Monday, December 13, 2010

No, I mean a LOT of clothes

I have a small clothing problem.  And by small I mean massive and overwhelming.

You see, I struggle with just a wee bit of a tendency to hoard.  I mean, I'm not like one of those crazy, keep-my-poop-in-a-bag people on Hoarders but I do have a hard time getting rid of certain things.  My biggest struggle is with clothes.  Specifically clothes that the kids have outgrown.  I'm a little ashamed to admit that I have saved nearly everything the kids have ever worn.

Every so often I'll go through the boxes and boxes (and boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes) of stuff and thin it out a little bit but getting rid of a half dozen things here and there doesn't really have much impact when you're starting out with such a huge amount.

When I look through I think "Oh, I remember when Joseph wore this!  He was so cute in this outfit!" and "I loved this dress on Elle and it's nearly new!  I hate to get rid of something she only wore a few times."  I hate the idea of getting rid of this stuff.

What I hate more though is having it all here, hanging over my head.  Every time I have to go in to the storage room I one whole side of the room filled with boxes and totes of kids clothes and I cringe.  I actually feel guilty that it's all just sitting there waiting to be dealt with.

Today I started pulling all the boxes out of storage and going through them.  It's time to lighten the load.  I need to get rid of this stuff once and for all.  I'm not having any more kids (*sad*) and there's no reason to keep hanging on to all of it.  Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with it all.  I figure I have a few options.

1. Ebay - I'm almost certainly NOT going this route.  It just seems like such a pain to list all that stuff even if I did do it in big groups.

2. Donate - I could just take it all here and be done with it.  I've donated to them many times in the past and I know they are always in need of children's clothing.  I know what I've got could clothe a lot of kids.

3. Once Upon A Child - I take it all in and give whatever they offer me even though I know I won't get anywhere near what I could if I sold it myself. I certainly like the ease of this option but I kind of hate the idea of someone buying something from me for twenty five cents and then selling if for $3. 

4. Craigslist - Just sort things in to big groups and then put what I think is a fair price on it and see if there are any takers.  I would probably put any money I made towards more photography equipment* so I'm somewhat motivated to at least try this way out.

Right now I'm leaning towards a combination of 2 and 4.  I like the idea of donating but I also like the idea of a new lens.  But maybe I'm missing something.  Maybe there's a better option that I'm just not seeing?  What would you do?  Other than "not start the hoard in the first place crazy lady" that is.

*This year four families will be sending out Christmas cards made of pictures that I took.  Yes, they are all family members of mine and no, I won't be getting paid for any of them but still, it's a start right? 


Shannon said...

I tried to sell my kids' clothing on craigslist. I separated them into lots based on season and size (ie. size 2T, winter or size 18-24 months, summer). I had all of my daughter's clothes for 0-5 years and my son's from 0-2 years to sell. I ironed and photographed every individual item to make sure they were in top condition and that people would know exactly what they were getting. I had lots of nicer brands (GAP and Gymboree and Old Navy) and I only tried to sell things without any stains or obvious wear. I sold exactly nothing. I got approximately 2 emails of interest out of about 15 lots of clothing. NOTHING. It was the hugest waste of time. Take it to Once Upon a Child. At least you will get some money for it. That's better than NONE. And you can always donate all the items that OUAC doesn't take. I often find they reject a lot of things that are, in my opinion, totally nice and "fashionable". At least the one in my city does. And it's done with fast, rather than draaagging it out forever. Just my opinion from my experiences.

Lindsay said...

Here is the crazy lady method of getting rid of children's clothes:

I hate keeping kid clothes around. (Although when I see old cute things in photos I get a little weepy.)
I'm totally lazy, throw all the shit in a garbage bag without even folding it, and either give it to my sister or take it to a thrift store for a free donation.

I feel like I'm drowning in clothes, and I don't even have anything older than maybe a year.

Swistle said...

1. I handmedown to other people or I donate. I tried doing ways that were theoretically financially superior, but they all made me krazy (and/or didn't work), so it was with relief that I started just giving them away so I don't have to deal with it (or with the consequences of something being unhappy with the stuff).

2. YES that's a start! And you're BUILDING A PORTFOLIO!!!

susan said...

I've got a bin of the stuff I absolutely cannot bear to part with, which I intend to store until some day in the future if/when my kids have kids of their own. The rest, I tend to give away at playgroup clothing swaps or to friends having new babies. Here's an idea though: blogger clothing exchange! I would totally send you a self-addressed stamped priority flat rate box thingamajig if you wanted to pass along a few things from your Elle to my Ellie. ;)

Stimey said...

Google t-shirt quilt or baby clothes quilt. Pick some of your favorites and have them sewn into a quilt (or do it yourself). Then donate the rest knowing that someone else will love those clothes just as much as you did.

Its hard though. I was surprised to find myself so emotional about getting rid of baby clothes.

dancing_lemur said...

Warning: 3-part random comment ahead.

I like the combo of 2 and 4, too - that's probably what I would do.

I'm coveting a new Nikon lens too! Only I'm dying to have the 50mm/1.8. Swoon.

AND yesterday I got the Christmas card that included the family pics that I took for some friends, and it made my whole day!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, you must keep the very most favorites..but limit yourself to a set number of outfits be that 5, 10, 15, or 20 per child. WE have a sweatshirt in my family that my DAD had as a child, gold and blue, several of his cousins, nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren wore this sweatshirt. It is now in a plastic bag on my closet shelf. It has a few holes in it, but our family treasures this raggedy sweatshirt. And yes, I still have a few of Jesse's baby things (btw; he wore that raggedy sweatshirt, too!, so the key is to just keep a set number of outfits. Did you have luck selling clothes on Ebay in the past? You could try that, craigslist might be kind of iffy, I would try taking the really nice things to OUAC, then you can always try a garage sale in the spring, and then donate what is left to the charity of your choice. That way you did everything you could to maximize a return on the original investment, and help others out as well. I also like the idea of a clothing swap, but you really need to have a group of people with various size children to make this work. I wish you luck, my dear. It is not wrong for you to want to "transform" the too small clothes from your children into a wonderful new lens for your camera. AND IT IS A START, YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR PORTFOLIO to show to those paying customers in the future!! So, here's the big question.... are we getting a card with a picture or your children on it?? Love to all of you... Grandma Judy