Baby clothes can be a real challenge to manage. These ideas for how to organize baby clothes can help you stay on top of it! Decluttering and being intentional about storing clothes between babies will also help greatly.
My baby turned 1 almost a month ago and I can't believe it. As every single mom has ever said, THEY GROW SO FAST! No matter how many times I hear it or say it, I still can't believe it.
With that growth comes CONSTANT changing of clothes. They only fit in something for a couple of months (if you're lucky) before needing the next size. I found myself throwing clothes in a Rubbermaid bin in the corner of my daughter's room as she grew out of them. Eventually, the bin was full, but I just kept piling on more...
I put this off for quite a while because I felt like it would take a lot of time to go through (actually took a little over an hour). I mean, mountains of laundry are just intimidating for some reason! Finally, I decided, enough is enough! It was time to sort through, throw away the damaged clothes, decided what to keep and donate or sell the rest.
How to Declutter Clothes Your Kids Have Outgrown
This is the most important step! So many of us hang on to things that we will NEVER USE. Now I'm not saying I'm perfect at this, because I'm definitely not, but I'm intentionally trying to get rid of more and more items that I really don't need. It's so refreshing, guys. Especially when it comes to baby clothes, which seem to multiply like bunnies!!
- Put all the clothing items together. This will help you to visually see how much volume of clothing you have. This motivates me to declutter more, because I'm looking at that mountain thinking, "This is WAY more clothes than we need to keep!" It also ensures that you don't miss anything.
- Sort into sizes. This gets complicated SO fast, thanks to the inconsistency between companies when it comes to sizing! I had 2 rompers identical in size, one was 0-3 months, the other was 6-9 months. So, I ignore the sizing marked on the item and sort by laying a onesie next to another onesie and if it's roughly the same size, it goes in the same pile.
- As you sort, create a "garbage pile". Immediately place any items that are torn, threadbare or seriously stained into this pile. Don't think about it, just do it. Trust me, IT'S GARBAGE and you don't need to keep it.
- Now that you have your piles of different sizes (mine were 0-3 mo, 3-6 mo, 6-9 mo and 9-12 mo), decide how many items you will keep for each size. For example, I had my baby in sleepers most of the time from 0-3 months. Therefore, I decided to keep 11-12 sleepers and only a few pants and shirts in the 0-3 month size. However from 9-12 months, we only used sleepers for sleeping, so I decided I would keep 3-4 sleepers, 3 pairs of pants and 5-6 shirts.
- Work through your piles and stick to your predetermined numbers! Try not to justify keeping more than you planned because your best friend gave it to you at the baby shower or because it's so cute. As you go through the piles, create a separate pile for items to be donated or sold.
How to Organize Baby Clothes For Storage
I used to throw things into cardboard boxes and label them, but it just felt so junky! All the boxes were different sizes, with loud colors and bold words, so I decided to purchase a Rubbermaid tote. Cost me $11.99 and totally worth that for me. If you're on a budget, boxes will work just fine. They'll be in storage and out of sight most of the time anyway. However, if they might be in storage for a long time, a tote will protect them more effectively from dust and dirt. So consider that!
Store by Size
If I have every item for a certain size stored together, I can remove that when I need it and have everything right there, no guesswork required. I used a plastic grocery bag (so glamorous, I know) to contain all of the items of one size, tied it loosely and wrote the size on a sticky note, which I stuck right side up in the bag. Then I put all the bags in my tote.
I put all of the small items (baby socks, hats, mittens, baby shoes, etc) in a separate ziploc bag in the tote. Those items are often used for the whole first year.
Label the bin so you remember what's inside it (even you have a clear bin!). Now I have a nice tote that I could throw in the garage, the attic, or the bottom of a closet and it will stack nicely with other storage items. If you decide you need more clothes, you can always use larger bins or multiple small storage bins. It's also important to consider the size and shape of the space where you'll be storing them, when purchasing bins.
And now your clothes are organized so you won't have to think about it whenever a new baby comes around! (if you have the same gender... 😉 )
What to Do With Baby Clothes You Don't Need
- Sell - Use Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, Craigslist, etc. Remember that the items should be in very good used condition and you should be upfront about any damage to them. Some people sell a lot of clothes for a certain price and some people try to sell items individually. In my experience, lots sell much faster, especially if you price them well (don't get too greedy!). If you're looking to make decent money you'll have to provide a lot of detail in the ad (including good quality photos), be patient and renew your ad multiple times. There are a lot of people out there selling baby clothes, so don't expect to get that much for them. If an item hasn't sold within 2 weeks, I'll usually just donate it.
