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Spring Cleaning, Kids-style

April 25, 2012


I swear, my children’s seasonal clothing multiplies the longer it is in storage. I dread the changing of the seasons if for no other reason than it demands that I dive into their closets and weed through the seemingly endless supply of T-shirts and dresses and leggings.

The one bright spot of flipping the dresser contents from winter to spring? My ability to donate bags (and bags and bags) of clothing, shoes and accessories to Goodwill.

As much as I like to complain about the chore of the semi-annual kiddie clothes roundup, doing it has its benefits. Diving headlong into their wardrobes will alert you to potential needs in advance, with plenty of time to shop sales (or pick up an off-season deal at Goodwill. See below for what not to do).

After doing this twice a year for some time now, here’s a few tips for maximizing return on your efforts in wrangling kids clothes into submission.

photo courtesy of

Sort, sort, sort: Create piles: donate, keep, and trash (sometimes, my daughter, whom we often affectionately refer to as “Tiny Pigpen” leaves clothing in such a state, NO ONE would want it, regardless of price). Some things will obviously not fit this year, especially if they’ve experienced a big growth spurt.

Does it fit? Unfortunately for my bebes (well, they’re not really babies any more, they’re 8 and 6, respectively) the change of seasons means they must indulge me in a mini-fashion show/try on party. They are required to try on anything on the fit bubble, anything that I think we might be able to squeeze another season of wear out of.

Don’t forget outerwear: Before you leave for Goodwill with your bags of donations, make a stop at the coat closet and assess the state of fit for kids’ jackets and coats. Maybe then, you won’t find yourself in my predicament at the onset of fall last year: My daughter could barely squeeze into her “winter” jacket — it was two sizes too small.

Consider it Goodwill karma: I believe strongly in karma, and I figure my chances of finding awesome, on-trend and on-size kids clothes at Goodwill for my kids increase with each bag of ill-fitting children’s clothing I donate. It’s the circle of life, or at least the circle of shopping karma.

Happy spring cleaning!

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