Well, I have now completed about 18 clothes transitions (if I’m counting correctly)–you know what I’m talking about, clearing the kids drawers of the past seasons clothes and moving in clothes for the new season. I’ve developed some strategies and guidelines that I thought I’d share.
We have a lot of hand-me-downs (thank you Noelle & Troy), add that to my season ending clearance shopping and always buying ahead nature at Mom-to-Mom sales and I rarely need to purchase anything. I have everything sorted in bins, for example at the beginning of this season each kid had a bin labeled: Summer ’08, Fall/Winter ’08, PJ’s/accessories–so whenever I get something it just goes right into the correct bin (usually after it sits in pile in the basement for awhile!).
When the new season comes, I pull out the bin and go through it, have the kids try stuff on to see what fits, decide what I like or what they like.
Here is where I’ve learned my lesson–kids have way too many clothes! When Mari was young, I would keep everything, her drawers would be bulging and she would only wear 10-12 of our favorite outfits. So my rule is–if it doesn’t fit easily in her drawers, there’s too much; if I don’t really like it, it goes; and if there is more than one load of laundry, again too much. I figure if she’s going to only wear it 3 times all summer and some other little girl might wear it 20 times–she’s better off with it!
As I’m clearing out their past season stuff, I sort what might still fit them in the next season and put those clothes in the appropriate bin, stuff that will be too small goes to the next hand-me-down kid (Tobin, Alyssa & Kashton–other sisters kids).
Another helpful thought that has worked well for us. We have a 3 bin laundry sorter in the laundry room, labeled with a picture of each kid. Tobin (at not quite 20 months) has been putting his dirty clothes away for a couple months. When their bin gets full I do their load of laundry. I can also tell it’s time because if I followed my rule above, their drawers are getting empty. The best part–it’s all one kids clothes, so it all gets put in one dresser, no confusion over whose socks are whose, etc.
Do you have any other bits of advice? I’d love to hear them:)