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How to organize hand-me-down clothing for children

by respaced on April 28, 2010

If you are a new mom, you may have experienced this phenomenon where moms of toddlers and preschoolers inundate you with boxes of their child’s outgrown baby clothes. It’s as if the moms of older kids were waiting for you to get pregnant so they could finally get rid of the boxes and save themselves the hassle of donating or consigning them!

When I was pregnant, I was given three to four huge boxes of boys’ clothing, some of it still with spit-up stains on it. What do you do with it all, especially when your baby won’t be able to wear most of it right away?

First of all, sort through every piece and toss everything that is stained, torn, badly faded or otherwise unusable. Unfortunately, there is no charity that will take ruined clothing.

After you’ve made your pile of clothes to keep, sort them by size. All the three months go together, all the six months, all the nine months, etc.

Next get this device called Closet Organizers or make something like it for your closet. You could cut sturdy cardboard into discs that will fit over a closet rod and label each one with a marker (that’s what I did). Then all the three month clothing goes behind the ring labeled “Three Month,” all the six month clothing goes behind the ring labeled “Six Month.” You get the idea. If you have enough clothing for each size, you can break down the category further by grouping pants together, long sleeve onesies together, sleepers together, etc.

This way, you will immediately know where to find baby’s next size of clothing without having to rummage through boxes or drawers. And once your baby outgrows all of his or her baby clothes, ask your pregnant mama friend before you dump a box of used baby clothes on her at her baby shower!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Make It Happen Mama May 10, 2010 at 12:52 am

We give our "ruined" clothing new life through our local Freecycle network. They may not be wearable anymore, but there's always someone looking for pieces of fabric to use for projects, rags, etc. 🙂


MaryJo May 10, 2010 at 2:13 am

Oh, fantastic idea! It's always great to have an alternative to simply throwing it in the trash.


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