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How to declutter baby clothes (and 4 reasons not to)

I’ve seen several posts on how to declutter baby clothes and thought I’d share my method. I’ve been doing this for 15 years because I loooove baby clothes and it was very, very difficult for me to part with any of them.

how to declutter baby clothes

So, hopefully, I can help some of you figure out what to keep in a shorter time span than 15 years.

Thanks to DMH group member, Kim Watkins Price for sharing her method of decluttering baby clothes!

Steps On How To Declutter Baby Clothes

If you’re wondering how on earth you’ll be able to let some of those adorable baby clothes go, here is what to do. Here are tips on how to get rid of clothes.

Idea 1: Use your photos to pick your favorite baby clothes

Go through your photo albums…or hard drive.

Wherever your pics are. Take note of what your babies wore the most (or at all).

THEN open the bin of clothes.

Take out everything, not in the pictures.

Trust me, you won’t remember that you even had these because there’s no photographic proof. Actually, take out everything you don’t have at least 5-10 pictures of.

These are clearly the favorites.

how to declutter baby clothes

Idea 2: Ask yourself – Why am I saving these baby clothes?

Is it because you’re planning on having more children?

Valid reason.

Save everything not completely trashed. Seriously. Get rid of the trashed things. All the onesies that have to spit up stains, all the t-shirts that have ketchup stains because you forgot to bring a bib to McDonald’s, etc.

All. Of. Them.

Is it because you need pictures of your grandchildren in them?

Valid reason.

But, your kids are probably not going to have kids of their own for another 25-30 years – long after all elastic has died an ugly death.

Trust me.

I brought my daughter home from the hospital in the same dress that I came home from the hospital in. The dress was fine but the matching pants had elastic. Dead.

Secondly, since I love baby clothes, I obviously had a fantastic time shopping for them and receiving them at baby showers. I don’t know that my kids will love shopping for clothes as much as I did.

But I seriously doubt they will want to be gifted with an entire wardrobe of their own baby clothes and then be expected to use them.

By getting rid of the majority I am gifting my children and their spouses the freedom to pick out their own kids’ clothes. Also, I am giving/selling them to folks who will use them right away, while they are still in style.

Besides, I don’t know if you know this or not but, when clothes have been packed away for a while they sometimes start to develop a smell.

Is it because they’re all so cute and you can’t stand to let go?

Valid reason.

If you want to keep everything, keep everything. They’re yours.

You paid for them/received them as gifts.

You washed them. Ironed them.

You have a legal right to them. Relax. It’s totally allowed.

In fact, it may help to keep them another couple of years and then go through them.

But – the fact that you are a member on this board suggests that you might be tired of keeping everything.

If you’re just upset at the thought of them ending up in a landfill or you just can’t bring yourself to go through them one more time, find a friend that will help you.

He or she can go through the sack and sort the things that are okay for charity, sell what’s still good, and, if needed, have the strength and non-sentimental attachment to trash the rest.

Is it because they are growing up too fast and you feel sad about that or because you’re supposed to want to hang onto clothes because everyone else is doing it?

Valid reason.

Except stop living your life based on what someone else deems appropriate.

It’s going to just lead you to a lot of unneeded stress.

As for the growing up too fast – oh, Mama and Daddy.

Have I got news for you.

Every single stage of your kid’s life is going to be amazing.

From the moment my kids were suddenly able to buckle their own seat belts I knew this “growing up” thing was something to look forward to.

Yes, you’ll cry when they go off to kindergarten, but it won’t be for long. They will come home with stories and new friends.

Pretty soon, new bedtime schedules, homework, sleepovers, soccer games, scout camp-outs, family vacations, and teaching them how to cook.

Someday, you will look back at the gigantic bin of baby clothes and wonder “Why?”

Your grown-up kids are going to do the same thing. “Why did you keep these, Mom and Dad? I don’t even remember them.” It is always good to let go and declutter.

Decluttering baby clothes is a bittersweet part of the growing up process. Have you decluttered any baby clothes lately?

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5 thoughts on “How to declutter baby clothes (and 4 reasons not to)”

  1. I’ve saved a knitted outfit my Swiss friend made for my son over 40 years ago. I tried to give it to him for his sons, but he wasn’t interested. I’m now expecting 2 great grandsons. Maybe they will wear it. It’s really special!

    Reply
  2. I saved totes for each of my daughters. When they went through them, there were comments like” I remember a picture of this!”, “I can’t believe my first pair of glasses were so tiny!”, and then the inevitable “I can’t believe I ever wore this!” In the end, I kept a couple of things, they kept a couple of things, some were donated, and some ended up in the garbage. I’m glad I only kept one tote for each of them. I have a collection of dolls, so I have an excuse for keeping some things (although I am downsizing my collection too). My granddaughter loves dolls, and sewing, so we have made clothes from some of the old clothes, first for her Barbies, and now for her American Girl dolls. I’ve also made pincushions and other crafts using baby clothes for myself and friends (from little onesies and sweaters they couldn’t part with).

    Reply
  3. May I point out that elastic can be replaced?

    Also, I think most usable baby clothes should be donated to a shelter. There are mothers out there who might need them.

    I’ve never had a baby. But I’ve had some shorts and pajamas that have held up really well and so I’ve replace the elastic, or had someone do it for me. I hate the idea of stuffing the landfill with old clothes!

    Reply
    • I’m washing the baby clothes and giving them to a thrift shop where the proceeds help Paralyzed Veterans. I am at peace with this decision. I’ll buy my daughter new baby clothes if she gets pregnant again and if she has a girl again. I’ve gone down from two big bins of baby clothes to one and am hoping to get further along. My youngest grandchild is 8. I can’t keep saving everything, I just can’t.

      Reply

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Welcome. I’m Sarah!

 
Sarah

I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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