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How To Store Old Baby Clothes

How To Store Old Baby Clothes

Storing old baby clothes can be a daunting task, but it is essential if you plan on having more children or want to keep the clothes as keepsakes. As a mother myself, I understand the value of keeping old baby clothes for sentimental reasons or for practical use in the future. In this article, I will share some tips and tricks on how to store old baby clothes properly to ensure they remain in good condition for years to come.

Old baby clothes neatly folded and organized in clear plastic storage bins, labeled by size and season. A closet or shelf with labeled dividers for easy access

The first step in storing old baby clothes is to sort them by size and season. This will make it easier to find the clothes you need when the time comes. Once you have sorted the clothes, it is important to wash them thoroughly before storing them. Use a gentle detergent and avoid using fabric softeners as they can damage the fibers of the clothes. After washing, make sure the clothes are completely dry before storing them.

Understanding Fabric Care

A closet with neatly folded and labeled bins of old baby clothes. A shelf with storage bags for delicate items. A label maker and fabric care instructions pinned to the wall

As a new parent, you may be wondering how to properly store your baby’s old clothes. Understanding how to care for different types of fabrics is an important step in ensuring that your baby’s clothes remain in good condition for future use or sentimental value.

Sorting Baby Clothes by Material

Sorting baby clothes by material is an important first step in properly storing old baby clothes. This will help to prevent damage and ensure that each item is stored in the most appropriate way.

Here are some common baby clothes materials and how to care for them:

CottonMachine wash in cold water, tumble dry low
WoolHand wash in cold water, lay flat to dry
PolyesterMachine wash in warm water, tumble dry low
SilkHand wash in cold water, lay flat to dry

Reading Care Labels

Reading care labels on baby clothes is essential to understanding how to properly care for each item. These labels are typically found on the inside of the garment and provide important information on how to wash and dry the item.

Here are some common care label symbols and what they mean:

  • Machine wash: A symbol of a washing machine
  • Hand wash: A symbol of a hand in water
  • Tumble dry: A symbol of a circle in a square
  • Hang dry: A symbol of a hanger
  • Iron: A symbol of an iron

Cleaning and Stain Removal

A hand pours detergent onto a stained baby onesie. Another hand scrubs the fabric with a brush. A pile of neatly folded baby clothes sits in a storage bin

As much as we would like to keep our baby’s clothes spotless, it’s inevitable that they will get stained over time. Before storing old baby clothes, it’s important to clean them properly to prevent the stains from setting in and causing permanent damage. Here are some pre-washing tips and spot cleaning techniques that I’ve found helpful:

Pre-Washing Tips

Before washing your baby’s clothes, it’s important to check the care label to ensure that you’re using the correct temperature and washing cycle. I usually wash them on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent.

To prevent stains from setting in, it’s important to treat them as soon as possible. I usually pre-treat the stains with a stain remover or a mixture of baking soda and water. Simply apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Spot Cleaning Techniques

For tougher stains, spot cleaning is often necessary. One of my favorite spot cleaning techniques is using hydrogen peroxide. Simply apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Another effective spot cleaning technique is using OxiClean. I usually mix a small amount of OxiClean with water to create a paste and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Proper Drying and Folding

Clean baby clothes hang on a clothesline. A gentle breeze blows through, drying the fabric. Nearby, neatly folded clothes are stored in a labeled container

As I’ve mentioned before, proper storage of baby clothes is crucial to ensure that they remain in good condition for future use. In this section, I will discuss the importance of proper drying and folding to maintain the quality of your baby’s clothes.

Air-Drying Versus Machine Drying

When it comes to drying baby clothes, air-drying is always the best option. It is gentle on the fabric and less likely to cause shrinkage or damage to delicate materials. If you must use a machine dryer, make sure to use the lowest heat setting and remove the clothes as soon as they are dry to prevent over-drying.

Folding for Long-Term Storage

Folding baby clothes properly is essential for long-term storage. Improper folding can cause creases and wrinkles that are difficult to remove and can damage the fabric over time. Here are a few tips for folding baby clothes:

  • Use acid-free tissue paper to wrap delicate items like christening gowns or heirloom pieces before folding.
  • Fold clothes neatly and avoid overstuffing storage containers or drawers.
  • Group clothes by size and season to make it easier to find what you need when you need it.
  • Store clothes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and discoloration.

