With our son, we were fortunate to get lots of hand-me-downs, gifts, and borrowed clothes, swaddles and infant items. But I admit I got a little out of control nesting and buying cute items at thrift stores and on clearance. I then realized how quickly they grow out of things and was shocked that some items only got worn once before my little guy couldn’t fit into it any more.
Now four years later I’m organizing, sorting and trying to get rid of things we no longer need. I’ve had a few options of what to do with all those tiny adorable things. Here’s some things to think through as you organize.
- Handing down. If you are fortunate to know friends or family who may be able to use items, this is a great way to share the love and pass along cute onesies and other items. Ryan and I had kids a little later than some, so many of our friends and family had children older than ours.
- Donating. There are so many families who could benefit from gently used and new items you may no longer need. Living outside of Seattle, we have a great organizing, Eastside Baby Corner, that has many volunteers and staff who collect donations (and purchase new items) for children and mothers in need in the area. As an added benefit, items in good condition are tax deductible on itemized taxes. You can learn more on the IRS site on Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions. As another option, Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army have national donation centers.
- Consigning. I’ve just entered the world of consigning. It’s relatively simple to take items in good condition to different consignment stores (most require appointments for large quantities), and see what sells. The typical return value if you want cash vs. store credit is 40% of the price of items sold. It’s a little sad for me to see those cute little pants our son wore when he was 10 months old hanging for sell, but hopefully I can make a little money from them and someone else will enjoy making memories in them. If you don’t sell your items after the consignment period, most shops donate your items to charities, or you can collect them and try to sell, hand down or donate them yourself.
- Local Buy Sell Facebook Groups. I am a member of several local Facebook buy-sell groups that have resulted in some sales for my baby items. It’s a simple and free way to post many items in your local community. It’s also a nice way to meet other parents in the area. One buy-sell group is a spin-off of a parent’s page that I joined when our son was born. Worth checking out!
- Clothing Swaps. I’ve attended a few clothing swaps hosted by some of the local moms groups I’m a part of. It’s been a good way to get some basic items and leave behind a few outgrown items. If you live in a community where this is possible, it’s another great way to connect with other moms and get some new clothes for your littles for free.
- Online Sales. If Facebook Groups doesn’t work out, you can also try listing locally on Craigslist.org, or on ebay.com. Ebay requires shipping in some cases, so that cost should be factored into the items you have. Craigslist doesn’t require an upfront fee. Both have limited sales periods, so you have to stay on top of postings for things that won’t sell and re-post periodically. A good way to get bang for your buck is to list items as “lots” and sell many things together as one price.