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Declutter

{Free Printables} Minimalist Back to School Clothes Checklist for Middle School Girls

Our free printable minimalist back to school clothes checklist is perfectly timed for our little ones trotting off to school again this fall.  Here’s how to go minimalist with back to school clothes and make it quick and easy.

The process of going minimalist with your children’s back to school clothes is fast: make a checklist, purge extra clothes, sort the decluttered items, then set up redundancy.  Let’s go through the process together step-by-step.

Click here to repin it on Pinterest.

How to Go Minimalist with Back to School Clothes

Going minimalist in your child’s closet may be one of your easier decluttering jobs if you get them on board with the process of living a simple uncluttered life. This is especially true during back to school season, when our temptation may be to hit all the department stores’ back to school sales and stock up on clothing pieces our kids may not even need or wear!

Step 1: Make a minimalist back to school clothing checklist.

You can use our free printable Minimalist Back to School Clothes Checklist for Middle School Girls if you don’t want to make your own clothing plan.  Click the pictures below to print the checklist or download the pdf checklist.

Minimalist Back to School Clothes Checklist for Middle School Girls

 

You can use our free printable checklist or make your own clothing plan specific to your school and child’s needs.  Write down your requirements for fall and winter clothes. Remember to include uniforms.  For middle school-aged girls, our minimalist back to school clothing checklist for fall and winter has these items:

Shirts

  • 6 long sleeved shirts (patterns and designs are okay)
  • 1 white layering tank top
  • 3 short sleeved shirts for layering: 1 black, 1 white, 1 color which complements most of the long sleeve tops

Layers

  • 1 sweater
  • 1 cardigan (black or heather grey)
  • 1 hoodie sweatshirt
  • 1 light jacket (for Fall)
  • 1 heavy coat (for Winter)

Pants

  • 2 light blue jeans
  • 2 dark wash jeans
  • 1 black leggings
  • 1 black pants
  • 1 yoga/workout pants

Foundations

  • 3 bras: 1 white or nude, 1 black, and 1 sports bra
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 12 pairs of socks: 5 white, 2 black, 5 colored or patterned (all matching)

Extras

  • 1 solid colored skirt
  • 1 dress
  • 1 set of pajamas with pants
  • 1 set of pajamas with shorts or a nightshirt

A minimalist clothing plan like this would end your daughter up with 26 pieces of clothing, not counting foundations, undergarments and socks.  Of course, you can customize the back to school clothes checklist as needed (for example, maybe your tween doesn’t need a sports bra yet, or maybe she wears bandeaus for layering).

Step 2: Purge the existing clothes in your child’s closet until they match your minimalist clothing checklist.

Take everything out of the closet. Put in clothing items as you check them off on the minimalist back to school clothing checklist. Next, take all the extra clothes out of the bedroom into a larger area like a living room or garage for sorting.

Step 3: Sort the decluttered items.

Using a general decluttering system, you’ll sort the rejected clothing items into groups: sell, donate, trash, or a special category: “back ups to keep in case of wear-out”.

We mothers know that kids tend to wear out their clothes when they play hard, and this will be even more noticeable when we cut down the number of items in wardrobe rotation.  More wear and more washings equal more worn out, stained and ripped clothing.

Keep your backups in a covered storage container in a garage or basement and clearly label the box as “Clothing Backups” with the child’s name, season, and size of clothing inside.

Step 4: Set up redundancy.

Make sure you have at least 12 pairs of socks, and make sure 5 pairs are plain white and that they are all the exact same sock. The 5 pairs of colored or patterned socks need to be the exact same socks. Yes, you have to buy 5 identical pairs.  When holes, stains, or lost socks happen, the remainders will still match up with no wasted loners!

There you have it: A quick and easy minimalist back to school clothing checklist to keep your kids looking spiffy, your frugal budget intact, and your closets under control.  Have a great school year!

We originally published Minimalist Back to School Clothes Checklist for Middle School Girls by Danelle Ice on Home Ever After on August 21, 2011.  It is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Tackle it Tuesday.

What is Decluttering?