- Donate - More than likely there is someone you know that could use your baby clothes and if not, there's got to be a friend of a friend who needs them! Or if you really just want them out of your house asap, drop them off at your local thrift store. Even easier, post the lot for FREE on Marketplace or Craigslist. Someone will take it away before you know it!
- Garbage - Please only do this if the clothes are damaged. Don't throw away clothing in good condition that someone could use. Posting an ad for free baby clothes is as easy as putting it in a trash bag and taking it to the curb.
How to Organize Baby Clothes You are Currently Using
There are so many ways! I'll share my method, using a closet and dresser and include variations below based on circumstance. You'll notice the drawers and closet aren't crammed with clothes because I try to keep only items we use, which doesn't turn out to be much.
I have a 5 drawer dresser and a small closet in my baby's room. Here is the dresser drawer organization from top to bottom:
- shoes (current and next size up) and small items (socks, tights, hats, etc)
- current size sleepers on the left, next size sleepers on the right (I use part of a cardboard shoebox as a drawer divider- because I'm often about frugality over looks!)
- current size pants on the left (the pants are so small I just lay them flat in the drawer instead of folding them- it's so much easier!), current size swim gear on the right
- next size pants
- assorted baby things I don't use often
Closet organization from left to right:
- shirts (current size- can organize by onesies, short-sleeved, long-sleeved, etc)
- hoodies/sweaters/cardigans (current size)
- dresses (current size)
- shirts (next size)
- hoodies/sweaters/cardigans (next size)
- dresses (next size)
To organize the rest of my baby items, I use an IKEA shelf unit. Here I store blankets, sheets, burp cloths, cloth diapers (diaper covers and inserts in various sizes), extra baby wipes, larger size baby clothing items, washcloths, etc. In the bottom row of open cube shelves, I store baby toys where my daughter can easily reach and play with them.
How to Organize Baby Clothes Without a Dresser
It is possible to store clothes all in closet space if you don't have a dresser or other piece of furniture to store clothes. You can use a tension rod to create a second rod in your baby's closet, allowing for more hanging room if you need it. There is vertical height for this since baby clothes are so short!
To hang pants on a regular hanger, use clothespins to attach around the bottom bar of the hanger. If you are storing different sizes of clothes, you can make or buy closet dividers to keep the sizes organized.
Use wire baskets or plastic bins on the top shelf of your closet to organize and divide other baby stuff.
You can also purchase hanging organizers for your closet rod (like this) that have many different-sized compartments for easy storage. This is the best way to take advantage of the vertical storage space in the closet. If you don't have a dresser, you can also utilize the space behind the bedroom door by using an over-the-door organizer (like this) or shoe organizer (like this).
If you don't have a dresser, you could also repurpose an old bookcase for storage and organize using storage bins or baskets!
How to Organize Baby Clothes Without a Closet
Again, a great way to utilize the space behind baby's nursery door is with an over-the-door organizer (like this). You will be amazed at how much you can store back there.
Making good use of your dresser drawers is important too. Using drawer dividers or drawer organizers (like this, or make your own with cardboard) to organize baby clothes will help you compartmentalize so you can get more in your drawer without it becoming messy. This can be applied to changing table storage if you have one and don't have a dresser.
Helpful Organization Tips for Baby Clothes
- Keep a donate/sell container in your baby's room or somewhere close by, so as they outgrow an item, or you realize they never wear it, you can immediately designate it as a donate/sell item!
- Keep a "too small" bag or container in your baby's nursery so you have a place to conveniently put items that don't fit your baby anymore. Then when you have time, you can get out your tote and fill a new bag with that size as your baby grows out of it.
- For a more organized look, collect and use hangers of all the same color (I found gray and love them since they're gender-neutral). It makes the closet look much more put together!
- Use a small command hook to hang a small mesh laundry bag (I found mine at the dollar store!) right above your baby's hamper or a clothespin to pin directly on the hamper. Use the mesh bag to store small items like baby socks, mittens and hats until laundry day. Then zip it up, throw it in the wash and you'll never lose a sock!
- Keep the surfaces in your baby's room clean and free of clutter. This will help the room feel even more orderly!
Keep things as simple as possible. Organization doesn't need to be complicated, especially if you've intentionally decluttered first! There are so many tips and tricks out there to give you ideas for how to organize baby clothes. Just narrow it down to what works for you and stick with that. And remember, with kids' clothes, it's ALWAYS going to be a work in progress!
More Organization & Decluttering
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What did you think? Leave a comment to let me know your favorite storage tips and tricks for baby clothes!