10 Things to do with Kids Clothes when they Outgrow Them

Kids are like little weeds, they grow and grow and grow, and no matter how many clothes we buy for them, it seems like they forever need more. This issue means there are often bags, closets, drawers, and piles of clothes that are gently used, and need to find a new home, but what exactly do you do with all of those old clothes?

Once everyone outgrows their clothes, we use a number of methods for finding new homes for the clothes we have. These are:

  1. Hand them Down– Handing down clothes either to siblings, other family members, friends with kids, or just about anyone who has a need is a great way to reuse, recycle, and help out.
  2. Clothing Swaps– Many local and online communities host clothing swaps. These are events or get togethers where parents can offer their children’s clothes for gift or trade. These events are great social environments and can allow participants to interact and make new friends. Search online for “clothing swaps” in your area.
  3. Consignment Sales– Consignment stores or sales can be great options for those who would like to recoup some of the money spent on kid’s clothes. Consignments are one of the better options for getting top dollar for clothes, and weekend sales like MooLaLaBoutique in California, makes it convenient to sell items to large crowds.
  4. Garage/Rummage Sales– When the piles of clothes reach an uncontrollable height, many people choose to hold a garage sale. Garage sales offer convenience and the ability to sell items spontaneously on any given weekend. The biggest downside to garage sales is sellers can’t expect too much for items or they will not sell. Clothing items often sell for $1 or less per item.
  5. Flea Markets– Flea markets are similar to garage sales in spontaneity and sell prices, though the advantage flea markets bring are the potential of larger and more steady crowds. The downside is flea markets generally require a sellers fee, so it is important that your sales will cover any required fees.
  6. Craigslist.orgcraigslist is a great local online resource for selling children’s items in bulk. When you have a good amount of clothes in a specific size, you may have luck selling the entire lot. A usual rule of thumb for selling on craigslist is pricing items for 50% or less of retail. This will provide the best possibility for selling items quickly; however expect it to take some time to find a buyer.
  7. Ebay.com– provides a large community of potential buyers and offers the potential for near retail prices on certain clothing items. Sales on Ebay generally require items to be packaged and shipped and sellers must be on high alert for fraudulent buyers.
  8. Donations– There are a number of options when it comes to donating clothes. Some of our go to donation options are local women’s or homeless shelters, churches, and thrift stores. It is important to research thrift stores before choosing them as options as all are not created equal. Make sure they are “not for profit” and that donation proceeds go to charitable organizations.
  9. Crafting Projects/Upcycle– A new internet movement with clothing is turning them into new items through upcycling or crafting projects. There are a number of resources and projects that can be found on sites such as pinterest.com or through search engines.
  10. When all else Fails– If all of the previous options have left you with a bag or two of left over kid’s clothes, the best thing to do at this point is to use them as cleaning rags, shop towels, or even pet chew toys. Cut them up and make them into reusable and washable supplies that are available for spills or anytime a spare cloth is needed.

One thing you can count on when it comes to kids is that they will definitely outgrow their clothes. Knowing what options are available once they do will save you from making rash decisions when the drawers overflow and the piles reach the ceiling.

Many of the aforementioned solutions can be accomplished with the help of the kids and can made into a family event. This can create a sense of pride, teach value, and most of all be done together.

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  1. Helen Swarts says:

    As usual this article was awesome, great ideas for used clothes, my grandkids clothes are busting out of the drawers, and they are out growing so fast. Thanks Frank for the excellent ideas 🙂

  2. theodore esteghamat says:

    We always gave them to friends that needed them.Kids clothes are so expensive.

  3. Nice article…some additional ideas are : the children’s protective service in your area may accept clothing donations? I do know that in some communities they do put out a request for children’s clothing so that foster parents can come in and hopefully find clothing items that would help to dress their foster children.
    Your local school office or the school nurse may accept donations for students at their school…a child might throw-up and need a change of clothing before their parent or emergency contact can get there to pick them up…a child might have a bathroom accident and need a change of clothing or the school staff may know of students who need clothing due to their family situation…baby clothes can be donated to a pregnancy support group… the WIC program in the past has had used, clean clothing of all sizes available for mothers to be new baby as well as any other children she may have…

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