Friday, November 30, 2012

don't let baby clothes be 'loads' of stress

Do baby clothes seem to be taking over your life?  Do you feel like you're constantly adding new clothes to your baby's closet and taking small clothes out and putting them in unorganized garbage bags in the hall closet?  Are you a little sad that dressing a baby in the right sized clothes takes up so much time?

I, like you, have been there and done that.  And now I have an organization system I'd like to share with you.

 There is some prep work involved.

  • Decide if you're saving baby's clothes for future babies.
  • Decide if you care to have things neatly organized.
  • Decide if you have money to buy plastic bins.
  • Decide how you want to label your bins. (i.e. label maker/computer, printer, packing tape/masking tape and Sharpie)

Use a small bin in your babies room/closet.  

This is for clothes that you immediately realize are too small for your baby after he's worn them.  When you put something on your child that is too small, take it back off and throw it in the 'too small' bin (or let him wear it one more time, wash it, and then put it in the bin.)  When the small bin is full, you'll be ready for your larger bins you bought.

This is the Carter's sizing chart if you need it for guidance.

Label your bins into size categories.

I went old-school with masking tape and a Sharpie.
Maternity clothes
NB & 0-3 month BOYS3(-6) month BOYS
6(-9) month BOYS
9(-12) month BOYS
12 month BOYS

I have a lot of Carter's hand-me-downs and the tags only have one number.  From my experience, the first number is the starting size, so if it is 6m, the size range is 6-9 months.   (I've read the complete opposite opinion other places--that the number represents the last month which would make 6m=3-6 months, but I think they fit better the first way.  To each, her own!)

The Children's Place items I have tended to run a bit small, so right now, my kiddo is in 12 month shirts, but I've pulled the 18 month hand-me-down shirts from CP because they fit pretty well, too.  Gerber has a pretty wide size range.  Unfortunately each brand is slightly different and it will take some trial and error to figure out the way your like your child's clothes to fit.  But once you figure it out, you'll know which labeled bin the clothes go in.

Store the clothes in the bin that has smallest size listed.  

If you have a pair of pants that are sized 9-12 months, don't put them in the 12 month tote, or the next time you need them, you'll find them when they're almost too small!

Stack your bins logically. 

Maternity comes before 3-6 months clothes so don't put that bin on the bottom.  Also, if you have boys and girls, you may want to store them together, but I chose to get smaller bins and separate.  My girl totes (I only have 2 small ones right now, since I don't have girls, but do have hand-me-downs) are purple.  I think a little color-coding is fun, but definitely not necessary!

Stay one or two steps ahead.

Don't wait until your kid has outgrown all of his 2T clothes to buy a bin for them.  Have it labeled and stored with the rest of your bins.  You're more likely to stick with it if it's already there for you.  (Also, I've been told 24month and 2T are very similar, so consider storing these together.)

Good luck with your organizing.  I hope I've helped you alleviate some stress in your life!

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