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There many costs to being a mum and running a family, all sorts of boring things like rent and food shopping – but one cost that people sometimes forget about is buying clothing. It’s bad enough that kids insist on growing all the time, but they also seem to have a talent for wearing out their clothes in double quick time…

Back in the old days of course buying new clothes every couple of weeks simply wasn’t an option, so mums had to make clothing last. Can we learn anything from this? Of course! What follows is my complete guide to cutting down your ‘new clothing’ bill without turning your children into scruff bags.

Have Clothes For Occasions
I don’t just mean special occasions either – ideally your children should have clothing for every different occasion, so that they don’t wear out their best clothes playing in the garden. Base your clothing groups on how much activities harm clothes:

  • Best clothes (for parties, occasions etc…)
  • School clothes
  • Visiting friends
  • Playing at home

Sometimes it makes sense to demote clothes too. What used to be ‘special occasion’ clothing can often be demoted to playing at home clothing and even scruffy clothes can still be used for really messy occasions like painting.

Spread Out Your Laundry
Now it has been said that a washing machine is a mothers best friend, but your washing machine is also the thing that ages your clothes the most! Of course is clothes need washing then you should wash them, but try not to overload the machine.

Overloading the washing machine will stop your clothes from being washing properly as they spin and will also cause them to rub against each other, gradually wearing the fibres. Either split it into 2 loads or get a bigger washing machine.

Stain Prevention
When stains happen you have to wash the clothes on a more aggressive cycle; not surprisingly this damages clothes more than usual and if you end up having to wash it a few times to get the stain out your clothes will look worse for it.

Stains will of course happen, that’s what kids do… But you can treat clothes with stain preventing products which will make stains less likely to really stick. New clothes usually have such treatment, but after a few washes it is worth re-treating.

Another great tip is to buy dark clothes; the darker the colours the less stains will show up. A black t-shirt will look clean and new much longer than a white one will. Think about that when shopping for new clothes.

Finally, get a stain treatment pen and carry it with you. Often stains come out most easily right after the spillage happens, but if you are out and about you’re not going to rush home to do laundry are you? Stain treatment pens will stop any spillages from drying in and taking hold, making them easier to wash out first time.

Use Patches
You may not want to stitch patches into old worn out jumpers like your grandma used to, but you can instead take preventative action and make clothes last longer. Iron on patches are very easy to attach to the insides of elbows and knees.

This way your kids clothes won’t look scruffy, but the extra thickness on the areas that wear out the quickest will help to make the clothes last that bit longer.

More Laundry Tips
Finally, stains aside, be gentle when washing your kids clothes. Really a gentle cycle will get clothes just as clean as a harsher cycle would, but they won’t damage the clothes as much. Most modern washing machines have gentler settings and are often much better than older ones at caring for your clothes. Try washing your regular dark clothes on a hand wash cycle and see if you can tell the difference.

Addition resources
Good quality washing machines are not only more reliable but less harmful to your clothes, try something by Blomberg or Zanussi next time you buy one. Thanks for reading my guest post!