It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff makes our way into the house just because we have kids. The other day we watched the video of Cubling's first birthday, 3 1/2 years ago, just after moving into our family home. I hardly recognised the place. What was then empty, spacious and admittedly a tad bare, is now filled with toys, baby gear and clothes hidden in every conceivable crevice.
And boy am I trying to get rid of stuff. There are items that I think have a value which I've been trying to sell through Netmums and Gumtree. No luck. I've given bags of clothes to friends and to charity shops and still there is more. So when the Baby Booty Sale came along, I quite fancied to get rid of absolutely everything in one go, while also selling a few Barefoot Books.
So when at 1pm today, we packed the unsold stuff into the car, it became all too clear that I had not succeeded in the big declutter. In spite of nominal prices on items (I wasn't there to make money, just to make sure the stuff is getting used again), people didn't buy. Baby clothes and baby toys are quite clearly items that lose their value as soon as they leave the shop, a bit like books. It's beyond me how some items didn't sell at all, when I see them as highly desired, valuable and great bargains.
And as to my wonderful Barefoot Books - I didn't sell even one. Ok, I get that this was a second hand sale and the books were new and they aren't your average cheap Amazon deal. Still, some of them are cheap and I didn't even sell them. Looks like being a bookseller won't quite work as a plan B once I'm no longer part of the wage slavery movement.
After hours of sorting, packing, setting up, selling and vice versa, which amounts to about 7 hours of hard work (I'm shattered writing this) I made £5.75. I'm ignoring that I bought a clothes rail for £8.99 which means I actually made a loss. Nevermind, it was fun and an experience and I'm happy to know that at least some items made it to people who wanted/needed them.
So here I am, sat on a mountain of clothes and baby gear wondering how to reuse it because, at the end of the day, it's still good stuff with plenty of life in it. The reality is that we buy so much more than we need that on the whole, we are inundated with baby clothes that aren't needed, therefore making their reuse value nil.
In the 4 1/2 years of parenting, I have so far bought very little children's clothes. I've managed on the whole to get by with what we were given as presents, with hand me downs plus the occasional purchase of underwear (and freebies through this blog). I can count on one hand the clothes purchases I've made. Yet I understand the constant temptation to buy this cute outfit here, and that beautiful dress over there. It's hard not to grab that sales bargain that isn't really needed. But if I look at the masses of baby clothes that didn't get sold today, I'm rather determined to continue my quest to stick to second hand, and to make sure that the clothes no longer needed go to people who have a use for them.