Are you coming to the end of your precious little baby’s first year and looking for a cheap solution to organize and store all those clothes he or she grew out of?
I figured out a way that worked great for me. Wanna find out if it can work for you too?
Well then keep reading. I’ve got a cheap solution for you!
So I had a large bag of my daughters outgrown clothes in my closet. She’s 16 months now and still wearing a few of her outfits from 12 months so I mostly have clothes from 0 – 9 months to store.
Every time she’d grow out of something, I’d toss it in that bag. It’s been taking up valuable shoe space! The bag had to go.
So I got to thinking. The solution had to be something that wouldn’t take up a ton of space. My closets are pretty full and I don’t have an attic or basement to store things in either. I’m in a one bedroom apartment! So I needed something other than large bins or boxes.
Eventually here’s what I came up with:
Old Shoe Boxes!
I had a few shoe boxes under my bed and I knew if I could empty them out I could then use them for her clothes. Thankfully, with a little organizing and moving things around, I managed to make some space in my closet for the shoes in those boxes. It’s amazing how we can figure things out and make space where we thought there was no space when we really need to.
Ok you know what comes next, I start organizing some baby clothes. So that’s enough talking (writing). Let’s get started!
Here we go…
A Cheap Way to Organize and Store Outgrown Baby Clothes!
Find a few old shoe boxes. The larger the box the better so it holds more.
Think boxes for knee-high boots or those bulky Uggs many of us have (or knock-off Uggs, hey they are all cute to me!)
Check your husband/boyfriend’s closet for boxes too!
Clean your boxes.
Because if you found them under the bed, like me, they are most probably very dusty.
I just wiped mine down with a rag and my Method all-purpose cleaner. You can use whatever cleanser you’d like. Even just a cloth dampened with some water would work.
Don’t go crazy with whatever liquid you choose to use. You don’t want to ruin the boxes. Remember, we’re working with cardboard here!
Step 3 (Optional!)
I decided that I had to make the boxes pretty.
I just had too.
My shoe boxes were looking kind of boring.
If you don’t want to do this that’s ok. Don’t bother. Your shoe boxes won’t mind and I won’t either. Move on to step 4 where we’ll talk about folding.
I used close to two rolls of contact paper (9 ft. x 18 in.) that I found at Family Dollar to fancy up my shoe boxes.
I’d love to tell you step by step how I covered my boxes with the contact paper but I don’t really follow any specific steps whenever I use this stuff (which is pretty often).
I just peel, pray, stick and repeat ’til I’m done.
And I don’t care much about a few air bubbles or whether or not the pattern matches perfectly in spots where ends are meeting. If you look closely, you can see my lack of perfection all throughout my photos.
But, if you won’t except anything other than perfection for your shoe boxes then don’t worry. I won’t leave you hanging.
I found the perfect tutorial by Amy at Homey Oh My to guide you with this fun project!
She gives clear and easy to follow instructions. With her help, no one can mess this up! You can click here to be directed to her blog post.
This one’s important
How to fold the clothes.
Ok, I’m about to ramble a bit, you can skip this next paragraph if you’d like. I won’t be offended!
I had a hard time getting everything to fit in the boxes when I first decided I would use shoe boxes to store my daughter’s clothes. I was going to give up and move on to find another solution. I tried folding them a few different ways but nothing worked. Later that day I was in my bedroom with my daughter. She was playing with (making a mess of) all of my scarves and pulling them out of the drawers. When she was done I quickly grabbed everything to put them back but I was in a bit of a rush so I started rolling them up and neatly placing (shoving) them back in the drawers as opposed to putting them away as they were before which was neatly folded. When I was done I noticed I had more space to spare compared to before!
So I had a light bulb moment…
Roll her clothes so they fit in the shoe boxes!
I’m amazed at how much more I was able to fit by just simply rolling the clothes.
Follow these simple steps to roll everything like I did:
- First, lay your piece of clothing on a table or flat surface and fold it down the middle once.
- Next, fold in the sleeves for tops, dresses with sleeves and onesies.
- Then start rolling. Be sure to roll very tightly so your finished rolled item is as small as possible.
- For pants, shorts and skirts just fold down the middle and start rolling.
This is what you want to be left with:
Also, make sure everything is the same height or shorter than the height of the box. (see picture below)
This is so that the top of your shoe box will fit and close properly.
I repeated the first step for most of the larger items and folded them in thirds so that they were the right size. (Anything that was size 6 months and)
Pile your baby’s clothes as you go with the rolled side down so that they don’t un-roll while you continue rolling everything else.
I rolled about ten to fifteen pieces then placed them standing up in the box before continuing with the rest.
Start filling up your boxes.
Here’s what I did:
First, I decided to use the smallest box for her white onesies. She’s still wearing a few of her onesies that are labeled 9 months (amazing how sizes can be so different depending on the store) so I didn’t have too many of these to store.
The medium sized box turned out perfect for all her pj’s.
The rest of her clothes, minus coats and any bulky items, went into the largest box.
Don’t worry, we will talk about the bulkier items in Step 8
Another way to organize everything would be by size but that would probably work best if you can find boxes of similar sizes. One box can be from 0-3 months, another for 3-6 months and so on.
Label your boxes.
You can use whatever you’d like of course. White printer paper, a black marker and some tape would get the job done too!
Storing the boxes.
I decided to store my boxes back under the bed. What’s great about this is that I still have some space for a few more boxes. So next time I start organizing more of her clothes I’ll know exactly where to store them.
Storing bulky items.
I decided to use dollar tree storage bags for the bulkier items like her coats, thick sweaters, and a Halloween costume.
I only needed to use two bags (photo of one included) and for now, I am keeping them both hanging off a hanger in my closet.
These bags are very sturdy and they can fit under the bed if you’d like next to your boxes.
Ok that’s it!
Hope you enjoyed this and found some ideas to help you tackle your baby’s mountain of outgrown clothes and get them stored and organized!
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