What is Decluttering Cover



Declutter Your Home

  1. Declutter Your Home
  2. What is Decluttering?
  3. Why is Decluttering Important?
  4. The Psychology Behind Decluttering: Breaking the Connection with Possessions
  5. Quiz: Do You Have a Clutter Problem?
  6. How to Declutter Your Home
    1. The Fundamentals of Decluttering
    2. How to Prepare for a Big Declutter
    3. Make the Decluttering Rules You’ll Work By
    4. How to Set Up an Initial Declutter Calendar
    5. Supplies Needed to Declutter Your Home
  7. Decluttering: The One in, One Out Rule
  8. Decluttering the Kitchen
    1. Declutter the Cups, Mugs, and Glasses
    2. Declutter the Kitchen Gadgets
    3. Declutter the Pots and Pans
    4. Declutter the Kitchen Appliances
    5. Declutter the Silverware and Utensils
    6. Declutter the Vases
    7. Declutter the Tupperware and Storage Containers
    8. Declutter the Lunch Boxes
  9. Declutter the Bathroom
    1. Declutter the Bathroom Closet
    2. Declutter Health and Beauty Items
    3. Declutter Your Makeup
    4. Declutter Your Hair Supplies
  10. Declutter the Towels and Washcloths
  11. Declutter the Linens and Linen Closet
  12. Declutter the Master Bedroom
  13. Declutter the Spare Room
  14. Declutter the Crafting Room and Sewing Room
  15. Declutter Your Homeschool Materials
  16. Declutter the Laundry Room
  17. Declutter with Kids
    1. Declutter the Kids’ Bedrooms
    2. Declutter the Kids’ Toys
    3. Declutter Kids’ Artwork and School Papers
    4. Declutter the Baby Gear
    5. Declutter Pregnancy Bellycasts
  18. Declutter Your Closet: Why is it So Hard to Let Go of Clothes?
  19. Declutter Your Movies, DVDs, and CDs
  20. Declutter the Home Office
  21. Declutter the Paper by Going Paperless
  22. Declutter Your Photos
  23. Decluttering Keepsakes and Memorabilia
  24. Declutter the Garage
  25. Declutter Rarely Used Items
    1. Declutter the Shed
    2. Declutter the Attic
    3. Declutter the Basement
    4. Declutter the First Aid Kit
    5. Declutter Emergency Preparedness Supplies
    6. Declutter the Pantry Stockpile
  26. Declutter Seasonal Items
    1. Declutter Camping and Fishing Gear
    2. Declutter Beach Supplies and Water Toys
    3. Declutter Winter Gear
    4. Declutter Christmas Decorations and Ornaments
  27. Decluttering with a Big Family
  28. Declutter by Returning Borrowed Items
  29. Maintaining a Decluttered House
  30. Decluttering to the Extreme: The Minimalist Lifestyle


What is Decluttering?

What is decluttering?  At this point in the Declutter Your Home series, we need to get a good understanding about what decluttering is, what it involves, and what will be expected of you and your family members when you declutter. 

What does decluttering mean? Decluttering is the act of gathering all of the items in a specific area or category and eliminating the excess.  Decluttered items may be disposed of by selling them, giving them away, or throwing them away.  Essentially, decluttering is getting rid of the unneeded stuff!

Technically, that defines the act of decluttering rather well.  But what does it really mean to declutter your home or declutter anything, for that matter?  What is involved in the process of decluttering?

Basically, decluttering is the season in which we purge, friends!  We will ruthlessly cut out the non-essentials in our homes to uncover what is really important.

Home Ever After’s Definition of Decluttering

The Home Ever After definition of decluttering focuses just as much on the why as the how.  To me, decluttering is a necessity for every person and every family (yes, including children) to maintain a comfortable living space.  We cover this more in later chapters of the Declutter Your Home guide, so for now we’ll stick to defining what decluttering means.

Danelle Ice in her decluttered home, Spring 2012Home Ever After has always been focused on helping people put together systems to organize, manage, and enjoy their lives.  I couldn’t coach people to do things if I hadn’t done them myself. 

Decluttering happens to be one of my areas of expertise, since I’ve practiced it myself and taught it to people (including kids!) for many years.

When I declutter, I first choose an area that is out of balance (too messy, too full, too complicated).  Picking just one area to start with can be challenging!  Then I plan to cut down the number of items in that area by replacing them with better items that accomplish more or just letting them go altogether. 

Then, I gather the things I’ve “decluttered” (let go), and assign them a way out of my house or out of my life:

  • give them away to friends or family
  • sell them
  • donate them
  • throw them away

Dictionary Definitions and Origins of Clutter and Declutter

Although some English dictionaries don’t include the word “declutter”, we all know that it is the very opposite of – and the only thing saving you from being overcome by – clutter.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the verb clutter “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness”. 

