Spring Cleaning: Kid’s Edition (Day 1)

Spring Cleaning Kid's Edition

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming so that Jenae can get her house her kids’ stuff in order. Perhaps you’d like to join us? Because nothing says “spring” like nicely organized closets, bookshelves, and playrooms!


I don’t know about you, but I can pretty much stay on top of my house when it is just my stuff I have to worry about. My husband does a great job of hanging up his clothes and helping out with things here and there, so I can’t complain about his stuff either. But my kids…oh my kids…dealing with their “stuff” day in and day out is enough to give me anxiety.


To keep the clutter in check, we typically purge and reorganize about twice per year:  Once right before Christmas before we prepare to bring more toys into our house and once in the spring when I have had enough!


Well, I’ve had enough…so it’s time to start purging and organizing! And I have issues following through with things, so I figured if I asked you to join me perhaps I would be more accountable! :)


Want to Join the Spring Cleaning:  Kid’s Edition Challenge?  It’s not so much “cleaning” as it is purging and organizing.


We’re going to break the organizing/purging into 4 days with a different focus for each day.


I’m going to try to work a day ahead so that I can have posts ready for you each morning. :)


Are you ready to join us?


Today’s Assignment:  Clean out your children’s closets and drawers. Pack away clothing that is too small or out of season. Get rid of clothing you no longer want. 


I know, I know…it’s a lot! If you have multiple children, you may want to do one child’s closet/drawers per day. Since this is a task I couldn’t do while the boys napped/had quiet time, they watched way more than their daily quota of television. It’s okay…it’s just one day. :)


Many wonderful parents involve their children when they want to give things away, giving them an opportunity to exhibit generosity. I don’t…even though I have attempted it in the past. The reason being that my kids won’t play with a particular item for months (sometimes even years) but as soon as I say “Let’s give this away” they get about as possessive as Gollum in Lord of the Rings. I’m chalking it up to a developmental stage and not worrying about their lack of generosity quite yet. Needless to say, it is WAY EASIER (and way less drama) if I happily find another home for the items while the children are blissfully unaware of my shenanigans. Ninety-five percent of the time they don’t even ask about the items that have been given away!


Here are the before and afters at our house:


Big Brother’s Closet

Closet 1

Big Brother’s Dresser:


Chest of drawers (forgot to take a before picture):



Little Brother’s Closet:

Closet 2

Little Brother’s drawer (no before pictures, just imagine it looking 100 times worse than this!):


Little Brother’s dresser…no before picture, but there was all sorts of stuff on the top of it. And yes, those are newborn pictures on the wall. The child is almost 3 1/2 years old…think it’s time for some new pictures?!?! Maybe next week… ;)


The nicely-made bed…I wonder how long it will stay that way!


Since we hand down Big Brother’s clothes to Little Brother, I store them in these Flexible Tote Bags. They are easy to store and keep the clothes protected!

For the clothes that I want to get rid of, I record the items on a spreadsheet with the following information:  Date, Description, Estimated Retail Value, and where the item was donated to. We then take this off our taxes at the end of the year. I don’t do garage sales. I could give you a million reasons why, but it mainly boils down to the fact that this works best for us.


The closets and dressers are done! Now onto the next task tomorrow…stay tuned! :)


Joining us a little late? No problem! Go here for each day’s challenge:

::  Day One:  Clothing and Closets

::  Day Two:  Toys

::  Day Three:  Books

::  Day Four:  Craft Supplies


  1. Just did this over the weekend and boy does it feel good to have a more organized closet and dresser for my kiddos. We also do the spread sheet thing for our donated items way less hectic then having a garage sale. Look forward to the what the next challenge will be!

  2. Wow! Your closets look clean in the before pictures!!! I would be happy for my closets to look that organized. :) Everything looks great. I did do some organizing this weekend. I threw out some winter snowpants with holes in it. We’re suppose to get 8-10 inches of snow tonight-tomorrow. I should have been lazy one more week. :)

  3. I would LOVE to get a copy of your spreadsheet. This our first year itemizing stuff and phew! Its ALOT of work when not organized:) Our son had 8,000 dollars of medical costs, though, which is more than double what our standard deduction would have been:) I figure for 2013, i will tackle all things itemizeable, lol. What tips can you give me (hint, hint) on itemizing clothing donations?

  4. Oh my heavens. Can. Not. Process. Right now.
    I love the pictures, but there’s no way I can jump in on the challenge. I have to tell my brain to live with the controlled chaos right now since I’m trying to survive the end of the school year.
    For me, I have to finish up with our school year, then my brain can move to organizing/purging for May and June. When I get to that though, I’ll totally come back here for inspiration! :)

  5. Hey Jenae! This worked out well for me to do today also! I’m thankful you posted this, it was the kick in the butt I needed to get it done. I have to have mine watch some extra tv too so as not to cause a scene. I’ve mostly traded our small clothes in for cash at places like, Once a upon a Child, but what to do with the rest…I haven’t done a spreadsheet before because I didn’t think it would matter come tax time. My question is, does it really make a difference on your taxes? Is it worth it?

    1. I think it depends on whether or not you itemize your deductions on your taxes and also on how much they are worth. You could check with your tax person to see if it’s a worthy endeavor! We don’t itemize deductions so we can’t use this method unfortunately.

      Great post, Jenae! Everything looks wonderful! Do you let your boys participate in the purge or just do it yourself? I don’t know what to do with my 7 and 4 year olds–they seem to want to hold on to everything and I can’t decide if I should just get rid of things myself or let them help…hmm… :)

    2. Depending on the amount of clothing (or other items) and the condition of them, they really CAN make a difference in your taxes. Every person/family’s finances are different, but for us, we have seen some impact in our bottom line when we figured in the tax deduction from donating to Salvation Army or a Children’s Home (all of this is in-addition to our charitable contributions and tithes). It doesn’t have to be just clothing either. We donated a TV, xBox, and speaker system to a Children’s Home several years ago, and that was HUGE. Now please don’t take this the wrong way and think we ONLY donate in order get this break, because we honestly don’t. We donate to those organizations b/c we know our item will be put to use by someone else who could really use or enjoy them, and I can’t stand trying to do a garage sale. If you choose to do this, just make sure you document it well. Record exactly what it is, brand, mens/womens/kids clothing, condition, and take some pics. You should also get a donation receipt to go along, depending on who you donated to. If you use a tax software, like Turbo Tax, then the “mid-range” edition will contain an extra called “It’s Deductible” and will help you itemize your items. It can be time consuming and this is when it pays to have good documentation on hand. Hope this helps.

  6. I’ll join you for the challenge! I was just thinking that I needed to do something like this anyways. Too much stuff in our house!!

  7. I just did this yesterday in fact! But at this point in time, we can’t pack away out of season yet. The one thing I dislike about our location…..the ‘in between’ summer and winter can last too long! :)

  8. This post made me laugh so hard…I think the exact same things about wanting to have my kiddos help choose the items, but then they become like Gollum. Now I put things in the box/container, and I have my daughter/son tell the person who we are giving it to that it is for them. They seem to be accepting that well, and since a lot of what we donate is to family friends, they are starting to say who can have their clothes once the “it’s too small” phrase comes out of my mouth. It took about 10 times, but I figure the more often we do this, the more generous their hearts will become. And it’s SOOO true — it is finally working, so keep on :).

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