Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rules to Follow Before Giving Hand-me-downs

I love hand-me-downs. I will happily accept used clothes, toys, baby gear, and anything else that you want to throw my way. Once I’m done using the items I will then pass them along to the next lucky recipient. When passing on used items there are some general rules that I follow that I would think would be pretty universally known. However, the more hand me down items I receive, the more I realize that people are not aware of the rules so I thought I would share here. Without further ado, I give you the top four rules to follow when giving someone hand-me-downs.

  1. Size Matters – When you tell me you have a bag of 2T boys’ clothes that you are looking to get rid of. Do you know what I expect to be in the bag? 2T boys clothes – BINGO! I don’t expect a random assortment of clothes from newborn to size 4 for both boys and girls. At that point, I am not appreciative of your generosity with sharing your clothes. I’m cursing you for making me waste my time sorting through clothes that I don’t need/want. Have a random bag of clothes that you are looking to dump without sorting? Well then donate the entire bag to a local charity. I guarantee you that they will not be shouting expletives while going through the bag.
  2. Stains, Holes, Rips Need Not Apply - I get it – stains happen. I know. I have three small kids. Although I have no problem seeing stains on other children, I generally try to limit the stains on my own children’s clothes. Holes are sewn and ripped clothes are turned into rags. Now do I think everyone needs to be anal like I am? No. Am I completely offended when you give me a bag of clothes and some clothes have a few stains on them? No. However, it’s the bags that 75%+ of the contents are VERY well worn then I’d just appreciate a heads up. I can then politely decline your clothes and you can pass them along to someone else. 
  3. Your Trash is not my Treasure - Looking to get rid of some toys that your kids have outgrown? Fabulous, I’d love to take them. I’d just appreciate it if you could give me all the pieces to the toys and discard the broken ones. There’s nothing worse than the kids seeing a big box of toys only to discover that half the puzzles are incomplete, toys are broken with jagged pieces of plastic jetting out of them, and the Barbies have no heads. Have a box like this that you’re looking to get rid of? Please present it as, “I have a large box of trash that might contain two or three salvageable toys in it. Would you like to have it?” You can imagine what my answer will be.
  4. A Little Soap Goes a Long Way - Kids are gross and toys get dirty. I know. Hand-me-down toys do not need to be spotless and I’m not expecting you to wash the toys before you give them to me. However, when you are giving me a box of INDOOR toys they should not be covered in grass and leaves. That right there is the dead giveaway that you have given me a box of junk from your garage. Oh, the dead spiders at the bottom of the box also seal the deal.

So all that being said, whose got some hand-me-downs for me?!
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