I have a major love/hate relationship with baby clothes. When I was expecting my first baby, I was completely enamored with all of the adorable tiny sized outfits that filled stores. And don’t even get me started on those teeny tiny shoes. I started carefully selecting some of my favorite outfits for my baby to be. What I didn’t really realize until much later was how much time and energy all those adorable tiny clothes can steal. Have you ever really stopped to think about the fact one little baby goes through five complete wardrobes just within their first year of life? So many tiny clothes to buy, wash, organize, and store. It feels like you are constantly swapping out things that have suddenly become too small overnight. And all of those teeny tiny baby socks? How in the world do you keep them from getting hopelessly lost?
I am a mom of three now, and while I definitely don’t have all the answers, I have figured out a pretty good system for keeping our babies adorably clothed without piles of tiny shirts and pants taking over our home.
1. Use drawer dividers
Baby clothes are tiny which means they get lost very easily – they can even get hopelessly lost right there in the drawers somehow!
Drawer dividers are a huge help. They help keep all of the little socks from disappearing and make it much easier to grab what you need while you dress a squirmy baby.
2. Separate the sizes
Babies grow so much and go through so many sizes their first year of life. Even though you’ll probably have tons of different sized clothing ready to go, it’s easiest just to keep the size that currently fits in the drawers. Nobody wants to have dig through a pile of different sizes to find what you need.
Most babies don’t have a ton of clothes that need to be hung on hangers, so you’ll probably have plenty of room in the closet. You can use cute nursery closet dividers in the closet to keep the different sizes separated.
3. Keep the next size handy
Have the next size of clothing somewhere close by – in the nursery closet, stored under the crib, in a spare drawers, somewhere out of the way but easy to get to. That way when you realize that suddenly all of his little sleepers are too short, it’s easy to pull out the next size.
4. Have a spot for outgrown clothes
Also, keep a bin or basket for outgrown clothes in the closet or somewhere else nearby. Whenever you come across something that no longer fits, you can toss it in the basket. Once the basket it full, you can go through it and decide what to do with everything.
5. Keep, donate, sell
When you’re ready to go through everything your sweet baby has outgrown, it can be really hard to know what to do with it. There can be so many feelings wrapped up in those tiny clothes, not to mention all of the uncertainties about whether you will have more babies in the future. If you really just aren’t ready to make any decisions, it’s okay to pack everything up and deal with it later.
Of course, not everybody has the endless storage space to make that work. Another option is to set aside your favorite items and anything sentimental to keep and then sell, donate, or give away the rest. You can sell baby clothes on Facebook marketplace, at consignment stores, at seasonal consignment sales, or have a yard sale. Or you can donate to a charity or give everything to a friend or neighbor who’s expecting.
6. Storing clothes for the future
The things you do want to keep can be stored away in large Rubbermaid containers or, if space is an issue, packed up in vacuum sealed storage bags. Just be sure to label your bins or bags so you can quickly find what you need in the future.
7. Storing shoes and accessories
If you are saving clothes for future kids, it’s helpful to store socks, shoes, bibs, hats, etc. separately. I learned the hard way that different babies need these things at different times and had to dig through many bins of clothes to find what I needed.
8. Save time on laundry
My final tip? When my first was a baby, I read a blog post from a mom of five about how she handles all of the laundry. One of her secrets was that she doesn’t fold her kids clothes. The clean laundry gets put straight back into the drawers without folding. Such a time saver! My oldest is now five and I still toss all of my kids’ clothes straight into their drawers without folding. They mainly wear t-shirts, jeans, and other cotton clothing so nothing gets all that wrinkled and the way they scrounge through their drawers I don’t think things would stay nicely folded anyway. Anything that saves time on the never-ending mountain of laundry is a win in my book!
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