Sunday, February 13, 2011

What my head thinks and my heart feels about consigning

I have been accused throughout my life of over-thinking things and being overly sensitive.  And when it comes to consigning my kids' items, I know I am guilty of both.

Twice a year, spring and fall, I participate in a big local children's consignment sale to get rid of toys the kids don't play with and clothes that no longer fit.  I am happy to have more room in the house and enough money to purchase clothes for the next season.  My goals aren't lofty.  Sure I would love to make enough to finance a vacation to Orlando, but that is never going to happen.

As I'm sorting and tagging and pricing my stuff, my head just wants to explode because of the wastefulness.  I check original prices online to see how I should price my gently used toys, and it just makes me sick how much money has been spent on toys for the kids.  In truth, very little of my own personal money has been spent since probably 60% of the kids' toys have come from grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins and friends.  But it still hurts the checkbook of my mind when I remember that I spent $29 on a MegaBlocks wagon for Christmas 2008 or 2009 (I can't remember) that G rarely played or plays with.  Or the $80 I spent on a Disney Princess dollhouse for N's 3rd birthday that didn't get as much use as I think it should have.

Of course, then as I'm dropping my stuff off at the consignment sale, I spot oodles of cheap toys and think about purchasing something for the kids.  Fortunately, I quickly snap out of it when my frugal mind screams, "You are trying to get RID of stuff; not get MORE stuff!"  Talk about defeating the purpose of consigning.

And all the while my brain is stewing over the sunk costs of parenting, my heart is aching because N no longer adores Disney Princesses as she did at ages 3 and 4.  And G bypassed so many toddler toys in favor of HotWheels and Matchbox cars, of which he cannot get enough.  And M never even got into toddler toys because he has always wanted to do exactly what G does...which is play with Matchbox and HotWheels cars.  

I put the 12- and 18-month clothes on hangars and feel sad that my children have passed the infant stage.  As I drop my items off, I gaze longingly at baby girl clothes, their soft pink and lilac hues, tiny flowers and lace trim.  This time of N's life is long gone, and now even her size 7 and 8 jeans are getting tight.  And G has grown into his 4T clothes that were far too loose in the fall.

Through each of my pregnancies, I measured time with coupons.  I would snip a coupon with a July expiration date and think, "When this expires, I will be in my third trimester," or when a November expiration date appeared I would note that by the time it expired I would have a newborn baby in the house.

And now I seem to be measuring time and it's changes with the local consignment sales.  It is refreshing to get rid of the clutter and waste of childrearing and heartbreaking as well.

1 comment:

Keri said...

I'm a complete sap about my kids' clothes -- and other belongings, too, but the clothes most of all. I think it's because the clothes they wear "become" a part of them, at least as much so as any material item can. It's so easy to picture them as they were when they wore the things I'm packing away.

I think the worst is the baby stuff, because as I sorted through those tiny items, I often imagined I could feel the weight of the baby in my arms as he/she wore that pair of pajamas or that sundress....I'm glad that at least I have no more baby stuff to go through!