Organizing Seasonal Clothing for Toddlers

Leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping. Fewer days can be enjoyed in the warm sunshine. Your starting to pull out pants, sweaters, maybe even some mittens. Unfortunately, when you dig into your storage bin of clothes you find several pairs of pants. Somehow they were missed last time you dug into the bins. Your little one has already majorly outgrown them, and they were BRAND NEW! Ugh. So frustrating.

Then….the coldness of winter is suddenly gone again. Snow is melting. Puddles evaporating. Warmer temperatures are returning again! Once again you dig into your bin of clothes you put away last fall. Only to realize you don’t actually have many shorts that are going to fit your toddler this summer. Darn, buying shorts at this time of year, when they are IN SEASON is not ideal. That’s typically when they cost the most!

 Has this happened to anyone? It’s happened to me a few times. If it has, that’s okay because it means this has the potential to HELP YOU not have it happen again 🙂 I want to show you how to Organize seasonal clothing for toddlers.

I LOVE organizing and conquering clutter, it is one of the ways I make my life feel more beautiful in the messes motherhood can create

Truth be told, this post isn’t some CRAZY revelation or AH HA moment, it is truly just the steps I took to get a better handle on my kiddos seasonal clothing. Maybe the steps and tips in here are common knowledge and I just am somehow late to the game…or maybe they aren’t. Regardless I hope at least ONE mom will gain some benefit from these tips. Because following these myself has not only saved me money, it has also saved me time and given me some peace of mind. Knowing that I have enough bigger clothes for each new season.

I have set out to teach you steps to organizing seasonal clothing for Toddlers. So take what YOU find helpful from it, and ENJOY!

This post contains affiliate links, for which I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here

The Steps to Organize your Toddler’s Seasonal Clothes

I am going to use my transition from this current year (2019) from Summer into Fall/Winter. As your reading, keep that in mind with my clothing references. BUT these principles and steps do apply to any seasonal transition…with some creativity to visualize it for different clothes instead

  •  Winter to Spring/Summer
  •  Summer to Fall/Winter

Fall and Spring are those weird inbetween months…where I live at least. In good old Alberta, where we can be in fall one minute then covered under several inches of snow the next. I am SURE other places have issues like this too.

So I did not want to include transitioning from Winter to Spring, then Spring to Summer, then Summer to Fall and so forth. So now into the good stuff…I will stop rambling.

Sorting seasonal toddler clothing into piles by size

Sorting her clothes into sizes. Everything to the left is going to be too small next summer. To the right: room to grow items

Step 1: Organize by Season

a.) Pick a DAY/TIME to do this. I did this in Early/Mid August (you will see why I did it when it was still ‘summer’) Pick a time when your toddler’s laundry is; for the majority, all clean.

b) You can decide if you want them to “help” or not…I let her “help” it was great….my nicely sorted piles became nicely strewn about the room

c) Take ALL current SEASON SPECIFIC items and take them out of the closet, dresser etc. Pile into a big pile. For Summer to Fall/Winter I pulled out

  •  Shorts
  • Tank Tops
  • T-shirts
  • Summer specific dresses
  •  Lightweight leggings/tights that don’t quite cut it in our winters…

d) Start to go through each item and determine how it CURRENTLY FITS THEM. For this part I actually DID try 90% of the items on her; especially the shorts to asses how much growing room she had. I was able to pull out several pairs that still had LOTS of extra waistband room.

e) Put everything WITH growing room into a pile; shorts, shirts everything

f) Put everything that DOES NOT have growing room back into their closest/dresser. This is why I do this when it is still summer. Because then they can keep wearing what still fits them,  and wear it LOTS! Yes it might mean a bit more laundry. And yes it might not work for EVERY single person, or every situation. But I did this so that she would wear the items that would only fit her for 2019, more often. Rather than putting miles on items that will get LOTS of miles in 2020.

