I feel very sentimental towards my daughters baby clothes. I can remember all the times I pulled her little things out when I was pregnant just to look at them over and over again, carefully washing and folding them and familiarising myself with their shapes and textures. I can weirdly remember where I bought each item, how much it cost, who gave it to her and when it was first worn too. So many memories and milestones - I think it is normal to get a bit attached.
It is no secret that babies grow so darn FAST! Before you know it, all those teeny onesies you ‘oohed and aahed’ over lay in a rejected pile at the back of a closet. It's sad - and so I have chosen to store my daughters clothes for future posterity. My mum kept a small box of my baby things and I am so grateful she did. They are my most treasured items and I love being able to dress my daughter up in them. I mean, they are super retro now (I'm talking sailor collars) but I think they are fabulous.
I haven't stored all her clothes though. I didn't see the need to as I don't intend on giving her a sibling and so I won't need all the bits and bobs. Instead I decided to keep only the timeless, high quality and sentimental pieces and sell / gift the rest. Thankfully I had my mum to teach me how to store these items safely (heck she did it for 25+ years!) and today I am sharing this technique with you. I am talking specifically about baby clothes but these tips work for kids of all ages. So if you plan to hold on to outgrown clothes for future siblings or grandchildren too then read on ...
Baby clothes take a beating, and while it may be tempting to hold on to every precious little piece, some things are just not worth saving. Be tough! If it’s permanently stained or overly worn, let it go. If your baby never wore it because it was uncomfortable, impractical or ugly. Let-it-go!
Before storing clothing away for future use, wash everything with a mild, fragrance free soap. Take the time to refresh your whites and treat any stains. This is important, you need to get the clothes as clean as possible to avoid any bacterial and mould growth. Pay special attention to items that may have been spewed on at some stage too. Finally, ensure that all items are COMPLETELY dry before packing them away. One damp Batman shirt stuffed into a plastic bin can cause the entire contents to mildew! I personally like to use the dryer here as opposed to the clothes line and put them in for a loooong cycle.
Make piles according to labeled size, but remember, when it comes to baby clothes, sizing is far from science. If something seems out of place, don’t hesitate to stash it away with the next size up or down. Fold neatly, then separate each sorted pile into seasons. Blankets, wraps, toys, and other accessories, like socks and hair bows, should be tucked away separately, making them easy to find.
4. PACK & STORE
There are a lot of storage options available on the market and they can range from specialty canvas preservation boxes to plastic vacuum pack bags. Do some research and decide what will work best for you, your budget and space. I personally use a 60L Sistema Storage Organiser and acid-free white tissue paper. The tissue paper is key here and MUST be white + acid free. To be honest I have no idea why, I am sure there are some scientific reasons, but all I know is that this is what my mum used and my clothes came out immaculate... so just do it hehe. The way you pack your container is also important. First begin by laying a sheet of tissue on the bottom of the box, then a single layer of baby clothes topped with another piece of tissue paper. Repeat this until you have filled the storage container, carefully layering making sure to not overcrowd the box. If you're having to push or force clothes in to fit, the container is too full and you need to remove some items. The clothes should be laying in there comfortably, not squeezed. Label the containers with the size and season and store in a cool, dry environment.
And there we have it! I hope this has been helpful for you. Remember to check in on your clothes every so often to ensure they are doing ok and no creepy crawlers or moisture have gotten to them.
*the origional image used in the cover of this post can be found here (Motherly)