With 4 kids very close in age, I am careful about keeping clothes for the next bébé in the lineup. It saves us money (babies are expensive, yo!) and time spent shopping at a store with babies in tow. I was even pretty darn lucky that my first two girls were born in the same season, so I basically had all the clothes I could need for my second before she was born.
Here is my how-to on hand-me-downs:
I organize according to size and box accordingly (duh). I prefer the big totes with lock-on lids because then I know for sure that sucker is on and no tatailles are crawling around in there while the box is in my attic. As of now, I have the following boxes: 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-18, 18-24, 24-2t, 3t, 4t, 5t. Some of the boxes overlap, so I keep the upcoming box in their closet to peruse as needed. I only keep clothes that would be “sellable” or no stains, good color retention. I fold/roll and pack tightly into the box, and put the larger size on the bottom and smaller on the top (i.e. in the 3-6 month box, all the 3 month clothes are on top of the 6 month ones). I keep some of the other items needed in there too, i.e. size-specific swaddles, bibs.
Learn from my past mistakes, mamas: shoes need their own box.
I label each box in a duct tape that coordinates with gender (pink for girls and blue for boys) and I write the size on there. I label the front, back, and sides of the box so that no matter how it is stacked, I can see what is inside. SOMETIMES there is too much and I have to split between boxes. So a few of mine are labeled according to size and season, especially in the bigger sizes (2T spring/summer, 2T fall/winter). I do NOT want to go back up in the damn attic because I didn’t get the right box #hotashell #causeLouisiana.
I go through clothes each season, and each child has basket or bin in their closet for outgrown clothes and shoes. Once these begin to overflow, I get new boxes, drag the closet bins into my room, pour myself a scotch on the rocks, and have a sorting/boxing day.
Now, on to shoes.
I used to keep them in the boxes with the clothes. But y’all, my kids have crazily different shoe sizes.
So, I consolidated all shoes to one box for each gender and used 2-gallon sized (best Ziploc size EVER) Ziploc bags to categorize each size of shoe: all the size 1s in a bag, all size 2s in a bag, etc. Rubber boots get their own bag. Label sizes on all the bags. Again, I keep the next size up in shoes in their closet to be easily accessible when needed.
Each kid also has an “heirloom” box with their own name on it. I put any special outfits, monogrammed items, favorite loveys they don’t want anymore, and special blankets/quilts in here. They can have these when they are older or have their own children.
We are currently blessed with a home with large closets in the children’s rooms, so I have room to organize this way. Prior to this, I had everything in the attic and didn’t have the luxury of the next size up in their room. The system still worked though because everything was labeled so clearly.