I don't know about you but my DARLING daughter likes to wear summer clothes ALL YEAR LONG! I swear she was born that way. She thinks it's always shorts weather and would go without a coat all winter long if she could. Well...sister...we live in the Midwest so it's cold 9 months of the year and we can't live in shorts. I actually had to start packing her summer clothes away right before Halloween. I've been doing it for years so I have a system down and I'd like to share it...for all of you who tend to have piles and pile of out of season clothes sitting around that make you feel overwhelmed.
Step 1: Around October I set aside a few hours to pull out all the kids summer clothes and go through them. I usually find this easiest to do in their rooms so I always am sure to do 2 things...
(Above pile is for "give away" but boy has some little cousins who will love getting some of his character shirts!)
1. Make sure your children are not home or are occupied so as not to disturb you worse yet, cry when you decide it's time to let go of that FAVORITE cover up that has seen better days!
2. You will need 1 tub per child and then a larger tub to store Consignment Store items. I only use tubs with lids so while they are in storage all winter they are stackable. So, for 2 children I will need 2 medium bins and 1 larger bin. My consignment bin is white to blend in with my closet and the kids bins are clear on the bottom so I can see what items are in each from a glance. I got the flatter, rectangular bins that can easily slide under a bed. Don't get me wrong, I can't actually put my daughter's bin there because then she would pull out her hippest sundress in the middle of a blizzard. Nope, I put her bins on the top shelf of her closet so even with a chair she cannot reach it! (Mean Mom!)
(Top bin goes in daughter's closet...big white bin gets put in my closet. If my closet wasn't big enough I'd put it in the basement or attic.)
Step 2: I go through each item and decide if it's bound for consignment or can make it another year in my child's wardrobe. As they get older lots of summer items can actually make it more than one year. Especially if it was roomy the summer before. If it's a keeper it goes in the smaller bin folded to lay VERY flat. You can get more items in the bin that way. If it's bound for the consignment shop I check VERY carefully for stains. If there are stains or if the items needs any repairs then it goes in a pile for later attention. If not it goes in the bin.
Step 3: I am sure to wash and treat stains RIGHT AWAY. This is key because when it's time to send these items to the consignment shop I don't have to worry about them being rejected for stains.
Step 4: Put your items away. I am sure to call the Consignment shop a few months before each season to find out when they are taking new items. For example, it's March 2nd and I just dropped my spring/summer bin off today. I use a Consignment shop in Morris, IL called "Still Stylin" They have a big following and fair prices. Here is my trick though...BEFORE I drop off my items I iron/steam each one. Dresses from the dry cleaners are still hanging on the hangers and items are looking their best. This is the best way to ensure that the shop owner will want to keep and sell your items. I also think items go faster when they are in good shape and look like they've been cared for.
(My ironing pile for today...makes the clothes look like new.)
That's it. Pretty easy if you have a plan and execute it all in one day. I had both kids try on the items I kept for this summer and it gives me an EXCELLENT idea of what each child needs and sizes so if I'm out and I see a good deal I can be a confident shopper.
(Here are the Consignment Store items.)
(These bags are Goodwill or BUST!)
I hope my system helps you out even a little bit. I feel better knowing that I am recycling my kids clothes. BTW... the clothing items that have permanent stains or are out of style go to a local charity. I make a little money to put toward new clothes and I'm not wasting money on clothes my kids don't need. Now if I could just convince my kids that even though it's March...it's still 39 degrees and they need their winter coats and hats!!! (but that's for another day!)