Monday, April 21, 2008

Garage Sale Blues

Saturday was a big day for me. It was the day in which I was prepared to finally part with most of my baby paraphernalia.

You must know that I have saved EVERYTHING since the kids were born. Every receiving blanket, onesie (except the ones with those “special” stains), outfit, swing, and stroller was saved. Each of the kids’ closets was filled with old diaper boxes (the only boxes that will fit on their shelves) full of out-grown clothes. The outdoor storage area was full of baby equipment. I saved everything from Jake for Jolie, and then from Jake and Jolie for Jensen.

I always figured that it would be more cost effective to save rather than buy new for each additional child. I know that we saved oodles of money saving and reusing all of our baby items. I can’t imagine buying a new stroller/car seat set for each child. I know we spent $150 on the “travel system” we bought for Jake. So I guess we saved about $300 by continuing to use the stroller and infant carrier for Jolie and Jensen. We did add a few new baby items over the years. Jolie got a new swing (Jake didn’t have one) and Jensen got a new crib and mattress (the old one was damaged during our last move). We welcomed hand-me-downs (both clothing and equipment) from friends and relatives. We took great care of our baby items to ensure that they would last until we were done having children, whenever that might have been.

In January, we made the big decision that our family was complete and took the steps necessary to ensure that we would no longer need all of those saved baby items. Because they were no longer needed, we decided to find our beloved baby items new homes. I have, and will continue to, give(n) my youngest sister all of my “boy” clothes. I know that they will have a full life making their way through four boys (Jake, her oldest, Jensen, her youngest). Not having any nieces as of yet, Jolie’s clothes are posing a bit more difficult. I have saved some of her nicer outfits for my not-yet-married sisters. I tried to sell her clothes at the garage sale, with little luck. We will probably take the remainder of her clothes to a consignment shop; and those items that are not accepted, we will share with friends; and those items that are not accepted will be donated.

As for the larger items, I was surprised that they didn’t sell at the garage sale. It must not be new-baby season yet, or people are not used to seeing “antique” baby items in such great shape. Our stroller set is turning nine this month. We are planning to invite over a friend’s daughter, and share our much-loved and gently used items with her. If she doesn’t want them, then I will probably try to take them to a consignment shop, and then donate them if all else fails.

So why the “Garage Sale Blues,” you ask? Well, I prepared myself to get rid of items that had grown near and dear to my heart, and they are still sitting in my living room. I worked through my emotional attachments Monday afternoon while Justin and I got the items out of the storage area and again on Friday night while I was cleaning everything up. The other day I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to part with the stroller because I had used it with all three kids. Now that I have made the detachment, I am ready for them to find their next home and make someone else as happy as we were.

I’m sure we will find them all homes soon, and I do mean soon. I want to be able to spend some time in my clean living room before the movers have it all in boxes by the end of next month.

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