How to Clean Out Your Kid's Closet in 12 Easy Steps

The season's changing—time to swap out our offspring's clothes.

Girl with Curly Hair Sitting in Closet
Photo: Stephanie Rausser

1. Collect Child's Laundry from Hamper.

Put on hazmat suit and look under her bed for the rest of it. Expect to find underpants, your good scissors, mummified fruit snacks, and a permission slip from 2013.

2. Wash Everything.

Consult Pinterest for advice on removing various stinks and/or stains.

3. While Washing Machine's Running.

Go take a peak at the random, never-worn items languishing sadly in her dresser drawers.

4. Clear A Spot on Floor.

Avoid the mistake of thinking you can use your kid's bed to do this. OH, NO. You won't be done today. Try the corner, over there.

5. Toss the Stuff From Dresser Into Corner.

She hasn't worn any of this junk in ages anyway, and at this point the urge to purge has taken over your brain like a sickness.

6. Dump Kid's Freshly Laundered Clothes Onto Heap.

Your child may walk in and ask what's going on. Say nothing. She may ask why you just threw her favorite sweatshirt onto Mt. Laundry. Tell her to go away.

7. Walk Around the House.

Look for things that don't fit or won't be worn again till next year. Heap 'em.

8. Time to Sort the Heap.

The number of piles you end up with can vary between two and infinity—for example, keep, toss, donate, consign, hand down, store for next year, this smells like cheese and should get washed again, I can't bear to part with that because it's precious (sniffle - how did she get so big?), and wait—whose is this?

9. As You Stare at Stacks...

Remember that your grandmother called hemorrhoids "the piles." Realize how truly insightful that woman was.

10. Get Distracted by Stupid Things.

Like dinner, sleeping, and the need to leave the house.

11. Return to Your Child's Room.

You'll find she's mixed up all piles and/or attempted to "help" you by putting everything away. Briefly whimper. Reconfigure piles.

12. Make Trips to the Garage.

And donation center, and friends'. Congrats! You're done! Now, start over with the next kid.

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