Rotating Seasonal Wardrobes (Spring): Creating a Wardrobe Checklist and Inventory

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Whether you’re rotating your children’s clothes, switching out your own wardrobe or simply cleaning out your closet, I believe the best place to start is to write out an checklist of what you’d like each person to have.

Having a written checklist before you start saves time, space and money in several ways:

1. If you’re working on purging your wardrobe, once you have a written list of how many clothes you plan to keep, you’ll be forced to think long and hard about whether you really need to keep that shirt that you just had to have but have yet to wear.

2. Limiting how many items of clothing you have means that you’re closet and drawers won’t be stuffed full, which will make it easier to keep them neat and organized.

3. When it comes to shopping for kids clothes, going in with a list means you’ll be less likely to grab every cute item you see and will also help you put together outfits that can be mixed and matched rather than single pieces with limited options.

Of course, there’s a downside to this method as well, especially if you’re a fashionista and you love clothes. The solution may be to just make your checklist bigger, or you may prefer not to have any constraints at all so that you can buy whichever pieces appeal to you.

Making Your Checklist

I’m getting ready to pull out the boxes of spring and summer clothes for my girls, but I started the process ahead of time by making a checklist over the weekend so that I can limit the number of outfits they each have and make my shopping list for the season.

I included the checklist I am using for each of my girls below, but only as an illustration of what I mean. I’m sure that some of you will look at it and wonder why they need so many clothes and others will wonder why I’m limiting it so much. The point is to figure out what works for your family!

::1 sweatshirt
::1 sweater
::2-3 long-sleeved shirts
::2-3 pants
::2-3 shirt & shorts outfits
::2-3 shirt & skirt outfits
::5-6 sundresses
::1 bathing suit
::3-4 pajamas
::4-5 pairs of socks
::10 pairs of underwear

Now that I have my list ready, I can go through each box in storage and decide what to pull out, what to keep in storage for another season or child and what to give away. I’ll need to make a list of things that my oldest needs since we only have a few hand-me-downs, although some of her clothes from last summer may still fit as well.

Having a Storage Inventory

That brings me to the last point, which is keeping a written inventory of the clothes you have in storage. I’ll admit that I don’t do this because by the time I finish pulling out all of the seasonal clothes, I’m ready to just stuff the old ones in the totes rather than sorting through it carefully. However, Jennifer has a great list of steps for creating an inventory over at List Mama Blog. She definitely inspires me to try creating an inventory instead of the stuff-and-store method I’ve been using!

Have you used a checklist when rotating your seasonal wardrobes in the past? Do you think having a checklist would help you or just add stress? Do you keep a written inventory of the clothes in storage?

About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

5 Responses to “ Rotating Seasonal Wardrobes (Spring): Creating a Wardrobe Checklist and Inventory ”

  1. Great Idea! I’m in the middle of closet haddes!! But it is so refreshing to lighten my “load” by purging & scaling back to minimal clothing….

    Thanx again!


  2. I was just thinking the other day that I needed to start rotating wardrobes for both my boys. My biggest problem with keeping my kids clothes organized is that the grandparents and great-grandparents love to buy them new clothing all the time so we always end up with way more than we need for each season.

    As far as storing goes, we have plastic totes on a shelf in the garage that are labeled with the size because my little one wears a lot of his brother’s hand-me downs. I don’t keep a specific inventory of what is in each tote though.

    An inventory and a checklist would probably be handy but I am just not that organized! :-)


  3. So pleased you found something useful to add to your post from List Mama Blog! Always a treat to receive a new Organizing Your Way post in my inbox!!


    List Mama’s last blog post…List of Thoughts as a New Work-Out-of-the-Home Mama


  4. We created a simple database for all our children’s clothes. They are organized into bins, and record information about seasons, sizes, genders, quantity in use, quantity stored, and loaned out are all tracked.

    At any time, I can print reports about which articles I’ve loaned out, which are in use, and what gaps I have in “inventory”.

    When spring comes and we hit the garage sales, I simply print out a list of the next sizes coming up for our four (soon to be five) children 5 and under. We always know where our gaps are, and where the clothes can be found!

    I’ll admit it took some time (a day or so) to create the initial inventory, but since then it has been very helpful! Since we have so many children’s clothes, we are able to make full use of all we keep. However, I’ll have to look into adding our clothing into it as well. It might help us “declutter” and keep only what we use as far as our adult clothing!

    Thanks for the post – great thoughts!


  5. I love your list of items for each girl. I have been looking for a list like this to help me down size my girls closets. Very helpful!


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