Professional organizer Ellen Delap knows a lot of mothers who put their hearts into learning how to store baby clothes.
After all, some moms keep all the sizes of their little ones’ outfits for the next generation. Parents also often love to look at the items to reminisce about the fun they had shopping and celebrating with their kids.
“When these are stored, it’s easy to keep them in good condition. Storage helps you honor your precious keepsakes.”
These are the kinds of projects Delap loves working on with her clients. Fortunately for us, these adorable items are tiny and easy to fold.
Read on to learn what to do next to store baby clothes so you can pass them on to younger friends and family members.
How to Store Baby Clothes as Hand-Me-Downs
Rather than parting with a cute dress or jacket, consider saving clothes for the next baby, yours or your neighbors’.
"Lots of kids are hard on their clothes, and stains may not come out. Keep what is in near perfect condition," said Delap, certified professional organizer and owner of Professional-Organizer.com.
Delap suggests you store items by clothing size in uniform plastic storage bins. Label the box with the season and size of the clothes on the outside for easy access.
"You don't want to take up prime real estate for something like this," explains organizer Heather Dancel. "I wouldn't have it hung up, and I wouldn't have it in drawers at all."
Delap had a client who stored all of her daughter's clothes in storage for years for four girls. She found using stackable boxes made it easier to see what was in the storage unit.
"We went to storage each season to move clothes in and out. It was a great asset as her kids' closets were small," she said.
Dancel, professional organizer, and mother of two, likes to use weather-tight storage bins from the Container Store for clothing in a storage unit, garage or attic. Similar boxes can be bought at a home improvement store and even Amazon.
Once the clothes have been file folded into bins, Dancel suggests being as detailed as you'd like with tracking what you’ve got and where, taking photos of the contents inside and putting them on the outside of the box.
For those planning on storing clothes in a closet, Dancel said she suggest more stylish boxes.
"I put it on the top shelf of their closet because it's not being used right away," she said. Or, she recommends utilizing the under-the-bed storage space.
How to Pack Away Baby Clothes for Donation or Resale
Dancel has a tote bag in her closet where she keeps her kids' clothes that they've outgrown. She eithers give it to a friend or donates it to a local nonprofit.
To avoid clutter in your closet, Dancel advises you consider donating clothes quarterly.
"Fortunately, baby clothes are very tiny and don't take up too much space," she explained. "It makes me happy to see that it can be used again."
Delap suggests storing outgrown clothes inside plastic storage suit or dress bag on a hanging rack in a storage area such as a garage. Keep in mind consignment shops request only clothes of that season.
"It's easy to store on hanging racks placed inside your storage unit," she said. "Most consignments require hanging items, and with a rack, you don't have to transfer clothes in and out of bins."
How to Store Baby Clothes Long Term
If you plan on storing very special clothes as keepsakes, Delap suggests using special boxes stored indoors.
"Textiles should be archived with tissue and in archival boxes. This preserves the color and condition of the clothes," she said.
Fabrics can wear down over time if not properly stored. Dancel points to an outfit she had as a baby which wasn't properly stored and today is falling apart and no longer useable for her child.
When deciding on storing baby clothes long-term, she asks her clients a few questions. If it's something they want on display and easily accessible, she might suggest a shadow box or smaller box.
But if it's a more casual item meant to be kept for several years, she'll suggest a weather-tight storage box that can go in the garage or a storage unit.
Another option is digital storage, just keeping photos of your favorites and getting rid of the larger clothing item, tossing what is worn and donating what is still in good condition.
"If I'm probably never going to look at it, then a great thing to do is take a picture and incorporate it into a photo album," Dancel said.
Dancel recommends online services such as Printique , which provides high-end photo albums. Those clothing items can be donated or given to friends.
Delap also recommends you also think about a rotation schedule for your baby's clothes that are too big.
It isn’t uncommon for new mothers to get gifts that are the wrong size. Set up a bin for a place to store clothing that your kids’ can grow into.
This bin can be brought to storage when full. Bring it back home when the baby has grown into these sizes.
Has this inspired you to look at the storage system in your closet? We have tips for storing winter clothes and freeing up much-needed space.