Monday, October 5, 2009

The Costs of Disorganization and Savings of Garage Sales.

My little guy Kai is just starting to outgrow some of his 2T clothes, so I dragged up the bin marked 3T out of the basement to see what we had.

In it were some things that had survived his older brother's 3T stage and things I'd picked up at garage sales through the year.

As I unpacked one after another, after another shirts, shorts, pants, etc. I realized my lack of organization here had cost money. If I'd taken time to go through last year, before I started stocking up on 3T, I would have had a better sense what I needed rather than having as it turns out:

27 pairs of pants
23 pairs of shorts
45 shirts (summer and winter)
1 winter vest
1 fall/spring jacket.

Once I got to 15 pairs of pants, that should have been enough. The other 12 pairs, purchased at about $1 each or $12.00, was pure waste.

The weather is really only warm enough for shorts here in WI for a brief time. Ten pairs, maybe 12, would have been plenty. So the eleven others, purchased at .50 each on average, or $5.50, was unnecessary.

As my kids are tough on shirts, and I'm not the best laundress, I think we could easily use 35 shirts total to cover the four seasons. So that leaves about 10, mostly purchased at .25 to .50 each, or $5.00 on the high side of clothes we didn't need.

Now for the good part. That $22.00 in overspending, which would maybe buy one new kids Gap sweater, will likely be mostly recovered at my own garage sale this coming spring and help the environment as yet another little boy puts on the duds for his third year of life.

Thus getting the kids clothes at garage sales really does offer a great value. And if you can set aside one weekend day for a big city-wide sale or subdivision sale, you'll be that much further ahead in gas and time costs than tracking down things at individual sales. I've also been seeing people sell entire kids wardrobes on Craigslist as they don't want to have a garage sale but no longer need their daughter's 0-12 month clothes. This would also be convenient from a cost and timing standpoint.

So, note to self, make a list for the 4T and 6T bins now shoved in a basement corner and prepare a bit better for the upcoming year. Best wishes! Eileen


  1. Excellent post! Helping us remember that a bargain is not a bargain if we don't need it.

  2. Absolutely, I have the hardest time with this. And as I am in the on going process of reorganizing and purging, it rings especially true.

    One of my projects is t-shirt quilts for the family. We have all these tshirts from events of times in our lives that we just wear until they have holes in them and I have collected and cut some one them down, now to finish....

    Thanks, again, Eileen.

  3. Maybe make a list and keep it in your wallet and BEFORE you pull away from the sale with your new hot purchases, write them on the tally sheet so you'll know when you've gotten to enough!