As a noun, Webster’s Dictionary defines clutter as “a crowded confused mass or collection”.1

Collins English Dictionary gives this definition of declutter: (verb) “to simplify or get rid of mess, disorder, complications, etc.”2

The word clutter has its roots in the Middle English words clotteren, which means “to form clots, to heap on”, and clot, and can be traced to its first uses in the 1400s and 1500s.

It’s clear from the original meanings of the word clutter that is causes a blockage in an area when things are piled up.  This clutter blockage in your life can effect your health, happiness, finances, and social life in a negative way.  Decluttering helps to get rid of the clutter “clot” from your life so that you can move on.

Declutter, unclutter, spring cleaning, cleaning house, purging, cut down, cut back, scale down, minimize – whatever you call your version of decluttering, they all mean the same thing: getting things under control before they control you! 

Decluttering Isn’t Just for Mess

Sometimes you can tell right away that something needs to be decluttered because it looks messy.  However, clutter can be a problem even if it hasn’t gotten to the “visually messy” stage yet. 

At the point where excess stuff starts to make you feel bad, feel overwhelmed, or feel stressed, it’s time to start decluttering and put a regular decluttering schedule in place.   Decluttering Clean Up at Home Ever After

Clutter Problems Happen Over Time

When a hoarding home is shown on television, you can look at it right away and know that it needs to be decluttered badly! 

But while you look at the messy house bursting at the seams with clutter, you also hear that quiet voice inside your head reminding you that it didn’t get to that extreme point all in one day… or one month… or one year.

Clutter builds up and multiplies slowly over time, and in many areas all happening at the same time.  Clutter continuously grows around you as you adjust to it being there.  This can lead to the effect of “putting on blinders” to the seriousness of your clutter problem.

How Do I Know When Something Needs to Be Decluttered?

It’s time to declutter an area if it has grown to a size, shape, or complexity which is out of harmony with its environment. We cover this in-depth later in the Declutter Your Home guide, but here are a few quick tell-tale signs that it’s time to declutter:

  • You feel negative energy, crowded, or overwhelmed in certain areas of your home.
  • You lose things constantly and spend unreasonable amounts of time looking for them.
  • You buy things you know you already own because you can’t find them.
  • Your things don’t fit in their designated areas anymore.

Decluttering Can Apply to Almost Anything

Although we’re talking about decluttering in the Declutter Your Home series specifically in a way that relates to your house and living area, decluttering can be applied to practically every area of life.

You can declutter almost anything as a way to achieve balance. Anything with “too much” can be decluttered, it doesn’t have to be only for tangible or material things.

For example, if you had too much email in your inbox, you would declutter your inbox by deleting, organizing, and setting up rules for processing email. If you were stressed out from too much to do and no calendar to keep track, you would declutter your mind by setting up a scheduling system.

What Things Can Be Decluttered?

If you’re new to decluttering and don’t know what types of things even can be decluttered, start by reading through the following list of examples to get inspiration.  What things can be decluttered?  You can:

  • declutter clothes, shoes, accessories
  • declutter food, ingredients, menus, recipes
  • declutter storage items
  • declutter paperwork, records, old tax returns
  • declutter memorabilia and keepsakes
  • declutter emails, digital files, digital music
  • declutter photos (regular or digital)
  • declutter your schedule (too much to do)
  • declutter your scope (too many job duties which could be delegated)
  • declutter your family responsibilities (chores aren’t assigned evenly)
  • declutter your holidays (too many activities, too much traveling)

This list of decluttering examples barely scratches the surface of the things in your life that could benefit by being simplified.

Are you ready to continue on the Home Ever After Declutter Your Home journey with us?  If you’ve committed to work through the decluttering process, keep reading to get your mindset firmly on why decluttering is important.

Next: Why is Decluttering Important?


References
  1. Merriam Webster Dictionary. 06 Aug 2012. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clutter?show=0&t=1344230807>.
  2. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers.

Declutter Your Home

Declutter Your Home at Home Ever After

Welcome to the Declutter Your Home guide, where we show you step by step directions to declutter each and every area of your house!  I specially crafted this very thorough decluttering guide to teach you how to simplify your life by getting rid of all the extra stuff you really don’t need.


