My first three girls are all just about two years apart, so from the beginning I began collecting big bins to store all of the clothing in so that I could pass them down to the next girl. It helped, too, that they were all born at the same time of the year and were about the same size, so one set of clothes went through three girls. God is so good :)
My next girl was about three years after the third and born at a different time of year, so for her I needed to start a different collection. More bins. At this time we only had a crawl space, so that meant literally crawling in twice a year and grabbing out all of the bins, sorting through everything and then putting them all back. This usually took up a few days and the entire floor of one room.
The next three kids were boy, girl and boy. This meant five years between girl #4 and girl #5 and the same for the two boys. This meant even MORE bins; but God bless the person who invented plastic bins with lids. They are the key to a successful clothing storage system. That and some tape or paper and a sharpie so that all the bins can be properly labeled. I've always labeled the bins in the following manner: girl/fall-winter size 10. This way I know exactly what is in there.
Now that we have a basement, and older kids, the task is so much easier. Twice a year they go down and bring their OWN bins upstairs, sort through them, relabel them and bring them back downstairs.
Twice a year I gather up all of the items that the youngest boy and girl have outgrown, make sure they're clean and worthy of being passed on, and then usually donate them to our local Free 4 All, or Goodwill if I miss the Free 4 All.
Systems. That is the key to being organized with a large, and even a small, family. For everything you have to do over and over again, look for the most practical and efficient way to get it done and then make it a routine. The more you can do of this in your home, the smoother your life will run.
To see all of the posts in this series, go here.