As all parents know, babies and kids have stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I like to try avoid stuff if at all possible. Again, I say try because I am not very successful. When you are pregnant with your first baby, it is all so overwhelming. If you read "the books" and Babies R Us pamphlets, you feel like you need everything. I tried to get by with as little baby gear as possible. At the time, we were in a small house. I wanted everything to be foldable or have double use. Babies grow out of stuff so fast. I borrowed as much stuff as I could (crib, changing table, bed). Even now for the kids furniture, we have our old childhood dressers instead of buying new. Instead of a baby bathtub, I used a baby bath mat for our tub. Instead of a bouncer, I used a infant rocker that kids can use until they are 3. Instead of setting up the pack n play downstairs to change diapers and nap, we just walked the baby upstairs and changed them there. It wasn't very inconvenient. Instead of a bassinet that they grow out of in 3 months, we used a pack n play in our room and then moved them to the crib in their room after 6 weeks. But it still seems like we had tons of baby stuff. When we moved into our house, we affectionately called the back room in our basement "the baby's room" and all the baby gear and toys would go in there as she outgrew it. It was easy to pull out again for Calvin. That room is now filling up again as Calvin is starting to outgrow the gear and toys. I have been putting all the clothes they outgrow in old diaper boxes and that room also looks like a diaper warehouse.
Because of all the stuff, I have found that one of the greatest resources mothers can have is other mothers to pass stuff down to. We are fortunate in that Laci has several older girl cousins. They are outgrowing their stuff as Laci is moving into those toys. A toy chest, dollhouse, princess dresses are some of the great things that have been passed down to Laci. Charlie's nephew is 11 months older than Calvin and therefore, they share the same seasons. Every few months, we get a new box of clothes from them. It has been wonderful to get those clothes. They grow out of clothes so fast that they hardly get worn out. Clothes seem to have a 2 - 3 child lifespan to them. One of my coworkers grandsons is 11 months younger than Calvin. There's my person to pass to. Every few months, I pack up some clothes and toys and pass them on to her. Her grand-niece is the same age as Laci but smaller. So I pack up boxes of clothes for her too. I long for the day my kids can wear clothes longer than a season but we just aren't quite there yet. I would much rather pass them on to someone I know than just donate them to the unknown.
The other day I brought a big box of toys and the music table to work to pass off to my coworker. When I got home, there was a package on my doorstep from my SIL full of clothes. As opened the box and went through all the clothes, I couldn't help but realize that the circle of stuff continues.