If you are a mom, you know dealing with kids’ clothing is a huge task. Kids’ clothes are a never-ending cycle of too big, too small, hand-me-downs, worn out, etc. Here’s how I handle it in my house, and I hope some of these tips will work for you!
To give some perspective, I have two boys ages 11 and 5. They are about 2 sizes apart right now (size large and size small). We don’t receive a ton of hand-me-downs from others, but we do give our better hand-me-downs to my nephew.
I think of the clothing in two main categories: 1) long-term storage because it will be a while before he can wear it and 2) short-term storage for items transitioning into a season or out of the house.
Long-term storage holds everything that my younger son will not wear for a year or more. My older son’s clothes go straight into long-term storage as soon as I realize an item is too small. The bin is on the same floor as the boys’ bedrooms, so it’s convenient to put an item straight into the bin.
I use one huge bin for these clothes, and I tend to be pretty picky about what I save. My kids are rough on clothes, so if the outgrown item is worn out it gets tossed. I also toss or donate items that I never really liked him wearing, but he loved it, so I dealt with it.
I have a short-term storage system in my younger son’s closet because most of the rotation seems to happen with his clothing. We have three baskets at the top of his closet. One basket holds outgrown clothes that need a new home and the other two are for clothes that will be used in the next season.
The outgrown clothes basket is great because I can put something that’s too small in the basket and deal with it when there is enough in the basket to make my efforts worthwhile. (If an item is obviously worn and no one will want it, then I toss it.) Once that basket is full or close to full, I’ll pass the items along to my nephew or a donation center. This basket makes getting my son dressed so much easier, because I know that everything in the closet fits!
The two “next season” baskets have also been game-changers for me. Kids grow like crazy, so it’s really nice to have the next season of clothes ready in case you need to grab something a little bigger. It’s also nice because weather in North Carolina can be tricky! You never know when a day will be 20’ higher or lower than normal!
So now that you know the bins that I use, I’ll tell you a bit how it works. Generally speaking, things enter and exit my older son’s closet without much effort. I buy him things as he needs them, and he or I will put outgrown items into the long-term storage bin as needed also.
My younger son’s room has more action because we bring in lots of hand-me-downs at one time, so there’s more of an overhaul. His closet will have the clothes he is currently wearing, and the bins at the top will have the next season. I usually go through the long-term storage bin two times per year. When I do, I take out everything that will then become the “next season” bins, and I’ll move what as in the “next season” bins into his closet. Everything he is no longer wearing with either be tossed, handed down, or donated. On occasion, he’ll have a shirt that was too big this year, so he could wear the next year too. That will either stay hanging up or it will be put in the “next season” bin.
I really hope this helps you create a system with your own kid’s clothes. If you have children of different genders or with different age gaps, then a variation of the short-term storage method will probably work perfectly for you.
Let me hear how you handle kids’ clothes and what tips here you are going to implement!