HOW TO MANAGE KIDS CLOTHES WITHOUT GETTING CLUTTERED
Most of us find baby and kids’ stuff really hard to part with – what to keep, what to give away, what to hand down, what to donate, what is just too nasty and needs to go in the bin …. So many decisions, so many little hands ‘helping’.
I’ve found it helps to have a few really simple rules of thumb when deciding what to do with kids clothes. They grow out of clothes so quickly. You blink and it is time for a new pair, sometimes before the first one has even had the chance to pick up a stain (well, never at my house, but I’ve heard that from other people).
What do you do with those barely worn clothes?
I know there is sentimental value attached to a lot of them, but you are never going to have the space to store, or the time to gaze nostalgically at every outfit they’ve ever worn. Nor is your future daughter-in-law going to thank you for a bag of out-of-date baby clothes with elastic that has perished over time and odd stains that have developed in storage. Take a picture of your child wearing the outfit and put that in the album instead of actually keeping the garment. Yes I confess to having kept one little dress and one tiny shirt, but the rest has gone and I don’t miss any of it now.
Here is a process to use to deal with clothes:
a) Dump – grab everything that is grotty, horrible, too stained, too hard to get on, too hard to get off, or just plain ugly. Throw it in the bin. Don’t inflict those clothes on a charity shop, it will just cost the charity money to dispose of them.
b) Now pick out everything that is too small now or which WILL BE too small by next season.
Choose what (if anything) to store. If you’ve got a child of the same
gender less than 2 years younger, it is definitely worth storing all the garments
that you know will work for that child.
I like to bag them by size/gender/seasons (e.g. 000 Girl Winter or 2
year old Boy Summer) and put all the bags in a big plastic tub. I can just grab
the correct bag from the tub when I need it.
If you have a bigger age gap, the best place to store hand-me-down clothes is on someone else’s child. I’ve passed on lots of clothes, and they’ve either come back later when I’ve needed them, or nicer ones have been handed down in their place.
d) Now bag anything that you want to give away. A double layer of garbage bags is a great de-cluttering tool. Write on it (so often we can’t remember what to do with a bag after we tie it off) with the destination (Clothes for Charlie) and the content (Size 2 Winter clothes). Put that bag somewhere that will remind you to deliver it – in the boot of your car, in the basket of the pram, or in whatever you will be carrying next time you see Charlie’s mum.
e) Everything left is for donation, so (checking once more and discarding anything that is too nasty for a charity to sell) pop that all in a bag, clearly label it ‘for donation’ and pop it in the boot of your car.
Following that simple process will help you keep on top of baby clothes. By keeping only items that fit in the drawers it makes it easy to delegate jobs like dressing the kids, and lets the kids dress themselves when they are big enough.
You can click here for tips on wardrobe planning for kids, or here for suggestions on de-cluttering children’s stuff. If you’d like to receive daily de-cluttering motivation, sign up for my blog at www.less-is-more.com.au/ddc