I currently have a pretty sweet deal when it comes to kids' clothing. For this summer, I purchased 4 shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, and one set of pajamas for Kiddo. That's it.
And no, Kiddo is not hurting for clothes. Family members have gifted him a few items, but most of his (pretty large) wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs.
The biggest source for clothes is my friend Kelly. She was given boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs, but many are still way too big for her 18-month old. Rather than let them sit and collect dust, she has been kind enough to pass them on for Kiddo to use the season, and in turn I pass down what Kiddo has out-grown.
It could be difficult to keep track of the hand-me-downs, since her little guy will still need the clothes she's lending me. It's like playing "musical clothes," especially since she returns what she borrows from me too. While trying to keep track of everything could be a huge hassle, I've come down with a pretty good system.
So, how do we easily keep track of who owns what?
The Sharpie Method:
This is so simple, and it works really well! Using colored sharpies, I mark a little dot on each tag. Kelly's dots are blue and my dots are orange. Because the markers are permanent, they don't wash out in the laundry. Even after a full season of wear, the dots are clearly visible.
When Kiddo grows out of a size or the seasons change, all I have to do is sort through the the clothes as I put them away and look for the blue dots. Then I can pack away un-marked items and return clothes with the blue dots to Kelly so her little boy can wear them.
It's a great system - we both benefit from "free" clothes and we don't have to find space to store what the other is borrowing. The other thing I love is seeing her little boy wearing some of my favorite outfits. Just yesterday, he was wearing a shirt Kiddo used to wear and it brought a huge smile to my face.
So, there's a simple little tip for all you mommies out there who are trying to juggle the hand-me-downs.
Have you ever swapped kids' clothes with a friend? How did it work?