I wear my sister’s hand-me-downs!
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!
Lost in a forest of clutter and tasks? Don’t despair!
Ever get that “lost in the forest” feeling when facing starting a project or thinking about all the things you have to do? We lose perspective and feel overwhelmed because we get lost in the details. Suddenly every task feels urgent and it isn’t clear where to start or how anything will ever get done.
- Example: I need to submit my vacation request to work for the next 2 months by the end of the week, my kids have 2 different soccer schedules, the school calendar, my husband travels for work and has mileage points expiring soon that we want to use for a vacation – where do I start?
1. Establish a timeframe to evaluate
Do you need to figure out what to do in the next hour or are you trying to figure out a much larger project? How far back do you need to step to get the perspective that will help you move forward?
Large scale time: what kind of life events are coming up? Graduations? Births? Changing schools? Moves? Small scale time: the next half hour, or the current day, or this week.
There’s no one right answer for every person – it’s individual to each person and the situation you’re trying to work on.
- Start here: The most important time frame is between now and when the mileage points expire; then the time frame that the request covers – the next 2 months.
2. Decide what your immediate goal is.
Once you narrow your timeframe, think through what the main goal is for that timeframe. What is most important to you?
- Start here: Figure out if a vacation is even possible before the points expire, given the family schedule constraints.
3. Decide which tasks are most important to achieve the goal
Brainstorm a list of all the steps to get to the goal. Then identify which ones are most important to do and decide what order makes sense. The result should tell you exactly what your next steps are!
- Print out or view a calendar of the timeframe in question
- Eliminate any days that have kids’ soccer or husband’s work commitments
- Review school calendars for possible holidays/commitments during the timeframe
- Review available days to decide which would work best for vacation. Confirm with husband.
- Complete and submit vacation request
- Start planning vacation!