hand-me-down system

Hand-Me-Down System: 6 ways to make to most out of kids’ clothes you already have

Create an effective hand-me-down system to maximize the use of all your kids’ clothes.

Kids’ clothing expenses can quickly add up, especially during back-to-school season when new trends hit the market. However, there’s a practical and wallet-friendly solution that many parents overlook: creating an effective hand-me-down system.

Susie Salinas, a professional organizer and experienced mom of three, offers insightful advice on how to make the most out of your children’s clothing items.

Find more organizing advice from Susie on Instagram, @systemsbysusie.


How to Create an Efficient Hand-Me-Down System

The Problem with Neglected Systems

Susie highlights that simply stashing away clothes in unlabeled bins can lead to chaos. Finding what you need becomes a hassle, potentially resulting in wasted time and money. To avoid this, she emphasizes the importance of setting up a well-organized hand-me-down system.

The Ideal Timing

Timing matters when it comes to implementing an efficient system. As the back-to-school season approaches, Susie recommends setting up your kids’ closets for success. With new school clothes entering the mix, this is a perfect moment to establish a functional system.

The Two-Bin Strategy

Susie’s golden rule for every child’s closet: two bins – one for clothes that are too small and another for those that are too big. This setup streamlines the process of sorting out clothes that no longer fit, reducing clutter and making it easy to see what’s needed.

The “too small” bin stays within easy reach in the closet, allowing kids to quickly place clothes that no longer fit. The “too big” bin is a home for future wear or larger sizes. This system accommodates the fact that children’s growth doesn’t always align perfectly with the seasons.

The Importance of Proper Care

Susie warns against storing unwashed or damp clothes, as moisture can lead to mold growth. Prior to storage, ensure all items are fully cleaned and dried to preserve their quality.

Strategic Storage Solutions

For long-term storage, consider investing in shelves and plastic bins. Shelves eliminate the need for stacking, making items easily accessible. If space is limited, vacuum-sealed bags provide an efficient alternative.

Organizing Categories

Depending on space availability, organize clothes by size, gender, and season. Separate shoes and accessories into their own bins to maintain an orderly system.

The Bin Dilemma: Clear vs. Solid

When selecting storage bins, Susie suggests clear bins for better visibility. However, if visual clutter is a concern, solid bins can work as long as you use clear labeling.

Keeping Memories

Susie acknowledges the sentimentality of certain clothing items. She recommends creating a keepsake bin for each child to hold onto special clothes, accessories, and mementos.

Incorporating these tips from Susie can help you establish a practical hand-me-down system that not only saves you money, but also simplifies your life as a busy parent. By embracing organization and thoughtful storage solutions, you’ll be able to maximize the use of your kids’ clothing items while maintaining a clutter-free and stress-free home.

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