Monday, May 6, 2013

Hand-Me-Down Clothes Storage

For a while I've been wanting a simple, straightforward, easy to maintain system for storing hand-me-downs.  The system of storing clothes based on gender and size grew to have too many variables and really wasn't working for us, so our bins of clothing became more and more disorganized, and the pile in the corner of our bedroom marked "to put in clothing bins" began to grow.

So, I did what any desperate organizationally challenged person would do - I checked Pinterest.  I can't say that I conducted a Pinterest search because the amazing thing about my "search" is that the pin came to me one day.  Nice!

The pin is from this blog.  I didn't think of this system on my own, nor did I find a way to make it any better.  I simply followed the tried and true advice of another mom who knew better than I do in the area of clothing storage.

The system is like this (you can read the original post from the original blogger here):
Each child has a plastic storage bin for clothing to grow into.  As the kids outgrow clothes or the seasons change, I throw out or donate items that have stains or holes and that we will not use for another child.  Also, if an item has never or hardly ever been worn by one child it goes in the trash/donation - if I didn't use it one time around why would I use it again?

After I sort, I put the clothes into the next child's bin.  For example, Hannah's outgrown and out of season clothes will move down to Abby's bin where it will stay until Abby is able to wear it.  And when someone is in need of bigger sized clothing or something more appropriate for the season, I simply open that child's bin and take out the clothes that are the size s/he needs at that time.

Our bins are labeled as follows:
-Joshua (his bin is small since he doesn't receive many hand-me-downs)
-Baby Boy (for future kiddos)
-Baby Girl (also for future kiddos)
-Boy Shoes
-Girl Shoes

What I like about the new system:
-It's quick to sort out clothing since I'm only working with 6 piles vs. the 20+ I had with the size/gender sorting.
-Clothing can be added and removed from the bins without having to re-organize to fit different sizes.
-The maintenance is ongoing since I get rid of unwanted items as I see them come through the laundry or check the kids' closets.
-There are no more questions about the difference between 24 month vs. 2T sizes, or 5T vs. 4/5 - am I the only one who doesn't understand that?!
-I don't have to guess what size the kids are moving into since the clothes in their bins will always be the next size up.

I don't understand why this is, but keeping up with the kids' clothing needs is a real challenge.  How many shirts, pants, dresses, etc do they need?  How do I manage the change of seasons?  Do I put all the clothes for one size out or switch as summer rolls into fall and fall into winter?  (Thankfully the seasons are almost a moot point since moving from New York to Texas!)  And what clothes do I hang onto when there is currently not another child of a certain gender to receive the clothes or the age gap between same-gender kids is several years?

These questions are what I ponder as I fall asleep some nights...well, only occasionally.  But it is all too true that the thought of kids' clothing is often rolling around in my head, waiting to be figured out.  At least I'm a few steps closer now than I was before!  Thank you to the blogging world of stay-at-home moms for hooking me up with a new and improved hand-me-down storage system!

1 comment:

  1. We just switched to this system before our last move, and I love it!