A change in mindset- children’s clothing swaps and buying second hand

Have you ever thought about a clothing or toy swap with other families, buying second-hand when you need something for your family such as clothes or shoes or donating items that are no longer being used?

More recently we received a bag of boy clothes from one of the mums at my children’s school. Her son is one year older than my son and has grown out of these shorts and pants.  We also received a bag of Winter clothes including thermals, scarves, beanies and mittens to ‘borrow’ during the upcoming colder months and because we may be taking a family trip soon to a place where the weather is a bit colder than where we currently live. This saves us having to buy anything new.

second hand childrens clothing
Boys shorts and pants given to my son to use.
childrens clothing swap
Borrowed Winter gear.

A couple of weeks ago we passed on some of our toddler Montessori-like materials such as our Spindle Rods and Miniature Cylinder blocks that were no longer being used. We got several years use out of them by both of my children, but as these are classroom materials, my son is now working with them at school. The mother I passed them onto is going to use them with her toddler for at home use. We also did a book and toy swap recently with two other families.

The more I look around our home, the more I want to try to just keep what we are using and pass on the rest. For so long we had boxes and containers of stored items in our house or garage with the intent to go through them but just lacked time and motivation to sort through them all. There is still more to do, but I would rather items that are not being used and not needed, go to someone else who does need them.

Something borrowed; I have mentioned before that my daughter and I have been practicing our hand-sewing together, that I never really learnt to hand-sew and that I don’t own a sewing machine. A few days ago my mum asked If I wanted to take her sewing machine and all the bits and pieces that she had stored to use at home. So, gratefully, we now have a sewing machine to use. I have some ideas for projects I can do with my children; thinking of making cloth handkerchiefs (napkins). Now I just need to read the instructions on how to use the machine…can’t be too difficult?

second hand sewing machine
Once I get the chance I am going to sort through all the sewing, knitting and weaving bits and pieces and store them in these drawers. This is a built-in desk and drawers in our rental house.
second hand sewing supplies
Bits and pieces that my mum has passed onto us. I have no idea what to do with half of it, but I am keen to learn.

Buying Second hand. There are so many ways to purchase items second-hand. I will often look in an OP shop/Thrift store and sometimes buy second-hand items on Ebay such as books.  I am however trying to focus more on buying less overall.

The shoes, books and wooden stool in the pictures below is what I recently purchased from an OP shop to use for my children. My daughter needed some new shoes as she has recently had a growth spurt. These shoes were only AUD $3 and look pretty much new. The story books I got, to add to our smallish collection of Fairy Tales books cost AUD $2 for both books. The wooden stool cost AUD $10, I just need to cut the legs back to make it more child-friendly. This chair will be used with the desk my dad made for my children to use and the sewing/craft desk.

second hand childrens shoes

second hand story books
At over 5 years of age, my daughter now just loves Fairy Tale books. When she was younger,  we kept more Non-Fantasy based books.

second hand wooden stool for child


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