camp tees. Oh, and then there’s stage crew which requires all black and orchestra which is a black skirt and white shirt.

      As to the laundry, I teach my kids to sort their own laundry as they take it off directly into hampers for white, colors, tans/greens, darks, handwash, and reds. That way I can see what needs washing most at a glance. My oldest – age 10 – can get a load into the washer and dryer without my assistance and he’s been responsible for getting his own sports gear washed & ready for two years now. Empowering him to take care of his own belongings is so freeing! He knows the “worth” of his stuff and being the primary caretaker means that his clothes are treated well. My 7 year old daughter is just now being taught to do laundry and knows that soon she and her brother will do mom’s and dad’s as well.

      • LisaS says:

        Teaching them to take care of their own stuff is really the key! but I won’t even let my husband wash mine … learned that one the hard way years ago …

        And I love having all those club/team/camp tshirts. My daughter is in a “tomboy” phase right now, so that’s all she wears, but even when it wasn’t, having a few of those to wear instead of a polo with her tan capris (mine go to a uniform school) helps add variety where there really isn’t much.

    • BethB says:

      I have to say I totally agree with this. We have good friends who don’t care about clothing and everything they and their kids have is hand me downs. Frankly, their younger child looks like he’s wearing stuff that at least two other children wore ten years ago and he stands out. I had social problems myself as a child, as did my husband, and I’m very conscious of making sure my kids look like everyone else. To a point, of course. It’s one thing if they’re choosing to look a certain way but I don’t want to unintentionally handicap my child socially. I still hunt for bargains, accept hand me downs, and shop off the clearance rack but I’m very careful to make sure they’re clothes aren’t going to call attention to them in a bad way.

      • Jennifer says:

        You can stand out and look a mess in brand new clothes.

        It’s all about “caring” about clothing. 90% of our wardrobe is hand me downs or Goodwill, but I only buy things that I think look nice and will look nice on our bodies.

        Just because its free doesn’t mean that you have to wear it if its doesn’t work for you.

        Another thought, does HE think he stands out, or do you? Sometimes we let our own personal hang-ups color our image of something. Just a thought.

        • BethB says:

          The boys are only 5 so I highly doubt he thinks about how he dresses. 🙂 But seriously, he really does stand out and he’s already had social problems at school. It’s not just me. I’m not talking about being snobby about labels or what have you but more stuff like wearing pants that are four inches too short, mismatched or odd color and pattern combinations, and in general clothing that looks very old and worn.

          I’m not trying to imply that hand me downs are the only way someone might look unkempt. We have quite a few in our house. My point was that as parents I think we need to be careful that our desire for frugality doesn’t have negative effects on our children. Not that I’m saying we buy clothes we can’t afford because they’re what “everyone” is wearing. Just that in our house, we’re a little more conscious of making sure we’re not unintentionally dressing our children in a way that could cause social problems for them. We like to joke that our poor kids already have problems enough having us as parents so we need to help them out where we can. 🙂

          And we’re very grateful we don’t have girls. Ha ha.

          • Stephanie says:

            Does he dress himself? I know several little kids who put together outfits like that all by themselves 🙂

          • Jennifer says:

            Sounds more like the parents just don’t care. Too bad.

            • Kimberly Fitzgerald says:

              I could not agree with you more Jennifer. It is so important to dress your kids well. Being clean, neat, and wearing clothes that fit their bodies promotes self esteem and self confidence. My 14 year old son was raised with these ideals and he puts great care and effort into getting ready for school and other activities. He will not leave the house in track pants of gym shorts and he also sorts and washes all of his own laundry as he was taught to care about his clothes and himself. I am willing to spend a little more to insure my three kids fit in and feel confident.

      • Stephanie says:

        I have no issue with not wanting kids to stand out and/or look scruffy in a bad way. OTOH, I/We have certain children’s styles that are unacceptable to our family. The girls will not be wearing bikinis or miniskirts even if all their friends do and my stepson will not be wearing certain styles either. He is the only one old enough to understand and he stopped asking for those items a long time ago. It was pretty cool when we went shopping with him recently and he went right past a rack of stuff in his size saying he knew we would say no and why. He still managed to find plenty that he liked and worked for us.

