Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? Me neither, until a few years ago when a friend introduced me to the concept. Essentially, you create a smaller collection of actual wardrobe basics and then add a few seasonal or stylish pieces that "go with" the basics. This gives you plenty of mix-and-match outfits without a bunch of extra things that you only wear once in a while. While there's no formula for a capsule wardrobe, women's clothing planners identify as little as 16 and as many as 33 items to serve as a foundation for a capsule wardrobe, still, even at 33, that was way less than I had in my closet a year ago. The capsule planning number that you choose for guidance--whatever it is--includes shoes and accessories, but not work-out clothes, pajamas, or undergarments. The goal for adults in having a capsule wardrobe is to reduce decision-fatigue in dressing, make mornings smoother, declutter your closet, reduce spending on trendy items (often of lower quality). All of which leads to a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. Likewise, these are lifestyle goals that most parents want, and a capsule wardrobe for kids can help.
Many parents battle with their kids every morning on what to wear for the weather, purpose, and general day ahead. And many kids can't seem to get dressed in a timely fashion, becoming overwhelmed with the options. That is what I call "decision fatigue." So why not call it out? That's what happened in my house - my daughter couldn't get ready for the day nearly as fast as her brother and we finely just talked about having too many options. She agreed and was relieved by the idea of working together to remove options from her closet and focus on only those that were appropriate for the season. Working with kids to regularly organize, declutter, choose, and invest wisely are among the best reasons to have a capsule wardrobe, as the benefits are lasting and far-reaching. Below are my top 4 reasons for creating a capsule wardrobe WITH your kids, all of which have many sub-components and positive outcomes.
Reason #1: The process of creating a capsule wardrobe together enforces both limits AND independence AND creativity for your child. Not to mention, ownership and organization of their space and it's contents- be it a closet, drawers, or bins. These habits will transfer to other parts of your family life and you'll soon see everyday life simply becoming easier.
Reason #2: You declutter regularly. The quarterly cycle is good for everyone's sanity. When you create a capsule wardrobe, everything comes out of the drawers, and only the "picks" go back in. Anything that is leftover can either be passed along or kept for a future round. Before the day is over, we perform the same quarterly decluttering of the toys in our house (usually we start with this as the warm-up activity. My kids get to keep all the money from toy consignment so they are motivated).
Reason #3: Mornings are better for everyone. Kids have a seasonally-appropriate, mix-and-match wardrobe in the right size at their fingertips. They get both choices AND limits. You've established limits in condensing their wardrobe options, but the daily choice and outfit combination is essentially up to them. No more fighting about wearing a summer dress in winter or that stained t-shirt from two sizes ago while you're trying to get ready yourself.
Reason #4: Save resources: save time, save money, and even save the environment by buying fewer clothes. Ultimately, a smaller wardrobe reminds everyone that they can get by with less. The more "things" that come into the house, the more energy you spend on maintaining, organizing, and cleaning them. Instead, spend this energy on the people you care about most.
Clothing is one of the easiest household areas to minimize, and the strategies for creating a capsule wardrobe will help you reduce quickly and make more room in your life for mindfulness, reflection, and engagement with those you love (including yourself!)