The Clutter Fairy’s Guide to Precision Shopping

Now as the Clutter Fairy you would be forgiven for assuming I’m a frugal type who only buys what she needs and writes copious lists before heading out to the shops – not true, at all, if I’m honest. What I’m very good as is the decluttering bit. I advocate a one in one out policy and it’s never let me down yet.

So yes, I love to shop. I can give most people a run for their money in the wardrobe stakes and I get a lot of pleasure from a new outfit but with a two week holiday looming I could sense the clothes budget getting completely out of hand. Not for me, I’m (more than) sorted. It was my kids with protestations that nothing fits and they needed, well, just about everything possible before getting on that plane.

I have three kids – two teenagers and an eight year old. Well, my daughter at 12 isn’t technically a teenager but she does a formidable job of sounding and acting like one. My 15 year old son has spent the last two weeks saying he has nothing to wear because nothing fits him. In his defence, he has undergone the mother of all growth spurts – my little boy all of a sudden became a man what seemed like overnight. I am still trying to get over it now – very disconcerting as a mother but nevertheless his wardrobe is full of clothes, there must be something in there he can wear?

My daughter, like most 12 year olds follows a strict dress code of Hollister or Superdry (if I’m paying) or New Look (if she is) and to be fair she is at the inbetween stage where kids’ clothes are too young and adult’s clothes are too big.

My 8 year old son is easy to please – as long as he has clothes on his back he is happy. If you are a Mum fast approaching secondary school, all I can say is enjoy it while you can!

So that’s my kids in a nutshell and I am faced with two kids protesting that they have nothing to wear. Ok – time for a review in the form of a declutter. People ask all the time when the best time is to declutter a wardrobe. Just before any holiday is a great time as you can pack and declutter at the same time.

Decluttering kids’ wardrobes can be time consuming – brace yourself.  Just remember these few things.

Make sure they try everything on – they get bored easily and will try to save time by telling you that things fit when they don’t so if it’s not seen the light of day for a while make sure they try it on.

Even though it is REALLY annoying to see something with a tag still on, the chances are they won’t wear it again so cut your losses and donate it.

Just because something makes you all nostalgic doesn’t mean they will wear it. If it’s particularly special to you or them it can be kept in your sentimental box.

If you like darning -good for you, if you don’t -stick anything with a hole in the bag.

People are always keen to offload their clothes (and with them their guilt) to family/friends. In my day-to-day work I see bin bag after bin bag of clothes untouched that have been given to my clients by friends and family. Before donating make sure the person really wants them and certainly only give the absolute best. Childrens’ clothes tend to get very tired looking very quickly.

All the other clothes can go to Charity. Charity shops gladly welcome all clothes even if they are past their best as they can weigh them in and get cash for them even if they can’t sell them. I stick socks and everything in the bag – most charity shops are happy to sort through and pick out the best stuff although it is useful to check with your own charity shop first.

So the wardrobes were decluttered, I was fully conversant with the facts and the precision shopping could commence. Armed with a list of exactly what he was and was not allowed to buy, my son has been shopping all week. He is after all male and has definitely not got his mother’s genes when it comes to shopping. He’s happy as he has a new wardrobe and I’m happy because his wardrobe is full of exactly what he needs. As for my daughter, she was predictably exaggerating, has plenty and I have got away with two bikinis and a Superdry T-shirt. Job done!