Choosing Storage Containers

A person selecting storage containers for old baby clothes

As I started to organize my baby’s old clothes, I realized that choosing the right storage containers can make a big difference in keeping them safe and in good condition. Here are some options to consider:

Plastic Bins vs. Cardboard Boxes

When it comes to storing baby clothes, plastic bins and cardboard boxes are two of the most popular choices. Plastic bins are more durable and can protect clothes from moisture, pests, and dust. They also come in different sizes and colors, which can make it easier to organize clothes by size or season. On the other hand, cardboard boxes are cheaper and easier to find, but they are not as sturdy and can attract bugs and rodents.

If you decide to use plastic bins, make sure they are made of sturdy plastic and have tight-fitting lids. Label each bin with the size and type of clothes inside to make it easier to find what you need later. If you prefer cardboard boxes, choose ones that are clean, dry, and sturdy. Avoid using boxes that have been used for food or chemicals, as they can leave odors and stains on clothes.

Breathable Bags for Delicate Items

For delicate or special items, such as christening gowns or heirloom blankets, consider using breathable bags instead of plastic bins or cardboard boxes. Breathable bags are made of natural fabrics, such as cotton or muslin, that allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup. They also protect clothes from dust and light, which can cause fading and discoloration over time.

When choosing breathable bags, look for ones that are large enough to hold the item without crushing or wrinkling it. Avoid using bags that are too small or too tight, as they can damage delicate fabrics. You can also add a sachet of lavender or other natural herbs to the bag to keep clothes smelling fresh and repel insects.

Climate Control for Stored Clothes

As a new parent, you may have accumulated a lot of baby clothes that you want to keep for future use. Proper storage is crucial to ensure that these clothes remain in good condition. One of the most important factors to consider when storing clothes is climate control. Here are some tips to help you maintain the ideal climate for your stored baby clothes.

Avoiding Moisture and Humidity

Moisture and humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow on your stored baby clothes, which can lead to unpleasant odors and even damage the fabric. To avoid this, make sure to store your clothes in a dry place. Avoid storing them in a damp basement or attic. Instead, choose a closet or a spare room that is well-ventilated and has good air circulation.

You can also use moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets or charcoal to help keep your stored clothes dry. These products are readily available in most stores and can be placed in the storage container along with your clothes.

Temperature Considerations

Extreme temperatures can also damage your stored baby clothes. High temperatures can cause the fabric to shrink or fade, while low temperatures can cause the fabric to become brittle. To avoid this, store your clothes in a place with a moderate temperature, ideally between 60°F and 70°F.

It’s also important to avoid storing your clothes in direct sunlight or near a heat source like a radiator or a furnace. These sources of heat can cause the fabric to dry out and become brittle.

Organizing Clothes for Storage

When storing old baby clothes, it is important to organize them in a way that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it. Here are a few tips for organizing clothes for storage:

By Size and Age

Sorting clothes by size and age is a great way to keep things organized. I like to use clear plastic storage bins with lids so that I can easily see what’s inside. I label each bin with the size and age range of the clothes inside. For example, I might have a bin labeled “0-3 months” or “12-18 months”. This makes it easy to find the right clothes when I need them.

Labeling for Easy Identification

Labeling your storage bins is also important for easy identification. I like to use a label maker to create clear, easy-to-read labels for each bin. You can also use masking tape and a permanent marker if you don’t have a label maker. Be sure to include the size and age range of the clothes inside, as well as any other important information, such as the season or type of clothing (e.g. “winter coats” or “summer dresses”).

Regular Checks for Damage

It’s important to regularly check stored baby clothes for any signs of damage. This can include holes, stains, and discoloration. If you notice any damage, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Depending on the type of damage, you may be able to repair the item or you may need to discard it.

Refreshing Clothes Periodically

Even if you store baby clothes correctly, they can still develop an unpleasant odor over time. To keep clothes smelling fresh, you can add a sachet of lavender or a fabric softener sheet to the storage container. It’s also a good idea to air out stored clothes periodically by removing them from the container and hanging them up in a well-ventilated area for a few hours.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to periodically inspect stored clothes for signs of moisture or mold. If you notice any signs of moisture or mold, it’s important to address the issue immediately to prevent further damage to the clothes.