Emotionally Consigned ~ by Pittsburgh Frugal Mom

My favorite bi-annual sale is up and coming: SNUGGLE BUGS CONSIGNMENT.  I love consigning and I am by no means a ‘newbie’ to the process but with each passing sale I stir up a plethora of emotions that sometimes can be unbearably hard to sort through.  With the anticipation of the sale I have been going to the box marked, OUTGROWN, and putting all the toys together that are no longer used not even really considering what I was doing until last night when I was putting things on hangers – it just hit me like piano falling from the sky in a cartoon – B-U-M-P (that was on my head of course).

I was mystified, stunned, stymied, and not sure how to control what I was feeling as I was hanging up little neckties, tiny dress shirts, little argyle sweater vests, little school uniform pants, Where had all the time gone? Where were my babies? How did we get from point A to point B and  have I not seen all of this?  I felt for a moment that I had been living in a glass watching from the inside but not taking part on the outside — I knew this was not the case.  That piano that hit me from the sky and created the B-U-M-P was realization setting in; the kids are growing up and holding on to 99% of what they own makes nothing more than a cramped up mess, but I needed to also realize that while they are growing up I have to learn to release the clothes and accept the fact that they are growing up.

I feel in so many ways, connected to so many of their outfits.  I am sure you are the same way.  As I looked at a pair of jeans that I could not sell, I remembered how we were at an inline party and my son had fallen and managed to rip the already worn-through knee but I also remember this was a victory because he had learned how to skate.  With that victory in mind, I threw the jeans out!

I looked at a white long sleeved tee shirt, and I saw a grape stain on it, quickly realizing that was not leaving the house and then I remembered why the stain had happened;breakfast with his gramma and grape jelly on his toast, well I guess it was on his shirt not the toast(LOL) and with that thought I again tossed it.  Just looking at those 2 pieces it is hard to imagine why I kept the stained and ripped as well as the good clothing, while they are memories they are just items, and by tossing them I was not tossing the memories, just the clothes.

Things were becoming clearer to me and the glass I was in was becoming clearer and more transparent.  The more I understood about parting with things the better I began to feel and I began to look at it as a way to earn extra cash and secure new open space in corners I Had not seen in a while.  While my feelings became lighter I thought about what it takes to consign and I thought I might give you a few great ideas to help get you through the process:

1) Remember that you have committed to a sale, the Consignment Owner(in this case Snuggle Bugs Consignment) is counting on each and every article of clothing that I have put into the system to arrive at their door step.  Once it’s in the PILE DO NOT TAKE IT OUT! – Commitment is commitment.

2) Make one box(I have one) and allow yourself ONE item from the pile to ‘keep’.  I keep something from every stage, and age and I also clean this box out yearly(that’s another discussion).  Keep that one piece that gave you the best memories of your child at that age or for that season, place it in the box, close it and add NOTHING else.  Think of it as packing without the ability than to take one piece per person due to lack of space.

3) Realize the benefit of what you are doing: a) clothes like pants that have  become ‘floods’ will not be worn, they will just take up space so by alleviating them from your in-home inventory you are allowing another parent seeking out that item to find it and fulfill their needs! You are helping others by helping yourself = items =$$$$~

4) Look forward to the things you are doing at current with your kids, don’t dwell on the past, it will not allow you to consign because EVERYTHING suddenly becomes a keepsake.  Give it up, you kids have moved on, now you have to!

5) If you find a piece that was really important, be it a rattle, a book, a shirt, or a few, get a Picture Shadow Box, and Pin, post and display, but only if you can do this immediately because if you delay, you are only pack-ratting and you will never get it done.  A display box of things from Janna’ past, or Michael’s past gives you a conversational piece and a memory all in one.

6) Take a before and after photo of the area you emptied, that always makes me feel so good.  I see progress and results and I always keep my eye on the prize: $$$$$CASH$$$$

7) Place a photo of your child in your keepsake box with the piece of clothing, toy, accessory whatever it is in use, this will afford you the memory later.

8) Ask yourself, why am I keeping this? Can it be used in the future? Will I ever open this box again? Could the items in this box bring happiness to someone else?

9) Remember for each item you are consigning there are other items you will be able to purchase, it is like a see-saw, give and take and remember that other MOMS and DADS feel the same way but they brought their items to consign as well.

10) Always remember, you entered a business contract when you signed up to CONSIGN at the sale.  The owner is dependent on what you have entered into the system.  Don’t send things that you know are broken, don’t work, or won’t sell this is just setting everyone up for disappointment.  Price your stuff fairly(this is different from person to person) and it will sell.  Don’t list stuff in the systems and then not bring it because you decided you needed to keep it for a memory, that hurts everyone, those seeking and those selling.  The crowds that come through the SNUGGLE BUGS CONSIGNMENT sale are : “like Black Friday on Steroids” ~Leigh.

Here is just a small story, to show you another reason I Consign.  I recently visited  a Consignment sale, I think it keeps everything in perspective.

A little boy was shopping with his mother.  The mother had a minimal pile of clothing in her hand, and she then found a rack that was CLEARANCED.  As I was back by the rack I could hear the mother talking to her son and it went a bit like this:  “Sweetie I am so glad these people have decided to sell their stuff, mommy just could not afford to buy you anything if we did not have this sale” the little boy responded ” Mommy do you have enough money today that we can make it back home on the bus with all this stuff”.  The mother responded, ” today is a great day, mommy has enough money to get you a warm sweater and some pants and as a big treat, we can actually take the bus today, I am so happy they have these sales or we would not be able to have these nice things for you and your brother”.

While this is not why we all consign or shop consignment, it was with this thought that I kept my prices inline and priced to sell and I keep this family in my prayers.  I also mark everything to be donated because I know that what does not sell will be given back to the community by SNUGGLE BUGS CONSIGNMENT.  The end of the event, means  any charities that have signed up get to come in and pick up the items  that are being donated and taken  to their respective charity.  I feel good knowing that if I have sold, I have sold reasonably, I have allowed my items to go to half off, and if I have donated I know someone special will get to make a new memory.

I am now looking from the outside of the glass that I started in and I know the benefits of consigning far outweigh anything that preludes the affair from pricing to tagging.  There is no taking back, but there is holding on to memories in my mind.  I look forward to meeting new people each season at Snuggle Bugs Consignment and I love being able to earn a bit for what I had in our home!

I hope to see you at the sale which has become a regular venue in our household.  I can’t wait to see what we can find and I love meeting new people and hearing their stories that led them to consign.

From what I can surmise, with every memory something has happened, be it good or bad, it is how you cherish the memory that keeps it alive, not the item that created it, that was just the vehicle with which the memory was created.  New clothes, new toys, new gear, those will be the things that your new memories will be written with.  The simple thought of jumping forward brings about a new breath of fresh air and a new reason to part with the old and bring in the new! After all, that is what we do with New Years, therefore I will try living by the same old mantra – Out with the Old and In with the New to me, by shopping and selling Consignment.  See you at Snuggle Bugs Consignment Sale.

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