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How to Get More Life Out of Your Kids’ Clothes

Posted on by admin | in Housekeeping

Raising children is expensive business, due in part to the high price of clothing and the rate at which youngsters outgrow or outright destroy them. Getting more life out of the clothes in your kids’ closet means that you’ll be able to spend less on replacements, so taking the appropriate measures to preserve them is an economically wise choice. Thankfully, there are things you can do to extend the wear of the clothes your children have on hand and to get more life out of those you buy in the future.

Get Acquainted With a Needle and Thread

When you have the necessary skills to alter clothing, you can re-purpose outgrown items and repair those that have seen a bit more action than they’re able to handle. Something as simple as letting out a hem can buy you a few more months of time before a dress is too short for legs that seem to get longer overnight. Artfully patching torn material, repairing a ripped seam or even knowing how to replace a button are all ways you can extend the life of a favorite garment, saving you money in the long run. Seams can also be reinforced to increase their durability and the amount of force they can withstand before falling apart, so it may very well pay off to invest in a sewing machine and an instructional book or two.

Store Outgrown Items Carefully

When you have more than one child or you’re planning additions to the family, holding on to outgrown kids’ clothes is a smart move. After all, little ones don’t mind hand-me-downs. Before you put clothes into storage, however, you’ll want to be sure that you keep environmental factors in mind. Vacuum-sealed bags can keep out a variety of contaminants and prevent damaging factors like moisture, insect damage and mold, as well as reduce the amount of storage space required. You’re not saving money if the clothes you’ve so carefully saved end up molding or becoming a home for pests, so keep future use in mind before you stow them away. 

Designated “Play Clothes”

There are some items that you should purchase at a bargain so your kids can play in them without worry of messing up a pricey piece of clothing. The things your child wears to play in the mud, make messy arts and crafts projects or ride a bicycle in don’t have to bear designer tags, they only need to protect him and keep him covered. Saving the higher-end items for school or outings can extend their life, while play clothes can still be worn with stains or light signs of wear.

Choose Activity-Appropriate Colors

White shirts and pastel dresses may not be the best choices for a day at the playground, but opting for darker colors that don’t show stains so readily can extend the life of clothing by virtue of camouflage. Brightly-colored juice drinks that leave indelible marks on lighter clothing may not show at all on a navy blue shirt, so consider the planned activities for the day when you choose your children’s outfits.

Take Fabrics into Consideration

Clothing made of synthetic fabrics may be cheaper to purchase, but they can also show signs of wear much earlier than natural fabrics. Before you spring for a thin synthetic top, think about the activity level of a healthy child and how much wear you’ll actually get out of the garment before it disintegrates. In the long run, a slightly more expensive item may pay for itself in terms of quality and longevity.

Carry a Pre-Treatment Pen

Stains happen. Regardless of how careful you are or how much you warn your children not to get dirty, they will almost certainly find a way to spill something on themselves. When you have a pre-treating pen or pads on hand, you can wipe out the worst of a stain as soon as it occurs and boost the chances of getting it out completely in the wash.

Skip Seasonal Purchases

The adorable Halloween sweater your child wears once might make for great photos, but it isn’t likely to fit when the season rolls around again next year. Rather than making purchases of clothing that are only suitable to be worn a few weeks out of the year, look for ways of color coordinating ordinary staple items that can be worn year-round.

Kids are notoriously rough on their clothes, but a bit of creative thinking can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to finding new ways of extending the life of kids’ clothing. Necessity is, as they say, the mother of invention.

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