Why Keep Your Kids Old Clothes (And How to Store Them)

Photo Credit: Joel Penner via Flickr

As fast as your kids grow so will your pile of outgrown clothing. Here’s why you should consider keeping it rather than sending it to charity.

Children grow so fast. One minute you have a tiny baby in those cute little baby clothes and the next you’re filling in school application forms – for high school! As your children grow so too will your mountain of cast off, outgrown clothing. When faced with the task of sorting clothes out to keep from the ones to scruffy to be worth it you may be tempted to just send everything to the charity shop, but are you sure that’s what you want to do? There are many benefits to keeping what’s been grown out of.

  • Saving Money

Children’s clothes aren’t cheap. If you have younger children, or are thinking about extending your family, keeping clothes to pass down can save you money in the long run. If you have family or friends with similar ages of children you may even be able to swap clothes so that you don’t end up with a whole load of photos with that same jumper on child after child.

Children’s clothes can be so expensive that if you roughly calculate what you’ve spent you might be quite shocked. Even if you have to rent a cheap storage unit to put the baby things in you may still be in profit using self-storage compared with buying everything new a second time around.

  • Memories

That dress your daughter wore on her first day at nursery. Those trousers that your son wore on his first trip without you. That coat that you bought too big but made them wear anyway.

Clothes are full of memories and keeping some of your kids’ clothes means you can trigger those memories whenever you want simply by getting them out and looking at them. And when they’re finally grown-up and starting families of their own you can pass them on so they can be used to create more memories.

  • How to Store

For short-term storage, your priority is in making sure you can locate the clothes you want, when you want them. Use bags or boxes large enough to keep all the clothes of a particular size, and gender, together. As you remove the too-small items from the wardrobe put them into the bag and once it is full, seal it up and label it carefully. Make sure that the clothes are clean and dry so they don’t spoil.  These are then ready to go up into the loft or to self-storage until they are needed again.

If you are storing clothes to hand-on to the next generation you need to take a little bit more care to ensure that they survive. Once the clothes are clean and dry fold them up in acid-free paper and store them in a cardboard box or cotton bag. Avoid plastic as condensation can cause the clothes to go mouldy. If you are storing natural fibers, wool especially, include some cedar balls or store in a cedarwood lined box to deter moths from laying eggs in the fabric without making them smell of moth balls.