Fashion News, Style Tips

Organizing Tips For Your 4th Trimester Closet

May 27, 2024

I’m Abby!.
I'm a certified & published fashion stylist located in Silicon Valley with speciality in personal styling, color analysis and runway, commercial, and editorial styling.

Written by Kenna Lee, Professional Organizer

Hello! I’m Kenna Lee, a Professional Organizer and owner of Calm Spaces Professional Organizing in San Francisco and Atlanta. I’m honored to be guest blogging today for Abby Young Styling.

Abby and I both work with a lot of new moms who are adjusting their closets to their new lifestyles and changing bodies. Almost all my mom clients struggle with their closets. Our clothing carries so much meaning for us – it not only communicates our personal style to the world, it also holds somatic memories of how our bodies looked and felt at different times in our lives. My clients call me when they are unable to make decisions about clothing that is meaningful to them, but no longer works for their body or stage of life. With the demands of raising children and every other aspect of your busy life, you can’t afford the frustration that comes with a disorganized, dysfunctional closet. My goal is for you to have a wardrobe that makes you feel authentic, confident, capable, and joyful. Here are some mom-friendly closet organizing tips, and some food for thought about how your closet can have a profound impact on your mental wellbeing.

What to Keep? Fluctuating Sizes

During pregnancy and after giving birth, your body changes rapidly, which makes finding clothes that fit you a daily struggle. Clothing that fit during pregnancy is suddenly unsuitable, pre-pregnancy clothes may be too small, and you may need suitable clothing for nursing or healing from childbirth. When decluttering your closet, you’ll want to make 2 piles: a “now” or “keep” pile, and a “later” or “let-go” pile. Here are some items you’ll want to consider keeping while your body is going through changes:

  1. Prioritize adjustable clothing: Keep space in your wardrobe for items with adjustable components like drawstrings, adjustable straps, elastic bands, or ties that can be made larger or smaller without tailoring. Keep wrap dresses, wrap skirts, and wrap shirts that can fit and flatter you through a wide range of sizes.
  2. Opt for Stretchable Fabrics: Let jersey, spandex, and knits have a place of priority in your closet since they are comfortable and will accommodate you through various stages of postpartum body adjustments.
  3. Layer-ables and Flowing Pieces: Tunics, cardigans, and oversized tops are both stylish and forgiving. They can be layered over tighter fitting clothes, allowing you to adjust your outfit to how you feel on any given day.
  4. Fitness that Fits: When decluttering your exercise clothes, let go of items that are uncomfortable, make you feel self-conscious, or don’t offer support where you need it. It’s difficult enough to find the time and motivation to maintain a fitness program. Don’t let poor-fitting clothing be a barrier to your health goals.
  5. Empire Waist Dresses: These tend to fit through a wide range of sizes because of their flowy lower body coverage.
  6. Extenders: Use tools like waist and bra extenders to lengthen the life of pre-pregnancy garments by allowing you to wear them unbuttoned or unzipped. These can ease your transition to another size while your body settles, changes, and heals.

What to Keep? Functionality

With a new baby, functionality becomes a top priority. Clothes need to be organized by occasion so outfits are easy to find, and they need to be easy to coordinate with other garments and accessories in your wardrobe. Functionality is also important for a changing lifestyle. You may find yourself attending different occasions with different clothing needs than you did before your children were born. Outings with kids and other parents, visits to school events, parties, and family functions may all dictate new needs for your wardrobe. Here are some things to consider when evaluating your clothing for functionality:

  1. Occasions: Is this garment wearable to the kinds of events I’m attending currently? If I’m not currently attending the events I used to attend, will I within the next year? And if I start attending these events again in 5 years, will I want a new outfit, or one that is not a current style?
  2. Condition: Is the garment made of good quality fabric that is not showing signs of fading, stretching, pilling, staining, or rolling?
  3. Color: Do I love this color? Does it suit my complexion and does it coordinate with the other colors in my wardrobe?
  4. Goals: Does this garment contribute to my goals? These could be career goals, self-improvement goals, or lifestyle goals.
  5. Ease of Wear: Does this garment require special undergarments? Is a component of the outfit missing? Is it comfortable to sit/stand in? Do you like the feel of the fabric? Is the cut flattering?
  6. Life Stage: Is this garment appropriate for your current stage of life?

If any of these questions feel sensitive or judgmental, skip them. Be gentle with yourself through this process and only use the criteria that resonates with you. Remember your goals and intentions for doing this exercise and keep them clearly in mind to help stay focused on the big picture.

When to let go? Emotional Decisions

Sometimes clothing is difficult to let go. I’ve seen my mom clients really struggle with whether to keep an item because their memories are so strongly attached to it. As an organizer, it’s not my job to “make” or “convince” anybody to let go of something. It’s my job to remind you of your goals, and ask questions to help you make your decision. I may point out facts like “this is torn” or “you don’t have other colors like this in your wardrobe,” but the decision is always yours. And when you’ve made your decision, then I can help you store it appropriately. Here are some examples of difficult emotional decisions my mom clients have made with me and how I helped them get to a “keep” or “donate.”

  1. Cheerleading shorts: Kelly, a mom of 3, had a tiny pair of cheerleading shorts in her closet from when she was in high school. She reminisced to me about how petite she was. We were working together to fit her clothes into a downsized closet. The shorts were a reminder to her that she used to have a smaller body and better fitness. I asked whether it was emotionally healthy to have those shorts accessible, given that she seemed to be bullying herself with them. She agreed it was not healthy and she let the shorts go. The lesson: don’t keep clothing that used to fit you to bully or shame the body you have now. Make your closet a safe space from those sorts of tactics.
  2. Nursing sweater: June, a mom of 2, had an oversized wide-necked sweater that she wore to nurse her kids. The sweater was in poor condition – it was stained, stretched out, faded, and she no longer wore it. Her goal was to declutter her closet so it was easier to get her and the kids dressed in the morning. I asked how she felt about letting the sweater go, but she couldn’t imagine not having it. We had previously worked together to create “Memory Boxes” for her and the children so she could save certain keepsakes as they grew up. Since she no longer wore the sweater, we put it in her memory box. The lesson: use your closet for clothes, not memories.
  3. The Career Change: Keisha, mom of 1, recently went through a career change and was no longer wearing business suits. She had a beautiful collection of suits that she couldn’t part with because they were very expensive. We talked about it, and eventually discovered the real reason: she was still unsure about her new career and felt like the business suits represented a safety net that could catch her if she failed. Once she felt better about the real reason she was clinging to the suits, we kept some, and donated the rest so her suits could help other women just like they once helped her. The lesson: you may need to dig to find the real reason you are holding on.


I hope I’ve given you more than just closet decluttering tips, but also ways to engage in self-love as you organize. You deserve a closet full of clothes that make you smile, and that closet’s job is to functionally store and organize your clothes, not to house relics of the person you were once upon a time. I hope you enjoy your new calm, organized, and joyful closet space.

Kenna Lee

At Calm Spaces, we create environments that have a positive impact on your well- being. We take your disorganized, awkward, dysfunctional spaces and make them calm, functional, and sustainable by providing luxury organizing and space planning services with each client’s unique needs in mind. Let us show you how an organized space can change how you feel.

Learn more at

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