Try these easy ideas for storing and organizing clothes. They’ll save you time and money and make it easier dealing with your laundry!
Storing And Organizing Clothes
It’s that time of year when we are hauling out the winter clothes and putting away the summer ones. Trish submitted the following question so I will try to give you some pointers and at the same time I answer her.
I have 4 small children and am always way behind. Do you have separate bins for each child and wash each person’s pile separately? Do you limit clothes for each person?
Another is storage of clothes… I try top separate clothes by size but find myself finding a dress at goodwill for the winter and it gets thrown wherever. Should I have a misc bin to organize clothes to put away for later? Thanks sooo much!
I usually wash everyone’s clothes together. If I am washing dark clothes that day, I gather up everyone’s darks and wash those. It seems like if I do just one person’s clothes at a time someone else is running short by the time I get around to them. You shouldn’t have so many clothes for each person that you are able to wait until it is that person’s time for darks, lights, etc. If you do, you have way too many clothes to be dealing with. Cut back on the clothes and wash everyone’s clothes together.
For a family of your size you should be doing about 2 loads of laundry every day (weekdays). That should more than help you keep up with it. If you find it isn’t, then you need to get your family to cut back on the amount of clothes they are wearing each day.
Check out my list here regarding how many clothes each person should have. Each person can wear the same pair of jeans a couple of times at least and if an item isn’t dirty don’t wash it. Of course, the exception is if you have a bed wetter, a baby in cloth diapers, or someone who has been ill. Those circumstances might cause you to have to wash a couple of extra loads of laundry a week.
- Sort through one person’s clothes each day. If you sort more than that, you can easily get overwhelmed.
- Be ruthless. Get rid of as much as possible. Toss or use for rags clothes that are in poor shape and give the rest away. Don’t keep your five prom dresses, your fat dresses and your skinny dresses. By the time you get into them again they will be out of date so toss them.
- You can keep 2-3 “memory” dresses and get rid of the rest. That goes for baby clothes, too. If you still can’t bring yourself to get rid of them at least make them into a quilt, pillows or something useful. I had a favorite formal dress that I loved but it was outdated. I made throw pillows for my living room and a cover for my Bible out of it. I enjoy it much more now than when it was in my closet collecting dust and I still have the memory.
- Limit everyone’s clothes. No child needs more than five pairs of everyday shorts, four church outfits, etc. The same goes for moms. You don’t need 5 pairs of black pants. If you are doing laundry the way you should, you won’t run out of clothes and you will find that you will keep up on the laundry better because it is not so overwhelming and out of control.
- Let the clothes go. Make a list of what each person really needs. If you have 4 church outfits, that means that you could wear a different dress for a month and not wear the same thing. Two pair of black pants should be enough, one to wear while the other is in the wash. Five pairs of pajamas is more than plenty for an older child. They could really get by with fewer if they wear the same pair for 3 nights in a row.
- Once you have reduced things down to as small an amount as you can, you can figure out the storage situation. Keep your winter clothes separate from your summer clothes, especially for kids. A little girl will grab her red velvet swirly dress when the temperature is hitting 100 but if it is stored away it is out of sight, out of mind.
Regarding storing children’s clothes: It is better to store kids’ clothes by sizes or, if you only have one boy and one girl, you can store by gender. The miscellaneous box is the way that Tawra does it. She has a box and sometimes a shelf where she stores the new finds and then when that box gets full she sorts them into their proper sized boxes.
At one point, Tawra had a large laundry room. She kept 3 large plastic storage containers in the laundry room by the washer and used one for each child. Then, the clothes could just be put into their bins as they were washed fresh from the garage sale.
You could also keep a box or things stacked on a higher shelf in the child’s room. That way, when you put away the child’s regular clothes, you can lay the bigger size or garage sale find on the high shelf. Just try different ways and see what works best for you.
Again, keep the number of clothes you save to a minimum. No little girl needs 10 summer dresses stored away. And unless you have your clothes and the space super well organized, it isn’t always best to store all of your 11 year old’s clothes for 10 years waiting for his one year old brother to grow up. Considering the fact that I can outfit a child for a whole season for $10 – $15 or less from garage sales, it really doesn’t pay to store these things that long, especially if I don’t have the space.
There are a few exceptions, like a special heirloom item, an extra expensive piece of clothing, things like little boys’ expensive suits or a special something handmade by auntie or grandma.
Be ruthless. If you need even more help dealing with laundry, organizing and cleaning, you might want to check out our Keeping It clean e-books, which include an entire e-book just dealing with clothes and laundry, which includes many more tips like this in it.