Having cute baby clothes in a drawer usually means having off-season, different-sized children’s clothes stored somewhere else in the home. It’s hard to organize it all!
We received a generous pass-along of baby boy clothes from size newborn to 4T. Those new additions plus the little girl clothes we already had meant it was finally time to do something about our clothes storage.
Generally, getting organized is not about finding the ideal storage container. Sorting and donating always come first, and the times that you need to buy something new to store something else should be few and far between. I had been storing children’s clothes in a large bin, plastic bags, and even paper grocery sacks. The trouble with the big bin was that everything was jumbled, making it hard to find a current size, and the clothes in bags wouldn’t stack.
When the amount of clothes suddenly doubled, I decided to switch to tote boxes. In this case, the totes did make it easier. They’re sweater-box size, and they stack at the top of the closet.
I don’t know if I should feel satisfied or afraid. I’m happy the clothes are organized, but it’s rather overwhelming to see how many there are. Even after sorting through them, it seems like a lot of boxes, and there will likely be more.
How to keep the clothes storage from taking over your space:
1. Have a limit. The totes limit how much storage space we can fill. Each size has to fit in only one box.
2. Limit the keepsakes. For each kid I have one tote of sentimental clothes to keep, so I won’t accidently give away the hospital hat or heirloom sweater. Anything else not in that tote can be freely given away when I’m ready.
3. Keep the best stuff. Don’t keep anything worn out or stained. Nicer clothes show less wear, and play clothes can be easily replaced.
4. Don’t accept extra handed-down clothes, just because they’re free. When we were offered all of these little boy clothes, I only took home a small portion of them, although I could have taken more. There was enough clothing for several families, so I got to be selective and pick out my favorites, the things I knew we would use.
What’s a reasonable amount of clothes for children?
My preference is to have one week’s worth of clothes in the current size and season for each child, so that I can go a week before doing laundry. Sometimes we have a little more, but that’s my preferred amount so that everything can be fully used.