When Pickle was born and people starting giving us bags and boxes of baby clothes, I just did not understand it. That stuff was WORTH SOMETHING. And they were just...giving it away! I cleaned, used, and then sold most of it at kids' consignment sales, after passing on the favorites to the other little babies in our family. I just could not wrap my mind around the fact that people would give away such great stuff with abandon.
I get it now.
Currently, I am staring at three boxes, three grocery bags, and a small pile of things too big to fit in those containers. That doesn't include the high chair and tiny potty on the kitchen floor or the two ride-on toys, the two baby strollers, the infant clamshell car seat, and the exersaucer thing in the basement. Nor yet all the rest of the toys and clothes that are scattered around my house, not being played with or worn or otherwise useful to anyone on the planet. Not only will I donate this to the next expecting parent, I come across, I would gleefully PAY someone to take it all out of my life.
That's how much kids' stuff multiplies as the kids get older and more numerous in a given household.
Last year, the consignment sales still seemed like a good use of my time but I just can't anymore. The time it takes to clean, repair, hang, catalog, price, tag, load, unload, inspect, and wait for payment on the stuff is just too much. My hourly rate at work is too high to justify taking time off to manage it, and my time not at work, I'd rather spend with my kids than trying to make money off of their used stuff.
This grates at me a little bit. I like to find efficient ways to use my time and effort, and giving away valuable stuff doesn't seem efficient (it is, of course, when compared with the frustration I experience during the course of doing all that stuff, but it's not efficient from a dollars-in perspective). I'm trying to look at it as paying forward all the generosity that was displayed towards us, which helps. I remember the delight I experienced going through a giant trash bag of adorable baby girls' clothing, and hope that someone will feel the same looking at Baby Bear's cute little newborn pajamas. I will try not to think about the $79.08 (or $1.21 hourly rate) I might have otherwise earned. And most of all, I will luxuriate in having no piles of baby crap anywhere in my vision for at least three or four hours.