Have I mentioned that I love free stuff? And when it comes to having a kid one of the greatest blessings is free clothes. I mean I like nice clothes, but paying full-price for items that they are going to where only a few times? Can’t do it.
When I was pregnant it granted me rights into my family/friends’ Share the Clothes Club. We waited to find out the sex of our baby, so the day we came home from the hospital my sister-friend dropped off two bags of baby boy clothes. Ever since, the clothes keep coming from Beth, from other friends, and from my step-mother who works at a second-hand store. Let me tell you, it is awesome. There are a lot of clothes. A lot. Storing them is the challenging part of this blessing.
Isaac is 18 months now and is wearing mostly 18 month-sized clothing. He can wear some 24 months, but others he’s swimming in. In his closet 18 month clothes are hanging on the right side and 24 month hanging on the left. This allows me to start pulling from the larger clothes as he is transitioning. When he grows out an item, I toss it into a size-labeled bin in his closet. Once he is completely out of the 18 month clothes I’ll pack those up, and pull out the 2T. Brands do not all run them the same, so this system has worked well for me.
I have supplemented the gifted stash with just a few purchases and holiday outfits. I rarely go shopping at kid’s stores, though I can’t walk by Janie & Jack without perusing the sale rack. I mainly shop for Isaac at the local sales by the multiples’ clubs. In Cincinnati that happens in the spring and fall. I usually spend $50-100 a season and walk out with bags of items in all different sizes. I buy what I need, like if his 2T stash has mostly shorts I look for pants. The sales are only two weeks away (yay!!), which was motivation for me to break into the garbage bags of the larger clothes piling up in the basement.
I brought all the clothes upstairs so my little helper could share the work. OK so he really enjoyed playing in the bins, dragging off clothes, and walking around with pants on his head. He gets into projects. Sometimes it takes longer with him in the mix, but honestly I would rather spend more time on a project with him in the room, than retreat to the basement and miss time with him.
I started with sorting all the items into piles by size a total of 2 bins + 4 garbage bags. Any 24 months and 2T clothes went straight to the laundry room to be washed. Those will go to Isaac’s closet. Piles are 3T, 4T, 5T & beyond and Misc.
You can see that the 5T and above are slim, that is because the Share the Clothes Club is still using those sizes. They will eventually come into the rotation, and the clothes Isaac is finished with move along as well.
I then sorted each of sizes by type of clothing item: pants, jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved, winter PJs, long-sleeved PJs, summer PJs, etc.
See the 3T label on this bin? It is actually a combo of 3 of the items from my 5 Favorite Things Blog Launch Giveaway! I used the over-sized notecards as the paper, sharpies to add some color and the washi tape to adhere.
In the past I have used mailing labels for these bins, but I end up relabeling bins and it’s hard to remove all the sticky paper. Ding, ding, ding!!! Washi tape easily removes from items AND is pretty. Yes!
Another trick is to quickly write a list of clothes that I have in this size on the back. I wrote it in pencil so I can update it as the clothes trickle in. I also made note about holiday clothes, swimsuits, jackets, etc in this size. Here is the genius part. I can actually take these lists with me as reference for the multiples sales I am going to in a few weeks.
I am hoping that it helps me shop very smart. This did not take much additional time and I believe will save me rummaging through the bins thinking, “Do I have mostly winter clothes or summer in that size?” and “Does Isaac have slacks for Thanksgiving?” Yes, I am a planner. I created this system, but I do think it is genius. Not to sound prideful, but I’d say the same thing if you created it.
So there you have it! It feels good to have this project done and more importantly I am prepared for my sale shopping in a few weeks.
If you are local, here are links to the 2 sales that I like:
Tri-state Multiples Sale
Eastern Hills Mother of Twins Sale
There are more all over the tri-state that you can look into. I will be back to share my spoils.
How do you organize and shop for clothes? Please share your methods and strategies. I love this stuff!