How to Declutter Your Kids’ Closet With KonMari

by Totspot Team

Cleaning the house may be quite the task, but get anywhere near the kids’ rooms and – well, you just changed your mind about that! But keeping a tidy, organized house reduces stress, and helps you find those exact kitty leggings you’re looking for her right now.

An extraordinary Totspotter, mom, and believer in the KonMari method, Heather of Real Plastic Wife explains how she used the used KonMari to clean up her kids’ closet, made a little extra cash,  and make every single one of their outfits spark joy.

How to konmari your kids' closet

Full disclosure. I only have two kids and one husband, but I can never seem to keep up with the laundry. I manage to wash and dry but the folding and putting away always evades me – especially for my girls. They each have a dresser and closet, yet they are always overflowing and disorganized. We end up pulling wrinkled clothing out of a clean laundry basket. Then my life changed in a day.

I can’t remember how I heard about “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” but when I read an excerpt on Amazon I bought it immediately and then sat by my front door for days waiting for it to arrive. I devoured the book in a day. I was so excited to start decluttering and keeping a tidy home.

The gist of the Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is to simply touch everything and ask “does this spark joy?” If yes, it stays. If not, then it goes. It’s completely different from the old styles of decluttering and purging. It makes so much darn sense, right?!

How to konmari your kids' closet

But even as I was reading I couldn’t help but wonder “How am I going to get to the kids clothes, shoes and toys?” She addressed how to deal with your clothes, books, knick knacks, etc. but she didn’t describe how to purge a clothes-hoarding toddler’s closet.

Worse yet, I’m a mama who likes to hoard Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson in sizes my kids can’t even wear yet. I have a 9-month-old and 3 1/2- year-old and I have Boden up to size 10 stashed. I knew this was going to be harder than going through my own closet.

This is the before shot in the baby’s room. She’s 9-months-old and in size 12-18 month clothes. I had loads of summer and winter clothes all the way up to 2T for her. I had stored 33 leggings and pants for her for winter! That’s insane! We live in Charlotte, winter is only two or three months long!

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.00.06 PM

So I went through the KonMari process one evening after bedtime. I piled EVERYTHING on the floor, nothing was left in bags, boxes, shelves drawers or the closet. I picked up each and every item and asked “Does this spark joy?” over and over again. It’s hard to ask that for clothing your kids haven’t worn yet if you are like me and store a size (or two or three) up. Or worse, for things they have worn and you loved on them and aren’t willing to part with yet. The memory of your little being so little is just that, a memory, not a spark of joy.

Some items did spark joy – others did not. Some just screamed “this will be a favorite,” while others just said “blah.” Some things were hand-me-downs from my older daughter and I just could not see them on the baby. They sparked memories, but not joy. There is a difference.

I sorted into “joy” and “no joy” piles. Then I went through the joy pile and made sure everything was easy to mix and match so there weren’t any “odd man out” pieces, and oddly there weren’t. Everything flowed nicely.

In the end I kept:
7 leggings
4 pants
0 tops
3 sweaters
6 dresses
2 coats
6 Jammie’s

Basically 16 outfits, which if she goes through two a day gets me two weeks of clothing IF I don’t get laundry done.

Konmari for your kids' closet

Then I sorted the ‘no joy’ pile. I looked closely at everything and put most things aside to list on Totspot and put a few things in a bag to send to a donation center. The donations were worn, pilled, old onesies, and brands that I know aren’t the best sellers.

The Totspot basket was overflowing with things to list and included Boden, Gymboree, Janie & Jack, Hanna Andersson, Naartje, and Gap.

Konmari for your kids' closet

Konmari for your kids' closet

I ran out of energy so I sorted the joy clothes into the dresser the next day. You won’t believe this, but it all fit in just her dresser! I didn’t need to hang things in the closet, which makes changing her and putting things away that much easier.

One drawer has tops, another bottoms, another folded dresses. I couldn’t fold the way KonMari teaches as the drawers are shallow, but I made short stacks so I could still see things on the bottom. The other side has the socks, underwear and pajamas. Again, everything fits!

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.04.17 PM

It’s been a few weeks since I KonMari’d my kids clothing and shoes. The first thing I’m amazed with is I get the laundry done faster. I’m not kidding. It’s easier to wash, dry, fold and put away. My toddler even gets in on it because she’s good at folding the pants and shirts into squares. The other thing that’s a shock is that I adore every outfit my kids wear now. They spark joy.

I’ve since listed all the Boden and Hanna Andersson hoarded items too. I figure why should I hoard them for a year, two or three until my kids can wear them. I’ll let another family enjoy them and who knows, maybe I’ll rebuy them on Totspot in a few years!

Thank you, Heather! You can find Heather’s adorable Totshop as heathergear on Totspot, or visit her blog at Real Plastic Wife.