In my opinion, one of the most expensive things about having kids , is clothing them. I am sure I am not on my own in saying that kids generally grow like weeds! I know mine do (some more than others), and its only taken me 7 and a half years of being a Mum to finally realise some important things and make some decisions on our kids clothing.
We now live in the Pilbara, a part of Western Australia that suffers brutal summers but glorious warm winters. We are also a lot more isolated from varieties of stores to buy apparel from. These factors have made me reassess our clothing, what we really do need, and when and where to buy them all.
With 2 boys and 2 girls, you would think I would be able to pass most of the kids clothing down. Unfortunately this isn't the case, as our boys are in the same size clothes and shoes and will probably be for the rest of their lives. Even with 18 months age difference, one is a big boy and one is a slight build. Luckily I can pass Stella's clothing down to Lacey pretty much as soon as she has grown out of it , and we don't have to store it in-between.
I thought I would cover the topic of our Kids Clothing in a few different posts seeing as though I receive quite a number of emails and messages asking questions about this, and because we have a large family with both boys and girls.
I will be covering topics like;
- Where we buy our kids clothing from (favourite websites, brands etc)
- How we keep track of what we do and don't have
- the method I use to purchase items (i.e: big shop every size or season or purchase gradually)
And in this post - Selling items once you have finished with them
If you have any questions or would like me to cover anything in particular please just flick me an email or message on my Facebook page and I'll try and cover those bases too!
Down to business;
As mentioned above, clothing kids is not a cheap task. They sometimes grow quickly and aren't in a particular size very long , or they may be in a certain size for a long period of time and you need to constantly top up their items because they wear out.
I like to think that our kids go easy on their clothes, but I know that some don't. I often have friends mentioning that their son/daughter is 'hard on their clothes' so I guess I am just really lucky in that way.
In their wardrobes I have a tub for "Too Small" items, so that when they go to put them on and they are too small, they don't go back into the clothing cycle. We simply pop the shorts or whatever it is , in the tub and when I have a decent amount in each tub , I then make plans to re-home them.
Some things that are bought from the chain stores are bundled up (as shown below) and I list them on our local Facebook Selling site. I try and get around $20-$30 for a large bundle. Its not a huge amount but they are all in good condition and every little bit does help to then reinvest in bigger clothes. The items that are worn or marked are either chucked, given to friends or donated to an Op Shop (sometimes all they need is a good soak and wash with an Industrial Machine).
Name brand items that are still in good condition (I firmly believe that if you spend more on something, you get better quality and they wear better in the long run), are photographed and either sold on Ebay (super easy to do using the phone app) or Facebook . If our small town ran Baby and Kids markets,you can bet that I would be a regular for stalls there too! So these are always great places to pick up some good quality items at great prices.
On eBay - You simply need to take a few pictures of each piece, up close and be honest when listing them. Describe the condition, photograph any marks or blemishes in the pieces and sell at a good price. I often think that its better for something to be sold a little too cheaply and know that it will sell after all of your hard work preparing to do so, than it be a bit too expensive for some people and it still be cluttering up your house weeks or months later. I also offer combined postage, so its a good idea to list a few items at the same time, with similar finishing times on the auctions so that its more inviting to buy more of your items and this then means less trips to the Post Office for you!
Now that I have covered how I like to re-home our clothes, the next post in this series will show you how I like to keep track of what the kids do and don't have, and how I record when I purchase clothing a few sizes in advance.
Like I said, I'm happy to answer any questions or please feel free to comment with your hint and tips, we are all in this parenting thing together!