4 Reasons I Purged Almost All Our Baby Clothes

posted by Andrea | 07/17/2013

baby clothes

Back before I was pregnant with Nora, I would frequently organize for families with young children — and often times, a huge source of clutter for these families was the lack of storage for all their out-grown baby/kids clothing (or in my opinion, the fact that they wanted to keep way too much stuff.)

Sometimes, they did have other children to eventually pass the clothes down to, but MOST of the time, they were just hanging on to boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes “just in case” — using up valuable storage space in their own closets, in their kid’s closets, or in the basement to do so.

I remember one family in particular. They were in the process of moving across the country, and despite the fact that her children were 7 and older, they were moving into a smaller home, and they had very limited storage space in their moving truck, the mom still refused to get rid of any baby clothes.

It was obvious that she was emotionally attached to the sentiments behind the baby clothing so I didn’t push too hard, but I did decide that whenever I had kids, I would purge the majority of my out-grown baby clothing unless I had another baby who could wear it immediately after.

That might sound overly harsh, but I’ve pretty much stuck to that decision… and here’s why:

1. I might never use the clothing again.

Yes, Dave and I would like to have more children eventually, but there’s a chance we might never have another girl. And even if we do have another girl, if she’s not born in the Fall like Nora was, much of the clothing wouldn’t work anyway.

Or, what if we have a couple boys and then another girl 8 years from now. I can almost guarantee I’ll want to get new items at that point.

I know SO many people who hang onto clothing, take up storage space in their home, move boxes to new homes, etc. and then never end up using the clothing. Then, by the time they finally decide to part with it, it’s too out-dated to sell so they end up giving it all away.

Think how much time and space could be saved by simply getting rid of it right away — not to mention the money that could be made by selling the clothing when it’s still in style.

2. I’ll have several months to prepare for the next child.

Even if we have another child soon, I’ll have several months to prepare for the birth — so it’s not like I’ll be caught off guard with no clothes for my newborn baby.

I’ll have plenty of time to shop garage sales, borrow from friends, or find rock-bottom clearance deals at the store. Meanwhile, Nora’s outgrown clothing has been used for over a year by other friends, family, and neighbors who we’ve either lent it out or given it too — and I’ve enjoyed the extra storage space in our house!

3. Babies don’t need that much stuff.

Babies don’t really “NEED” much clothing — especially in the beginning. Yes, it’s fun to dress them up all cute, but as long as you have a handful of white onesies, socks, and sleepers (all of which I did save), you’re good to go for at least the first 2 months.

After that, I can most likely find everything I needed via garage sales (for about $0.50 an item) or by borrowing from friend (see below).

4. I can borrow most of what I  do ‘need’.

I was fortunate to be able to borrow a whole bunch of clothes for Nora from Dave’s cousin who has 2 girls a little older than Nora. And now that Nora is grown out of her clothing, we’ve passed most of it along to others as well. Sometimes they give it back (and then I loan it out again or donate it) or sometimes they just pass it along to someone else they know who’s having a baby girl.

However, even if Dave’s cousin didn’t have something I needed (like a snow suit and boots) I just asked around to friends on Facebook and within a week I had 2 different snow suits for free. One snow suit went back to the original owner and I passed the other one on to a neighbor who has a girl 1 year younger than Nora.

Not only did I save a bunch of money by borrowing, I’m also saving other friends lots of money by sharing our clothing — and we’re all saving tons of storage space in our homes (and keeping extra clothing out of landfills).


I realize many of you might think I’m totally crazy, but for me, it all comes back to #1 above. I simply can’t justify storing something that I might never need ever again (even if I have plenty of space.)

Who knows if we’ll ever have another girl.

If I knew I was pregnant with another baby girl right now, I would most likely start saving a few more of Nora’s 12-18 months clothes (the stuff she’s growing out of right now), but since that’s not the case, I’m going to keep donating, selling, and lending her clothes out to anyone who can make use out of them.

If the time comes that I need more baby girl clothes, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble restocking our nursery closet for free or at rock bottom prices!

Oh, and if you’re wondering how I store and organize the small amount of baby clothing I do save (like white onesies, sleep-sacks, pj’s, socks, bibs, etc. read this post

What are your thoughts about storing extra baby clothes?

