How to organize and store outgrown baby clothes.
Just before having a baby the expectant mum usually receives many baby clothing from family and friends at their baby showers. Besides, a new mum usually does a fair amount of baby shopping and all those coupled with hand me downs usually result in a huge amount of baby clothes. Babies outgrow their clothes very fast, at times before they even manage to wear them and a new problem starts. Storing them!
So how do we go about storing the baby clothes that the baby has outgrew?
There are several ways to store the baby clothes for your next baby. If you have the space, you may decide to leave them in an unused closet or in an unused section of the baby's closet. However the hangers may take up a lot of space and fill up the closet quickly. In which case, it may be wise to use a Hanger Cascader. Holding up to 6 hangers, the hanger cascader will maximize your storage space and fit in a lot more clothes in the closet especially since baby clothes are usually small and do not reach the bottom of the closet anyway. A hanger cascader also spaces out the clothes so that they do not rest against each other and wrinkle.
Besides organising with a Hanger Cascader you may want to create dividing sections to help you sort out the baby clothes according to sizes. will allow you to sort, store and retrieve the baby clothes in a very easy and effective way. If you are crafty, you may even try to make your own personalized closet dividers by painting over thin pieces of pre cut wood or cardboard. They are pretty easy and fun to make especially while waiting for the Baby! Closet Dividers
If you prefer to fold your baby clothing rather then hanging them (and some of the clothing is so tiny, you cannot hang it properly anyway), you may wish to have more shelving in the baby closet. Shelving will be very convenient for smaller baby items like onesies, socks, hats, bibs etc. In this case, an aditional may be very welcome in the baby's closet. This kind of shelving unit requires installation works and usually hangs around your existing closet rod with Velcro. It is important to choose a good quality shelving unit because if the fabric used is low quality it will collapse easily under the weight of the clothes. canvas shelving unit
If like me your closet space is precious, you may need other storage solutions. I find that one of the most effective way of storing the clothes my baby has outgrew is in vacuum storage bags. You simply place the clothes in the bag an vacuum all the air out. The result is that the clothes will take up way less space and are sealed so you can place in the garage or attic or wherever without worrying about mildew, insects etc. The drawback is that the clothes will wrinkle up so you will have to wash and iron them again once opening them. However, most of the time, you always end up washing clothes again before a new baby wears them so it isn't really that much of a drawback.
If your babies are close in age you may find that storing them in a vacuum bag only to have to take out a few months later is just not worth the effort. In this case, you may wish to place them clothes your baby outgrew in a wicker basket, hamper or storage bench that will also double up as a decoration for the bedroom or nursery. This will provide easier access to the clothes when you need them, and you can move them to the main baby closet when its time to use them.
When you have decided on the best way to store your baby clothes, you need to figure out how to sort them. There are many ways to choose from and each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
- By size - Storing clothes by sizes makes the sorting process an easy one but on the downside, your baby may not necessarily fit into the appropriate size guide. Although my 2 year old is tall for her age she is thin and still fits into some of her 12-18 month T-shirts.
- By season - Sorting by season means that at the end of a season you simply store the current lot and take out another. This will result in a lot of work at the end of the season and going through a whole bunch of clothes that may not be right size-wise.
- By gender- Those families that have only had one baby may decide to sort the clothes by gender putting the unisex clothes apart from the gender specific clothes in case they have a baby of the opposite sex. Many onsies and jeans are usually unisex and it may be worth storing these apart to avoid having to go through lots of clothing should the need arise.
- By type - Another popular way of organizing clothes is according to type. This means putting trousers together, dresses together etc. That way if you are looking for a particular pair of jeans you know where to find it rather then having to go through all the clothes in that specific size.
- By condition- Some of the clothes you will have may still be new with tags while others may be decorated with that banana mash stain (which incidently is impossible to take out, let me know if you have found an effective banana stain remover!)
- Combination - If you have a lot of clothes you may find that using a combination of these methods will work out best for you.
Even though you may be done with babies or with a particular set of baby clothes, you may still wish to hang on to them as keepsakes. I have seen some gorgeous memory blankets/quilt covers made out of baby clothes. Simply cut out squares out of the baby clothes and sew together. That way your baby's clothes are on display for years to come. Alternatively, you may do some clothes swapping and trade them for clothes in larger sizes. Here is an interesting hub on how to make money by organizing a clothes swap.