Decluttering 101

Keeping the kids and their stuff organized is a challenge for any family. They are constantly growing and their favorite toys, games, and characters seem to change monthly. We have to keep up with the clutter so it doesn’t take over! What do we do with it all? There are two main choices: Sell or Donate. We are going to go ahead a toss the crusty play-doh, the chocolate stained dress that will never be white with delicate blue flowers again. There are still lots of clothes, book, shoes and toys left.

Garage Sales:

Many people think of garage sales as the way to sell what they purge. You get to choose how organized you want to be. Leave it in boxes, hang all the clothes, pre price each item or quote prices as you go. Shoppers who drive around are looking for super low prices and the less organized you are, the lower your price expectations should be. You will need to set aside a sunny Saturday, make signs and negotiate prices in your front yard. Whatever is left can be boxed up for donation…. Just don’t let it back in the house.


Another option is consignment. Since kids can usually only wear clothes one season, there is a huge demand for kids’ clothes and toys through consignment. Consignment Stores usually give you prices by the box or a percentage increase if you accept payment in store credit. They set the price and because they have the overhead of store rent and employees, their price per box of clothes can seem low. Stores usually pay you about 25-30% of what they can sell it for. You don’t need to organize or price your items and once you’ve dropped off, you are done. No need to worry about the weather or hoping people come out to your front lawn. Because they have store fronts, you have many opportunities to drop off your items as you clean out your toy boxes and closets. You can always take the clothes they don’t accept straight to the donation drop.

Consignment Events give you more flexibility in selling if you have some time to prepare. Events allow you to inventory and price your items. Once you drop them off, events can offer them for sale to thousands of local families for 3-5 days and give you a chance to earn a higher percentage if you volunteer to help run the sale. Events usually give you between 60-75% of what your items sell for. You don’t have to worry about negotiations since everything is tagged and out for sale anonymously. If you are looking to fill the closets with clothes that fit your kids- shopping early is one great perk of being a consignor. You get to see everything that has been brought in before the event opens to the public. Most events will donate your unsold items or you can pick them up to transfer to the next event. You can even pick unsold items up and donate them for a tax credit- you already have your inventory list for the tax form.


One of the easiest options is always donation. If you itemize on your tax return, you can keep track of your donations for a tax credit. Keep a list of the number and type of items and the second hand price for your tax forms. When you donate, you can take some steps to insure your donations really help your charity:

Tie shoes together- single shoes are trash at charity drop offs. Keeping them together makes all the difference and saves volunteer time.

Bag small toys- the Little People boat is so much more fun with the pirates! Grab a grocery bag for the small parts and tie it onto the main piece.

Keep like items together- while you shouldn’t keep clothes on the hangers (they get tangled and rip clothes), if you bag all of your girl clothes together, they are presorted for the charities.

Throw out the trash- charities spend so much money and donated time sorting through items that can be used again. Toss the skates missing a wheel or the toy that is cracked making it dangerous for little hands.

Recouping some of the money you’ve invested in your children’s outgrown clothes and toys is truly a motivator to roll up your sleeves and attack the clutter. A little organization as you go can make any one of these options easier and your home much easier to live in.

Are you ready to clear the clutter and get some cash back into your pocket? There is still time to sell at the Fairytale Threads Children’s Consignment Event (www.fairytalethreads.com) or come out and shop May 19-21, 425 Woodward, Austin.

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