Declutter Your Home

  1. Declutter Your Home
  2. What is Decluttering?
  3. Why is Decluttering Important?
  4. The Psychology Behind Decluttering: Breaking the Connection with Possessions
  5. Quiz: Do You Have a Clutter Problem?
  6. How to Declutter Your Home
    1. The Fundamentals of Decluttering
    2. How to Prepare for a Big Declutter
    3. Make the Decluttering Rules You’ll Work By
    4. How to Set Up an Initial Declutter Calendar
    5. Supplies Needed to Declutter Your Home
  7. Decluttering: The One in, One Out Rule
  8. Decluttering the Kitchen
    1. Declutter the Cups, Mugs, and Glasses
    2. Declutter the Kitchen Gadgets
    3. Declutter the Pots and Pans
    4. Declutter the Kitchen Appliances
    5. Declutter the Silverware and Utensils
    6. Declutter the Vases
    7. Declutter the Tupperware and Storage Containers
    8. Declutter the Lunch Boxes
  9. Declutter the Bathroom
    1. Declutter the Bathroom Closet
    2. Declutter Health and Beauty Items
    3. Declutter Your Makeup
    4. Declutter Your Hair Supplies
  10. Declutter the Towels and Washcloths
  11. Declutter the Linens and Linen Closet
  12. Declutter the Master Bedroom
  13. Declutter the Spare Room
  14. Declutter the Crafting Room and Sewing Room
  15. Declutter Your Homeschool Materials
  16. Declutter the Laundry Room
  17. Declutter with Kids
    1. Declutter the Kids’ Bedrooms
    2. Declutter the Kids’ Toys
    3. Declutter Kids’ Artwork and School Papers
    4. Declutter the Baby Gear
    5. Declutter Pregnancy Bellycasts
  18. Declutter Your Closet: Why is it So Hard to Let Go of Clothes?
  19. Declutter Your Movies, DVDs, and CDs
  20. Declutter the Home Office
  21. Declutter the Paper by Going Paperless
  22. Declutter Your Photos
  23. Decluttering Keepsakes and Memorabilia
  24. Declutter the Garage
  25. Declutter Rarely Used Items
    1. Declutter the Shed
    2. Declutter the Attic
    3. Declutter the Basement
    4. Declutter the First Aid Kit
    5. Declutter Emergency Preparedness Supplies
    6. Declutter the Pantry Stockpile
  26. Declutter Seasonal Items
    1. Declutter Camping and Fishing Gear
    2. Declutter Beach Supplies and Water Toys
    3. Declutter Winter Gear
    4. Declutter Christmas Decorations and Ornaments
  27. Decluttering with a Big Family
  28. Declutter by Returning Borrowed Items
  29. Maintaining a Decluttered House
  30. Decluttering to the Extreme: The Minimalist Lifestyle

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in your own house? Maybe you feel like the things you own really own you and take up all your time.  It’s no secret that the more material possessions you own, the more complicated things get.  The more stuff you have, the more time you have to spend on your stuff: losing things, finding things, cleaning things, organizing things… you get the picture!

Whether you’re just a little overwhelmed with your cluttered house or are in a full-blown hoarder situation, our complete Declutter Your Home guide will help you immediately.

Decluttering your home is one of the most deliberate things you can do to start creating a peaceful retreat from the chaos of our fast-paced world.  After all, you shouldn’t feel stress when you come home at the end of the day!  Home should be the most relaxing and stress-free place you spend time.

Unfortunately, a house which is overrun with collections, boxes, trash, items that don’t belong anywhere, etc., you tend to feel overwhelmed.

Do you have collections which no one can enjoy or even see because they are stored away in boxes?  Do you have so many clothes that they don’t fit in your closet and dresser anymore?  Do your kids have so many toys that they now have them stored in other people’s rooms?

Do you have kitchen counters overrun with stuff and there is no longer room to prepare or cook meals?  Do you ever have to go buy things that you know you already own but just can’t find?  If any of these situations sounds like yours, we can help!  Our decluttering directions help address these very problems so that you can start feeling more in control of your home again.

Declutter Your Home with Home Ever After!

Are you making a commitment to declutter your home with us?  Our Declutter Your Home guide is a completely free course that you can read and work on at your own pace.  I know that everyone has a different situation, and your clutter problem may be of a completely different level than your neighbor or your best friend.

Some people tend to have “hoarding” or “collecting” personalities.  Unfortunately, for those of us with clutter collecting built-in to our traits, we have to work a little harder at decluttering and setting up good home systems to stop the clutter from coming into the home in the first place.

