Sometimes I sit down and go through my daughter’s photos, one by one. Mind you, it takes a lot of time; there are so many of them. And as I click through them, I remember her tiny frock which had a small blue fish dangling at one end, or her red bunny rattle or her strawberry pink milkmaid’s cap. Every photo evokes a beautiful feeling. I loved those days when she was so tiny and her clothes so small and adorable. Surprisingly, I don’t have those things with me today. Yes, I had decided to donate them. It was a conscious decision. I feel proud of myself. Here are a few things you can do with your child’s old clothes and toys:
Donate: It will break your heart and you will miss them dearly. But just think for a moment, that you at least have these memories. There are many out there who don’t even possess clothes, let alone memories.
To maids/servants: If your maids, servants or gatekeeper have small kids at home of more or less the same age as your kid, then it makes sense to give your child’s belonging to them. I do it regularly.
To orphanages/organisations: You may donate to orphanages in and around your area. Also, companies like Jonsons’ Baby India organisation used clothes collection drive once a year or Joy of Giving Week where you can deposit your things at their designated collection centres. They make sure that your belongings reach to the needy kids.
To street kids: A few days ago, as I was crossing a junction, I saw two little girls, naked, frolicking on the pavement. My heart bled for them. My little daughter has so many clothes, many of them lying unused, and these girls almost the same age as my daughter, were running around naked. They need your child’s clothes more than anybody else. But make sure, you give them only used and old clothes. Usually, their parents sell the new stuff and hardly use the money for buying clothes for their kids. So there are chances that these kids will still be roaming around without clothes.
Apart from donation, you can do a lot with your child’s clothes and belongings that he/she has outgrown.
Sell: If you have lots of toys and kid’s things like bather, baby bouncer, chair, cycle etc. you can try to sell them off on Craiglist (choose the one specific for your city) or OLX or on various mummy support groups.
Recycle: If you have the space, store them for your future child. In case, you are not planning any, keep them for someone in the family. If they are in good condition, close relations and friends don’t mind having them. In fact, the first few months, people prefer making their newborn babies wear old clothes as they are worn and hence soft to the newborn’s skin.
Then there are sites like Freecycle.org (choose the one for your city) where you can recycle most of the stuff in good condition. Remember, it’s not a sale, so don’t expect any cash/kind in return. It’s a non-profit movement; the idea behind freecycling is to reuse and keep good stuff out of landfills.
Get a memento made: In spite of donating, selling or recycling most of the stuff, there would still be some clothes, napkins, booties or socks that you have fond memories of and you won’t feel like parting from them. Get a blanket/soft toy made out of them. It will serve as a memento for all those lovely treasured clothes that your child once wore.
I have come across this site that specialises in building stories from special moments and stitching your memories together. Though I have personally never used them, I have heard great reviews about them.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MumentosIndia
Keepsake: There are some things that you don’t want to part with, especially the first clothes. Keep them. I still have my little one’s dress that she had first worn to a party and her little brown Mothercare shoes that a dear friend had gifted to her. Every once in a while, I take them out, feel them against my skin, reminisce a little and put them back carefully.
These are my tips on what you can do with the clothes that your child has outgrown. What did you do with your child’s stuff that he/she has outgrown?