I’m selling a bunch of the girls’ toys and clothes this weekend at a local consignment sale. I’ve done it twice before, and I’ve made decent money both times. I’ve tried other ways to get rid of things, like eBay, Craigslist, and yard sales, but I’ve found that for me this is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of things that seem to be piling up. eBay worked well when I was home with Emily, selling things one at a time and using the money I earned via PayPal to make discounted purchases for other things she needed. The few yard sales I’ve done at home (usually with my girl Christine) have been fairly lucrative as well, and I always enjoyed the excitement of setting prices and bartering with people. Craigslist has worked for a few random large items, like Emily’s too-small bike and her Power Wheels. But all in all, eBay takes more time than I’m willing to give, yard sales require good weather and disposing of things that don’t sell, and Craigslist only seems to work well if you are willing to let people pick items up at your house (which I’m not).
So the consignment sales have worked well for me. Basically you pay a $10 consignor’s fee, enter all of your items in the computer, print price tags and then tag your items. Then you deliver them to the sale and they do the rest! They manage the sale, and even donate anything that you don’t want for you when the sale is over. It does take a bit of pre-planning, and you only make 65% of the total sales, but I love that I can tag things as I decide I’m going to sell them, and it only takes a 2-3 evenings to prepare everything for the sale. As I type this my car is loaded up with items ready to be dropped off tomorrow. So exciting!
But along with this excitement comes a bit of sadness… maybe a sense of loss. All of these items have been played with, worn, or loved by my girls. Some items belonged to Emily alone, and Julia either didn’t fit into them or never played with them. Some belonged to Julia alone – presents bought just for her that she outgrew. But most of them belonged to both of our beauties. And because of this there are many, many memories attached to each one.
There’s the push toy that helped Emily learn how to walk. She pushed it all over the upstairs of our house. Julia didn’t care about the pushing part, but was fascinated with the shapes inside.
And then there’s the playhouse. This thing was AWESOME. We regretted not getting it for Emily sooner, (we think she was nearly 18 months), but definitely had NO regrets about saving it up the attic for nearly 5 years. Emily loved it. Julia loved it. We loved it. This house had all the bells and whistles – a doorbell that rang, a radio with 4 different music stations, a working porch light, and a door that opened and closed – all while singing a peppy little song. Emily loved crawling through the door & working the shape puzzles. Julia loved pressing every button over and over and over. The best $80 we ever spent on a Christmas gift, and now it’s sitting in my car waiting to be sold. If I could, I would seriously consider saving it for my grandchildren someday, as I’m confident they would love it too.
It’s hard to put these clothes and toys in boxes and bags and put a price on each of them. It’s hard to think of someone else wearing them, staining them, making memories with them. They belonged to my girls. Those are my memories. I bought those. I opened those presents at my baby showers. Of course I’ve kept my favorite outfits and toys, just as my Mom saved some of mine. Emily & Julia both have actually played with (and chewed on) my old rattle and an old stuffed clown that was made for me when I was a baby. Some of Emily’s old clothes have been made into a memory quilt and I will be doing the same with Julia’s as well. But sadly, I can’t keep it all. Sniffle.
I know that as the years go on and I look at old pictures of our daughters I’m going to feel pangs of nostalgia. I’m sure to remember special occasions just because of the outfits they are wearing, or funny things that may have happened while playing with certain toys. I’m sure it’s no different for any parent. I think I may understand why I always hear adults (and sometimes even teenagers) yelling out in the toy store, “I used to play with that!” I get it.
But tomorrow afternoon I will say goodbye to many of the items that trigger those happy memories. The sale is this weekend. I’ve got to let go. And in a few months, I’ll do it again. Gotta make room for all those new memory makers!