Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tackling the Clothing Storage Monster

You know when you store your kid's clothes in the attic after they've outgrown them, then pull them out for the next kid just to find that the whites have yellowed? I hate that! But, don't worry, we've figured out the magical key to storing clothes in the attic and them NOT turning yellow!

After Little Man was born, I soon realized that we were going to have to find a way to store all of the clothes he outgrew. We knew we wanted another child one day, so we wanted to save his clothes in case we had another boy. At first, I put his clothes into big tupperware containers and put them in the attic. But, after seeing a lot of yellowed things at consignment sales, I started to worry that his clothes would yellow, too, because tupperware containers are not airtight.

Do you remember those cheesy 90's Space Bags commercials? Bonus points for the British accent. ;)

Well, we tried them and they really work! We've been passing Little Man's clothes along to a friend, and even after being in the attic for over 3 years, the clothes come out looking just like they did when we put them in. No yellowing! 

One of the unfinished projects that was taking over our house was the seasonal swapping out of kids clothes. I pull all of their fall clothes out of the closet, try everything on them, wash it all, replace the summer clothes for fall clothes in their dresser, then store the summer clothes. Clothes, clothes, everywhere! I decided to tackle the piles for Day Two of my 31 Days Challenge and document it for you!

Here's my process for storing kids clothes:

Keep Upcoming Sizes Visible- Clothes that are the next season and the next size(s) up get stored in tupperware containers on the kid's closet shelf until they grow into them. I like to use see through containers so I can remember what clothes they have and won't buy duplicates.
Keep Outgrown Clothes Together- As they outgrow clothes, I toss them into a Space Bag that I keep unsealed on the top shelf of their closet.

Fold, Bag, Seal- When the bag is full, I dump the clothes out and fold them as flat as possible and insert them back into the bag neatly. Then, I use my vacuum to suck the air out of the bag.
The neatly folding step is not 100% necessary, but I'll show you why I do it.
The two bags on the left are filled with clothes that were just tossed into the bag before sucking the air out. The two bags stacked on the right are filled with clothes that I neatly folded before vacuuming the air out of the bags. Isn't it crazy how much space it saves to take five extra minutes to fold the clothes neatly?! If you have lots of closet space, you could leave the bag flat and insert the clothes neatly as you go, but our closets are small and we don't have the space to do that. Plus, I like to keep my bags on the top shelf, safely out of reach from the littles just in case they get the idea that giant plastic bags would be fun to play in. :)

Throw in the Attic and Celebrate- We put the bags into the attic and we're done! Our attic was starting to overflow with Space Bags, so Jeremy built a Space Bag holder out of some 2x4's in the corner of the attic. Now, we can stand the bags up in a neat row! You could also use empty boxes to stand the bags up in if you needed an easy and cheap way to organize a lot of bags and didn't want to build anything.
My sweet Hubby snapped this picture with his phone after he finished building. He knew I'd want a picture for my blog. Sweet, right?! He's a keeper!


-Don't overfill the bags. The first few bags I filled, I overstuffed them and they eventually lost the vacuum seal. The clothes stayed nice and didn't yellow, but after the vacuum seal was gone, they took up a lot more space. But, when I, ya know, follow the directions on the box (ha!) and don't overfill them, they keep their seal for years! If you look closely in the picture above, you can see that some of the bags are not vacuum sealed anymore. This picture is from a year ago before we figured out that we were over stuffing the bags. :)

-Ensure properly sealed. The bags come with a little slider to seal the bags. I've found that after sliding it across the bags, I get a better seal if I go back and squeeze the seal together with my fingers.

I hope this helps as you swap out those summer clothes for fall clothes! Unless you're our Florida friends and family. Then you just roll your eyes and slam the laptop in rage because Florida has no fall. I'm truly, truly sorry. But, don't worry, you'll be swimming in the ocean on Christmas day so it'll all even out in the end. ;)

This is NOT a sponsored post! Ziploc has no idea who I am!

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