How much clothing do kids really need - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-09-2009, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to seriously downsize our `stuff` and would love some input. How many pieces of clothing do kids really need? How many jeans, pants, long sleeve, short sleeve shirts, underwear, socks, etc....? We live in a large (2600sq ft) house now and I am searching the real estate market for a small house (800 sq ft or less) or we may do the rv or house truck option yet, totally undecided. Thanks Mamas!!

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#2 of 18 Old 02-09-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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It really depends on how messy your children can get. With dd (4.5yo) she can probably wear her clothes several times before they need to be washed. Panties and socks get changed daily. With ds (1.5yo) I'll be lucky if I don't have to change him more than once a day.

So for dd, since she has to wear uniforms to school in Sept, I have downsided her wardrobe to about
- 5 pants/jeans
- 2 shorts
- 2 summer dresses
- 2 fancy dresses (hand me downs)
- 5-8 t-shirts/long sleeve shirts (depending on season)
- 1 winter coat
- 1 light spring jacket (that can double as a rain jacket)


Also, if you do the wash on a regular basis, then you really don't need as much clothing. DD is pretty good with clothing as she has a select few that she likes to wear over and over. I'm fine with this as I'm not much into keeping with the trends as well.
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#3 of 18 Old 02-09-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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We don't have a ton of clothes for DS- I wash them every week.

-4 pairs of jeans -2 pairs nice pants
-10-12 shirts both long and short sleeve
-2 nice button down shirts
-3 sweaters
-1 sweatshirt
-1 jean jacket
-7 pairs pajamas
Lots of socks

In the summer we have maybe 2 pairs of pants, 3-4 pairs of shorts, 10 short sleeve shirts, 1 nice shirt, and a sweatshirt.

Some weekends we will have to change shirts a few times (depends on what he eats) but most of them time he doesn't need to get changed mid-day. We have lots of pjs in case of diaper leaks.

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#4 of 18 Old 02-09-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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How many clothes do kids need? I hate it when someone else gives me this answer, but I think "it depends."

It depends how old the child is, and what the child gets into, and how often the family does laundry, and the type of clothing to name a few variables.

I have found that when a child is very young they need more clothes, because they are messy, especially in the potty training age.

As they get less messy than you can cut down on the number of pants, for example, because they can generally wear them more than once before they need to be washed.

Also, generally you do not need to wash PJs after just one wash, etc.

However, I would only have my child wear underwear once before washing, so they would need more of these, for example.

These variables I mentioned may help you think about what will work for your family's situation.

I do know that when you have less clothes it is easier to keep up with the laundry, which is a big bonus!

Hope that helps!
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#5 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 06:39 AM
 
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Less than I thought

DD started school last Sept and now wears her uniform 5 days a week. She has 2 dresses and 1 pair of trousers. I did just buy another dress in the next size up as I was ill last week and got behind with laundry.

She still has 3-4 pairs of trousers and a couple of dresses for weekends and one party dress.

DS has far too many clothes and only regularly wears about 1/2 of them. Since they fit in his wardrobe though I'm waiting till he grows out of them to sort out again.
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#6 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorF View Post
when a child is very young they need more clothes

As they get less messy than you can cut down on the number of pants, for example, because they can generally wear them more than once before they need to be washed

you do not need to wash PJs after just one wash

I would only have my child wear underwear once before washing

Socks and underwear you need the most of imo (one for each day of the week at least)

Pajamas you can have the least (two)

If you don't have enough you'll soon find out! LOL!
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#7 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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I agree with TaylorF.

Back when my son was younger, it seemed easier to keep him clothed. I had five or so mix and match tops and bottoms for each season and that worked perfectly.

Then he turned 3 and became a total and complete pigpen. Seriously, water jumps out of a mud puddle onto him.

Right now, I have 8 pairs of pants and 12 or so shirts in rotation. It feels like just enough to keep the laundry from piling up but enough that I am not always searching for something clean.

One thing I do is every piece of clothing must match several other pieces.

For example, last summer I only bought tan or navy shorts, plain, no "sets" of anything that required the top to be worn with the bottoms. All shirts matched all shorts.

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#8 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
I agree with TaylorF.
One thing I do is every piece of clothing must match several other pieces.

For example, last summer I only bought tan or navy shorts, plain, no "sets" of anything that required the top to be worn with the bottoms. All shirts matched all shorts.

Very good point! I don't like "sets" unless the bottoms are of a neutral color (beige, black or navy)
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#9 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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I do three weeks worth. And I keep a couple of dressy things for them, complete with shoes.

Why three weeks? In case I have a bad illness and can't do the wash for two.
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#10 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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This so depends on you climate, lifestyle and kids clothing preference.

This is what I did and HIGHLY suggest...

Get the laundry caught up one weekend. Keep their and your favorites - the stuff that they wear all of the time. Now fill in a little bit with the things that you think that they will need but not every day or week. Get rid of anything that the kids do not like and/or do not wear/fit. Then sort the remainder and make a brief list of what you have. Pack this in tubs or whatever with the list. Live with the clothes that you have left out for a few weeks or a month. You can pull out things that are needed from the tubs if you really need them. However, do not make it so easy that you are just pulling out stuff because you do not want to do laundry. I've been tempted. This really helped me to see what my kids and family really needed. Also, if you have hand up clothes, you can do the turn the hangers backwards in the closet to see what they really wear.

Hope that helps!

ps - do get rid of the clothes in the tubs after a month and you figure out what you really need.
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#11 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalynn View Post
This so depends on you climate, lifestyle and kids clothing preference.

This is what I did and HIGHLY suggest...

