When Closets Overflow: How to Consign Kids' Clothes

Kim Conte
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The following is a guest post by Ideal Bite's Mama Bite contributor Jennifer Orr.

Recently, my 6-year-old informed me that we had a "humongo" problem. "I only have 11 skirts, Mom!"

"That is a problem," I said. "Too many clothes!"

My two girls have two-older-cousins' worth of hand-me-downs, plus a boatload of cute, yet impractical, ensembles purchased by well-meaning family and friends. Just to keep inventory in check, every so often, I attack their closets Tim Gunn-style, making three piles: consignment, donation, and recycle.

There's actually a science to consigning kids clothes. I'll call the store and find out if and when they're accepting clothes, and how they compensate. Some pay in trade, some give cash outright, and some give a percentage of the clothes' profits (BTW, I'm not making big bucks here). Also, stores sell a season ahead. So in August, I start preparing Halloween costumes and holiday dresses. If you don't have a local shop, here are a few online resale shops, where you can even swap/sell toys and gear too.

The clothes I can't consign to women's shelters, I donate to Big Brother/Sister programs, or other kids' charities. And I drop off torn, ripped, and stained clothes that aren't worth another wear (including undies) at a fabric recycling bin just a mile from my house. (To find one near you, search Earth 911.) These scraps might find their way into a stuffed animal or mattress someday.

Sure, it might sound like work, but I make a few bucks, get other kids clothed, and cut down on the 68 pounds of clothing we toss on average each year. Bonus: I clear my closets.

Do you consign your kids' clothes?

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