Minimalism versus Frugality

Posted by Mrs Money on September 26th, 2013

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I cannot stand having excess “things” around my house.  I like to have things organized and clean for the most part, and when we have too much crap it annoys me.  One thing that I struggle with is trying to figure out what to keep and store versus getting rid of and taking the risk of having to re-buy it eventually.

My mother has been so generous in buying Penny clothes from yard sales and thrift stores.  However, she also has gone a little overboard and we’ve ended up with three ginormous tubs of clothes in the basement that Penny has outgrown.  She’s only wearing 12 month or 18 month clothes right now, so that’s a ton of clothes in newborn-9 month size!

I struggle with deciding if I should keep everything in case we have another girl eventually, or just selling it and giving my mom the money since she bought it all in the first place.  The frugal side of me says it’s silly to get rid of anything because if we do have another girl she can use the clothes and we won’t have to spend anything for the ones we already have.  The minimalist side of me says to sell or donate a lot of it because even if we do have another girl, she may be born in the summer versus winter like Penny, and a lot of the clothes will be opposite season and we won’t be able to use them.

I also feel like babies don’t really need that many clothes in their wardrobe anyway and I can always sell or donate some of the clothes and if we need to buy a few pieces of clothing in the future I’m sure I can find it second hand.

The other problem I have is the logistics of selling.  Consignment stores take a huge cut, children’s clothing sales may or may not be worth it, and if you only get fifty cents for an item, is it really worth selling?

It’s not like the clothes are causing me any inconvenience by sitting in tubs in the basement (other than the fact I could use that storage space for other things) so I feel silly even worrying about them.

How do you balance minimalism versus frugality? 

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6 Responses to “Minimalism versus Frugality”


  1. Jayne says:

    Glad to see a “normal” post written by you again! What was with the last two?

    Back to the topic at hand, I’m in the same position you are. Our 2.5 year old has about 12(!!!) totes of too small clothes, mostly purchased at garage sales by my MIL or handed down from friends. Many she wore, some she didn’t, and who knows if we’ll be lucky enough to reuse them with a Baby #2. My plan is to pull out the ones I don’t like or aren’t my style, and bring them to a resale store like Once Upon a Child. I won’t get much for them, but it’ll likely be about as much as was paid for them (if they were garage sale finds or free). And a resale store gives you the money upfront, versus a consignment store where you only get paid if your items sell (but you typically get a higher percentage). Shopping at a resale store also means I’ll pay less for new-to-us clothes, and the recycling aspect makes my green heart proud! That’s my 2 cents — good luck!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jayne- Thanks! Those were guest posts- I should have specified :)

    That is a great idea- I should pack some up and take them in to OUAC and see what I can get. Thanks!! :)

    [Reply]

  2. jim says:

    Just donate the unnecessary clothes. Really – you’ll free up space (and sanity) by doing so. Who knows when you’ll be pregnant again and what gender the baby will be – not to mention what the “style” – ha! will be by then. Plus – what goes around, comes around. When you are pregnant and know the gender of your baby, you’ll find great sales (reaping the karma you put out there).

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    jim- I totally understand! I think I’m going to go through and keep my favorites and pare down the rest. I think it will really help!

    [Reply]

  3. Lynsey says:

    I reckon keep them. We kept everything from our first, ended up having another boy born in the same season so re used everything, and now have a little girl who was born at almost the same time too so even though she wore blue for the first 6 months of life, I’m pretty sure it won’t affect her negatively ;-) Now we donate everything that is no longer needed and keep unisex items like bodies, jeans, etc. Anything stained is donated to charities that cut up the materials rather than forward on clothing.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Lynsey- I’ve decided to keep most. I didn’t pay a lot for them so no big deal. Hopefully we’ll be lucky like you!! :)

    [Reply]



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