How long to hold onto hand-me-downs? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am desperately trying to declutter our 1100 square feet. It will be years before we can move and we are out of space. My kiddos are 6, 4 and 14 months. I've always saved part of the kids toys and clothes to pass on to my younger children. It was never an issue, however as they get older, there is more stuff (as to be expected). I am having trouble deciding if I really should save all this stuff for the youngest. Part of me insists that I save it. We are on a tight budget and if I only needed to do 2 wardrobes every season instead of 3, it would make a huge difference. The other part of me wants it gone. All of it. I use to do consignment to save money but my children are too hard on their clothes now, not many to sell. With it being 3 years before my youngest grows into the stuff my middle child just outgrew, do I really hold onto it? The garage is full, the attic is full, every closest and space on the beds is full. We will be switching rooms around soon and will be even shorter on space. How do you stay decluttered and frugal? I can't seem to get the hang of it!

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Maybe you could decide how much space you're willing to allow for hand-me-down storage (say one rubbermaid bin/kid or something) and then only keep what will fit in that space.  This will force you to only choose the best or your favorite things.  It might not provide a whole 3rd wardrobe, but would certainly help.


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#3 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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Id start by picking 5 outfits and 3-5 pairs of PJ's for the littlest one in each size and if that's still too much to store, I'd get rid of some more.

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#4 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will have to try these ideas, thanks!


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#5 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 10:03 PM
 
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I used to be torn between being decluttered and frugal, I couldn't decide whether to just clear it all out, or hold onto stuff to sell.. But I would then break down with the indecision, it wore me out, so I would end up taking no action. I had to face the fact that I hate selling on ebay and taking stuff to the recycled shop was only worth it for the best items, and even then I didn't get much for them which can be heartbreaking.

 

I realised I had to get decluttered first, and worry about the frugal bit later.

 

So I now am in the process of pretty much giving it all away to charity, that way I feel good that I am helping others, and decluttering our house in the process. We can't claim donations here as a tax deduction, but I still feel this is the best way as I want a decluttered home, and if I am helping others less fortunate then the good karma will come back to me I figure!

 

Once your house is clear, then you can focus on the frugality, by not buying too many clothes/items from now on.


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#6 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 03:08 AM
 
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How easy are cheep/used clothes to find in your area? That would influence my decision a lot. I have plenty of sources so it's not really worth it to me to save the slightly stretched out t shirts and so on.

 

Of course I have a girl and a boy so that also limits what it's worth saving for hand me downs. I try to keep to neutral colours for waterproof coats, rainboots and so on which I want to be able to pass on.

 

 

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#7 of 21 Old 06-13-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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I am more mean with my money than worried about my excess stuff. I have chucked things that I had to go out & replace (spending good money) later, which annoyed me no end.  That said, I don't think there's one right answer,just what makes you feel best.


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#8 of 21 Old 06-14-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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I think that it is determined by how many diff outfits you want for your kids, right? Ugh, I keep threatening to go Amish on my fam and only have 2 outfits per person! Simplified much?

 

We have those huge Rubbermaid containers...tubs and tubs of clothing, and most all of it is getting ready to head off to GW and the consignment shop!


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#9 of 21 Old 06-14-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Since the younger two are boys, I'd be more likely to hang on to the majority of the clothes that can be passed down. 3 yrs age difference might only mean 1-2 size difference, if that, as they get older.

At least with my 3 boys (though they are each 2 yrs apart), now that they are 4+ a lot of what they have can be shared - especially t-shirts and shorts. I save too much clothing, though, much to my DH's annoyance. Well, and we have way too many children's clothing to begin with. I figure if an item doesn't happen to fit one of them at the moment, it will in a matter of months.

It depends on your storage space, of course, but I'd say hang on to the bigger boy clothes that are still in good shape so you don't have to rebuy. Oh, it helps with mine that they were all born the same season - so that might be something to consider, though it's hard to predict their growth patterns.

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#10 of 21 Old 06-14-2011, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All very great input and ideas. I still don't know exactly what I'm doing. I think I'm going to go through everything AGAIN and just pick out the very nicest stuff. Play clothes and such are easily replaced at consignment, thrift stores and clearance. The clutter is one of the few things that I feel like I have control over right now. Our whole life is chaos and I need some calm!


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#11 of 21 Old 06-21-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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I keep my favorite outfits and get rid of the rest. If it's something I know I can find cheap later (like plain t shirts I get rid of it also) . We move a lot though and when you know that you will be dragging stuff from place to place with you it gets you motivated to get rid of things.

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#12 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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I keep my favorite outfits and get rid of the rest. If it's something I know I can find cheap later (like plain t shirts I get rid of it also) . We move a lot though and when you know that you will be dragging stuff from place to place with you it gets you motivated to get rid of things.


We do the same.  When my boys were little we had a ton of good storage space so I kept everything.  Then we moved and had no storage space.  I kept the favorites and donated the rest.  It has been easier as my boys have grown, they are only 3 years apart in age.  My oldest is very hard on his clothing which means very little is passed down and what is passed down just about fits my youngest so it goes right into his drawer.  

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#13 of 21 Old 06-22-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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When you are sorting through the clothes, I'd use cost of replacement to decide on what to keep. I would hang on to things like coats and jackets, snow pants, dress clothes, wool sweaters and pants and other items that are relatively expensive compared to t-shirts, shorts and jeans that are fairly cheap to buy. I had a boy and a girl 3 years apart, and made an effort to buy unisex styles and colours for outerwear, since it tended to be the most expensive stuff to buy. Hanging on to them for 3 years at a time was a bit of a pain, but worth it. 

