Minimal living and wardrobes for kids? How does that even work? We have four kids so, I mean, that’s a lot of kids’ clothing too, so it’s going to be a lot of clothes even with minimal wardrobes. But we’ve learned steps that have certainly helped. On the blog today I’m sharing four steps to create minimal wardrobes for kids.

An image of my son's closet.

1. Pick your number

Pick a number for each category of clothing that works for you and your kids. Keep in mind how often you do laundry and how often they soil their clothing. For our kids, for most areas, they have 3-4 items (tees, long sleeves, shorts, etc). I also have one to two items for their “dressier clothes” aka button down shirts and jeans or a dress for our toddler.

2. Choose quality

Choosing better quality clothing will help their wardrobes last longer, essentially. I like to focus on quality and colour. Dark colours preferred over lights and good quality over lower quality that will easily pill, rip, or stain. I prefer either high quality natural or athletic wear fabrics as both hold up very well for our kids.

3. Decluttering and maintaining the wardrobe

Remove items that no longer fit, work, or are unfixable now and as they pop up. I’m often given hand me downs, so will go through those and replace lower quality with higher quality items. I am ok with stains and patched holes on their play clothes, but dressier clothes have to be pretty stain and hole free to stay in their wardrobes.

4. Pay attention to washing day

I know I don’t have enough clothing for any area if I’m washing daily and they are out of something. And likewise, if I’m up with the daily washing and there is excess available clothing, I know I can par down more.

You can find also more general tips here too from Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist website that you may find helpful. Also Courtney Carver’s book Project 333 on developing minimalist wardrobes may be helpful too.


  • Our ten year old has the most amount of clothing due to him having to hand me down his clothes to his brothers! He has 5 t-shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, two dress short sleeves, and one pair of dress shorts. All of the boys have one pair of sneakers, one pair of sandals, and one pair of boots. I linked the sandals we buy and boots in my Amazon shops as they tend to last through more than one kid quite easily: Amazon US Shop link and Amazon Canadian Shop link.

  • My younger two boys have 4 t-shirts, 2-3 dress t-shirts, and 2 dress shorts.

  • My toddler daughter has 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 dresses, and 2 dressy dresses.

We tend to keep play clothes through all boys as long as they are not falling apart or full of stains that won’t come out. We replace things as we go along and are also thankful for family members during Christmas and birthdays who love gifting clothes too.

The Simple Capsule Wardrobe Guide

And if your wardrobe needs a total rehaul and you have a hard time knowing where to start, you may enjoy my Simple Capsule Wardrobe Guide. Some recent feedback on it: “Ahhh Kelly! That was brilliant! I’m going to do some sorting this weekend, more purging, and most importantly writing down what I have vs what I need. Thank you!!!” Want to know more about how I fine tuned my whole wardrobe and follow along the simple steps? You may like my Simple Capsule Wardrobe Guide ebook (new and updated). You can find that guide here.


A woman laying in a bed of messy clothes with the blog title below it.

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Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!