If you have multiple kids of multiple ages the changing of the seasons can get crazy. Updating out of season clothes and replacing them with hand me downs that are in season can become a weekend long event. I must admit, I used to dread doing this every year until I came up with a system.
I have three boys. This statement alone should be enough for me to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. With three boys, or three girls or three or more of any thing, comes an insane amount of clothes. New clothes and hand me downs can be overwhelming. How do you store it until they grow into it? How do you organize it all so that little brother number two and little brother number three will be able to use it when they can fit it? Lets not talk about when big brother number one outgrows his clothes mid season, where does that go until your are ready to store it away for little brother number two?
Here’s my strategy for storing and swapping out our hand-me-downs and out of season clothes.
Find a location and a storage system for housing your kids out of season clothes or hand-me-downs. Make sure to keep the clothes in a dry, climate controlled area to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Air tight containers or bags work best. I use standard Rubbermaid or Sterilite bins or drawers. Although they are not air tight, they get the job done and can hold a huge amount of clothes and shoes. I store our kids stuff in the unfinished side of our basement. Our basement is partially finished so it is dry and the climate is consistent.
Label, Label, Label!
Label each bin with the season and size of the clothes or shoes that will be in them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be large, clear and straight to the point. My bins currently range from 3T to size 7 and up.
Sort by Size and Season
Sorting the clothes by both size and season makes seasonal clothing updates easy and seamless. When its Fall, I reach for anything labeled Winter. When its Spring, I reach for the bins marked Summer.
Donate and Toss
Before replacing the old with the new, take the time to go through whats currently in the closet. If it has stains, tears, is dingy or faded, go ahead and place those items in the toss pile. If your child is no longer in need of it or if you don’t intend on having any more children who will be in need of a particular size of clothing, place those items in the donate pile.
After sorting, I grab two garbage bags: one for items that will be thrown away and one for items that will be donated. If its got stains, treat it and wash it before storing it away. If you are unable to remove the stains, just throw it away. If its missing a button, put it to the side to be mended. I wouldn’t recommend donating stained or ripped clothing. Now I’m ready to place their Fall clothes into their closet and drawers.
Take an Inventory
We often get brand new and gently used clothes for my oldest that are too big for him to use currently. I store them away in one bin all together and look through it at the change of the season. After taking inventory of what he has, I write a list of clothes that we need to shop for. For your printing pleasure, I’ve included a PDF of my children’s clothing storage inventory below.
So fresh and so Clean 🙂
Always make sure the clothes are clean and fresh smelling before they are stored away. Just to make sure that the clothes will smell amazing when you go back to them next year, place a cloth with a few drops of lavender or lemon essential oil in the bin. I like to combine lavender and lemon for a sweet, fresh scent.
Now when the season changes, all you have to do it grab the bin that corresponds with the current season and size that your children currently wear. Remove all of the clothes that are in the closet, place them in the correct bins with the corresponding season and sizes, throw in your scented cloths for extra freshness and your DONE!
Now their closet is ready for Fall and Winter!