My main tips for all of STEP 1

  • The overall PURPOSE of this is to figure out how many clothes you will have for the next time that season rolls around. So I was trying to determine how many shirts/shorts/tank tops I ALREADY owned that will fit her in Summer 2020. I do this because I want to
    • Save as much money as possible by being generous with her wardrobe estimates for next year.
    • If I assumed that NOTHING from 2019 would fit her in 2020 and bought new outfits accordingly, then got to summer 2020 only to find out that HALF of the shorts from the previous summer still fit, I would be pretty mad at myself for having SO MANY clothes that I did not need.
    • Now instead, I will already be banking on having 6 pairs of shorts already for next summer, without buying any. So even if we get to next summer and only 3 of those fit, add that to the 3 pairs I found on sale. Then we are looking pretty good shorts wise again! Follow me?
  • Do not pay attention to the SIZE LABELS on the clothes them self. At least don’t let that be your deciding factor as to if it fits or not. ALL BRANDS size a little bit differently. This is a tip you can apply to EVERYTHING KIDS CLOTHING RELATED. It actually is a small point of frustration for myself, I totally understand why it happened. But it makes it quite hard to actually know when things are going to fit. It’s quite frustrating when you pull out a 3-6 month sleeper for your 4 month old, only to find out it fits more like a 0-3 month from a different brand. Don’t be like me lol. Compare the clothes to each other, not the labels to each other. Make sense?

If you want access to my printables, inventories and other fun things to help your organizing journey, check out this page here. 

  •  If you are going to be keeping clothing inventories with my inventory tracking sheets/labels/or documents it would be a good time to update/enter info into those. You can record that you have ‘x’ amount of shorts that fit that summer when kid was ‘x’ age, so you know for future kids if the items fit small or large…I hope this also makes sense. There are methods to my madness.

Step 2: Make the Outfits with the Organized Seasonal Clothing

a) Now that you have your nice little pile of “room to grow” items, you can get started with sorting them out further.

b) I want you to now make OUTFITS with these items. The point is to see HOW MANY outfits you can make with EACH single item of clothing. I do recommend taking pictures of the outfits you create, for easy visual referencing later. I promise, snap a few pics. You will be happy later.

c) This is how I did this step… Take a single SHIRT or TANK TOP and lay down as many pairs of SHORTS as possible under them that match/look nice

d) I did that for EVERY single TANK TOP and TSHIRT from the ROOM TO GROW pile. Snapping pictures of each of the possible “outfits” like this picture below.

creating 5 seasonal outfits for a toddler with a single shirt

Demonstrating 5 different outfits with shorts using a single white tee

d) Then either write a note, make a note on the picture or attach a sticky note to that shirt with the # of “outfits” you made with it.

e) We want to determine if we can make a decent amount of nice looking clothing ensembles using what we ALREADY OWN. Then we will fill in the blanks later…

f) At the end, if you used the sticky note method you may have something that looks like this. You can see my super tiny little sticky notes. You will note that I also put a sticky note on the SHORTS themselves. This is because I had taken pictures of my outfits, and cross-referenced back to see how many SHIRTS each pair of SHORTS went with. Doing it this way with the pictures kills two birds with one stone! See, pictures was handy hey.

Organizing Seasonal toddler clothing

I was able to make alot of outfits out of these items

g) Now that all my outfits are made, I can easily see my “trouble makers” or in otherwords, the pieces that JUST DON’T match anything else

I ended up with several of these because…either

  • The shirt or shorts that matched them nicely in 2019 wouldn’t fit in 2020…or
  •  I bought a few things I shouldn’t have because they were on sale….impulse buys always happen. But I am working on decreasing how often, because they never bode well for me! Observe the pink flowered shorts in the picture above. SO cute, but I didn’t have a single shirt that I thought looked adorable with them. They may have only been 5 bucks, but they were worn ONCE in 2019…oops.

Step 3: Complete the wardrobe by buying/finding off-season clothing

ahh finally, the fun part!

IF you found “gaps” in the outfits you created…

  •  pieces that didn’t match anything else
  •  lack of pieces that matched

You can now complete them, so that when the season comes again you are fully stocked and ready to rock!

This is what I DID to “complete the wardrobes.” Complete this step as you wish, but this is what worked for me 🙂

But I WILL say, this is the reason that I do this in early August, when it is still summer. Because RETAILERS are prepping for FALL/WINTER. So you can COMPLETE your kiddos wardrobe for the next season (2020) for ALOT LESS $!