        • BethB says:

          I hear you with certain kids styles. For some reason I really hate the skater look. Do I need to put my 5 y/o in a shirt with a skull and crossbones on it? Thankfully my kids are young enough we haven’t gotten there yet. The older one is starting to develop preferences to the point I’m going to take him with me when I buy the few things he needs for the fall but so far it’s just stuff like being picky about pants and wanting dinosaurs on his shirts. I don’t envy parents of girls. 🙂 I cannot believe the clothes some people put their daughters in!

    • Jennifer says:

      Another reason why I love uniforms! My daughter has three, they get washed twice a week. That’s it. I know some families have one set and wash it every night.

      • BethB says:

        I would kill for school unforms! On the other hand, then I’d have to figure out how many regular clothes to buy them so that would probably stress me out too. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Don’t be worried at all about when the become teenagers. If you are still buying their clothes then (I started buying my own clothes at 13) you can tell them that you will provide the same 4 or 5 outfits and 2 “nice” outfits and if they want more variety give them the freedom to spend their own money on it. Just because they want more variety doesn’t mean they need more variety. Giving them the freedom to spend their own money lets then decide what their priorities are, ie. more clothes vs. going to a movie, etc. Learning to make these value choices early will set them on a good track toward fiscal resposibility later.

    • Erica says:

      I LOVE this idea!! We recently started battling with our 13 year old and how she wishes to dress versus what is acceptable and for her body type. We decided we wouldn’t be buying her any new clothes until she read a book we provided about modesty. It’s been just over 2 months and she hasn’t bothered to read the book and she hasn’t received any new summer clothes either. When she comes out in something that doesn’t fit she is told to remove it and put it in the hand me down box. I’m sure as school approaches she will read the book but for now she’s having to do laundry more then once a week so be able to have clean clothes to wear which in turn is getting more of our laundry done since she is required to do a full load each time. Oh the ways to save money and teach a lesson… : )

      • Carla says:

        I admire you greatly for this approach! It is not easy, I know.

      • Caitlin says:

        Yes, it IS a good way to teach a lesson. We told our son no new toys or books until he learned to put things away.. he saw a Handy Manny toy he couldn’t WAIT to get his hands on.. but no toy, because he wouldn’t put his things away. It was one sad little boy leaving the store.. but I can guarantee you, his things have been put away since, and two weeks later, I let him have the toy.

      • Jessica says:

        Michelle: While my pre-teen (so far) isn’t dressing inappropriately, can you pass on the name of the modesty book please?!

      • Tina C says:

        now that’s great parenting 😉 good job!

  • Kate says:

    We get a LOT of hand-me-downs for my son from a dear friend who buys far to many clothes for her son, who’s about 3 sizes ahead of my son. I finally realized that I just can’t keep everything she gives me or else I’d have to devote a wall of my storage room just for one child who rarely cares what he’s wearing! So, the other day she gave me 4 bags – I immediately sorted through them and am only keeping 1 bag, the rest will be passed along.

  • mildred lane says:

    I know that the price of cotton material is going up and up. So I went to Goodwill and gathered up a buggy load of cotton sheets NUT then I thought -you have a large box of sheets of all sizes at home plus what you have in the closets and on the beds. SoI PUT THEM BACK. I love used sheets to mk pillow cases,scarfs,toy bags,napkins,hankies, etc.

  • Michelle says:

    I have such a picky child (my oldest, age 10) that she only WEARS 3-4 play outfits and 2-3 church outfits. The rest will sit in her drawer/closet. So…. I periodically have her go through her clothes and give me the things she’s not going to wear anyway. I pack them away for my second (not picky, 8 year old) child to grow into. I don’t end up buying much for my oldest because she probably wouldn’t wear the clothes, anyway, but I do let her know how much she can spend to get something she needs and it has to be “approved” by me. It kind of makes it easy.

    I used to buy her stuff I liked and knew would look good on her and found I was almost wasting the money. True, my second daughter would eventually grow into it all, but it made me mad to spend the money and have her turn her nose up at it all. Now, I don’t get mad, I save money, and she has a lot less clothes to mess with. She does “kid laundry”.

    • BethB says:

      Do you take her shopping with you or have you gotten so you can anticipate her tastes?

