How Much Clothing Should We Have??

Updated on July 22, 2011
B.L. asks from Mustang, OK
17 answers

How much clothing do your kids have? We have 2 princesses...1 & 5, and a house OVERFLOWING with toys & clothes (I've already done garage sales and charity giveaways this year. I got rid of probably 9 boxes of clothes and toys, and you CANNOT tell at all!) Help! A little guideline on how much is appropriate to keep would be great! :)

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answers from New York on

stop shopping
so for two kids, I would have 2 pjs each, lots of underwear and undershirts. then for summertime, each should have 7 outfits (1 for every day), one pair of sandals, flip flops and sneakers.
for winter months, less outfits, same pjs, 1 pairs each shoes and boots.
we have much more than what I have stated, but I plan on scaling down as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

How much space is devoted to clothes that shouln't be? Can all of it fit in a closet or drawers, not the floor?My oldest has a huge closet, so she has more clothes - 100 tops, 20 jeans, 30 dresses, etc. And more importantly, she really wears them all (we are hot year round). My two youngest girls share a closet and only wear about half the clothes. So, every month or so, I prune back. My mother can't help herself when it comes to a bargain, so graciously accept it, then donate to Salvation Army if it's not worn in a few months. I can still go a month without doing laundry!
Toys are harder since we don't have a closet to store them in. But "a place for everything and everything in its place" works for us. They love to play outside, which doesn't require a lot of toys.
It gets easier as they get older (electronics don't take up a lot of space) and they can tell you what they don't want, versus you trying to guess, then finding out they "just can't live without it:".

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answers from Spokane on

Oh, I'm pretty much in your shoes, but I've got 3 little girls: 8 months, 3 years and almost-5. And yeah, it's like Disney Princess threw up all over the house! haha

I'm trying to pare down what my kids have and my oldest entering kindergarten this year is a great chance - she's pretty much outgrown everything else she has! So I'm going to buy her enough clothes to be able to wear a different outfit for 7-10 days (depending on if I find some great deals!). They'll be mix and match-able, but I think that should be sufficient....maybe! haha

My 8 month old has SO much stuff (hand-me-downs and new) that she *maybe* wears about 1/3 of it regularly.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I generally have 5 pairs of jeans or shorts for each boy, plus a pair of dress pants, a pair of khakis or cords, and a few pairs of athletic pants or shorts. Same for shirts and sweatshirts, although they seem to manage to pick up a lot of tee-shirts along the way from various activities. It's more complicated for girls because you have the options of dresses or skirts with leggings or tights too!

I would just figure out how many outfits you go through in a week (including random wardrobe changes and spills/dirt changes, back up clothes for daycare etc.) and then add in 1 or 2 dressy outfits. If you do laundry more often than weekly (we do weekly only because our septic system is shot so we have to use the laundromat) this will leave you more than enough clothes.

We have friends who have passed along clothes to us and I just can't imagine what would possess someone to have literally 26 pairs of the same size shorts (3T - these are not kids who are having diaper blow outs), dozens of shirts, 8 or 10 pairs of pajamas, etc. I have taken what they have given us and clothed not only my own child but have then passed along enough clothes to provide seasonal wardrobes to one or two other friends.

Less is definitely more - over the years we've learned to channel gift giving in such a way that we are not overloaded with stuff. If we know that people are going to give the kids clothes or toys for holidays/birthdays etc. then we gift them "experience" things (music lessons, skating lessons - and of course if they enjoy them we continue to pay for classes above and beyond the "gift" amount, a day at a water park, etc.) or things like a swing set, ATV or bike. If we know that there is something they would all enjoy, we suggest a group gift from the grandparents, who like to make sure that they'll use what they get - so this is how we've gotten the Wii, a knob hockey table, a basketball hoop etc. When people ask us what they want and we really have all the toys and clothing they can need or use, we suggest gift cards to the movies, bowling alley, or bookstore or suggest that they take the child(ren) somewhere like to a movie or out for ice cream or whatever if they are the kind of people who like to spend time with the kids. When you have kids of the same gender like you do (I have 3 boys) then you get to a point where you can't possibly use another "thing" but events and adventures are always welcome.

I know that's a bit of a tangent - sorry for rambling!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I think this is really an individual thing. We donate things as our kids outgrow them and they get clothing as gifts sometimes. I only buy clothes if they don't have enough seasonally appropriate things that currently fit. I've learned over the years to not overdo it but they're not in the sizes for long anyway. I used to try to by at the end of the season for next year to catch a deal but it seems to backfire more often than not and they don't fit for the correct season so now I buy only what we need when we need it. I don't think there are guidelines on what is "appropriate."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm a man. My answer has to do with the amount of closet space you have and the amount of money in your budget.

