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When to Part with Outgrown Kids’ Clothing

Posted on March 10, 2013 @ 13:08 Sunday by Gandzee | 0 comments
Sometimes I feel like half my closets are devoted to storing kids’ clothing. If you’ve got a boy and a girl, they’re spaced a few years apart, and you live in a climate with four distinct seasons, that’s A LOT of clothes to sort through.

When is it time to let go? 

If any of the scenarios below apply to you, it’s time to reclaim your closet space.

If you’re not having more children
This should go without saying but I’ve met plenty of moms who swear they’re DONE but still can’t bear to part with their kids’ outgrown clothing. If you and your partner are on the same page and really do think your family is complete, it’s time to reclaim the precious closet space. 

Give yourself one gallon-sized Ziploc bag to store the outfit your child wore home from the hospital or to her christening or naming ceremony. Toss a pair of socks into the bag—they take up no space and they’ll help you remember just how tiny your babe’s little feet were. There should be a little leftover room for the handknit sweater Grandma made. Everything else is just stuff. Really, really cute stuff but stuff all the same.

If your newborn’s birth doesn’t mesh with the season of an older sibling
A friend of mine just had her second daughter, and she was so grateful—not just that she was having another healthy girl—but that she was having another springtime girl. Her first daughter’s size 3-month summer dresses will fit her second daughter perfectly, as will the 9-month sweaters and the 12-month bathing suit. Had her second daughter been born in December, a lot of the baby clothes she’d hung onto would have needed to be donated or passed along to a friend.

If your kids are more than five years apart in age
Five years may not seem like much time in the grand scheme of things but in the world of fashion, a lot happens in five years. The same holds true even for the toddler set. Styles change, colors change, fabrics change. 

Plus, our minds play tricks on us. We put the clothes away thinking that they look bright and fresh—mainly because we’re remembering our vivacious two-year-old romping around the yard in the clothes. Five years later, we dig through our trusty Tupperware boxes only to discover that those bright leggings we remembered loving have actually grown quite dingy and must have been fairly worn at the knees before we packed them away. I think there’s actually a hand-me-down rule that, roughly speaking, states, “If you pack away a clean, white onesie, you’re guaranteed to unpack it and find a huge and obvious formula stain staring at you.” True, no?

Once you pass the five-year mark, I think almost anything in a storage box starts looking dingy. I’m not saying you won’t wind up tossing it all in the wash and using it anyway but just be prepared--it won’t look quite as fresh and new as you remembered. 

Next up, we’ll talk about what to do once you’ve pumped yourself up to part with your favorite threads!

- Jen

Tell us about your own experiences: Did you hang on to your kids’ outgrown clothing way too long? What are some of the clothing items you’ll never be able to part with, no matter how many years pass?
Tags: organizing

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