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The older and taller the kids get, the more and more I find myself at the store to buy new clothes. I think we’ve all been there where the pants are just a touch too “high water” by the end of the school year but you just know they will be living in shorts so… we can push it. That’s what I love about having at least one child who will receive hand-me-downs. I didn’t start storing Brenden’s clothes until just a few years ago, but now that Gavin has reached size 7, he’s hitting the clothing jackpot.
We all grew up with hand-me-downs. Mom would be given a big, overflowing garbage bag stuffed with clothes of all seasons and force me to go through it and try things on while she sorted what she would keep and what she would either hand to someone ELSE or would donate. Or, maybe it was a box or a plastic storage bin. It doesn’t matter how it was stored, it was always this jumbled mess of shirts, pants, pajamas, even undergarments. For parents who are thrifty, just the idea of this makes you excited (right?), and having the ability in your own family for hand-me-downs is something to appreciate.
The only thing I don’t appreciate is not having a place to store anything that’s still too big or is out of season. We have limited closet space to begin with, so we have to get creative. In fact, I’m working on decluttering right now because we just have too much stuff. But man, I can’t get rid of the hand-me-downs!
That’s why I have used Ziploc® Space Bags® for years now. They take those big garbage bags full of clothes and make them manageable and easier to store under the bed, in the top of a closet, or even in our attic since the new film protects against bugs, moths, dirt, mildew, and other odors that might occur within common storage areas. They aren’t complicated to use, and if you follow these steps, you can go from “overflowing bags” to “neat and tidy bags”.
How To Use Ziploc® Space Bags® For Hand Me Down Clothing Storage
Take all of your clothing that you will be storing and give them a wash. That way, when you open the bag weeks or months from now, things will be a bit fresher. And, if you are in a pinch and absolutely NEED a pair of pants because your child magically doesn’t fit into any they own, you can just pull them out and put them on!
- Sort by size and sort by season. Make an organizational system that works for your family and the seasons. Long sleeves and pants can all go together, shorts and t-shirts together, or you can go by size and just find what’s “in season” at the moment and what’s needed.
- Prepare your sorted clothes for going into Ziploc® Space Bags®. You’ll want to fold them nicely (I know, it’s time-consuming and I really stink at folding, so I just try my best) so when compressed, the bags are flatter and can be stacked neatly.
- Fill the Ziploc® Space Bags® but do not exceed the maximum fill line printed on each bag. Because of this, you may need to use multiple bags, depending on how many clothing items you have to store. I haven’t tried it, but I wonder if rolling pants instead of folding would help create more room?
- Seal and vacuum the air out to compress the bags. This part is fun. It’s crazy to see those puffy bags seemingly SHRINK in front of your eyes, but it takes just seconds to save space in your closets* and anywhere you plan to store these. *compared to uncompressed storage volume
- Once the bags are compressed, you can use masking tape and a marker to label the contents. Then store them! Easy-peasy, right?
Like I said, I’ve used them for years for hand-me-downs, out-of-season clothing, even vacation items like our swimsuits and beach towels! Since we don’t use those until we arrive, we can easily put them all into one Ziploc® Space Bag® to save space and keep everything together.
The last time I went to Lowe’s, I went with the Ziploc® Space Bag® 3 Bag Flat Variety Pack and a box of the Ziploc® Space Bag® Large 3 Pack. For whatever reason, strolling down the organization aisles is so fun. Maybe because I can plan out my dream closet?
With a couple of bags left over, I’ll be able to use those for our upcoming vacation packing (yes, saving space so we can maximize the room we have in the van!).
Will you be headed to Lowe’s soon? How do YOU plan to use Ziploc® Space Bags® around your home?