To me, a girl your kids ages need doesn't need more than 7 dresses and 7 other outfits. And that is if your husband makes lots and lots of money and doesn't care how you spend it. That is 7 outfits for the year, not each week or month. You should be saving the 5 year olds out fits so the 1 year old can wear them.

You don't have anything on your profile. So I have nothing to go on, but my girls traded outits with other girls via my wife and the other girl's moms. That saves lots of money and gives everyone some variety. No one will look down on you because your girls wear the same outfit more then once.

I would suggest you have them wear their clothes longer and take some of the dress money and put it in a ROTH IRA for yourself and your husband.

Good luck to you and yours.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

I think if you are have too much. :) It is totally a personal choice.
We have two girls (almost 4 and just over 1). Any clothes the 1 year old grows out of is put in a sale and then the rest is donated. We only keep special outfits. If you want to hold onto these clothes for another future child, pare it down to one paper bag full of each size in each season. Ex: 6-9 month summer (short sleeves and shorts); 6-9 month winter (long sleeves and pants)

I have about 2 dresser drawers for each girl's entire wardrobe. That will include most of one season with a few items of the opposite for those crazy weather days. We live in MN.

Ask your oldest what she likes to wear and then pull out your favorite outfits she wears and box up the rest for the 1 year old. If too many, weed out those and donate or sell the items you know she will NEVER wear.

We have a large plastic drawer container to put all dress up dresses and costumes in. If it gets to full, we weed it out. Accessories go in a clear shoe holder that goes over the playroom door.

You have to make your castle comfortable for your princesses and of course, the King and Queen. You have to figure out what is comfortable to your kingdom's liking. :)


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

8 - 10 days worth. I say that for washing/trip purposes. I try to only do laundry on Saturdays.

I too have a little princess and just LOVE all of the cute outfits. When she was between birth and a year, I had so many clothes that I literally passed it all on to 5 different babies!

I've tried very hard to limit my impulse buying to stuff she needs as she needs it.

Currently she has 6 nightgowns, 8 pairs of jeans, 9 dresses, 9 shorts, 10 t-shirts, 12 pairs undies, 10 pairs of socks. 4 pairs of shoes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The rule of thumb for what you should keep is: If it doesn't fit in a closet or dresser but instead lives in a box or on the floor, get rid of it. The best way to keep your house from overflowing is to adhere to the old saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place."

Take all the clothing out and dump it in the middle of the living room, slowly go through it until you fill your closets and dressers. Anything left over, donate. When you shop for new clothes, go into the store with the knowledge that anything you buy and bring home must fit in your closet or dresser so it would be best to make a spot for the new items before you go, but if you don't, when you pick up something off a rack, try to picture what in your house it would replace before purchasing it. If you're not ready to part with any of the current wardrobe, then it's not time to go clothes shopping.

The only time you should store clothing is when the seasons change. When the weather changes I'll box up the winter or summer only clothing and store it away. When it's time for that season again, I'll pull out the bin and we'll try everything on, keep what still fits and donate what doesn't then fill out the holes in the closet by shopping.

Toys get the same treatment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I try to keep enough clothes so that my boys have at least a week's worth of clean clothes at all times, in case I get sick or something and can't get to laundry. My boys are MESSY and require 2-3 wardrobe changes a day, but I'm sure girls do that much changing daily too, just because.

So, perhaps 14 short-sleeved & 14 long-sleeved shirts, 14 shorts/skirts, 14 long pants, 14 pairs of socks, 7 sets of pajamas, and 3-4 dressy outfits per season.

How is your stuff entering your home? Mostly gifts? Mostly your purchases? Perhaps if they are gifts you can mention to the gift-givers how much stuff your children have and how you have such a hard time managing it. Maybe you can give hints that such gifts are not really needed or helpful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

You really need to just start with one thing like tank tops and count up how many each girl has, you'l know if they have a ton they aren't wearing. Pick 3 favs and give the rest away. do the same with shorts, dresses, t's etc. Your life wil be sooooooooooo much better.


answers from Boston on

OK... so after reading everyone elses responces, i feel like a hoarder! my kids, 4 and 5, could probably go 3 weeks without having to do laundry besides undies even then we have a lot! i am a sale shopper and do enjoy shopping, but i then when it comes to myself dont really buy more than i need... guess i will be taking some of these ladies (and man's) advice and down size a bit.. feel a little bad now...
i will keep checking this post. good topic!



answers from Colorado Springs on

When my children were growing up, I was (I confess it!) guilty of having too much clothing and too many toys for them. I would worry about what might happen if we needed that shirt, or if my child suddenly liked the perfectly good toy he/she never played with before, and how I would hate having to go the store for a replacement if I got rid of the one we had.

