Twice a year I get a wild hair to declutter all of the clothes that Isla has out grown. For years I always told myself “I’m going to get it all ready and consign it at the Just Between Friends sale. I would get everything ready and organized and then I would leave it alone. It would sit there forever taking up space and when I was tired of looking at it, I would donate it to my church. Well not this time!
Actually, this is my second time. I went through the whole process last fall and consigned all of the fall/winter stuff from the year before. I don’t know why I waited so long to do it. Yes, it does take some prep work but it’s worth it in the end. Now I’m walking around my house thinking “What could I sell THIS time??” Nothing is safe.
So, while I had my first consigning experience last fall, I wanted to share some tips and ideas that I wish somebody would have shared with me.
1. START AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE – Seriously. If you find a box of swimsuits during Christmas break, take 10 minutes and type their info in for labels. If you do a little here and there, making the tags isn’t quite as daunting. Little bites! If you do a bit here and there, you’ll save yourself oodles of time trying to get them all typed up.
2. GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES – I learned that the essentials to have are hangers, ziplock bags, clear tape, cardstock, printer, safety pins, scissors, and zip ties. That’s about it! Ziplock bag size varies with your need. I went from gallon size for receiving blankets to quart size for baby shoes. Remember to tape the tops of the bags so nothing accidentally opens up.
3. CHECK FOR STAINS OR TEARS – There’s nothing worst than getting outfits on hangers the night before and seeing that more than 1 of your daughters shirts have lip gloss stains on them. NIGHTMARE!! About a week before you plan on hanging, I encourage you to inspect every item you want to sell. If it has a grease spot (my daughter loves lip gloss) slap some Dawn Dishsoap on it and let it soak for 24 hours. That usually does the trick for me.
4. MAKE YOUR ITEMS PRESENTABLE – I’m a skimmer. While I browse the rows and rows of clothing I slip into auto pilot and start skimming. Things that do draw my attention are items that obviously had a little more TLC put into them. If a cute dress has a crumpled ribbon bow, I’ll probably skip over it. However, if it looks like somebody ironed it and made it crisp, chances are it’s coming home with me. I like to put on a favorite movie/show on Netflix and dedicate an evening to ironing out any clothes that need it. Not into ironing?? Give it a quick spray with water, pop it in the dryer, and when it’s done lay it flat.
5. HANG ITEMS WITH THE HANGER LIKE A QUESTION MARK – Want to know a pet peeve of mine?? When hangers are backwards. Makes me crazy. If everything is all facing the same direction, you can look through the clothes and find the info tag quickly.
6. START ROUNDING UP HANGERS EARLY – If you’re anticipating having a lot of items to sell, you’re going to need to round up hangers early. A few places to check out are Facebook. Fellow moms tend to always have a surplus of hangers. We don’t know where they come from but there they are. 9 times out of 10 you’ll get them for free. Goodwill. If you have one near by (I don’t. 😒) Go in from time to time and check it out. I’ve found big bundles of hangers for $1-2. Lastly, Target! You know how they ask if you want to keep your hangers? The hangers that get left in the store will be tossed into a bin at the register. Simply ask your cashier if they have any hangers to spare. I’ve never been told no and walk out with 3-5 extra hangers.
7. ZIP TIE YOUR SHOES – I recommend zip tying your bigger shoes. The little baby shoes went taped shut inside a ziplock baggie but the bigger shoes I zip tied. JBF also says you can use curling ribbon but I find zip ties to be more secure. JBF sales tend to be BUSY with mommas shopping and you don’t want to risk losing a shoe that had been handled and the ribbon came loose.
8. LOAD YOUR CAR THE NIGHT BEFORE – This seams like a no brainer but if you’re like me and like to procrastinate, you’ll be thanking yourself for loading up early
9. TAKE A WAGON – My first time to ever drop off I was standing in line carrying laundry baskets, giant bags from Marshall’s, a huge blue IKEA bag, and probably 3 diaper boxes. It was insane. I would have done SO much better just putting it all in a wagon and haul it all behind me. Won’t make that mistake twice! (Hopefully!!)
10. DON’T STRESS – Life happens and if you weren’t able to label everything you wanted, it’s okay! There’s always next time.
11. SHOP EARLY – How? You’re allowed to shop early if you consign and if you volunteer. The times will vary based on how long you volunteer and if you only consign. First time mothers and teachers also get to shop early. Again, the times will vary based on which group you fit into.
The Just Between Friends sale is twice a year every year so if you weren’t able to round up all the toys you were hoping, that’s okay. You can start labeling months in advance so you can alway give yourself more time for next seasons sale.