Clothing can suck up a good amount of anyone’s budget. Whether it’s buying in season, your children outgrowing their clothes, or watching your sweater shrink in the sweater – it’s not fun to continually dish out money on a wardrobe. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Clothing can last longer if you take care of them and buy wisely. Here are ten ways to maximize the life of your outfits:

Keep Track
Know what you have. If you are missing something, look for it. Don’t just assume it is gone and replace it. Search through your closet and drawers (and your child’s closet) – especially for the staples.

Know Your Limits
Be careful when it comes to buying clothes that have to be dry cleaned or hand washed. If you are already on a tight budget, there is no reason to buy clothing that has to be dry cleaned. And if your life style is busy, you don’t want a lot of wardrobe items that are hand washables. You’ll rush through the process or throw them in the washing machine, ruining the clothing in the process. Buy clothes that fit your cleaning budget and schedule.

Wear Suitable Clothing
When you get home from work, go change. Especially before you start supper. There is no reason to cook in your work clothes. Don’t run the risk of getting something on them. The same goes for working out in the yard or playing outside with the kids. Designate clothing that is just for jobs that could leave stains or get torn.

Wash Every Other Time
There’s no need to wash your clothing every time you wear them, unless it’s your gym clothes and you worked up a sweat for the last hour. Blue jeans feel so much better after the first wear. And every time you wash, you are breaking down the fibers of the clothing, so slow down on the suds.

Avoid Body Odor
If you’re not washing every time you wear your clothing, you do need to keep your body odor under control. Wear deodorant and body sprays as needed.

Wash in Cold
Not only will this save on your energy bill, it will make your clothes hold up better. The fibers won’t stretch or break down as they do with hot water.

Wash Inside Out
To save the clothing from rubbing up against different fibers in the wash, turn the item inside out. This way the fiber will only rub against itself and won’t pile or snag.

Zip Up
Zip up everything before washing. Even the jeans. The exposed zipper can be hard on other garments in the wash and dryer. Get into the habit of zipping your jeans and other items before they go into the wash.

Use a Lint Roller & Shaver
It is amazing what a link brush and fabric shaver will do to breathe new life back into a garment.

Avoid Driving in Dress Shoes
If you have your dress shoes on, the heel will rub against the floor when you are driving. Keep a pair of slip ons in your vehicle to put on while driving.

Taking care of your clothes requires only a little change and it will make a world of difference in the life of your wardrobe.