I am sucker for prepping. Anything I can prep ahead of time I do. This comes partially from my type A personality and partially from being a single mom to two babies for a year while the military took hubby away. That year taught me a lot about myself and ways to organize my life to make everything easier. One big thing for me was kids clothes, more specifically for my daughter, since my son is just a shirt and jeans. Its amazing to me how much clothes little girls have (thanks to Grammies and aunties) its just all so cute! I am no expert at pairing clothes and putting together outfits though, and the process of finding pants and a shirt and a bow that all matched was too much for me to handle in my busy morning. Which lead me to the system I am going to explain below of prepping outfits for toddlers!
The idea stemmed from some Pinterest searching and grew into this specific process that I have been using for about 2 years now. It starts when I am doing laundry. I fold everyone’s laundry and put it into piles for how its put away in the rooms. This steps sets the stage for prepping Nuggets (yup that’s what I call baby girl) clothes. I lay out all her t-shirts, long sleeves shirts, pants, skirts, leggings, and jackets in piles so I can see everything we have. At this point I usually pop over to the closet to check if there are any cute items I want to add into the rotation that haven’t had some love in awhile. I grab all the hangers that I have squirreled away since we started getting clothes for her before she was even born. The hangers with a spot for pants and a shirt are so handy! Or the ones that hold pants and have a little hook so you can pair them with a regular hanger are super handy too.
Since we live in Colorado I try to have a variety of outfits planned. Plenty with long sleeves, a few with short sleeves, and some skirts with tights during the winter months. I plan 20 outfits in advance (wonder how I get that number? That how many special hangers I have, pretty technical right?) so I don’t follow the weather so strictly, more get an overview to make sure I have a variety to meet the upcoming needs.
Now to get some stuff out of the way. I hang up anything on regular hangers that I know I don’t need like jackets and dresses I don’t plan on using. This clears up some space and lets me see my options a little better. I hang them all up and stack them until I am done, then grab the whole stack and put them in the closet. Being mindful of which way the hanger is facing and which way it should be going when you put it in the closet makes this part easier.
Now its time to plan the outfits. I grab and go and hang them up as I pick. Again, I will just stack them up on the couch until I have a decent size pile to move over to the closet. This give me time to make sure everything matches and there is a good balance in short sleeve vs long sleeve and outfits that can handle the snow or warm weather. Got to love the Bi-polar Colorado weather!
Here is an example of how it looks with these outfit hangers. Keeps it nice and organized and takes up less space on the closet rod. Plus it lets me visually see if what I put together actually works and looks cute. It’s amazing to me how the expectations for little girls feels so high for them to have cute and stylish clothes on. I have always felt the pressure to make sure her outfit is super cute and fluctuate between “screw what others think” to “well she is only this little and cute once, I love how she looks and how happy she is when she has a cute outfit on”. Ah the joys of motherhood and never knowing if you are doing it “right”. When she was a baby and I kept bows or headband on her every day I would attach the bows to the shirts or throw the headband around the top of the hanger at this point.
If you don’t have the fancy hangers you can always fold the pants over the hanger like this. Super easy and just as functional.
When I have a big stack I just grab them all and throw them in the closet in the special spot I have for pre-designed outfits. This way when daddy is helping get them dressed he knows exactly where his options are, which he loves.
Notice the stack of clothes on the shelf? Those are shirts with pants folded up in them. I seriously have a problem with being prepped. Those are more just easy grab an go options for her. At the end of it all I have spent 30 minutes and wind up with 20 outfits prepped (not including what was already done) and ready to go. I try to keep up with it every week, but truthfully her clean clothes get stacked and set aside and I do this every 3 weeks since this system preps so much in advance. I love that this keeps new clothes being used and not just wearing the same thing over and over. She has so many clothes I hate when she switches to the next size up and I realize I missed my chance at putting her in some real gems because they were just shoved in with the rest of the millions clothes she has.
What do you do to help your morning routine go smoother?
PS: if you don’t thrift shop for your kiddos you might want too! Most of little nuggets clothes come from Arizona Grammie and her mad skills at finding things at Goodwill, thrift stores, and garage sales.