Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Great School Swap

I have discovered something about myself as we get ready to move. I always said I would never be like my grandmother, who rinsed every breadbag she ever had and kept piles of them under the kitchen sink, neatly folded. The thought of moving has brought the truth to light though.

I struggle with separation too.

Every piece of children's clothing Abi has worn is tucked away in boxes under the beds and in the closets. Now, as Lily outgrows these hand-me-downs I continue to save everything -- afterall, what if we have another child? Some clothing I know will never get worn, yet I continue to save some pieces which I can't think of giving to Goodwill in the hopes that I will have a friend that needs them. Some of the less treasured pieces were taken to a garage sale recently. I was dismayed as folks actually haggled on quality, bargain-priced children's clothing. After an entire day of work, I came home with $40 (roughly $4 an hour when I add up all the time spent).

The thought of moving everything to Salem in snowy December has motivated me to go through all of this treasured children's clothing. I'm saving just enough so that Lily will have about ten days worth of clothing in every size. For everything else, here's the solution. Two weeks before school starts I'm hosting a children's clothing swap. Parents can bring outgrown children's clothing, and swap it for clothing that will fit their children this school year. Anything that doesn't swap will be donated to charities that can benefit. I look forward to saving money on clothing for Abi, and to clearing out all of those boxes under the bed!

I got this swap idea from one I participated in during college. All of the girls in the house cleaned out closets and we hung all the clothing on hangers for everyone to sort through. I walked away with four really cute outfits, and we had a blast trying things on and "modeling" some pretty ridiculous outfits. Even though I contributed more than four outfits to the event, they were things I never wore, wheras I still wear two of the things I swapped for to this day! Less clutter, more cute. Next time you are due for a garage sale, consider opting for a swap instead!

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