Decluttering Outgrown Clothes
Every change of season I find myself in the same place. Sitting on the floor in front of a closet surrounded by piles of children’s clothing feeling overwhelmed trying to determine what to do with it all. Kids can easily outgrow their clothes faster than they can wear them and many items may remain in perfect condition able to be used again. The thought of just throwing out perfectly good clothing has never appealed to me and the idea of parting with those tiny little sleepers and onesies made my heart ache. For the first few years I would put all of the outgrown clothing into storage bags and would hide them wherever I could find room; the garage, closet floors even the cold storage. Eventually I realized that I could not continue to hang on to year after year of clothes and that the memories were inside me and not attached to these items. I began to research the options I had to clear out our reusable items. After spending many an afternoon swapping turtlenecks for tank tops, hosting garage sales, placing ads on line and lugging bags to charity locations l feel as though I have unlocked the secret to cleaning out the clutter of my kid’s closets.
When deciding the best way to rid yourselves of outgrown items, think first about your end result. Are you looking to clear items out quickly? Would you like to make a little cash? Do you prefer to pass your clothing on to charity? How you declutter depends on your expectations. You’ll find a few options listed below to help you make the decision:
- Garage Sales: Yard sales can be elaborate or simple. You can choose to put on a giant street sale with ads in the paper or you can choose to go simple and set up quickly without too much planning. Simply lay out a few tables, a couple of tarps and place your gently used items on display. The night before or even the morning of you can place a few signs around your neighborhood directing shoppers to your sale. Set a price but be prepared to bargain. Most yard sale shoppers will try to negotiate. The plus side of a garage sale is that it is possible to put it on last minute and you don’t have to leave your home to do it. The down side is you probably won’t be getting top dollar for your items and you do have to be a talented negotiator.
- Mom to Mom Sales: Most cities have mom to mom sales. If you search online you should be able to find one in your area. Typically you pay to rent a table or space and the rest is up to you. Display your items and decide on a price and the shoppers come to you. If you have a lot of items to sell this is a good option because the cost of the table will most likely be offset by the money you make selling your goods. The shoppers will come to you. This option is really best if you have a lot of items that have to go. If you only have a handful of clothing it may not be worth the trouble of renting a table and travelling to the sale.
- Online Selling (ie: Kijiji, Ebay): I have personally used this method often. The handy thing about selling your clothing on Kijiji is that it costs you nothing. You can set the account up and post ads for free. Your ads will be more effective if you post pictures and a decent description. I always find it handy to sell clothing items in groups, for example “girls summer clothes size 6-12 months”. Again, you will most likely face some negotiating but if you know the price you want simply indicate in your ad that the price is firm, which usually means you aren’t willing to negotiate. The down side of online selling is that you don’t know who you are selling to, some people are nervous about having people come to their home. I usually arrange to meet people in a public place or if they are going to come to my home I make sure it’s during the day time and my husband is home. I also tend to keep the items in the garage so that I don’t have to invite anyone into my home. This method has always worked well for me but I do advise to practice safe selling and remember that the people you are meeting with are strangers.
- Donation to charity: This is probably where most of my kid’s outgrown clothing has gone. I always feel best when I am giving to someone who may be struggling and down on their luck. You should always do your research on your charities of choice to make sure your donations are going where you are expecting them to go. There are so many options from donation boxes in parking lots, to pick up services, to women’s shelters. Remember there are some charities that sell your items and use the money to fund the charity. Then there are others, such as women’s shelters, where your clothing will actually be used and passed on to people in need. You need to determine what your preference is. Donating your clothing is a great option if you aren’t looking to make some money off your items. It doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part, with the exception of researching and choosing your charity, and you are helping someone in need.
When your kids are young they can outgrow clothing every couple of weeks! You are going to want to move out the old to make room for the new quickly. It can be both overwhelming and difficult to say goodbye to your little ones outfits but there are many options available so don’t fret. All you have to do is determine what it is you are expecting out of the transaction and how much effort you are willing to put in.