      • Michelle says:

        We go shopping together or I have her look before I buy things online, but she doesn’t like to say she doesn’t like something. She’ll just not wear it. This is why I now have her pick out what she likes and as long as it’s in the price range and modest, I don’t fuss or argue! I really can’t find a pattern to her tastes. 🙂

  • Jenna says:

    I started buying 2 sizes out for my kids when they were infants. I only shop at thrift stores a/o yard sales other then undies, socks and shoes–well the shoes i admit I will use used winter boots. I have a list of things they need in that size. My kids always have 5 pants and 10 shirts. When then kid moves into a size that is hanging I start buying into the next size I do not have. I find that this prevents me from panic buying and or buying too much. I also can take my time and buy quality clothes at Goodwill or yard sales over retail prices. I think I spend 150.00 a year (each) on my 2 kids. This includes all winter gear. They each have one nice pair of sensible shoes and two pairs of tennis shoes.

  • Wani says:

    My two sons share one dresser with 6 drawers – three drawers per boy. One for PJs, socks & undies, one for shirts and one for pants. So, if it doesn’t fit in the dresser we don’t keep it. And when it comes time to store off season stuff I only keep what I can fit in one large diaper box in any given size.
    I’ll admit I’m not as strict with my daughter’s wardrobe. Girls clothes are so much cuter! 😉

  • Caitlin says:

    We do this with ourselves and our son. He has worn the same set of summer clothes two years in a row. Last summer, he had a diaper, so everything fit.. this summer, no diaper.. so everything STILL fits. It’s been a blessing. I live out of a few pairs of pants and a few tops.. hubby is military, so he only has a few sets of clothes too. Looking forward to browsing the thrift stores soon for some fall and winter goodies.. my son has his tops covered, I got him 6 turtlenecks on clearance for $4 dollars total at Walmart a month or two ago. 🙂 He just needs a new coat for winter and a few pairs of pants and maybe a pair of shoes. 🙂 He definitely doesn’t care.

  • BB says:

    I’m buying for next year with an eye for items that can be worn layered. We’re a small family and I try to do full loads of laundry. Items that can be worn for more than one season help bulk up my DD’s wardrobe.
    This time I’m keeping next summer’s purchases out so I can make sure it all matches rather than just tossing them in a storage bin. 🙂

  • Adena says:

    I love these posts on saving $$ on kid’s clothes. With four kids it is helpful. But when you have so few outfits they don’t last when you are doing hand me downs. With three boys they go on to the next, my 4yo is wearing clothes my 6 & 8yo each wore. Each season I never have to buy clothes for my two youngest . Also on camping trips, I do not want to have to do laundry in a costly laundry mat. So I need enough to last a whole trip.

  • Michelle says:

    Oh, I feel better now! I was packing away my daughter’s clothes to be used for (Lord willing) future children and kept no more than 10 tops in a size range; then I started to worry that that wouldn’t be enough…but I think we’ll be just fine. 😀

    • Stephanie says:

      Just an FYI- several people have posted about stored clothing not holding up well. If there isn’t another baby in the next two years or so you may want to think about passing on what you have and starting fresh when the time comes.

      • Michelle says:

        I think it depends on the quality of the clothing and how you store it as well as how your kids “wear and tear” the clothing. All the baby clothes from my daughters (now 8 and 10 years old) has held up fine for this little one due in 2 weeks. However, some of the Walmart-ish stuff I buy for playclothes for them now don’t last through a season.

        I wash the clothes that are worth keeping and fold them and store them in plastic tubs, and they have done fine so far.

        Another thing is that if you have friends/family with children in “between” ages (for example my girls are 8 and 10 and my brother’s little girl is 4 and now we’re expecting another girl soon), you can pass the clothing from your older children on to the other family and they’re usually more than willing to pass on THEIR clothing back to your little one. Sometimes you get favorite outfits back, but often new things are added along the way. I did maternity clothing like this too. 🙂

      • Andrea Q says:

        The elastic in socks often degrades when stored, so I no longer bother to keep socks. Whites and pale colors sometimes get discolored spots/yellowing.

