The Life-Changing Magic of Marie Kondo Part 3 (Kids’ Clothes)

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

I started practicing the KonMari Method about a week ago after starting Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Marie Kondo insists that you must tackle organizing your house in a strict order of categories and only keep items that spark joy.  You first have to start with clothes.  ALL of your clothes.  There are 4 of us in my family, so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to complete each category with my own personal belongings or complete each category throughout the household before moving on to the next category.  I plan on organizing the entire house, especially my children’s belongings.  I decided that I should tackle ALL clothes in the house first, mine or not.  I started with my own clothes and felt extremely accomplished and motivated to continue.  (See Part 2 here and Part 1 here.)  Here is a quick glimpse at how I KonMari’d my clothes and accessories:

The KonMari Method Applied to My Clothes -

Tackling the kids clothes seemed like a much bigger project.  No one really tells you that when you decide to have children, you also have decided to become a Clothes Manager.  Kids grow a lot.  And fast.  And it is really hard to keep up!  I have 2 girls that are 2 years apart.  It seems like they are ALWAYS in transition from one size to another, requiring storage of multiple sizes at the same time.  They also share a small room, dresser, and closet.  I find that I have to organize their clothes at least twice a year (more if I really am attempting to get my sh*t together).  The KonMari Method requires you to handle each item and decide if it sparks joy or not.  I debated if the kids should do this or if I should do this for them.  I ended up doing a little of both.  I pre-discarded for them (based on size and condition) and then asked them if they liked certain items.  [It does not appear that Marie Kondo has children and she doesn’t directly address it in her book.  I am pretty sure she would say have the kids decide what sparks joy but my 7 year old keeps EVERYTHING and I knew that we would make no progress if it was up to her.  Needless to say, it was EXTREMELY hard for her to part with anything, even her size 6 clothes that no longer fit and solo socks.  She gave a thumbs up or exclaimed “JOY!!!” to nearly every single item that I held up to her.  I also think the kids would discard necessary items if it was up to them so I decided I better do most of it myself.]  I don’t think everything left necessarily sparks joy for them but I made sure to keep their favorites.

My oldest is 9 years old.  She just outgrew size 7/8 (8) and is now a 10/12 (10) [LITERALLY, as in she seriously Incredible Hulked out of her clothes over night!].  My youngest is 7 years old.  She just outgrew size 6 and is wearing size 7 (7/8).  I gathered ALL of their clothes and stacked them on the floor into 2 piles (1 for each of them).  I had to do both of them at the same time because they are both in transition.  I removed all the clothes from their dresser, closet, and anything I could find downstairs (like jackets).  The bins are where I store future sizes (hand-me-downs and buy-aheads).  [I do have a LARGE amount of clothes in the laundry but I didn’t want that to slow me down when I was feeling so motivated.  I will need to continue sorting as those clothes are washed.]

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

As you can see, they had a LOT of clothes to sort through!!!  I discovered that there were still size 6s in there as well as size 8s that no one fits into right now.

I first went through my 9 year old’s clothes.  I removed all of the 8s completely and boxed them for later in a “future” bin.  I moved the 7/8s to my younger daughter’s pile.  I then sorted through the remaining clothes (mostly brand new since she JUST grew into size 10).  Seeing all of her clothes in one place really tells the whole story.  I discovered that she has a LOT of tops and quite a few shorts and skirts but only 2 size 10 pants!  Oops!  I had to keep a couple size 8 pants just to get through this week until I buy more size 10s.  I set aside some of the extra shirts and skirts and plan on exchanging them with pants (her newest clothes still have tags).

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

I then folded her clothes the KonMari way – straight and vertically (I had already started doing this last year inspired by my friend’s closet).  [Side Note: It is harder to fold kids clothes this way than adult clothes!]  The bottom drawer had extra space so I added her swimwear and leotards for gymnastics.

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

I then went through my 7 year old’s clothes.  This was much harder because there was just so much clothes!  She had 6s still mixed in with her clothes (even though I thought I had removed them a month or 2 ago) AND she now had the stack of 7/8s that I had added to her pile from her older sister.  We also have 2 friends that give her hand-me-downs (I don’t take everything, just a few special items or things I think she may need).  She was in the room at this time and wanted to keep everything so it was definitely tougher.

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

I then folded her clothes (straight and vertically).  Her bottom drawer also had space for swimwear and ballet leotards.

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -


I hung up their jackets on their door hooks and dresses in the closet.  My oldest daughter’s clothes are on green hangers and my younger daughter’s clothes are on pink hangers.  Since Marie Kondo suggests hanging heaviest to lightest, left to right, I put the size 10 clothes on the left side of the closet.  I don’t want to mix their clothes together, so the size 7 clothes are also hanging heaviest to lightest, with the exception of some long dresses that only fit towards the right of the closet.

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

I was left with 2 large garbage bags full of clothes to donate!

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes -

My “future” bins are full of size 8s, winter size 7 or 7/8s, and winter size 10-12s.  [I had stopped buying ahead last year when I felt like I had pre-purchased way too much clothes and forgot about half of them and seemed to double up on most items, but I found I had no clothes for my oldest daughter when she outgrew size 8 so I had to buy a lot of clothes at once.  I prefer to buy ahead when things are on clearance, but will need to be more disciplined with my purchases.  I plan on keeping an Evernote list of what items I need in the next size and then check off each one (or add a photo of purchases) throughout the year so when it is time to go into the next size, I have some of the basic items already available.  Of course, this gets harder as they grow older since they now have taste and opinions, but I will save this discussion for a future post….]

Have you tried to the KonMari Method?  How do you organize your children’s clothes?


  1. Kim Holden says:

    I am going through this situation right now. My two girls are 5 years apart. Meaning, I end up storing hand me down for much longer than I would like, also I end up handling the same clothes over and over through the years. For my decluttering I began donating any item that was worn or out of style. No point in keeping something that isn’t in tip top shape. Next I started donating items that picked out the classic pieces like jeans and kept. Then finally I had my younger daughter go through and picked out what she liked. If she doesn’t like it now more than likely she won’t like it later on. (She is also very sensory driven so if she doesn’t like the way it feels out it goes) By sticking to my guns we went from having off season clothes in storage to being able to hang in the closet. Also from almost 10 huge storage totes of clothes to grow into to 2; 1 for Summer and 1 for Winter! Thanks for the great article!

  2. April says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Great job mom! I have 4 girls and do this several times a year. Today’s the day. Wish me luck. ?

    • Debbiegottablog says:

      Good luck! It is not easy, and, unfortunately, we have to do it more frequently with kids since they keep growing out of their clothes!

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