It was a mistake. Although it's wise to think of future needs, the children's rooms were always a mess, because it's impossible to organize clutter.

Can you and your five-year-old look through the clothes in her closet? Take everything out, and put back only what she needs to have or can't live without (and the "can't live without" must be done very judiciously). If the closet becomes pleasantly full and she (or you) want to add something else, you have to take something out. Don't go over the space you have. You can do you baby's clothing by yourself, of course.

Put "grow-into" or next season's clothes in a box and store it in the basement (or wherever). Give the rest to charity. There are children who will need those clothes, and you really won't miss them.

When it comes to toys, keep out only the toys she plays with. Store the other important ones. Once a month go through the toys in storage; let her pick out three "new" toys if she wishes, and put three "old" ones in storage for a while.

Basically, what's appropriate is what fits comfortably in the room! Small room or large, small closet or large, the limit is what's comfortable in the room and easy to take care of. And it seems that the more comfortable the room is, the more the child is likely to play with the toys. When there are too many, a child will play with fewer and fewer of them... or get absolutely everything out and become overwhelmed when it's put-away time.



answers from Seattle on

I have no idea what's appropriate. I just know what we have:

(9yo boy)

- 5 or 6 pairs of pants
- 2 or 3 pairs of shorts
- about a dozen shirts
- Sports Clothes (swimming, snowboarding, aikido, gymnastics, baseball, soccer)
- a drawer full of underwear
- a drawer full of socks
- 4 or 5 pairs of PJs
- 3 pairs of shoes (not including sports shoes)

We rent him a tux whenever we have anything formal to attend (it feels silly to buy, since he's only in black or white tie 2 or 3 times a year, and by then he'd have outgrown his last).

When he was an infant - potty trained (100%) we had a LOT of clothes. We frequently went through 3-5 changes a day. But since potty training, there's no need. He does his own laundry twice a week, and that keeps the majority of them clean and on his hooks.

I spend about $300 a year on clothes for him, replacing what he's grown/growing out of.

Spending $ on clothes just isn't a priority for me. My SIL spends about $1000 a year on each of her kids. That 2k pays for a trip to Argentina for a month, or tickets to Rome. Or all of kiddo's sports AND outside classes AND camps for the year. Our families just have different priorities.


answers from Washington DC on

my kids have about 6-8 pairs of shorts, about 15 shirts (my daughter has a little more than my son), and about 6 pairs of jamies. When it gets cooler out I will buy them some jeans and pants and get around 6-8 pairs each. They both just had growth spurts so all their pants and stuff from last year don't fit them anymore, so we will have to buy new ones



answers from Dallas on

We have way to much, but my husband loves to buy my daughter clothes, and since his time with her is so limited, I don't say a word, I just try to steer him in the right direction. Like now when he wants to buy her clothes I tell him to look at fall and winter clothes. My daughter has 4 dresses, 2 shorts outfits, 6 bottoms and tops. Because my daughter is 2, I like having at least 12 outfits. I can definitely go a week without doing laundry for her and I have some extra when she gets really dirty. In the winter, she doesn't have as much because unless she gets her jeans really dirty, she wears them more than once. I kinda agree with 8kidsdad. If you have enough money to put away for your future and your kids future, pay your bills, and are all around financially responsible, than your kids can have more.

As for toys, I quickly box up toys she outgrows. When we are done having children, then they will go, but for now they are in storage. I very much limit the amount of toys she has. Sure she asks for toys all the time when we are out, but I don't buy them. She has lots of puzzles, books and now her favorite thing is art. She has stickers, paint and crayons. But she doesn't have too many big toys and very few little toys. She never complains. I think we think kids need all of this stuff, when they don't. Pay attention to what your kids are playing with often and get rid of the rest.



answers from Honolulu on

... yah, kids accumulate clothing, but you also have to toss those that they outgrow, regularly. And their shoes.

My kids' have generous Grandma and Aunty.
They buy my kids clothes all the time. They like to.
Thus we have lots of clothes for them.
More than me. LOL
But I just tossed out (for donation) their outgrown clothes. Now there IS room in their dressers. For their current size clothes.

For clothes that fit but may be stained, I have a separate drawer for that... and those clothes are used as "home clothes" which they can wear at home and if it gets stained/dirty, I don't care. Because it is only for home use. To get dirty in.

My kids, probably right now, have at least... 10-12 pants/shorts, probably over 12 shirts, 1 jacket. 5-8 pairs of covered shoes/sneakers.
(since we are in Hawaii)- about 6 pairs of slippers. ie: Flip-flops.
About 2 pairs of swim suits each. And rash-guards.
And about a dozen underwear, each.

I keep, whatever fits in their dresser. Once there is too much, I toss.

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