Anyone who knows me will know that I am a creature of habit, and I love routines that make me feel like everything is under control. Vacuuming happens every Sunday, groceries are delivered on Thursdays and school holidays are the time for cleaning out the kids' wardrobes. I find that by doing it semi-frequently it doesn't become too scary or time-consuming. As a bonus, it helps de-clutter the house because we can move on all of the clothes that have been outgrown, and mornings are a tiny bit easier because it's easier to find a matching pair of socks, or that one particular top. 
After two kids and repeating this process many, many times, I think I've gotten it down to a fine art. Here's my step-by-step process to clean out those cupboards.
1. Dump everything out on the bed/floor
Seriously, this is the best way- it may seem like you're just making an even bigger mess but I promise it is worth it. For bonus points, you can vacuum or wipe down the interior of your cupboard at this point but honestly sometimes I can't be bothered. 
2. Decide where everything will go
I separate the wardrobe drawers by category (undies and socks, casual tops, casual bottoms, school tops, school bottoms, and dresses and jackets get hung up). If you want to, you can label the sections with words for older kids and pictures for littlies. My partner and I still put the clean clothes away (sigh) so we don't bother with labelling. Get three additional boxes or garbage bags, and label them 'bin', 'donate', 'resell'. 
3. Start sorting! 
One by one, Marie Kondo style! My kids are old enough to help with this part. If an item is being kept, we fold it and put it away in its correct home in the empty wardrobe. If we're getting rid of it we either put it in 'bin' if it's something that is worn beyond the point of no return, where no amount of mending will bring it back to life, 'donate' if its still good quality, no stains or damage and we would happily pass it on to a friend, or 'resell' if it's in great nick and also a fab brand that other families would be happy to buy. If the kids have had a growth spurt, this can be a huge task! It's very handy to have them nearby to try things on, manufacturers' sizing can be wildly different, and sometimes they just don't like things any more. I love seeing my kids' style develop and change, so including them in this part can be really fun!
4. Admire your tidy wardrobe
When everything is put away, take a step back to admire your hard work! By now it should be clear if there's anything you're in need of, or anything you have double ups of (for example, my little one ended up with 11 jumpers and only 4 t-shirts- how does that happen?!). Take a moment to cull even more if you can!
5. Remove the rejects
Items marked as 'bin' are still valuable textiles, if you can recycle them into rags or take them to a textile recycler please do! Upparel is a fantastic business that repurposes textile waste into new products, and SCR group use textile waste to make biofuel- very cool! Your local council should be able to give you more info on how to best divert textile waste so it doesn't end up in landfill.
Your 'donate' bag should be checked over for stains, marks or damage before you drop it off at your local op-shop. Many people don't realise that dirty items are thrown out because the volunteers simply don't have time to wash things. It costs charities money to dispose of soiled and damaged items, money they could be using to help the community! 
'Resell' items should be washed, so you can confidently sell them on Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or save yourself the hassle and make a booking to drop them off at Use-Ta! 
Happy sorting!
July 05, 2022 — Kiri Gorter

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