I’m lucky with 2 boys in the house that I can recycle clothes from one child to the other. But with 2 years between them there’s a short delay between Charlie growing out of the clothes and Harrison being big enough to wear them. This means there is a constant clothes shuffle – they come out of Charlie’s wardrobe, they’re packed into storage for a little while, unpacked into Harrison’s wardrobe, then eventually given away (if they’ve made it this far!).
All the shuffling is a little messy and annoying, but there’s no avoiding it and I have a very simple system of 3 tubs in rotation that seems to work really well…
When it came to actually putting this system into words, I struggled a bit but here’s my best effort :
- The first tub : under Charlie’s hanging clothes – as Charlie grows out of his clothes I just fold them and drop them into the storage tub in the bottom of the wardrobe. When this tub is full I move it into the cupboard above the wardrobe. It will stay here until Harrison is ready for that particular size (eg. size 4).
- The second tub : this replaces the full tub under Charlie’s hanging clothes – and it starts collecting the next size of clothes that Charlie is growing out of (eg. size 5).
- The third tub : the size Harrison is currently wearing (eg. size 3) – I’ve found that the exact same sized clothes can vary greatly depending on brand, style etc. so if they’re still a little too big they stay in the tub until later in the season.
Once Harrison’s tub is emptied I just leave it there until Harrison is ready for the size that is being stored up the top of the wardrobe. Then I can just put the empty tub in the top of the wardrobe until Charlie’s tub is full and needs replacing.
As for the clothes that Harrison has grown out of, I keep a few sentimental pieces (that I keep in a storage container under his bed) and sort the rest into piles to give to either family/friends or charity.
You’ll see that I also have a white basket in the bottom of the wardrobe. This is for clothes & shoes that I’ve bought on sale a size ahead for Charlie. While the sales are on I usually try to pick up at least a couple of items in the next size up for the seasons ahead. In this picture I have shorts, underwear and a couple of pairs of shoes. I’ve found it’s best to keep these items in full view at the bottom of the wardrobe otherwise I forget I have them and double up on things.
What I love about this system :
- Everything is in easy reach – I can literally just drop the clothes into the tub in the bottom of the wardrobe.
- Sizes are kept separate – which means I’m not trying to sort through large tubs of mixed sizes.
- This system is instant / on-the-spot – I don’t have to set aside a big amount of time for sorting and shuffling around tubs of clothes because it’s an everyday, ongoing system.
I hope that all makes sense! Even if you’re not shuffling clothes between siblings you could still keep a tub or two in the bottom of the wardrobe – one to collect the clothes that are getting too small and the other for clothes that are yet to be worn.
The exact tub that I use is a Starmaid 20L Storemate (L385mm, W270mm, H250mm) but of course you can use any size that suits. I buy these from my local Woolworths supermarket and I’ve found it’s the perfect size because it can hold a significant amount of clothing but is still small enough to be manageable.
Note : if you’re seriously questioning how I can fit an entire size worth of clothes into one 20L storage tub please keep in mind that a) the boys don’t have enormous wardrobes anyway, b) I don’t store PJ’s (because Harrison can get away with wearing bigger sizes), c) I store shoes in a different spot and, d) some clothes are too tattered to make the transition and go straight out the door.