Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Handling Hand-Me-Downs

I'm all about hand-me-downs, but there are 4 years between my 2 boys, so I can't just move things from my oldest son's closet when he outgrows them into his little brother's closet. I have to store them for a few years in between.

At first I used those large plastic storage tubs and labeled them 3T summer, 4T winter, etc. But the tubs were bulky so they had to go into our outside storage room and it never failed that I'd be looking for a specific item I knew my older son had and would have to go through several tubs to find it which was very cumbersome and usually hot being in the outside storage, not to mention that the clothes got all musty being in there.

So, I came up with another solution that works much better.

I bought these reusable tote bags from Ikea (each one was like $2) and then figured out they fit across a decorative open shelf high up in our guest room that I was never really sure what to do with anyway. Since the bags match the color-scheme of the room (and don't be misled, by color-scheme of the room I mean the bedspread as there is no other real decoration to the place!), they don't look too bad and it sure is functional to have them there.

The bags hold a lot of folded clothes, I can get pretty much an entire size/season in a bag. But, the beauty is, they are really easy to search through, so I can find things when I need them.

I have them in order by size, starting with things my littlest is about to grow into and ending with the things my oldest is just outgrowing. Then I just move the bags down. As I empty a bag to provide the next size up clothes for my younger son, that creates an empty bag available to take on clothes my oldest outgrows. And it's super easy to throw in one shirt here and there as I discover things that are too small for him!

Then the things my youngest outgrows do get packed into those storage tubs in the outside storage. I don't need easy access to those clothes, but my husband is not sure God's gonna be through with us after one adoption, so for now we're hanging on to them, but most likely they'll be sold or donated someday. And to be honest, those clothes are pretty worn out after going through 2 boys!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.


  1. Love it! I think it's a great idea, and I really like that color blue. :)

  2. Ugh, I was JUST going through TWO WHOLE garbage bags of hand me downs for my son. It's a nightmare. I'm so thankful for them b/c that means less baby stuff I have to buy, but then I have to clean out his stuff and pass that down to someone else!

    I had actually considered posting on this, but if you saw what the room in which I describe the sorting and donating, readers might actually scream in fright and never return again. Great post.

  3. That's a good idea. It can be overwhelming trying to organize that kind of stuff, but it is a blessing!

    Stop by and visit sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal.

  4. What a clever and pretty solution!


I'd love to hear what you think!