Larger families mean a larger amount of hand-me-downs. Not only do we tend to be the recipients of the 1.8 children household’s clothing, we also tend to keep EVERYTHING. That said, it is not uncommon for Baby #4 or so to suddenly have NOTHING because everything wears out at the same time!
While some families choose to keep nothing that hasn’t been used in X amount of years (for instance, it’s been 10 years since the last boy was born or something like that), I don’t fall into that category. I go ahead and keep most things.
Several years ago I did a post on our clothes storage tubs. More recently, I gave you a glimpse at the new and improved clothes storage room, but didn’t give you any specifics. So, this post is a more specific look at how we actually store all these hand-me-downs.
1. Clothes are sorted by child. Once upon a time, I tried to sort by gender and size, but found that to be rather inefficient for a family our size. I have found it to be so much easier to label by child and then dig into their box whenever I need something.
2. Every tub gets a label on the outside front.
You have no idea how long it took me to figure this one out. Actually, it took my mother stating the obvious. I was labeling the tubs on the top side and then moving and shifting them to read what was in them…Every. Single. Time. I needed something. Sad, but true.
Labels for the tubs are as follows:
Baby (gender neutral)
Amy regular & nursing
(At 5’6″, Blake no longer has hand-me-downs, and Ty has all of his clothes in our closet upstairs and no concept as to why I do not like to store my maternity clothes in my closet!)
3. When someone outgrows something, it goes into the tub of the next one down. That means when Keian outgrows a pair of jeans and they are still in good shape, they go directly into Micah’s tub. Micah’s outgrown things go into the tub labeled Baby Boy. The tubs are labeled with masking tape, so I can easily change a tub name when the time comes (for instance, *if* this is indeed another boy, once we have a name for him, the Baby Boy tub will become his tub).
4. Tubs are stacked based on similarity and frequency of access. The two shoe tubs are together, the girls are together, the boys are together, my stuff is together…you get the idea. Tubs like the Baby Girl tub are not frequently accessed at this point, so it is near the bottom of the stack.
And that, my friends, is what Works For Me!
But guess what…I don’t have the monopoly on good ideas when it comes to clothes storage and such.
- Take a look at how Cheryl at Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama takes the headache out of finding the next size for her kiddos.
- Or how Lauren at Mama’s Laundry Talk stores her hand-me-downs.
- Angie at Many Little Blessings has some great ideas on how to sort through your own closet,
- and Nony at A Slob Comes Clean tells us how to purge the clothes without fear.
- And finally, something that has been on my heart for 2½ years….Emmy’s clothes. Tara at Feels Like Home shows the beginning steps to making a quilt from baby clothes. This is something I hope to someday be ready for.
So, head on over to these other blogs and be inspired!