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Hand-me-downs: We all know about them. Whether we loved or hated them, many of us have had old clothing passed down from older family members when we were growing up. But when you’re expecting a new baby and looking for any possible way to cut down costs, they can be a godsend.
At my baby shower, my sister-in-law, who has a four-year-old, gifted me with about three years’ worth of boys clothing. Suddenly we were blessed with huge amounts of clothing and little room in our apartment to store it. Here is the clothing organization solution I came up with to contain all the clutter. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is!
Below is the monster pile of hand me downs, after we completed the all-important first step of washing and drying everything.
When you have this many hand me downs, you’ll want to first separate the clothes that your little one will be able to wear right away. For me, I wanted to separate any clothing from 0 to 6 months and set those aside to be ready for when the baby was born.
For clothing beyond six months, I knew we would not need them until after our move overseas. I wanted a secure, sanitary way to store them so that they would last the move without taking up too much space in the meantime.
Originally I had planned on getting some plastic storage bins to hold everything. But at the store we ended up finding these vacuum-seal bags which seemed even better! The great thing about these bags is that you don’t need any special machinery to seal them, just your vacuum cleaner hose.
I labeled the bags using regular address labels reinforced with mailing tape. I kept my system consistent, using six month increments to separate the clothes. We divided the clothing into semi-neat folded piles according to size category. For some items that were missing size labels, I estimated by holding them up to similar sized clothing items.
After sorting all of the clothes, we rolled the clothing up – read why I love this space-saving packing method here – and began stuffing them inside the bags.
I would advise that you pack away all clothing bags before you start vacuum-sealing. We had a couple of mix-ups where we had to re-open sealed bags to put the stray item in. The bags are re-useable and can be sealed multiple times, but we could have saved time by doing all of our sealing at the end.
This is our huge pile of clothing after everything was either vacuum sealed or packed away to be used immediately after birth.
We don’t have to worry about bulky storage bins or trash bags of clothing. The bags easily fit under our bed. You could also store your vacuum sealed clothing in one storage bin or in a closet – wherever there’s room in your home!
What’s your favorite way to store hand-me-downs and other unused clothing?
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