5 Reasons to Limit Your Kids’ Clothes

A couple of people mentioned to me this past week that they love the idea of simplifying, but are wondering how to actually make it happen. Because it is my intention for this blog to be helpful, I will include some practical things along the way.

I know that for me it is often helpful to see what others do. It often gives me fresh ideas and inspires me to take action. It is for those two reasons, ideas and inspiration, that I share some of the solutions that have worked for me.

With three kids ages 4, 2, and 8 months, I have done my share of dealing with little people’s clothes. Whether it is changing out seasons and sizes or just dealing with the day to day, kids’ clothes seem to be every Mom’s nightmare.

I’ve finally realized that the solution to the problem is not a better organizing system, but simply to get rid of clothes. No, really. Just get rid of them. 

Okay, okay. Not all of them, but I’d wager most of us have more than we really need in the kids’ clothing department.

Here are five benefits I have found in limiting my kids’ clothes:

1. Extra Cash In Your Pocket.

It seems rather obvious, but if we limit how many clothes we’re going to allow in the house, it will stop us from needlessly buying a cute new outfit. How many times have you picked up an outfit because it was on clearance, was too cute to pass up, or was “practically free” at your local thrift store, only to come home and remember you have four other outfits that are nearly identical in style and purpose?

When you have a limit, you’ll spend less.

Photo by KateWares

2. Easier Laundry Maintenance.

I’ve hardly met a mom that hasn’t mentioned something about the issue of laundry. It seems to be a common topic in Mom-land. 

How do you keep up with the laundry?

Ever since I’ve taken a pretty strict approach to how many clothes we let in the house, my laundry dilemma has pretty much disappeared. I honestly don’t have to think twice about getting it done and put away, simply because there is so much less.

3. You’ll know what you have, and know what you need.

When your kids have fewer clothes it is easier to keep track of exactly what they need. This is especially true if you are dealing with multiple children. It is amazing to me how we can have lots and lots of clothes and yet still seem to be missing something that is truly needed, right now! Frustration looms, and a trip to a department store to purchase something at full price is inevitable. I know because I’ve done it.

When you know what you have, it is easy to keep a tally of what you need. When you do scour those clearance racks, you can shop intelligently, knowing precisely what articles each of your children needs.

4. It saves space.

Later this week, I’ll share how I’ve handled the clothing storage, but for now, just remember this: the less you have, the easier to maintain.

This is the primary reason I started evaluating our clothing. We live in a small apartment which means that with five people and five people’s wardrobes, we can quickly exhaust valuable space if we aren’t careful.

5. It teaches our children when “enough is enough.”

One of the things I want my children to learn is the difference between a need and a want. If my kids grow up with dozens and dozens of clothing options, it will not take long for them to start thinking that they need that many clothes.

By keeping a comfortable handle on the amount of clothes we have, I am sending an unspoken message to my children.

We can live on less and still be content.

We don’t need everything the advertisers want us to think we do.

We sometimes need to say no, because though it may be nice, it might not be the best for us right now. 

Enough will look different for every family and that is okay. That is what makes the world a beautiful place, full of variety. The point, though, is that we need to know what enough is, and not just mindlessly accumulate.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you the method I use for limiting my kids’ clothes.

Do you limit how many clothes your children have? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear!



  1. How did you get a picture of my laundry pile?:-)

  2. I couldn’t agree more!!!! I NEVER understood why parents buy their children so many outfits…not only are they not needed but it is such a waste of money! Laundry does accumulate fast enough in our family if I don’t stay on top of it but thankfully I do have do it more often otherwise my kids “run out” of clothes to wear! Great thoughts, looking forward to tomorrow’s posts!

    • Yes, I think sometimes we accumulate because of gifts, sometimes because we’re afraid to get rid of things “in case we need it”, etc. Most of the time it just sort of happens. That is why I have had to be intentional about cutting back! Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. Great ideas. I especially like 3 and 5. Less is more!

  4. I bring a list with the things the kids really need and their current measurements when there is a good sale or consigment sale. What gets me is all the different types of clothes they need: Sunday/church clothes, school clothes, play clothes, and shoes to go with each. It’s hard to keep the number down with enough for each category.

  5. Katie Christensen says:

    I LOVED this post! SO helpful… I haven’t thought about how much easier it would be to put clothes away if there was more space in the drawers/closet… big time saver! I’m so glad I read this early on as a mother. I’m going to try to be proactive about not letting us get overwhelmed by clothes! But we get so many clothes given to us by grandmas and aunts… any suggestions?

    • Life is definitely easier with less. :) I would try being proactive. Before Christmas or birthday rolls around let them know what you need: pajamas, church clothes, shoes, etc. Many times they just grab cute outfits but it isn’t always what is needed. Definitely ask for gift receipts. When they are babies, especially, they are in and out of sizes and seasons don’t always match. Don’t be afraid to return items, just because you have too many.

  6. Ruth (Nana) says:

    I think this is wonderful! I live with my daughter and her family, which includes two girls who are 8 years old and 10 years old. I do the laundry in the house and the girls wear the same clothes over and over! Their closets are FULL of stuff they NEVER wear! I think a good way to add new stuff for them would be to donate an item of clothing when a new one comes in. Might make them think twice about “have to have” new items if they know they must chose one to donate when they add the new item.

    • That’s great that you do their laundry! I’ve heard it said that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe which means the other 80% is just taking up space! I think the one thing comes in, one thing goes ideas is a great one! Let me know if that works!


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