I scored some perfect, neutral colored shorts for next season for $2 a pair. Yes, I know. I am dancing just reminiscing on it.

This is the KEY POINT that will help you keep a well stocked wardrobe for your kiddos in an AFFORDABLE way. If you figure out what you need, then forget about it till next spring. Then guess what. It will cost you way more. Because you WILL NOT find summer clothes as cheap in the Spring as you will at the end of Summer.

a.) Shop your favorite retailers for the perfect items to complete the outfits that need a little HELP. I bought items that would match well with the

  • shorts that had 0-3 matches
  • shirts/tanks that had 0-3 matches

As well as snagging some great neutral tops/bottoms that matched with almost EVERYTHING.

I shopped from

  • Old Navy
  •  Joe Fresh
  •  Carter’s/Oshkosh

I bought some key neutral pieces that were EXTREMELY DISCOUNTED in ONE SIZE UP (so I bought size 3T, because she wore 18-24m/2T this current summer)

Now: even if the pieces I just kept back in this organization process don’t fit her for some reason next summer. I will still have the new, neutral, really discounted clothes I just bought (fall 2019)

You did it! Congratulations. Now you will have some great pieces for the next season, all bought for a much better price!

Modify this as you need for transitioning to Fall/Winter clothes. Buy those in early spring when they go on sale! So you should organize your closets for the following Fall/Winter in March/April or so!

Please know, I do absolutely support hand me downs, thrift stores and discount stores! I love them. If I had more time I would have absolutely shopped those places. Because absolutely I know there are awesome deals and reducing/reusing/recycling clothes are important to me! Just at this stage of my life with a 2 year old, 7 month old, and living 30 minutes from towns with good thrift stores I don’t do this much. I love shopping from home, on my computer when my kids are napping! Haha. Just less stress for me right now.


If you would like to save even more on your clothing purchases, and you prefer to shop online: then make sure you sign up for Ebates/Rakuten (program available in USA and Canada). It is a cash back program that rewards you for shopping online from retailers they have partnered with. Once signed up, you simply go to their homepage then click to the retailer you wish to shop from. Ebates/Rakuten will transfer you there and give you cash back for your purchase. It’s real cash back too, not just credits. I have been using Ebates/Rakuten for a few years and love it!

You can sign up using my link here, and YOU will get $5 cash back on your first $25 purchase!

I also have more tips in another post on more ways I save money on my Toddler’s clothes. Read it here

I hope you found these tips helpful, and that you will now be able to feel more prepared for each coming season. While saving money on your little’s wardrobes!

Please leave any questions, additional tips/ideas or comments below. I LOVE hearing from you

And once again, be sure to check out my printables and organizational help section. There are lots of freebies and helpful resources there. If they aren’t there yet, they are coming 😉

Till next time,


Steps to organize your toddler’s wardrobe and be prepared for each new season

Hey There!

I’m Amy, the mom behind the scenes. I’m glad you are here!

The Briar Patch is a place for Moms; to help them navigate the tangled messes of Motherhood. With inspiration and tips on cooking, home life, organization, hobbies, and all things mom and child related.

Thanks for stopping by,

Briar Patch: meaning

A Briar Patch is a dense, tangled patch of thorny flowering plants. Or in other words: the perfect analogy for Motherhood. Sometimes it seems like you will never make it out of the tangles and hurdles of it unscathed. But when you pause and look back on it. You see the beauty; the flowers, that were there all along.

Hey There!

I’m Amy, the mom behind the scenes. I’m glad you are here!

The Briar Patch is a place for Moms; to help them navigate the tangled messes of Motherhood. With inspiration and tips on cooking, home life, organization, hobbies, and all things mom and child related.

Thanks for stopping by,

Briar Patch: meaning

A Briar Patch is a dense, tangled patch of thorny flowering plants. Or in other words: the perfect analogy for Motherhood. Sometimes it seems like you will never make it out of the tangles and hurdles of it unscathed. But when you pause and look back on it. You see the beauty; the flowers, that were there all along.