I am always on the hunt for systems that I can create and implement in my home to make things easier. Life with kids, especially multiples, just seems to run smoother when there is a process in place. After a year of my kids being at home much more than usual, wearing mostly pajamas all day, I began to look at how we utilize their clothing. I wondered if we could be more intentional and less wasteful. So I created a system that made managing their clothes much easier, and created less waste.
When I am purchasing clothes I follow these rules. This ensures that my initial investment in clothing is low. I don’t have any other children to pass clothes down to, so I really only need them for one season. Once my kids have outgrown an item, it goes into the sell pile or becomes play clothes.
Clothing that still has lots of life left moves on to another family. I have had good luck selling gently used clothing online or at consignment sales. Some twin groups even have sales specifically for multiples. I only sell items that are in excellent condition. Outerwear and special occasion clothing are especially desirable. Because I don’t spend much on the item initially I can usually recuperate about 50% of the original cost by reselling.
Clothing that is stained, faded, or ripped goes into the play clothes drawer. I like to have a stockpile of 3-4 pairs of pants, long-sleeved shirts, and t-shirts for each child. These are the clothes my kids wear to play outside, go camping, or create with paint. Not only does this reduce waste, but it increases the longevity of their other clothes. My kids love to play in the mud and get really dirty outside and when they are in play clothes it’s not a problem. Sometimes their play clothes get so dirty that it’s not even worth washing and I will just throw it away. I feel alright about doing this because we have gotten all the use out of it that we can. Once play clothes no longer fit, I will use the item as a rag for cleaning one last time before tossing it.
While this system is not waste free, it does decrease what we throw out and increases the life of my kids’ clothes.