7 Tips to Sorting & Storing Hand Me Down Clothes

Mama, can we talk about hand me down clothing?

If you have had more than one child the same gender, you inevitably have some clothes somewhere in your home ‘waiting to be grown into’.

Or maybe you have older nieces and nephew that outgrow their clothes at the speed of lightening.

Possibly you are part of a group of mamas that have babies frequently and exchange clothes between one another.

The massive black trash bags that arrive can either be viewed as a huge blessing or a complete nightmare depending on the day. I mean if you have ever priced a pair of tiny infant shoes that are ever so cute, but never actually get walked in, you know what a blessing it is when someone shares their slightly used ones. Sometimes those sweet little newborn feet are sporting $40 shoes that do nothing but simply look cute. They rarely wear out, so it makes good sense to pass them around.

But honestly just how do you store all this goodness? How much should you keep and what should be passed on to somebody else? Here’s the guidelines I try to follow in my family’s hand me down storage:

7 Tips to Sorting & Storing Hand Me Down Clothes

  1. I keep a plastic storage bin for each size I want to store. I write the size on the outside where it is easily seen in permanent marker on painters’ tape. This allows the labels to be changed if I need, yet the tape sticks and removes easily.
  2. I inspect each item before it goes in the box. Holes, missing buttons, or stains do not get stored.
  3. Only store things that have a matching item. It might be a really cute tee shirt but if they have no bottoms to wear it with, then out it goes. We had too many years of mismatched stuff that never got worn but overflowed our dresser drawers.
  4. Keep a reasonable amount. Choose the best 8-10 shirts and hand the rest on to someone else. No child needs 30 cute shirts that end up on the closet floor needing to be washed.
  5. Don’t keep shoes unless they are expensive and in good condition. I don’t store cheap shoes like flip flops from the dollar store. I will store cowboy boots that rarely wear out and cost close to $100 a pair.
  6. Consider how long you need to store before you child grows into the items. I am willing to go a size or two bigger in storage but not keep clothes from kids that are many years older. The elastic gets rotted, the styles change, and it takes up too much space.
  7. Finally, never store above children’s size clothing. Nope, nada, don’t do it…your teens won’t wear it no matter how much they tell you they will. I learned my lesson having a teen grown into box that got stored then dumped at the thrift store the moment they turned 13.

As you pack away all the seasonal clothes, the season change is the perfect time to start your new hand me down storage.

Happy sorting and storing!

Previous articleTaking It Easy This Holiday Season: A Break From The Hoopla
Next articleMama, It’s Not Your Job to be the Christmas Activity Director
Courtney Mount
Hi, I'm Courtney! Born and raised in Oklahoma, I have birthed 9 babies who have given me 7 grandbabies--so far. I am a slightly crunchy, homeschooling mama of 28 years. In 2020, I also became a grieving mama as my 3 year old lost her battle to Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. I currently write about our everyday life, child loss, grief, and Jesus at https://www.facebook.com/MilliesMiracle2020. You can also find me at MilliesMiracle.net


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here