Today I am sharing how we store our second hand clothes and why we save them as a minimalist family.
We are a minimalist family and we save second hand clothes. It seems contradictory to be minimalist and save clothes, but stick with me on this train of thought. When I first started decluttering and becoming “minimalist” (or my definition of that) I thought about donating all of my kids second hand clothes. At the time I felt like being minimalist meant you didn’t keep anything that you aren’t currently using.
The one thing that held me back from getting rid of these clothes is it seemed wasteful. I kept thinking, I am going to donate perfectly good clothes that my younger son can wear just to go out and buy more next year. “The clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, and as it decomposes, it emits methane—a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon.” says Allison from Remake World. By reusing the clothes we have already bought I am able to cut down on our amount of waste and we are able to save money. By the time my youngest son has grown out of his clothes they have cycled through 3 kids! Usually I can still donate them for further use.
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Minimalism / Frugality / Eco
There are three reasons why I have become more minimalist. I want my life to be easier, meaning I don’t want to spend hours sorting through dirty clothes, or picking up a ton of toys no one plays with. We also want to save money, or rather, not waste money. Personally I also want to be a more environmentally friendly family, AKA stop ruining the earth.
Second hand clothes and hand me downs fit perfectly into this equation. I am so happy I didn’t rush into decluttering all of my second hand clothes that I had saved.
Used clothing is a great way to save money while also saving the earth. These are items that can be passed from child to child so we aren’t having to purchase new items and send these older items straight into the landfill. By saving these hand me down items I am also saving a ton of time. If I were going to go to a thrift store and shop for these second hand clothes it would take a lot of time and effort to find something I like and that will fit my child, by using what I already have I am saving that time and I know I will like the clothes.
Storing Second Hand Clothes
Before we became minimal or did any decluttering I use to save EVERYTHING! Saving and accepting second hand clothes is awesome, but you don’t need to save everything. I realized this the hard way. After saving clothes for years, only to pull them out and realize half of them were too ratty or messy to want to dress my younger child in. What I suggest is editing what you save for the next child and what you accept from family and friends. When I my older son grows out of his clothes I go through the pile and ret rid of anything that is stained or ripped. I also count how many items I am saving, I don’t need to save 30 shirts!
How to Store Second Hand Items
We store our second hand items in the garage. I have two bins, one for my 2 year old and one for my 5 year old. We are very lucky to get hand me downs for my 5 year old from cousins and friends. They each get their own box to keep it more organized and easy for me to sort though. I label the box with the current size of clothing. This way I know if it is worth pulling it out and going through it or if they won’t fit the items yet.
The most important thing is to pull the boxes down seasonally and check what is in there. You don’t want to forget that you have a whole wardrobe for your children and accidentally buy things you already have. Every time the season changes I pull out the boxes and see what we might be able to use. This is also a good time to add items that the older child might have grown out of. When you add items don’t forget to change the label and you are good to go until the next season.
Waking up at 5am – How my life has changed!
Leave me a comment: Do you save your kids clothes for your next child to grow into?
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