Less laundry? Sign us up! How to create a capsule wardrobe for your child

2. Keep tops and bottoms that mix and match.

Less laundry? Sign us up! How to create a capsule wardrobe for your child

By Clare Devlin

Every parent knows there are mountains of laundry involved with kids. The secret to getting through this is creating a capsule wardrobe inspired by Courtney Carver’s Project 333. The goal is to minimize kids clothing in your house in order to make laundry day and getting dressed much more simple.

What is project 333?

The first time I heard of a capsule wardrobe was when I read about Courtney Carver’s Project 333. The basic rule behind this project is to have 33 items in your wardrobe. This includes clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes—everything that you’ll be wearing for a 3 month period.

Things that aren’t included in the 33 items are: wedding rings, sentimental pieces of jewelry you never take off, underwear, pajamas, or workout clothing.

Why have a capsule wardrobe?

In a capsule wardrobe, each piece is carefully and intentionally chosen. Ideally your entire wardrobe would consist of articles of clothing that are comfortable, fit well, and can be mixed and matched.

This takes the stress out of dressing in the morning and ensures you’re never standing in a crowded closet feeling like there is “nothing to wear”. These 33 items can take you from home, to school, to a party, and anywhere you need to be during the 3 months. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Here is an example based on what I’ve used for my daughters in the past. For Project 333, socks, underwear, and pajamas aren’t included in the list.

  • 5 T-shirts
  • 3 long sleeved shirts
  • 6 bottoms (shorts, pants)
  • 2 light cardigans
  • 3 heavier sweaters
  • 2 dresses (or extra playclothes)
  • 2 fancy dresses (or nice outfits for special occasions)
  • 4 pairs of shoes (sneakers, sandals, dressy shoes, rubber boots)
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 pair of splash pants
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 backpack

Does Project 333 really work for kids?

It can be difficult trying to stay on top of both the daily outfit changes and constantly changing sizes as kids grow. Therefore the criteria for kids capsule wardrobes might look different than it does for adults.

For example, you might be less worried about style and investment pieces and more about what fits them and can be cleaned easily. Here are some criteria for choosing which pieces to use for your child’s Project 333 wardrobe.

1. Make a laundry schedule.

If you’re worried that 33 items won’t be enough, make a laundry schedule. This might seem like an odd step to begin with, but think about how often you do laundry and then work around this. For example, if you do laundry once a week then you’ll obviously need at least a week’s worth of clothing. 33 items will cover that many outfits, even with extra outfit changes during the day.

If you find yourself doing laundry twice a week, you might get away with having less—or you’ll have even more options. If you don’t have set times to do laundry, think about implementing this so it becomes more organized. You’ll discover that Project 333 can fit a lifestyle with children.

2. Keep tops and bottoms that mix and match.

If you have too much and are trying to pare down, I suggest keeping items that easily mix and match with each other. I do this by choosing pants that go with most of the tops: jeans, khakis, or colors that match a lot of existing items.

That one mint-green-butterfly-patterned outfit that has pieces which specifically need to be together? Yeah, that’s the one to go. When everything goes together it makes it simple to grab a top and a bottom. And if you have kids who insist on dressing themselves, then you’ll have the added bonus that they’ll actually pick things that match.

3. Store off-season items.

Eliminate the chaos of having everything in the closet or dresser at once. Only keep the items for this season, and then store and label any off-season clothes. I use a big Rubbermaid bin which sits on the top shelf in their closet. This also applies to any clothes that they will grow into soon.

However, don’t get carried away with storing for seasons, otherwise this will become another source of clutter. Depending on the climate you live in, perhaps organizing twice per year could be enough: a Spring/Summer season and Fall/Winter season.

4. Pass on clothing.

Other people might approach this differently, but I choose to give away clothes as soon as my children grow out of them. One way that clutter accumulates quickly in homes is when we keep items “just in case.”

I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of people give me second-hand clothes for the kids and I buy clothes only when there’s a gap in their wardrobe and a specific item is needed. Since I’ve been given so much, I’d like to pass on things to other people too.

I’d rather give items to someone who definitely needs it now, than keep things for my own ‘someday, maybe.’ (The easiest time to go through clothes is when the seasons change since you’ll have to adjust their wardrobe anyway.)

5. Keep closets simple.

I keep the kids’ clothing in bins instead of a dresser. Each child has one box for tops (T-shirts, cardigans and sweaters), one box for bottoms (shorts, pants and dresses), one box for underwear (including socks and bathing suit), and one for pajamas.

Instead of hanging or folding clothes, I simply sort the clean clothes into the correct box. This makes it easy to put clean clothes away, and easy to find things in the morning. When I move the boxes onto the floor, the kids can sort their own clean laundry.

Make some space in your closets, house and family life. Apply Project 333 to your child’s clothing and see how simplicity can make your family’s life more calm, stress-free and organized with less stuff and more life.

Clare Devlin blogs at Simple Adventure where she writes about how minimalism and simplicity can help families live with less stuff and more life. Connect with her on Facebook.

This article was originally published on No Sidebar.

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As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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