December 6, 2016

DECLUTTERING BABY ITEMS




The company that I work for recently hosted a donation drive through LovedTwice.org.  These clothes that my little babe Jace has outgrown will be going to a good home & not in the landfill.

Over 900,000 babies will be born into poverty in the U.S. this year. (Source: LovedTwice.org)  Baby clothes are expensive and they grow out of them quickly.  Rather than throwing clothes away, here are some resources I have discovered that fit my goal of decluttering while helping other families seeking less expensive baby essentials.


WWW.LOVEDTWICE.ORG
Loved Twice is a non-profit organization that collects donated gently used clothing and accessories for disadvantaged kids, ages newborn through 12 months old.  Social workers at hospitals, shelters and clinics pre-screen candidates and work to distribute wardrobes-in-a-box to low income families, who would've otherwise had to purchase clothes.  All of their clients live below 200% of the national poverty level.  Loved Twice has many drop off locations all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  They also accept mail ins and monetary donations.

Their Progress:
  • 15,669 wardrobes in a box distributed to low income babies
  • 129,276 pounds of baby clothes reused keeping America's infants warm
  • 154 social service partnerships




WWW.BABY2BABY.ORG
Based in Los Angeles, Baby2Baby distributes diapers, clothing, baby gear and all basic essentials for low-income children, ages 0-12 years old.  They partner with homeless and domestic violence shelters, Head Start programs, and children's hospitals to support families below an annual income of $24,250 for a family of four.  With board of directors and angels that include Hollywood royalty Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie & Rachel Zoe, these amazing moms have successfully served over 125,000 children in 2016.

Their Progress:
  • 18.5 million items distributed 
  • 154 social service partnerships
  • Clocked 6,562 volunteer hours in 2015
Baby2Baby has recently expanded to serve even more children in need.  Baby2Baby National Network is created to bring together resources for other similar organizations in 20 cities across the U.S.  Please visit http://baby2baby.org/national-network/ to find the nearest organization near you.  Loved Twice, as mentioned above, is one of the participating organizations.



Repurposed clear bags to store "keep" piles of clothes



SECONDHAND RETAIL/ CONSIGNMENT STORES
There are many other organizations that will either receive donations or consign, and will resell at brick-and-mortar locations or online.

As Jace outgrows his clothes, I take them off the hangers and sort them in keep vs. donate/ consign piles right away.  I use clear plastic bags with zippers that packed bed linens that I've purchased in the past, and repurpose it for the "keep" pile.  I label the size range (i.e. 3-6 months; 6-12 months) on the side of the bag, in case I need to use that batch for the next baby or give them away.  I keep this in the baby's closet until the bag is full, then store it in the garage in a tightly sealed bin to prevent mold or mildew.  I also keep a donation bag in the closet, so I can grab and go when the time comes to make a donation.  This is how the piles stay organized and I don't have re-sort them again.


  • Donations:  If you itemize deductions on your federal tax return, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction based on the fair market value of the items donated.  Be sure to request a donation tax receipt upon drop-off and consult your tax consultant on how to file your claims.  I usually support my local Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul charity organizations, and company-hosted donation drives for all of my household goods (not just baby items).  I've also seen drop-off bins at Target, gas station & shopping mall parking lots but those are self-serve bins so you won't be able to get a receipt there.
  • Consignment: 
    • Thredup.com:  This reputable, online-based company features high quality secondhand women's, maternity and children's clothes.  I love using them because they make it so simple that you can spend more time playing with your kids vs. driving around town to consign at your local store.  Just go to their website, order a "Clean Out" bag that gets mailed to you with a pre-labeled postage, fill it up and mail it out.  You get an email notifying when they receive and process your items.  You get a credit towards your purchases.  If they decide that the item is not worth it to consign, the rest goes to donation.  I've also purchased both women's and baby clothes, and a Rebecca Minkoff purse through this site and have been pretty impressed by the quality and prices.      
    • Local Shops:  Support your community and consign at a local shop.  Once Upon A Child is a national chain that takes gently used clothes and baby gear.  I've seen brand names including Janie & Jack, Baby Gap, Halo Sleepsacks, Baby Bjorn, Stokke, etc.  You have the option to get store credit or cash out.  They have a rewards points system; you can even sign up for coupons good towards purchases.  
  • Resell Yourself:  I haven't tried this method because I don't have the time or patience.  More power to you if you can, my friend!  It's a good option if you're looking to recoup the most money.  The biggest piece of advice my friends who have done this is to make sure you take lots of pictures with good lighting and give a nice description to your post.  Ebay & Craigslist are popular options.      


Jace's decluttered closet consisting of the current size that he wears, plus the next size up.



DONATE TO YOUR FRIENDS
Before Jace was born, a friend was cleaning out her girls' closets and asked if I needed any unisex baby clothes.  The only condition upon acceptance was that I needed to give them to someone else when I'm done.  Free clothes?!  I quickly agreed.  Next thing you know, I got a giant box of goodies delivered to my front doorstep with an encouraging note welcoming me to motherhood.  My heart is so full.  I'm forever grateful for having such wonderful support during this life-changing experience.  Now that it's my turn to declutter Jace's closet, it feels good to pay it forward.


    

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