This question is on my mind again this week. With the girls, it’s not really an issue. Colleena is petite, and Lily is average, so even though there are three years between the girls, there is only one size in between them. Shirts generally go straight from one to the other, and I have one diaper box of pants in their closet. ( Have I mentioned how much I LOVE diaper boxes for storage?!)
Now… the boys… There are 7 years in between my boys, and although Bremen is bigger at weigh ins than Baden was at the same age, and even though I just broke out the size 24 month t shirts for an 8 month old, he isn’t likely to make up THAT much ground! ( yes, seriously.. he is almost 25 pounds, so while he isn’t tall enough to need the 24 months/size 2 stuff, he needs them for width. hahah! He could probably make due with 18 months stuff, but I don’t have much left, and I do have a lot of that next size, so I figured I’d move him up a bit early and things could be a tad bit big) When we weren’t sure if we wanted to have more than two kids, I pared down the baby clothes, figuring there was no sense in keeping boxes and boxes of clothes, not to mention the fact that there weren’t that many clothes to hand down from Baden, he wrecked most of them. I had to buy new ( used) boy clothes after Bremen was born, since I hadn’t kept enough to avoid having to buy more.
And then, we had two more kids, hahah! Right now, girls clothes can go as soon as Lily out grows them. Baby toys, seats, swings and the like are leaving as soon as Bremen is too big for them ( he weighted out of these types of items!). I have been keeping, boxing and labeling boys clothes in each size as my oldest, Baden out grew them. I tried to keep mostly things that are timeless, selling or giving away items with “in” characters or styles that were likely to be dated too soon.
Besides my own in house generated hand me downs, I recently got several huge rubbermaid containers full from a mom with two boys and way better taste in clothes than me. I know her mom and she just wanted them out of her house, so she boxed them all up and her mom brought them over. Everything two kids could wear in sizes 18 months to 5. Gorgeous, really cool clothes. I keep them in that crawl space behind my wall over the stairs where we have our tv mounted. Today, as we were emptying that space to do some work up there, the kids were playing in there having a great time, and I started wondering… should I really be keeping all these clothes?
Big items seem like a no brainer to me. Snow suits, winter boots, shoes… all have large bins in my garage and are worth saving. What do you think about the hand me downs? How much is worth storing in boxes for up to seven years? How much work re-sorting, re-organizing and moving around these boxes is worth it? What will still be good? I have noticed that some of Baden’s old outfits that I pulled out of bins smelled old even after I washed them for Bremen. Sometimes shirts with that plasticy printing are all stuck together and gummy after sitting in a bin. Elastics in socks seem to be brittle. Should I put a time limit on it, as in I will keep what he could wear in the next two years? I could sell or give away the rest. Are boys jeans that manage to make it through without holes in the knees worth keeping for seven years? Five? Two? The cheap ,ahem, frugal, part of me wants to keep them all, since it’s such a good way to save, make due with what I’ve got and a great feeling of being prepared for years to come, but is it really worth it? How long would you store hand me downs?