My childhood is a memory of jumble sales, charity shops and hand-me-downs. I think that has fed into my adult love of vintage, second hand, and online selling sites.
We are very lucky to have extremely generous friends and family; this, combined with an eye for a bargain, means we have lots and lots of STUFF. Clothes, toys, books (I could write a whole other chapter on our family obsession with books) fill the house to the brim. The addition to our family in 2012 means that I now keep so much of the eldest’s stuff for the small, shouty one.
The other half attempts to impose a “one in one out” policy, you can imagine how well that has gone down; however, he is very pleased that my love of a bargain is also driven by two simple words:
You see, I am an avid car-booting, eBaying, and most recently, community yard sale-hosting, Mum of two.
It was easier when mini-me was little. I would just surreptitiously sneak things out the house; some to charity, some to sell. She didn’t notice. However, she is creeping closer to eleven years of age now, she is clued up! So, this is my advice to you if you find yourself drowning in stuff.
1. Start them early!
2. At least twice a year we sit down and go through the rooms and put things into piles. Keep, Donate, Sell, broken (and most recently, “hand me downs”).
3. Follow the “Konmari method” logic; if it doesn’t bring them or you joy, get rid. It will help someone else.
4. Number three is the hardest part; don’t get bogged down by “gifts” or expense. The mental and physical space it will leave you is priceless
5. Do have a couple of “must keep” rules. I have lost count how many times school uniform has made its way onto the “broken” pile.
6. Involve them in the selling if they are old enough (the big ‘un “manned” her own car boot stall, including hard-nosed negotiations, aged five)
7. Agree who gets what money. For us, they keep the money from the toys that they sell. For the clothes, it goes back in the pot to pay for more.
So, give it a go! Would love to hear your greatest reuse, recycle and resale story below!
About Clara Wilcox
Clara runs The Balance Collective. She is a mum of two with over a decade’s experience in recruitment and coaching. She offers career and return to work coaching for parents and flexible working consultancy and workshops for businesses. Find out more on The Balance Collective website or find Clara on Facebook, Twitter or connect with on LinkedIn!