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June 1, 2011

How We Do Things Series: Clothing

There are not many tasks that I procrastinate in but this one I do....every year!!!!!  Yesterday we finally got our winter clothes put away and have all the summer clothes on the shelves. Except for the toque and mitts of course. If you life in Manitoba, you know you never really put those away :)

Years ago we got rid of all dressers and drawers. I got so frustrated with broken drawers and clothes stuffed in that I asked my hubby to make shelves in all the closets for the kids clothes. He also made me a free standing cupboard with shelves for the baby room. The 3 older girls have shelves in their room. The 4 older boys have their shelves in their rooms.  The 2 little girls have their shelves in the laundry room. And the 2 little boys clothes are in the baby room shelves. The boys have a small rod in their closet for dress clothes, the girls have  a couple of rods under the stairs and a there is a rod in the baby room for the rest. 

We also have a storage closet in the basement that we store all the kids off season clothes (except the oldest 3 girls) in rubbermaids. We have baby girl and boy clothes in separate categories newborn, 3 mths, 3-6 mths, 6-9 mths...and so on up to 2 yrs of age. These clothes spend some time in storage, but all the other clothes are pretty busy getting rotated through from one person to another. Our biggest space is the one between Kerri and Brooke. I don't keep much of anything from Kerri, just some sentimental items. The only other break is from Nathan to Josiah (which I only keep favorite clothes, the rest I give to friends or donate). And now this year I decided to get rid of most of Mikaya's clothes as well....since the next two are boys. Other than that we can pretty much pass the clothes from one child to the next.

In the baby room I have hanging shelves (the kind you put on a rod), and that is where I put all the clothes that the babes outgrow...cause we all know they don't grow according to seasons. Then when we pull out the boxes the next season, we put all those away as well.

I am a thrift shop and garage sale junkie! So I am always buying clothes ahead of time for our kids. When I buy them I put them in the storage closet in a rubbermaid and when the season rolls around we go through those as well as their boxes. The main thing I buy is jeans because our boys wear out their jeans so fast. We rarely make it through a season where I am not pulling out more jeans from their storage boxes!!! Oh and pajamas are another thing that I buy. For some reason it is hard to find jammies when I need them, so if I see nice ones I usually get them!

I also like to keep an eye out for the end of season clothes sales in our local Superstore and Walmart.  I am pretty stingy though....it has to be less than $5.00 for me to get it. Usually I wait until they are 1 or 2 dollars. Sometimes I am able to get lots of deals....other times not so much. I will buy up lots of mitts at the end of winter sales because this is always something we need. On the farm our mitts wear out fast.

And then throughout the year we also get hand me downs from people that we know. We go through those as soon as  we get them, keep what we want, give away what we don't and then put what we keep  in the storage room. 

I used to have all the shoes in rubbermaids in the storage closet as well, but I found this was way too chaotic when I needed shoes for somebody, to go digging through the boxes. So I used those drawers that I detested for the kids clothes and labeled them with different sizes, sandals or running shoes. Now when I need a pair of shoes real quick I can just go to the right drawer and pick what I need. It works really slick for me. Plus it limits me to the amount of shoes I can buy. I have this thing for little kids shoes, not sure why, but I do. So now my space is limited....no more crazy excess of shoes!!!!

This year it took Megan and I two pretty full days to go through everyone's clothes. We also went through all the baby clothes which took a bit more time. But getting everyone to try on the clothes just takes time....that's all there is to it! By the time we are done with the clothes, I don't want to see clothes again for awhile. I am usually quite exhausted when we are done. Not sure why, not like it's that physically taxing!!!  But I breathe a big sigh of relief!!!!

We always start with the oldest boy, Caleb, because he usually has stuff in his box that he passes down. Then we go through the other 3 older boys. Next is the little girls because by now they are absolutely beside themselves with excitement to get their "new" clothes out! Then is the little guys. We only try the clothes on our 2 year old, Josiah....and that is enough. For Jaden, we just put what we think will fit him, on his shelves :)

Each boy puts all his clothes that are currently on his shelves and brings them upstairs where we turn our kitchen table into a clothing parlour! Then as we finish each boys clothes, we give them the new ones to put on their shelves. From Zachary down, we mark the clothes with the age of the child and an H for the clothes being for home and a G for the ones for good.

And that's pretty much our clothing journey! And when we were done getting the seasons clothes out we jump for joy!!!!

Another big task done :) Now we are just praying for some sunshine and warmer weather so we can actually wear these clothes :)

How about you. What tips do you have for storing and organizing kids clothing? I'd love to hear how you do things :)


Anonymous said...

When our boys closets get full we go through them and set aside all the outgrown stuff in bags or boxes to hand down to you! :)
Janet H.

The Pauls' Family said...

And for that I am very grateful Janet!!! Thank you so much :)

Clarissa said...

I do it very similar to you, except with only 4 kiddos! I have an almost 5 year break between my boys (two girls in between), and have saved pretty much all of my oldest boy's clothes for my youngest, seems to work. the clothes are still in good shape. but that might change now that they are being stored in the garage (in storage containers), they were in the house always before!
interesting post, as always! nice to get some "advice" from a bigger family on how to do things and what works! :)

Laura said...

I love your organizational posts! They're so helpful. :) We do things similar except I skip the trying on. :) I just hold things up and estimate. It's worked well so far. I have a thing for little shoes too!! I don't have a good storage plan though, so after we move maybe I'll try your idea of putting clothes on shelves and shoes in drawers.

Anonymous said...

Those are great ideas. :) thanks for sharing!!! I never thought to put shoes in drawers.