Children's Clothing Storage System

No matter how much I simplify, I still hoard clothing for the children. I just can't see buying new, when with a little planning and storage space we can get almost everything used (and cheap!). This Spring I've hit a lot of rummage sales and have tons of items to store for future use. I thought I'd try to explain the system I use.

For most items I buy them as I spot them without keeping track (I do keep track of winter coats- they take more storage room and money). I used to keep a list of everything the children had/needed and it just got too confusing. This may be more wasteful, but it's a lot easier!

My sources include:
  • Hand-me-downs

  • Our thrift shop, $4.00 a bag (not for school age children- kids can be mean if they see you in their old clothes)

  • G'ma's thrift shop, $2.00 a bag

  • Rummage sales, 25-50 cents each

  • Good clearance sales (I only do this 1 size ahead, so I don't get carried away!)

  • Gifts from Grandparents (I usually "pad" sizes by 1 size when asked)

I keep everything in large storage tubs marked by size. We are blessed with a large storage area in this house, but before that we kept everything in the children's closets. My wonderful husband moved each of the clothing rods down to child-height and put shelves above the rods for boxes of clothes. I don't wash anything before I store it. I used to spend a lot of time washing clothes that were eliminated from the wardrobe in the next step.

When it's time to pull out clothes for the year, my children and I "shop" out of the storage tubs. We use wardrobe lists, which I'll post tomorrow, to pick just what they need for the season. Any extras go back into the tubs, because sometimes we end up needing more than I've estimated.

If we're missing things on the list I try to find substitutes. For example: A cardigan sweater can be worn instead of a dress coat and some items can be used from larger sizes.

At this point I purchase anything else they may need (or decide to sew it). Each child gets only what they need. Also there are a few items they always get new- socks, underwear, one pair of good running shoes.

This is the best way I've found to store our children's clothing, but there is always room for improvement, so I would love to hear about your clothing storage system!