Tuesday, 21 January 2014

10 Ideas for Dealing with Unwanted Baby Clothing

After having Milo, I decided to pack away all his baby clothes and put them in to the cellar in case they could be used for a baby number two. As it turned out, that was good thinking, when the unexpected happened and I fell pregnant with Alfie. I was incredibly lucky to have two boys, both born at similar(ish) times of year. Now that Alfie has outgrown his first year of clothes, I feel ready to move on and say goodbye to the baby items. There are a couple of bits that I am keeping, such as the first sleeping bags that both boys slept in and first worn outfits, but other than that, it's time to make some space and say goodbye to those cute little onesies et al.

Today I am holding a kind of 'open house' baby clothes sale in my apartment. I am part of a couple of 'closed' Facebook groups and I created a little digital poster and advertised that I have a load of baby clothes to sell. Interested people messaged me and we arranged an hour's open house for today. I am hoping to both, make some space and raise some money for the kid's upcoming birthdays.

With the clearing out of baby clothes on my brain, I thought I would compile a small selection of ideas for how to say goodbye to your no longer needed baby/children's clothes...

1. Donate to Your Local Women's Refuge
Women's refuges in the UK run on low budgets and often welcome donations that could be of use to the women staying and leaving their refuge. You can find out where your local refuge is here and contact them to see if they are accepting baby/children's clothing donations. 

2. Create a Memory Quilt
Memory quilts made from a baby's first year of clothes has become a real trend in the last few years. It does mean cutting up your baby's clothing, something not all parents are comfortable with, but the end result can become a wonderful long-lasting gift that can stay with your child as it grows up and then be used for their own children in the future. You can find a tutorial for how to make your own memory quilt on Crafttastical or, if you aren't much of a sewer yourself, you could contact Patchwork Castle and hire them to do the job on your behalf.

3. Throw a 'mum's the word' Party and Donate
'mums the word' is a UK-based children's clothing charity that collects and donates used children's clothing to children abroad and in the UK. Their website includes a great idea for how to throw your own mums the word party to get your girlfriends together, along with their unwanted baby/children's clothes, have a great evening and then donate the clothes on to a new home. You can download a party pack from the mums the word website here.

4. Create a Soft Activity Book
I recently discovered an amazing idea for recycling some of your old baby clothes from the blog Forty-two roads. The book is amazingly made and full of ways to help develop your toddler's fine motor skills thanks to it's inclusion of poppers, zips as well as a number of textures to touch.

5. Hold a Home (or Garden) Clothing Sale
If you don't have time to photograph and list on your individual baby clothes on Ebay and can't find a local car boot sale, why not throw your own clothing sale? Advertise the fact that you have a lot of clothes available to sell secondhand to other local parents, if you are on any local forums online or the like, mention it on there and see if there's any interest. Of course keep safe and don't publish your home address publicly online, but it can be a good way of giving a number of people the chance to find nice secondhand baby clothes at a time and place that suits you. I created a simple digital poster for mine and listed it on a couple of closed, local FB parenting groups I am on, with a one hour slot for people to come by and look at what there is. If you don't have a whole heap of clothing, you could always get together with a few other mums friends who have items too and do a group sale.

6. Turn Stained Baby Clothes in to Dust Cloths
There are some items of clothing with stains you just can't seem to ever get rid of. Never fear, they still can have a second use. Cut them in to squares and store them away to use at a later date as dust cloths.

7. Hold on to Your Baby Socks and Make a Baby Sock Advent Calender Next Christmas!
A cute handmade Christmas idea for all those single socks you can never seem to find the matching sock for, or just a way to make use of those super cute little socks that no longer fit your baby. You can find the tutorial for the baby sock advent calender here.

8. Create a Baby Memory Bear
Making a whole quilt is a big undertaking, so if you aren't quite up to that momentous task, how about making a memory bear soft toy out of your old baby clothes that you child can enjoy as he/she grows from baby to toddler and onwards. There is a photo tutorial of how you can make your own memory bear from baby clothes over on E-Beth Designs blog. Again, if you aren't so handy with a sewing machine, 'Love, Keep, Create' can turn your used baby clothes in to a range of super cute animal soft toys for you.

9. Sell them online
There are lots of options for selling used baby clothes. Either list them individually (although this can be a bit of a bore!) or sell them in sets to avoid having to photograph each individual item! Ebay, Craigslist and Gumtree are all options for selling your secondhand baby gear online.

10. Host a Baby Clothes Swap Party
Do you know lots of other mums with babies/children of all ages? If so, why not get everyone together with clothes they don't need anymore and see if you can swap some of your baby clothes for bigger sizes? Make sure there are a range of sizes available so that it's not all newborn or first 6 months stuff and get swapping.

So those are my ideas for what you can do with your no-longer-needed baby clothes. Have you tried any of these ideas out before or fancy giving one a go? Or are you holding on to your baby clothes for a possible future edition to the family?

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  1. hope you had sucsess with sellig your clothing.
    Do you know mamikreisel.de?
    You can sell your stuff there as well.
    I'd take some clothes, sad I don't live in Berlin.
    But if you have some stuff online, could you maybe post a link?
    I LOVE the way your boys are dressed!

    1. I actually bought Alfie's snowsuit off Mamikreisel, it's a really great site. I just have soooooo much stuff to sell that it would take so long to photograph everything and list it online. I sold a few bits and pieces today. I'll let you know if I do manage to get round to putting the items online though!


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