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Clothing is taking over my house!

580 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  jennay

How do you mamas of large-ish families manage the clothing for all of your children? I have trouble keeping track of sizes, outgrowns, off-season clothes, etc... to the point that I have baskets and piles of laundry sitting around in my kid's closets, my laundry room, and now (because I was trying yesterday to make sense of some of it) my hallway. I can't figure out how to organize and manage all of the clothing for my family. Any advice from more seasoned mamas?
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I only have 3, but we also have tons of clothes!!!

After something is outgrown, I'm pretty strict (esp. if Rivka outgrew it because she has a lot of stuff). Everythign goes in 1 box labled for the size (ie: size 2). I dont' seperate winter stufff from summer stuff because there just isn't much of it. The only thing I seperate is winter coats / hats / mittens. They all go in together and before the winter I go through and find what fits who. I also have a general box of "too big" clothes because I get hand me downs from SIL.

My kids all share a room & they are three different sizes, so I started color coding by hanger. It really helps to see clearly who has what. If 20 hangers from one person are full it's time to declutter!!

Socks & undies get thrown in a drawer for now, but when we go back to Israel each child will have 1 shelf in the closet for her stuff. (plus the hanging area).
I have found the easiest way is to have less clothes.
I LOVE the color coded hanger idea!

Whenever I do laundry, I take out a few items that don't fit right, too stained, whatever. Then they either go in a tub to save, the consignment bag, the Goodwill bag, or garbage. I try to be super-selective about the save stuff. I'd rather shop at the consigment store for Lucy because then it seems like she has "new" things

ETA: I forgot why I was posting!

When we were growing up my mom only bought us (3 girls) the same brand socks. She keep them in a laundry basket in the linen closet. No sorting, no arguing.
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I have a bin in the laundry room that I throw outgrown, ruined or any clothes they are not being used right now in. That has been a life saver- other than that- I'm in the same boat as you!

I'm also trying to go down to the minimum of clothing---I KNOW that will help.

Originally Posted by MCsMom View Post
I have found the easiest way is to have less clothes.
That's my ultimate goal, but the process of paring down is so confusing. Thanks, mamas for the advice. I will try my best to get rid of most of it, and then stick to the systems you have suggested.
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I have a box for each size and it says something like "Girl:2". If the clothes won't fit in the box, I donate what i don't love, and only keep what fits in the box. I've also started lending clothes to all of my friends with smaller kids, knowing that I'll get it back if I ever need it. That is SO freeing!
I just reorganized all our kids clothes too
: Between buying clothes on sale/second hand and putting them away for DC to grow into, and saving clothes from one child to the next we had baskets everywhere too! I had to ask myself some hard questions though:

--Does a two year old boy ever, EVER, need 11 pairs of pants in the same size?!

--Why does my 4 month old daughter have 33 dresses?! Yes that really says thirty-three (nb-4T)

--Can a 4 yr. old boy, even a very messy one, EVER where 26 t-shirts?!

I found this idea in a 1950's HomeMaker's Magazine:
I have starting stacking clothes (not their current size run) on the top shelf of their cupboards. I put all the pants in one pile, tshirts in another etc. But I lay them "flat" instead of folding them -so the piles are less bulky/take up less room. I also stack them in size run. Eg: all size 8 shirts (laid flat), then put all the size 7's on top of them, size 6's and so on. I was surprised how much less space it takes this way and I can find the right size/season when I need them.
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I save very little for the next child. By only saving just 3-4 pants and 5-7 shirts, maybe a coat or a jacket, they easily fit in a paper box (like you can pick up at Kinkos), it's easy to lable the size and stack them. That is basically all the clothing my kids need at any given time anyway.

Try not to think too much and just focus on purging.

Originally Posted by mommyddeville View Post
I've also started lending clothes to all of my friends with smaller kids, knowing that I'll get it back if I ever need it. That is SO freeing!
I do this too...right now I have a bunch of clothes out with 3 friends. If I have another boy in Oct. they will give everything back. If it's a girl, then the clothes will probably get passed around even more.
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