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  • Writer's pictureErica Lucas

How do I know the "RIGHT" number of clothes to keep for kids?

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Before minimalism, I used to chase clutter around my house. The clutter wake left behind three young kids was impossible to keep up with before decluttering as we kept ALL THE THINGS. I also didn't teach them the importance of routines and cleaning up their own toys until I started my own minimalist journey.

One form of clutter I used to chase is KIDS CLOTHES. We used to keep clothes that didn't fit any more in bins in the basement. I would buy clothes for the future when I saw a sale. More inventory to manage.

In this video, I share a few days in a life of practical minimalist living, including transitioning the kids clothes from cold weather gear to warm weather gear.


Year after year, we'd have bins upon bins of clothes. Over time, I've trimmed back the inventory I keep for kid's clothes. As they grew out of sizes, I bought new ones. I stopped buying for two or three sizes larger. Essentially, I package up clothes for their next sizes by half-year.

I do not have a magic number to recommend for keeping clothes for kids. How do I know the "RIGHT" number of clothes to keep for kids?

I let laundry be my guide.

A load a day keeps the laundry monster at bay. If that's not your thing, you'll need the number of outfits to make it through until the next laundry day. If you have a kids laundry day once a week, then you'll need a minimum of seven outfits, underwear, socks, etc. Practical minimalist living would have me keep 20 outfits for my kids because they are muddy messes on the regular. I'm kind of kidding.

Here's my current status: I can make it five days without doing laundry for our family of five. On the fifth day, the kids are using the last of their clean pajamas, underwear, and shorts/pants. This assumes that the clothes they wore for each day cannot be reworn... mud, the pool, hikes, paint, food, and more keep the kids switching to clean clothes most every day.

That's my trigger... I've trained the kids to let me know when they are putting on their last pair of pajamas, pants, shorts, shirts, and underwear. It happens from time to time as life gets busy and I'm not home enough to tackle enough laundry. OR I JUST GIVE MYSELF LAUNDRY GRACE. :)


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