Saving good clothes for a younger child when the older one has outgrown them sounds like a great idea: Re-use, Recycle, Reduce – right?
The reality can be a messy pile stuffed onto a closet shelf or floor, a bag with mixed-up sizes and generally an inconvenient hassle to actually find what you want to re-use. Sometimes by the time you do the younger kid is already too big for what you’ve found.
The easiest way to cycle clothes between siblings is to use storage tubs pre-labeled with sizes.
For clothes to pass on to a younger child:
- Get adhesive label pockets for the outside of a medium sized tub. The Container Store has a few kinds or you can get them from an office supply store
- Create a set of labels that will go into the sleeves that cover all the sizes that your child will outgrow. For example if your child now wears a size 4, create label inserts “size 4”, “size 5”, “size 6”, etc. You don’t need a tub for each size…just 2-3 tubs
- Store the extra labels behind the current label, ready to swap out when needed
- If you receive clothes from friends/relatives for your oldest, create a few tubs with those larger sizes as well to store them
- If possible, store the tub labeled with the current size of each child in their closet so that as soon as you notice something is outgrown, in the tub it goes!
- If you don’t have room for tubs, grocery bags can work in a pinch
For those clothes you want to save for other kids:
- If you collect clothes to pass on outside your family create a specific tub names for that special cousin or friend
- Always keep a donation bag handy in a kid’s closet – when it’s full, move it straight to the car and replace it with an empty!
You can save money, save the environment and build community by recycling your children’s clothes and passing them on when they’re outgrown. Start today by at least setting up 2 labeled bags: one for donations and one for your oldest child’s current size; you’ll be on your way to a sorted system.
Have you come up with a great sorting system? Share it in a comment here!