9 Things to do With Kids' Old Clothes

24 May 2011

As babies grow older, parents ask themselves what to do with old baby clothes. With twins, it's definitely double the kids, double the clothes. I started off by storing my kids' old clothes in plastic bins but the pile grew very high very fast and it was time for a plan B. I've tried different things with varying levels of success and here's a list of options - some worked for me a lot better than others

Selling to online consignment stores. There are websites that run like an online consignment store. You send them your old kids' clothes that are still in good condition and they pay you for the clothes. They then proceed to sell the "previously loved" clothes on their websites. The two I'm familiar with are Thredup (US only) and Flipsize (US and Canada).  

I've sold to Flipsize Canada in the past and I was very happy with the prices they paid for my items. Expect to get paid $0.50-$3.0 per item of clothing

Donate to a Local Women's Shelter: If you can find one, they'll certainly appreciate the donation. It's a good idea to check their donation requirements for baby clothes first though. The one closest to me will only take new clothes - and yes, we do have clothes we never got to wear. For shame!

Thrift stores: North America does not have a shortage of thrift stores that accept donations of clothing and toys and share a portion of their proceeds with charity. Donation centers can easily be found by doing a little googling. The more popular stores are Goodwill, Salvation Army and Value Village in Canada

Sell to a Consignment store: If you're not a cheapo mama like me and you have some high-end designer items, then you may want to sell them with a local consignment store. Contact them and find out what they'll accept before making the trip down. I've had success with the Once Upon A Child franchises in Calgary. Expect to get paid $0.50-$3.0 per item of clothing

Sell on Craigslist or Kijiji. I'm not a fan of this option. It seems everytime I list something on Craigslist, I get ten responses but only one is serious. However, this is a good option in that you can set your prices

Sell on Ebay. If you're desperate to free up some floor space and don't mind getting a real low price for the clothes, sell them as a lot on Ebay. Be sure to account for shipping costs or you may find yourself paying someone to take your baby clothes off you (that's the voice of experience talking)

Store them. If your home is still in the stork's address book, you may want to keep the clothes until you're done having kids. Buy those huge transparent storage boxes and store according to size and remember to label. I use the Sterilite brand of tote boxes as some of the others I bought have broken with time

Parents of multiples sale. If you join the local parents of multiples club, you can sell or trade during their semi-annual sale. The rules are different from club to club and there's usually a requirement to volunteer some time. I've participated in 3 sales with my parents of multiples club and made upwards of $400 from selling kids clothes and baby items. This option is however time-intensive for me because figuring the time to tag the items and volunteer requirements, it's upwards of 30 hours invested.
Seasonal clothes soon to be outgrown

Turn them into a memory quilt. There are a few talented artisans on Etsy who make quilts out of old clothes. This option will cost anything from $400 to $1000+. It's not the cheapest option but if you have a sentimental attachment to the clothes, it's an option that you can't put a monetary value on. 

There're plenty of options here for any parent or caregiver to consider. In the end, I've developed a habit of sorting my kids' clothes twice a year on a seasonal basis to ensure my basement and garage are not over-run with old baby clothes

This is one of my many posts on kids and clothes. If you enjoyed reading this post, do check out my review of the quality of different clothing brands for babies as well as 10 tips for buying kids' clothes cheaply off season

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