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#14 of 21 Old 06-24-2011, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are getting to ages with my older kids where there isn't much worth saving. I have been donating and giving to friends most of what is left that isn't super nice. I think I'm going to go back through what I have one more time and weed out all the generic stuff. I'm just over all the crap everywhere!!!!


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#15 of 21 Old 07-10-2011, 03:48 PM
 
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I save a few (like three?) favorite outfits and things that are difficult or expensive to replace that I bought good quality to ensure they would work for more than one kid (our one piece, 80$ snowsuits, good sandals, etc)

I have one bin of shoes and boots for kids to grow into b/c I can't always count on the thrift store having the size we need when we need it, and it's easier to find used clothes than good used shoes. 

 

One bin per kid of stuff to grow into is my limit. 

 

And i make it well known in our church, etc, that we will always welcome hand me downs. I figure I might as well share while we have lots, and the cycle will most likely repeat itself when we need....

 

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#16 of 21 Old 07-17-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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I have three boys - almost 10, 7 and 4 - so we end up saving a lot of clothes. We have an entire bedroom closet devoted to the in-between clothes, which I keep in Rubbermaid bins (labeled). I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by all the clothes, but now I have started simplifying my oldest's wardrobe. The less things he has, the less there are to hand down. In addition, the older the boys get, the more wrecked their clothes get. I don't keep anything with holes or stains, so that means I end up donating a lot these days! This way, I only have the hassle of storing the really nice things I know will get worn again.

 

I hate the clutter as well, and it's really hard for me to keep these clothes organized. But my younger boys enjoy "bin shopping" at the start of a season, and many times I need to buy nothing at all for my youngest son!

 

I don't usually save shoes or sandals, since they get really worn out and wrecked. I do save winter boots, though. I also save winter outerwear, which is a pain, but saves us a lot of money.

 

I think in a few years my in-between clothing storage will be much diminished, so I'm not going to worry about it now! And I'll save money while I still can...

 

Best of luck with your decision.

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#17 of 21 Old 07-18-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by taubel View Post

I have three boys - almost 10, 7 and 4 - so we end up saving a lot of clothes. We have an entire bedroom closet devoted to the in-between clothes, which I keep in Rubbermaid bins (labeled). I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by all the clothes, but now I have started simplifying my oldest's wardrobe. The less things he has, the less there are to hand down. In addition, the older the boys get, the more wrecked their clothes get. I don't keep anything with holes or stains, so that means I end up donating a lot these days! This way, I only have the hassle of storing the really nice things I know will get worn again.

 

I hate the clutter as well, and it's really hard for me to keep these clothes organized. But my younger boys enjoy "bin shopping" at the start of a season, and many times I need to buy nothing at all for my youngest son!

 

I don't usually save shoes or sandals, since they get really worn out and wrecked. I do save winter boots, though. I also save winter outerwear, which is a pain, but saves us a lot of money.

 

I think in a few years my in-between clothing storage will be much diminished, so I'm not going to worry about it now! And I'll save money while I still can...

 

Best of luck with your decision.


I have 2 boys that are 3 years apart. I started saving clothes for DS2 before he was even born. Both boys have a different build and DS2 is quite a bit bigger than DS1 was at this age. He seems to grow out of sizes faster so it's been nice not having to run out and buy clothes all the time. I know that here before to long I won't be able to pass down everything. DS2 will probably never wear slims like DS1 does.
 

 


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#18 of 21 Old 07-18-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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I have 2 boys that are 3 years apart. I started saving clothes for DS2 before he was even born. Both boys have a different build and DS2 is quite a bit bigger than DS1 was at this age. He seems to grow out of sizes faster so it's been nice not having to run out and buy clothes all the time. I know that here before to long I won't be able to pass down everything. DS2 will probably never wear slims like DS1 does.
 

 


 

I thought the sizes might be off with us as well. DS2 was stockier than DS1 until DS2 turned 4. Then he slimmed way down, and they are both super skinny - both have ended up wearing slim jeans, for example. Now DS3 is very big at 4, so I am waiting to see if he slims down or not! You never know when they'll need the clothes, but so far 95% of our stuff has been used again at some point, so it's been worth it for us. Sounds like it's been worth it for you as well!

 

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#19 of 21 Old 07-22-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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I'm probably the extreme. My kids are 10 yrs apart. My mom saved all the baby stuff at her house. She bought most of it and expected my other 3 siblings to have kids next. None ever did and then I had dd2. So it all came back to me. Funny almost all was used to begin with and now my baby has some stuff that is 17+ yrs old!

I gave most of my dd1 stuff to a friend that is a "saver" and was regifted the stuff plus some toddler stuff from friend's kids, too, when I had dd2.

So basically have most of what is needed to cover dd2, though dd1 lived a lot in the south and dd2 in the Midwest, so need some warm outer stuff

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#20 of 21 Old 07-23-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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Being decluttered made me feel better, honestly.  We were given 9 garbage bags (9!) of size 4/5 for my daughter.  They were stuffed full - I've never seen so much clothing in my life.  I kept about eight outfits and donated the rest.  I am sure I could have sold it or have kept more, but since the kids have gotten bigger, I've been keeping less for them.  They each have ten or fewer outfits, which really simplifies things for me:  storage, laundry, morning-time-decision-making....pretty much everything.  :)  I will always vote for simplicity in these situations.  I keep one box per kid of "future sizes", not including $80 snowsuits/good boots (we live in a cold climate; those do get their own box).


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#21 of 21 Old 07-23-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Just saw the genders and ages. More than likely your youngest will be very close to the middle in a yr or two, plus you middle will be slowing down. Also the toys often get smaller (but more$) as they age so that gets easier.
Like pp said, you might want to pair down the number if you just have a lot. I have 4 under the bed rubbermaid boxes that has clothes from 3t to 10/12girls. No need for an entire closet

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