Those maternity jeans I wore repeatedly that made it look like the flood was coming.
Throwing a quiet little birthday party for my one year old instead of the big bash I truly wanted to put on.
Putting my son’s clothes he’d outgrown into a cardboard box and labeling it “clothes that are too small.”
What do these things have in common? They were all regrets I have about my early adventures in pregnancy and motherhood. While I can’t go back and undo the first two (and to make matters worse, continue to be haunted by pictures of me in those jeans), I did manage to correct the clothing snafu. But it sure would have been helpful if I got it right from the start. So please learn from my mistakes and read on, mamma.
Reality Check First, come to grips with A) the fact that your baby will grow and will indeed one day fit into the 2T pajama set your great aunt gave you at the shower….and B) how rapidly your baby will continually move out of one size and into another. With that in mind….
Make Bins Your New Best Friend Even before baby arrives, purchase and label clear plastic storage bins. Not to be confused with boxes. Clear bins allow you to see the contents inside and the latches allow you to easily open and close the lids as you deal with the contents. Bins hold up much better than boxes and are easy to stack and store. As far as size, a 66 quart size – give or take a little – is pretty standard and works well. If you want to have a little fun with it, purchase see-through pink bins if you’re having a girl, or see-through blue bins if you’re having a boy.
Make Labels Your Second To Best Friend Next, label the bins as follows: 0-3 months; 3-6 months; 6-9 months; 9-12 months; 12-18 months; 18 months-2T; 2T and up. I personally just purchase extra-large Avery shipping labels and write or type on them. If you want to go the extra mile, you can label for the seasons – 2T Summer, 2T Winter, etc.
Easy Access – Once all is said and done with the bins, store them in an accessible place. This clothes switchout thing is about to seemingly take over your life… and you will not want to dread it every time it happens because bins are stored in an inconvenient place. Like, perhaps, the attic above your garage where you have to wait on your husband to open the heavy attic door and nimbly climb the ladder, shimmy across the attic floor and carry down the bins. Not that I have any experience with that. For 4.5 years.
Closets and Dressers I personally prefer to keep my kids’ closets and dresser drawers current and hang or store only the clothes they currently fit into. (The rest go into the aforementioned bins. But you already knew that didn’t you?) I always keep a container in the closet to toss items they’ve outgrown, and then when I’m ready for the next clothes switchout, due to growth or season change, I just grab that container and go.
A Note About Hangers You’ll of course need little size hangers for those little size clothes. If you choose to reject my idea (gasp!) about only storing the current clothes in the closet…. and want to organize your closet with clothing for multiple sizes, then I recommend purchasing closet dividers like this one https://m.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=70609486 and labeling them 0-3 months; 3-6 months and so on.
Final Word of Warning This goes in the category of “nobody ever tells you this stuff” so, um, please let me tell you. Clothes management CAN and DOES get emotional. You may realize you have a heavy heart as you tackle this task each time, in shock that your little one no longer fits into that cute panda hoodie or fuzzy bunting outfit. Be prepared for such emotions and then go give your babe some extra cuddles and wish with all your might that he won’t grow anymore.