Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Things I've Been Wanting to Do, Day 11: Clothes Exchange

Do you hate the feeling of standing at your child's closet, staring at all the summer clothes that still fit, but realizing it's October and you only have a few things to keep them warm?
This post is to help you enjoy the changing seasons, instead of  being burdened with the need to run out and buy a whole wardrobe!
Okay, to be honest with you, I haven't had to 'run out' and buy an entire wardrobe in my daughter's 6 years and my son's 2 years. Yes, my kids are very blessed (and somewhat spoiled) by Grandma's that like to buy them clothes. But the real reason is planning ahead.

Under each of my kids beds, you will find two plastic, lidded boxes.

One we call their 'Special Box'. This was an idea I brought from my parents house. When I was growing up, anything that was important and should be saved, went into my 'Special Box'. For example, the newspaper from the day I was born, a baby bottle I used, my High School Diploma, etc. (And, yes, I still have it.) You will find the same type of things in my kids boxes: Coming home from the hospital outfits, first coloring page, hospital bracelets, first lost tooth etc.) A box insures that you are not saving anything that isn't very important (as space is limited).

The other box, under their bed, is their "Clothes to Wear" box. I have a buying system that I do at the end of every season. For example, right now is a great time to buy summer clothes. Reese is about to turn 6, so I've been buying size 7 summer clothes for her. Graham turned 2 this past July so I have been buying size 3T summer clothes for him for next year.

Here is what Graham's 'Clothes to Wear' box looked like before I unpacked his 2T winter clothes for this year (that I bought this past spring).

Dressy clothes for Church are usually the most expensive things I have to buy for the kids. So, stocking up on long sleeved collared shirts and sweater vests for Graham, saves me money! And to be quite honest, it's a thrill to open this box at the beginning of a season and have an instant wardrobe! (And I get to reminisce about all the good buys I got by shopping early!)

 Here's a price run down for some of the items pictured above:
Crazy 8 Brown Corduroy Pants- $3.99, Blue Fleece Pants- $2.99
Sears Gray Cargo Pants- $2.99, Black Casual Pants- $2.99
Gymboree White Sweater- $4.99, Gray Tweed Dress Pants- $4.99, Black Corduroy Pants- $4.99, Gray, Black and Blue Argyle Sweater Vest- $4.99, Gray Blazer- $4.99
Children's Place Black and Khaki Collared Shirt and Sweater Vest- $2.99 each
Wal-Mart Snowman PJ's- $2.50
Old Navy Truck PJ's- $1.49
(Please note that all of these items we purchased months ago and they may not be available in the stores.)

Don't forget to 'after-holiday-shop' too! Buy clearanced holiday clothes items a week after the holiday and get great buys for the next years' seasonal wear!

We have lots of 'systems' in our house. (It keeps Mommy sane.) In addition to the 'Clothes to wear box' system, the garage sale box system, the kids storage box system, holiday storage system, wrapping paper system etc.... 
Don't worry, I have a closet system too.....

Everything has a place and everything in it's place. (Unless it is being played with, of course).
Here's a break down....

I'm a 'stocker-up-er' when it comes to diapers and wipes so I put them up high, out of the way, but not in a place that I forget I have them. (Because I have made a mid-night run for diapers only to find a package of them the next day. A "Oh, I forgot I put those there!!" moment.)

I could easily drive myself crazy with the amount of trips I take to the basement every week! To prevent having to take down only one article of clothing at a time, I have a basket.
When something is too small and needs to go in either storage or a garage sale box, I toss it in the basket. When the basket is full, I take it down and put it away.

Graham's nicer, collared shirts are hanging together with the sweater vests in the front. I don't take out clothes just because they are not in season. For example, right now, his short sleeved shirts are pushed to the back. I'm hoping that some will fit next year, at the beginning of the summer. And if they don't, to the storage basket they will go. :)

I rotate and re-organize his toys just as much as I do his clothes. He doesn't have EVERY single toy that he owns available for him to play with. By rotating them, he learns to play with different things and his toys don't become 'boring'.

I encourage you to start shopping ahead. It will seem like just 'money out of the pocket' right now, but when you can pull out brand new clothes when you need them, you'll be glad you did!


  1. I need you to organize my life! Great ideas, Lindsay!

  2. Each of my kids has a drawer designated for clothes I buy in advance at the end of season. :) Love clearance sales - like right now Gymboree has tons of stuff on super clearance. Thanks for showing Graham's closet; I have a couple new ideas now.