Get the laundry caught up one weekend. Keep their and your favorites - the stuff that they wear all of the time. Now fill in a little bit with the things that you think that they will need but not every day or week. Get rid of anything that the kids do not like and/or do not wear/fit. Then sort the remainder and make a brief list of what you have. Pack this in tubs or whatever with the list. Live with the clothes that you have left out for a few weeks or a month. You can pull out things that are needed from the tubs if you really need them. However, do not make it so easy that you are just pulling out stuff because you do not want to do laundry. I've been tempted. This really helped me to see what my kids and family really needed. Also, if you have hand up clothes, you can do the turn the hangers backwards in the closet to see what they really wear.

Hope that helps!

ps - do get rid of the clothes in the tubs after a month and you figure out what you really need.
This is brilliant! I second her recommendation.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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For us, 7 days worth. 7 bottoms, 7 tops, multiplied by season...so 7 short and 7 long of each. At least one outfit is 'church-ready' and the rest are just comfortable. I also do the basics to keep things easy - DS has 5 blue jeans and 2 khakis, for instance. Everything matches everything else. DD is trickier, since jeans/skirts without embellishments/designs are harder to find.

Swimwear - 2 each (we swim a lot).

Jammies - 2-3 each

Underwear and socks - 20-30 pairs of each. It's just easier

Coats/jackets - 1 winter, 1 spring/fall casual, 1 spring/fall dressier, 1 waterproof jacket

Shoes - each has tennis shoes, dress shoes, sandals, boots. DD has more shoes simply because she likes them so much.

WOHM to DS11 and DD9, both T1Ds

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#13 of 18 Old 02-10-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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Without reading the other replies...
Well, how much do they wear? My boys share a large upright dresser and everything they have in the sizes they're currently in, fits with some room to spare. The thing is that they wear the same favorite things over and over. So if I notice something they just aren't wearing, I take it out of rotation to make more space. I do a lot of laundry, but that is the case anyway with having small children and CD'ing.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-11-2009, 05:04 AM
 
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DS is an active toddler who goes to daycare, where they require three changes of clothing to be on hand; and we live in southern California, so while it gets chilly in the winter and hot in the summer, the climate is pretty mild. I have found that the minimum comfortable level for us in each size is:

14 shirts (7 long-sleeved, 7 short-sleeved)
14 pants (7 shorts, 7 long pants)
3 jackets/ sweaters
2 hats
10 pairs of socks
2 pairs of shoes (1 dressy, 1 not-- we don't really need rain boots or snow boots here, but sandals are a good 3rd pair)

Of the shirts and pants, we try to have one of the pairs of pants and one of the shirts be "dressy" but sturdy enough for daycare.
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#15 of 18 Old 02-11-2009, 05:37 AM
 
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It depends on climate, activities and how often you do laundry.
In terms of need I suppose 2 complete outfits would be absolute minimum (1 to wear while the other is being cleaned).

My dd (8) can generally wear an article of clothing more than 1 day.
We have clothes for winter and clothes for summer. We have clothes that go through both seasons.

This is what dd usually has out for each season.

Fall/Winter-
underwear 7
thermal pants and shirt 1 set
tights 2 pair
socks 7 pairs
long pants 4
dresses 2
sweaters or sweatshirts 4
long sleeve shirts 4
short sleeve shirts or tank tops 5 (layered under other clothes; also used in warmer weather)
jacket 1
heavy coat 1
mittens/gloves 2
hats 2
boots 1 pair
snow pants 1
tennis shoes 1 pair
dress shoes 1 pair
pajamas 3

Spring/Summer-
underwear 7
socks 3 pairs
long pants 1
shorts, capris or skirts 4 or 5
short sleeve shirts or tank tops 5 (also used in cooler weather as layers)
dresses 2
jacket 1
tennis shoes 1 pair
sandals 1 pair
dress shoes 1 pair
swim suit 1
pajamas 3

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#16 of 18 Old 02-11-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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we're currently in flux--maybe moving across country, maybe not, but at the current time dd has two washtubs for her clothes--the kind that fit in the sink for dishes, can you dig? So tops go in one, bottoms in another. If it fits in the tub, it fits, if it doesn't, it goes--She goes to daycare and sometimes blows through two outfits in a day especially on the weekend, but we do laundry every day or two, so we probably have twice as much as she needs--about 10 pair of bottoms and about 15 tops, one dress and two sweaters, if I'm guessing right. Two pairs of school shoes, one pair of croc-style shoes, 3 pairs of jammies but right now she only likes one.
I totally second the above poster--usually I drop $100 on a size at gymbo outlet and she wears some combination of the same colors for about two months--at least at daycare. Even though it was more money, it was so worth it to me to not have to dig around and find stuff to match or what to do with the pants that only go with the shirt that got "sharpied" past the point of return.
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#17 of 18 Old 02-11-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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I have to agree that it depends. DS2 would be fine with 2-3 pairs of pants, and a half dozen shirts (mostly short-sleeved), if that. He won't keep socks on, so I have a lot of them, but they're hard to find most of the time. When we're home, he generally has no pants on, so he doesn't need much underwear. He wears underwear when we got out, but if it's for a very short time (such as yesterday - we were only out for 1.5 hours, and he spent about half of that either naked or in his swimsuit), he can wear them again the next day.

My kids have more clothes than they need, but I don't have the energy to weed it out right now.

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#18 of 18 Old 02-12-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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ooh, I was just wondering this myself as I was purging again. My infant son has more clothes than I do!! I realized that I put him in the same 3 nighties and the same 2 long sleeved shirts, one pair of jeans, one pair of sweats, one sweater, one hat. Even though we have over 100 items of clothing for a 8 month old, he really wears less than 10 items in the course of the week. (we do laundry every other day though).
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