Skip to content
My Account

Anyone who has kids already has plenty on their plate, but the constant buildup of outgrown clothes can be a lot to deal with after too long. Sure, the idea of hand-me-downs is nice in theory—give your kid’s old clothes to someone a little younger (or the right size) to help them get a new home and keep the circle of life flowing smoothly. But it doesn’t always go that smoothly! Without the proper home (or the spare time to meet up and arrange the hand-off, which you find much less of as you continue into your adulthood) for these hand-me-downs, they can start to pile up and prevent access to the actual clothes your children need to wear now.

So what can you do with all these extra outgrown castoffs? We’re glad you asked.

As with any good organization project, your first step should be to take everything your child currently cannot wear—making sure to keep them separate from things like seasonal clothes that still fit but aren’t needed currently—and sorting them out. Get some plastic storage bins or free up some space on wire shelves or closet shelves to keep all of your treasures separated from your kids’ current wardrobe, and get to organizing.

Your instinct here might be to start sorting them by size, but with children’s clothing that can often be a hassle. Much like with shoes, you’re quickly going to learn that not everyone considers a size 4 to be the same across the board. Instead, try just organizing them by type so you know what you have to get rid of the next time you see someone posting on Facebook that they need kid’s clothes—shorts with shorts, winter stuff away from the warm-weather clothes, etc. That way you can handle each item case-by-case when it comes time to give it away.

A good labeling or organizational system could come in handy here, too. Even if everything has its own bin, you’ll still want to incorporate shelf label holders or some kind of filing system like paper labels, repurposed manila envelopes, even giant Ziploc bags for smaller items to keep them all separate, organized, and accessible.

While you’re sorting everything, you’re also going to want to keep an eye out for anything that’s no longer wearable. Any parent knows how often spills and accidents can happen, and if something is too covered in spilled juice to be usable, you might be better off just chucking it.

Finally, you’re going to want to make sure you leave some space somewhere. The time between hand-me-down donations could be longer than you expect, and with how fast kids grow (no matter how bad we don’t want them to) you might find yourself building your collection before you can really pare the last ones down. Try to leave some space in your closet or basement for an overflow of clothes, and if you really start hitting critical mass, look into some local consignment shops to see if you can make a little money back on your investment. The more kids’ clothes you have to buy, the more you’ll be grateful for the help.

Leave a Reply

Back to top