I grew up in hand me downs, and my sisters grew up in the hand me downs of hand me downs. Some of them were great and I loved them, others not so much… With my kids I have them wearing hand me downs too but I’ve developed a few guidelines to make sure the hand me downs are worth it.
Just because it is free doesn’t mean you have to have it
I get offered bags of clothes from my family, people at church, people at work and school mums. If I don’t need clothes then I decline. I know that if I take the bag I’ll keep things I don’t need ‘just in case’ or ‘for one day’. You can get swamped if you accept everything.
If its not your style don’t keep it
I don’t take hand me downs from people who’s style doesn’t match mine or my kids. I’ve been offered some really nice clothes but I don’t wear sleeveless clothes so there was no point keeping them. My son doesn’t like Ben 10 so even though it was a brand new jumper he was never going to wear it. You only need what you or your family will actually wear.
Check for stains, rips and signs of wear and tear
When you do accept clothes make sure you check them carefully. At first glance they may look good but when you go to use the zip its broken, or when the pants get worn there are holes you didn’t see. Clothes that aren’t in good repair wont get worn. Clothes that are very worn will not get worn or at least not for long. And if your kids are anything like mine these items get pushed to the back and just take up space where the decent clothes should fit but end up on the floor instead!
While checking decide if you can or want to repair them and if its worth your time. Changing a zip can be a tricky thing but changing it in a $100 dress you didn’t pay for is worth it, changing it in a pair of pants for a 2 yr old, probably not worth it.
In and Out Rule
If things are coming in then something is going out! There are only so many clothes a person can wear, although some people wear more than others. If the wardrobe is full and everything is getting worn then adding a few is ok, but I find the kids especially wear the favoutires and not much else so if I’m adding a new top that is in better state than another, the old one goes. It either becomes rags, gets passed to the op shop or handed in a bag to someone else if they are still in good nick.
What are your tips for hand me down clothes?