Keeping Your Baby Clothes Organized

This post originally ran in April of 2008. Now that We are THAT Family is hosting an “organization edition” of Works for Me Wednesday, I thought I’d rerun it. (Edited to add: Actually, it’s the “back to school edition.” I am NEVER going to get this right! Maybe next month. . . .) How do you keep your baby clothes from bursting out of the drawers?

Do you have hundreds of miniature socks, pants, and pajamas oozing from your closets?  Before my baby was even born, I found myself with more baby clothes than I knew what to do with.  My daughter never even wore half of the adorable little outfits I’d folded and stored in her dresser.  Many of the clothes never fit (short-and-wide onesies didn’t work on her tall-and-skinny frame, for example) or weren’t appropriate for the season.

The clothes my daughter wears fit into two drawers on her dresser.  (The third drawer is reserved for cloth diapers and diapering paraphernalia.)  Everything else gets relegated to the dreaded basement.  Although I’ve written about the ersatz landfill that my basement has become, I’ve managed to keep the baby clothing archives relatively organized.

Limiting my daughter’s garments to just two drawers helps me weed out the old and make room for the new.  I can usually find what I need because I don’t keep all of her clothes–outgrown, unsightly, off-season, or impractical–in a closet.  If the clothes aren’t in the two drawers in my daughter’s nursery, they’re in one of the following labeled boxes:

Outgrown (keep).  Once she’s outgrown something I want to hang on to, it goes here.  If I were super-organized, I could subdivide this category by size, so if I had another child, I could easily find what I needed.  Too bad I’m not super-organized!

Spring wardrobe essentialsToo Big.  At my baby shower I received clothing in sizes ranging from newborn to twenty-four months.  Anything that doesn’t fit her right now goes in the “too big” box.  Now that my daughter is over two years old, she has fewer items in this stash.  When she was smaller, I kept her too-big clothes organized by size.  It gets a little confusing because you’ll find that your kid will fit in all sorts of sizes at one time.  My daughter can fit in everything from three to twenty-four months!  (Don’t the pants in this photo fit like a dream?  No?  Okay, into the “Too Big” box they go.)

Giveaway.  Clothes that my daughter outgrew or never wore for some reason might go in this box or the next box.

Sell.  I live next to a bustling consignment shop, so I try to store the nice clothing I don’t want to keep in a “clothes to sell” box.  Once I have forty items (the limit at my shop), I take it over and get credit to spend on secondhand clothes and toys.  If I were super-organized, I’d subdivide this category by season–no consignment shop wants a heavy winter coat in June or a Halloween costume in December.

As a part of my cleaning efforts, I’m going to rifle through my daughter’s wardrobe, arrange everything in the correct boxes, and make a trip to the consignment shop.  With my store credit I’ll fill in any holes that may exist in Audrey’s wardrobe.  I think she needs a summer-weight power suit for casual play dates and some understated accessories to celebrate summer.


  1. Great tips! I’m also a huge fan of the children’s consignment stores. I get a thrill when I have a credit balance there! 🙂 Take care!

  2. I just did a huge clean out of my baby clothes. I figured if I didn’t like it so much that neither of my kids ever wore it, *maybe* I should stop hanging on to it! We just moved to the ‘all too big in one box’ too since sizes vary so much.

  3. My “baby” is eight, but I still use a similar system. I have clothes that are too big for my oldest, clothes that he has outgrown but are too big for my little one, and clothes that my little one has outgrown that are ready to “hand-me-down”.

  4. VERY helpful advice! We’re expecting our first baby in February and I’m already starting to get a little pile of clothes going in the nursery! I will for sure use your tips. Thanks

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