  • Angela says:

    I have been considering doing this for some time. I have 4 kids and the clothes are just absolutely out of control. I want to cut down to 7 days of clothes, a couple nicer outfits, one package of socks and one package of underwear per child. I have already been weeding through my own clothes, I guess I just need to do the same for the kiddos! I rarely have to buy clothes though and when I do, they’re under $5/ea. I just bought shirts for $1.74 and jeans for $2.48 from Target. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder though – this will likely be my project after this term of college is over in a week.

  • Kenzie says:

    I’m also wondering what age children this works for… Like most of others have mentioned, I have children under 4. They tend to dirty their clothes and stain them pretty much daily. Also, we attend church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, so I’m not sure 2 church outfits will work. That would mean my kids would have to wear the same exact thing every Sunday and Wednesday.

    I’m also not sure how that saves on laundry costs. Just because you have less outfits doesn’t mean you wear less clothes. It just means you wash the same ole outfits over and over. Either way you look at it, your kids are going to wear one outfit every day- whether its the same one they wore 2 days ago or a different one.

  • Ally says:

    We are a family of three and I was doing 3-4 loads of laundry (whites, darks, colors, sheets/towels) each week. Working full time while going to grad school it was hard to keep up with all the household chores. Instead, I bought each person an extra pair of jeans, bag of underwear and a bag of socks and with the extra tops we had (and sometimes rewearing clean work pants) we were able to get through two weeks with out doing laundry. It allowed me to dedicate every other weekend to just school work and the other weekend to cleaning and freezer cooking. It really helped me be able to plan for family visits (non school weekends) and around hubby’s work schedule (school weekends). By shopping Target sales with Target coupons and consignment stores I was able to do this for all three of us for less than $50. It was worth it.

  • Tonya says:

    What a great post! I have an entire closet devoted to tubs for my sons’ clothes (6, 3, 6 months) and it is becoming ridiculous. I haven’t spent much money b/c I have set limits on how much I spend per item of clothing and I also have gobs of hand-me-downs. BUT WHY do i have to keep all the hand-me-downs when the two oldest have their favorite articles of clothing to wear and that’s it?! Plus, the hand-me-downs to the oldest will look pretty trashy by the time they get to #3, so I’m feeling the urge to do some purging of clothes. Inspired to free up dresser space, closet space, and tub space! and i love the ideas other commenters have had about saving money/space in the future.

  • Stephanie says:

    Great post. I believe if you don’t make a big deal about clothes and clothes labels your children won’t. I didn’t when I was raising my son and we never had a problem. Many friends of his would only wear certain brands and he would be like “it doesn’t matter”. He preferred plain tshirts over ones that made you stand out. Alot of mom’s pushed their kids to only wear this brand or that brand. I can say today he is 19 and still doesn’t care about brands.

  • Kristen says:

    I think most moms who prefer certain brands do so because of the quality and how long they last, not the name itself.

  • cindy says:

    I’m enjoying reading this post and comments! I’m a new mom of a 2-year-old, and I’d really like to simplify his wardrobe, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how much he really needs! Since he can easily go through 3+ outfits a day (we are trying to pottytrain right now, plus he *loves* being outdoors), so we will have to take that into consideration!

  • Mavis says:

    We’ve been doing something similar since our 22 year old was small. It saves a lot of money in the long run. Each child has two pair of “church” or “town” pants…usually jeans, 4 or 5 “nice” shirts as well as about 7 play outfits. When they are babies, they have a few cute outfits for church and going out but at home…it’s onesies.

    We also do the same for my husband and myself. A few outfits for “dress” occasions and the rest are “home” things. Worn jeans and stained shirts are demoted for work around the house stuff.

  • dana says:

    We have 11 children, with #12 due in Nov.
    Because we travel 8 months of the year, and live in our 40′ rv, we have gone from 30 summer outfits for the 4 y.o. to 7. I used to love to dress the little girls up, and to an extent, still do. I find, however, that since we are now constrained by space and time (we are much busier traveling!), the clothes fettish is no longer there. I thought that I would miss it, but I actually feel very freed! Each child has a week’s worth of clothing – maybe a bit more when you factor in l/s and s/s. We have found that this is more than sufficient, even when we are dealing with illness.
    We love our RV life; the whole thing is very relaxing because of the (forced! LOL!) simplicity. We love having simplified wardrobes!

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