Is getting your preschooler dressed like going into battle? A change of seasons can be just the motivation you need to organize your child's closet for easier mornings. Here are some great ideas from the Circle of Moms communities for sorting, re-arranging, and filling in the gaps in a little one's wardrobe, all with an eye towards making getting dressed more fun for both of you.
1. Weed by Season and Fit
Quite a few moms say the only hard-fast rule they stick to is that outfits must be weather appropriate. To avoid the temptation "to wear shorts in the snow," Jessica W. keeps her 5-year-old's drawers and closet stocked with only this season's clothes.
But it's not always easy to convice a child to part with a beloved item of clothing that he's outgrownn. Holly W. usesthe "hooray" test with her 3-year-old. "She yells hooray and throws her hands straight up in the air. If her belly shows than the shirt has gotten too small."
2. Expand On Your Child's Preferences
Many kids are creatures of habit when it comes to their favorite clothes, so if your's likes a certain style of clothing, it's a good idea to stick with it. Brittany T., for instance, finds that her daughter's love of dance influences clothing purchases: "My daughter likes leggings and tunics.... She is a dancer (ballet, tap and jazz) and she like to [wear] comfortable dance clothes. She dances everywhere we go."
Another popular strategy is to buy in multiples. Wanting to wear the same shirt or pants every single day is most likely a phase, but as Jane S. says, it can't hurt to buy 5 or 6 of everything, just in different colors: "It keeps him happy and in clean clothes."
3. Organize Closets and Drawers for Grab-n-Go
Moms suggest a number of smart tactics for storing and organize kids' clothes. The key is finding a way to organize your preschooler's closet for grab-n-go, especially as they get better at dressing themselves. That may mean hanging together (or folding together) things that match, or separating play clothes from good clothes, as Amie T. does. She finds this essential because her son is so hard on his clothing, ane it makes it easier for him to quickly change from a button-down shirt into a t-shirt when when he's going outside to play after school. "It's much easier to wash dirt out of my son's t-shirts than his button-downs."
Carrie L. likes to get down at her kids' level and place the clothes she wants them to wear where they can be easily seen and reached. She recommends putting these items in a spot where your child can reach them. "Otherwise it doesn't get worn much if they are picking."
4. Let Your Child Make Some Decisions
Most kids will start to develop their own style during these years, picking out clothes in the store and choosing their own outfits each day. This can be an adventure, to say the least! But it is an important part of gaining independence. And, as Michelle G. offers, it can be hilarious: "... some days my sons came downstairs from getting dressed looking sooo tacky. But I still showed pride and told them how great of a job they did getting dressed all by themselves.... it's really cute, and I used to laugh soo hard (not in front of them) at some of the combinations they came up with! It is so very important to let them feel independant...especially at this age."
Marissa P. lets her daughter have free reign on the weekends: "... I have taken her out to the grocery store in her princess dresses or a purple shirt and green pants. People will understand that he is a kid and is starting to try to be independent."
It's a great idea to ease into the process of self-dressing so that your preschooler will be better at matching clothes correctly by the time they start kindergarten. They will probably still need some help, for at least a few years. Lisa M. uses a color code system with stickers for her 5-year-old daughter: "I put colored dots from Sharpie markers on the tags. If the colors of the dots on the tags match she can put them together. I have red, pink, blue, green, brown, black, and orange markers that I use for her. A mother of a little boy gave me the tip and it has worked great for both of us so far..."
Several members also recommend laying out 2-3 outfits for your child to choose from, giving them freedom and decision making power while making sure they will choose something appropriate. Amy K uses this system with her preschooler: "For school days, I set out three pants, three shirts and let her mix and match [making sure they all go together for me]. She is still choosing, but I'm making sure clothes are warm enough."
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