Filed under: OrganizingHomeKids StuffStoragePurging

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  1. Packing And Purging | Good Families Do…


    […] The hardest for me is the purging of baby related items. I have some saved in the basement at my dad’s but I did get rid of lots of other things, especially if it came to me free. I want to have another kid or two someday (my mantra is after I take the IBCLE) and want to hang onto “useful” things like clothes and diapers. I went searching for inspiration and tips for deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Here is one article I liked, and another. […]

  2. Erin


    Thanks for your article! Our situation is a little different– we have 4 boys ages 1 to 7, and I have kept all their clothes. It’s getting a little harder trying to keep everything organized, but it has saved us so much money (and time trying to find new clothes each season). I just pull out a bin and we’re set for winter/summer. I do try to get the boys a new outfit for their birthdays so they’ll have something new, but for the most part, it’s all hand-me-downs. And it brings me back down memory lane each time I look at their clothes and think– wow! I remember when big brother wore this 🙂


  3. Cari


    I guess this works for babies. However, once babies turn into kids, they tend to start staying in the same size for a few seasons (at least mine do). We buy pretty “boring” clothes that I can’t see going out of style quickly. I also find with babies that lots of “winter clothes” can be used for the summer as air-conditioned houses can be cold for them. Plus, we’re a huge fan of short sleeves with sweaters in our house. 🙂 Keeping our clothes works for us.


  4. robbie @ GOING GREEN MAMA


    I will admit, when my son was 3, I purged. Everything. Crib. Pack n Play, Clothes. You name it. It was emotionally hard for me, because 1) it admitted to myself this season was “over” and 2) the uncertainty of IF there was an unplanned pregnancy since my husband was out of work. But I really think it helped me grow in my trust in God, as He takes care of our needs.


    Andrea Reply:

    You are not alone Robbie — I know lots of parents (and grandparents) who struggle with purging unneeded baby items. Since I knew that Dave and I eventually wanted more children, we did keep our crib, pack n’ play, bouncy seat, and jumper as they were all in perfect condition, gender neutral, and they fold down for easy storage. However, we got SO many clothes given to us as gifts and hand-me-downs. I knew I didn’t want to “waste” the space storing them since we might never have another girl to wear them!


  5. Courtney


    We ended up having 4 girls in 7 years all born in the summer months. For some reason I had a feeling I would have all girls so I decided to continue to store all of the good condition baby clothes (and all the other sizes since then). It has been such a money saver to be able to use the same gender clothing items for each girl. Plus it is kind of fun to say, “lets go shopping” as we head to Mommy’s storage room of nicely organized bins in the basement. Now we are officially done having babies and I am slowly giving the baby clothes to friends with little ones. It is such a freeing feeling to part with the clothes we no longer need and I am so looking forward to less storage bins in our basement! We love simple living and especially an having an organized home.


  6. Kate - Crazy Lovely Me


    Late to the party – my mother actually kept some of my baby clothes. Now granted, I did have three younger sisters (twins three and a half years younger than me, and the youngest nearly eleven years younger than me) but among my boxes of “keepsakes” there is a ridiculous amount of baby clothes (also – leftover cups and plates from my first birthday party…). When I suggested purging some of them my mother basically had a cow. Being older and wiser now, I still plan on getting rid of almost everything eventually (I have no sentimental attachment to them, it’s not like I remember wearing them). My plan is to save the items that could potentially be useful to me when my own children come along, but since the fashions of the late 1980s are not the same as the fashions of the late 2010s will be, most of it will be going away.

    So another good reason to get rid of things – don’t burden your children, years later, with the job of subtly making their old baby clothes disappear!


  7. Maria


    Our friend knew a family impacted by Hurricane Katrina that had a daughter just younger than mine. It was a blessing to both of us for me to pack up all the baby clothes and send them soon after it happened.

    I definitely understand keeping the clothes for new babies coming along, but have one suggestion. Think ahead twenty-five years. There are lots of pictures of me and lots of pictures of my little sister at the same ages dressed in the same cute dresses. My Mom only saved a few dresses so it was a bit challenging deciding who got what. My suggestion? Always buy one or two new outfits that are just for that child so they have something that they know was theirs and theirs only.


    Bri Reply:

    This thread is so old. lol But yes. I’ve kept a whole box of clothes from my son’s first year. Mostly holiday outfits and such. I’m planning on having a blanket made from them eventually. The other stuff I’ll get rid of. Thanks for the advice.


    Andrea Reply:

    The blanket will be AWESOME!! That’s so fun!


  8. Christa


    Great advice. It’s also less emotional baggage you are carrying around in hopes of having another child if you never do. Just looking at those baby clothes and wishing they were being used can be hard. It took a few years, but I’ve purged most baby stuff after having 2 kids and didn’t mind at all having to buy thing new (well new to us anyway since we love yard sales) for our 3rd which is 6 yrs younger than our 2nd. Love all your organizing ideas. Thanks for sharing. New FB follower too.


  9. Tabitha


    I kept my sons clothes but I did limit it to two bins and about a weeks worth of basics from newborn to 2T. I organized it by size inside the bins. I also had a place for it in his closet so it hasn’t gotten in the way by keeping it. I’m a big fan letting my space allow me to have what I only have room for.
    We are glad to be having a second boy to use the clothes and once he is done using them, I plan on making a quilt out of the clothes as a keepsake.