Help, my kids grew over the winter! I need to do a seasonal clothing change for each of them, but I am dreading it. Everytime I open those tubs, it’s like an atomic bomb explodes in our house! Looking for any tips for clothing storage, especially with a large family. 

Thank you so much! 
Hannah Handmedown Holder

Dear Hannah, 

Hand-me-downs really are a fantastic way to save money for your family. Many people are willing to bless others with quality, gently used items. If stored in a manageable way, it will save you time and money to shop your bins when a wardrobe gap arises. But there is a problem with them as you mention: they can be unruly and explosive mess-makers in our homes. 

The challenge with managing hand-me-downs comes in having adequate storage space and then using the clothes and storage efficiently. Here are a few basic tips that you might find helpful: 

  • Use same-size storage containers. Rubber totes, printer paper boxes, diaper boxes in order to make some uniformity to your storage. 
  • Label each box on the side facing out (not the top as this will make it harder to find when needed). Use bold markings so you can find your box in a pinch. A Sharpie written on a Post-It note then covered with clear packing tape works well. 
  • Organize your bins however works best for you. 
  • When you children are all little, it may work best to sort by gender, by size (Girls 2T; Boys 5T; Newborn gender-neutral; Newborn Girl; Newborn Boy) As your family grows older (and in numbers) the best method may be to sort by child rather than size (i.e. 1 box labeled with each child’s name: Meagan, Micah, Emily, Jake) This allows for more efficient sorting and usage for the next child. Have a shoe bin (boys and girls) 
  • Have a uniform box (AWANA, Scouts, Sports gear, bathing suits, etc)
  • If you are able, use space in your attic/basement/garage to store your bins. If not, get creative with under-bed containers, or keep one bin per closet 
  • As your kids grow older have them help by sorting through their drawers each season to purge and make room for seasonal changes. 

Though it may not be the most fun job, it leaves an accomplished feeling to take stock in what you have and to can use it well. It will also bless the flow of your home. I dread this job too, but it work worth doing. “We got this!” 

Happy homemaking, Hattie


There are times I really like to be in the kitchen, but spring and summer are not my favorites. There are so many other things I would like to be doing than cooking. Do you have any hacks to feed my family well and not be at the stove all afternoon?

Thank you, 
April Fever

Dear April, 

Let’s just take a moment to remember our slow cookers. Don’t let your Crock Pot sit in the graveyard of kitchen appliances any longer. Dust it off and make a place for it on the counter during this season when you want or need to be elsewhere. 

Here are 3 tried and true recipes that you may enjoy: 

Sometimes we just need a little help getting out of a rut. Hope these ideas help get you out of the kitchen and into the fresh air a little bit while still caring for your family. 

Happy spring!
Hattie

Hattie Homemaker

Author Hattie Homemaker

Hattie Homemaker is the quintessential domestic engineer. She'll give you a hug at the end of a long day and listen to your woes over a fresh-from-the oven chocolate chip cookie and ice cold glass of milk. Her advice is brimming with wit and wisdom and always timely.

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