Sorting Out Kids Clothes
Are your children growing like weeds? … and are their dresser drawers overflowing with clothes that don’t fit?
In anticipation of the new school year, hit the reset button and make space in their drawers for their new wardrobe. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about the ongoing need to purge items that no longer serve a purpose – and possibly pass them along to someone who can use them.
Cycling Clothes Between Siblings
Saving good clothes for a younger child when the older one has outgrown them sounds like a great idea: Re-use, Recycle, Reduce – right?
The reality can be a messy pile stuffed onto a closet shelf or floor, a bag with mixed-up sizes and generally an inconvenient hassle to actually find what you want to re-use. Sometimes by the time you find the clothes, the younger kid is already too big for what you’ve found.
The easiest way to cycle clothes between siblings is to use storage tubs pre-labeled with sizes.
For clothes to pass on to a younger child:
- Get adhesive label pockets for the outside of a medium sized tub. The Container Store has a few kinds or you can get them from an office supply store
- Create a set of labels that will go into the sleeves that cover all the sizes that your child will outgrow. For example if your child now wears a size 4, create label inserts “size 4”, “size 5”, “size 6”, etc. You don’t need a tub for each size…just 2-3 tubs
- Store the extra labels behind the current label, ready to swap out when needed
- If you receive clothes from friends/relatives for your oldest, create a few tubs with those larger sizes as well to store them
- If possible, store the tub labeled with the current size of each child in their closet so that as soon as you notice something is outgrown, in the tub it goes!
- If you don’t have room for tubs, grocery bags can work in a pinch
For those clothes you want to save for other kids:
- If you collect clothes to pass on outside your family create a specific tub names for that special cousin or friend
- Always keep a donation bag handy in a kid’s closet – when it’s full, move it straight to the car and replace it with an empty!
Middle School and Beyond
The transition from child to tween is often a time when folded clothes start needing more room than small dresser drawers.
- Bulky items such as sweatshirts and jeans often do better folded on open shelving in a closet
- If a closet has been used for toys it may be time to retire those and take over the space for clothes.
- If the closet only has a hanging rod it’s a good time to consider a makeover to reduce the amount of hanging space in order to add some shelving.
- Graduate to an adult size dresser
You can save money, save the environment and build community by recycling your children’s clothes and passing them on when they’re outgrown. Start today by at least setting up 2 labeled bags: one for donations and one for your oldest child’s current size; you’ll be on your way to a sorted system.
Have you come up with a great sorting system? Share it in a comment here!