Make money: Sell your kids' clothing at a children's consignment store.

(Easy money!)

My Consignment Store-y

When my son was small, family and friends showered us with baby and toddler clothes. It was awesome. Some clothes were new, others were used. I didn't care. They were free.

As my son grew, the outgrown clothes began to pile up. Not knowing what else to do, I stuffed these garments in a plastic tote in the basement.

The Teetering Tower of Totes

Time passed. I filled more and more totes. Eventually, the wobbly stack of multi-colored totes in my basement reached the ceiling. The cats thought this mountain of plastic boxes was the greatest invention ever. I didn't. My basement was beginning to look like a warehouse. Something had to be done.

I wanted the totes out of my life, and in so doing, I wanted to make a little money off of the clothes my son had worn.

I knew I could have a garage sale—but the last garage sale I had got me nothing but ten bucks and a sun burn. I knew I could donate the clothes—but if I did that, my husband would want to deduct the items on our taxes, and that's such a pain. I knew I could peddle the clothes at a children's consignment store—and make money in the process. Yeah, I could do that.

So I forced the kitties off their plastic pedestal and loaded two of the totes into my car. I drove to a nearby children's clothing consignment store and presented the shopkeeper with my wares.

She told me she'd be glad to take my son's clothing off my hands. All I had to do was sign a contract agreeing that, among other things, I would receive 50% of the money for whatever she sold.

I figured this would add up to a few dollars—twenty dollars, tops. After all, used onesies and overalls aren't worth that much, right? But money is money, and twenty dollars is definitely better than a kick in the head.

I waited several months to return to the store. In the mean time, my son grew, and I replenished the Teetering Tower of Totes with more used clothes. The cats were overjoyed.

Consignment Store Money Shocker!

When I finally returned to the consignment store, I decided to do a little shopping before claiming my $20. My son needed pajamas. I selected a $2 pair of Thomas the Tank jammies and a Winnie the Pooh hoodie for $3. That left $15 for me. Enough to buy a couple donuts on the way home . . . I really like cream filled, chocolate-iced long johns . . . and maybe a Starbucks hot chocolate.

"Sign this and you'll have your money," the consignment lady said, handing me a 3-page inventory of the items I'd sold. Dumbfounded, I stared at the list. My sold items—two totes, mind you—added up to a whopping $49.30!

Almost fifty bucks . . . it wasn't a mortgage payment, but as I thought about the Teetering Tower of Totes in my basement, my brain quickly calculated the potential earnings. At $25 a tote, I could earn around $200 simply by driving my kid's old clothes to the consignment store and dumping them on this lady. $200 is about two weeks' worth of groceries . . . or a couple new outfits at the mall . . . or a hefty supply of cream-filled donuts.

As Long as He Keeps Growing, I Make Money

As my son grows, I continue to fill the Teetering Tower of Totes in the basement. Every once in a while, when I don't feel like paying for my donuts—er, groceries—I go downstairs, displace the cats, and lug up half a hundred dollars' worth of old shirts, pants, shoes, socks, and what-have-you.

As a money-saving bonus, I've discovered that my local consignment store is a great place to buy children's' clothing, too. I find lots of great, clean garments for under $3. When my son outgrows them, I wash them, fold them, and shove them into a tote. Eventually, these garments make their way back to the consignment store. And they make me some money.

Selling my child's used clothing at a consignment store has been a satisfying, money-making , house- decluttering experience. The Teetering Tower of Totes isn't quite as tall as it used to be, much to the cats' chagrin. But my basement doesn't resemble a warehouse anymore, either.

And I don't buy that many donuts with the money. Honest.