How Many Clothes do My Kids (really) Need?

April 8, 2011

As a mom to a growing brood of kids, one of the hardest things to do is keep track of is how many of each type of clothing a child needs. You know, right next to making sure I don’t accidentally leave one of them somewhere. Ha. Most of that is based on personal preference, some of the decision will be based on how often you do laundry and where you live.

I have a basic system I follow as far as what they MUST each have, of course with gifts from family, the adorable outfit that is on sales, etc.  we sometimes end up with more on hand, but I do have a baseline of what needs to be available in each size for us to get through a week/season.

At the start of each year (or as they annoyingly outgrow things) I go down this list of what I aim for in each child’s dresser. Click here for a printable PDF. I also like to keep a copy of this list in my purse, noting their current clothing and shoe size, so I’m not guessing at what they need or buying doubles (or triples…ahem…Ben with his THREE pairs of sneakers) of anything.

On a side note, the hat in the very back has been worn by all four, soon to be 5, of my children.

Babies

4 Kimono shirts (side snap/tie)
2 Fleece sleep sacks
6 Pr Foot-Jammies
6 Onsies
4 hats
12 Pr Socks
2 dozen Burp Clothes
5 Cute “outfits”
1 Pr crib shoes/slippers

Jane is a budding fashionista. Keeping her wardrobe under control is challenging.

Jane is a budding fashionista. Keeping her wardrobe under control is challenging.

Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

5 Short Sleeve Shirts
5 Long Sleeve Shirts
4 Shorts/skirts
4 Pants
3 Sweatshirts/sweaters/hoodies
1 suit for boys
2 “Dressy” Dresses (Easter/Christmas type) for girls
2 Casual Dressy outfits (cotton dresses, khakis, collared shirts, sweater vests)
1 winter coat
1 Jacket (try to get one that is a windbreaker and water proof)
1 Fleece
10 pr socks
10 pr underwear
Sun/baseball hat
Winter Hat
4 Pr gloves
Scarf
4 PJs
1 Bathing Suit
Sneakers
Crocs/waterproof summer sandal
Sandals
Loafers for boys
Dress shoes for girls (one pair black, on pair white)
Snow Boots
Rain Boots
Flip-Flops

My boys....in the dirt.

School Age

5 pairs of jeans/pants
4 pr shorts/skirts
7 school shirts (half short sleeve, half long)
1 suit for boys
2 Dressy Dress outfits for girls
2 casual dressy outfits (cotton dresses, khakis, collared shirts, sweater vests)
4 Sweatshirts/sweaters/hoodies
1 winter coat
1 Jacket (try to get one that is a windbreaker and water proof)
1 Fleece
10 pr socks
10 pr underwear
Sun/baseball hat
Winter Hat
4 Pr gloves
Scarf
4 PJs
1 Bathing Suit
Sneakers
Crocs/waterproof summer sandal
Sandals
Loafers for boys
Dress shoes for girls (one pair black, on pair white)
Snow Boots
Rain Boots
Flip-Flops

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily April 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

You are super organized! I will say that one thing I am loving is Jack’s school uniform! He hardly needs any other clothes when I factor that in! :)

2 Harlee March 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thank you so much!! I really needed this. To make it easier for my kids I went with 4 of most items, 5 if they just love it and added 4 pairs of tights and 2 cardigans for girls (1 light, 1 dark) and 2 belts for everyone. Also I had 2 hats, 2 scarves, 2 bathing suits and dress shoes (1 pair black dress shoe, 1 pair street shoes.)

3 Susan April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

You thought of everything!! All seasons, 1 list. Love it! I only made a few tweaks, it was nice to have a comprehensive list for all the things I forgot lol I have it easy – my two boys were both summer babies so the younger one is pretty much stocked with clothing for life.

4 Sara September 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I just googled “how many clothes do my kids actually need” and your website came up! Thanks for your tips! I have a friend selling her load of clothes for $2 per item so I want to prep for the future a bit. Thanks!

5 Kelly November 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

I’m guessing that you do laundry once a week or more? We go to a laundry mat so don’t always make it weekly.

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