Our simple decluttering lessons break down each area of decluttering your home into manageable bite-size chunks.  These decluttering instructions help you to focus on one area at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the project of decluttering your whole house.  Even if you’ve decluttered before and just want some advanced tips and tricks or a refresher course, keep reading our Declutter Your Home guide for a coach to keep you on the declutter path!

Next: What is Decluttering?

Minimalist Move Day 66: Digging Deep For More Donations

Just when we thought there wasn’t anything left to declutter during our minimalist journey, we found we had to dig deep and pass along more stuff to our favorite charities and to the local reuse station.  It’s amazing how fast one can fill up a minivan when there’s “practically nothing” left in the house! 

Here are some pictures of the van full before I left to donate it all.  After the photos were taken, I filled up the vehicle even more!

Dnld 3-16-12 049-HEADnld 3-16-12 050-HEA

Minimalist Move: I’m in Agony As I Separate Myself From Stuff

Danelle Ice Minimalist Move 2012

The picture above is a perfect capture of how I feel during my minimalist move process: Behind me is that light, airy minimalist ideal I am longing to create. It’s bright, beautiful, and has room to breathe.  Then in the way of that goal is me: dark, shadowy, and overcast with the attachment I have to these meaningless material things.

There’s no other way to say this, so I’m going to say it plainly: getting rid of your stuff is hard.  Being free of it is liberating, but getting rid of it is so painful, confusing, time consuming, difficult, and emotional that it can reduce a grown woman to a temper tantrum of sitting on the side of the bathtub, crying and praying in desperation.

It’s true.  I prayed and cried and got so angry as I begged God to help me sever my connections to all this stuff that I don’t need, don’t want, and don’t care about anyway.  I got so mad as I looked at the items in my tiny bathroom alone that totaled in the hundreds.  That’s right – I said hundreds.

You see, I’ve been purging all of my family of five’s belongings for over a month.  I started on January 21, to be exact, and have been decluttering every single day working towards a full minimalist lifestyle before we sell our house and move out of Alaska.   Yes, I’ve been taking carloads of items to charity, the reuse center, friends’ houses as gifts, etc., every single day for 46 days.

Let me restate that for dramatic effect:

I’ve been taking full CAR LOADS of items out of my house EVERY DAY for 46 days.

46 Days!

Before I started this project, I was already a minimalist in my mind working on reflecting that in my lifestyle.  My family lives pretty light for a house with 2 babies and a toddler and we’ve been paring down for a few years now.  I had no idea we still had so much stuff that it would take this long to get rid of it all.

On January 21, my husband and I decided I would take a month off from work to prepare us for the move, including going minimalist as much as possible with all non-essentials.  I would then pack the rest of our items so we could move out of our house and put it up for sale.

30 days seemed like a reasonable amount of time to me to declutter an already somewhat minimalist house.  My family has less clutter than anyone else I personally know.  I am embarrassed now to say that I actually thought I could finish this whole process in less than my 30 allotted days and roll back in to the office ahead of schedule, triumphant, and ready to relax with my new minimalist life free of the stuff and the clutter.

At 46 days in, as so disgustingly painted in the picture at the outset of this post, not only was I not done, I was not even close.  I was crying like a frustrated toddler that tries so hard to be big and accomplish “big people” things like writing their name perfectly for the first time.  I was a bawling baby in God’s hands begging Him to take me out of my agony and help me make these material possessions go away.

An Inventory is a Good Idea – No, A Great One

I had no inventory of starting items, so I don’t know how many things I started with.  I can safely estimate it was upwards of 500,000.  It could have been upwards of a million, there’s just no way in the realm of possibility to accurately guess. 

Danelle Ice Minimalist MoveAt this point, I could stop and do an inventory tonight (and I might), because the sheer amount of belongings has been reduced so much.  An inventory is a good idea – no, a great one – because it’s easier to make decisions on items listed on paper instead of tangible things you are holding in your hand that have memories attached to them.  Plus, with a before and after count, you can see how drastic of a change you’ve made.

The Minimalist Move Continues

Not only have I been out of work for 46 days (bad for me, bad for my company), but I’m running out of emotional fuel for the downsizing process.   I’ve taken pictures during the process which I’ll be able to post soon, which are shocking as I look back on them. 

I’m so ready for it to end and to be at that happy point where I walk from room to room and breathe a sigh of contentment at being able to be here with my family, not with my things.