Getting rid of maternity clutter

We just got rid of the last of my wife’s maternity clothes last week. We have a friend who is expecting, so it was an easy way to get rid of them. My wife was also lucky to have a similarly sized aunt who gave her a few boxes of clothes initially, which means these clothes are being recycled for the third time.

Maternity clothes are a necessity, but seeing as they’re only worn for a few months, they’re not clothes anyone should be holding onto after they’re done being needed. Treehugger suggests using a maternity clothes lending library. The maternity clothing example in their post is based in the UK, but you may want to also try eBay, Craigslist and Freecycle. One thing that my wife learned was that maternity clothes are usually expensive, and getting them secondhand was worth it financially.

My wife also added some elastic to some of her older pants which gave her the room she needed for the in-between months that can be tricky. She simply cut about an inch down on each side of the waistline and sewed in some elastic. It is a very easy fix, but be sure to use pants that you no longer want for regular wear.

16 Comments for “Getting rid of maternity clutter”

  1. posted by Recovering Food Waster on

    I wish freecycle had been around when I was getting started with the whole maternity thing…that would have been awesome.

    Are you saying that people who plan to have more than one baby shouldn’t hang onto them? I’m of the opinion that sometimes monetary concerns should override clutter concerns. If I’d have gotten rid of all my maternity clothing in between my four pregnancies, it would have cost me a lot to replace them each time.

  2. posted by Amanda on

    Yes, maternity wear is truly outrageously expensive. In addition to using hand-me-downs, I also recommend “making due” with a few basics. I had two pairs of black pants and a few tee shirts that I wore all the time using accessories like scarves and necklaces from my established wardrobe to create different looks. When I finally had my baby they were recycled as dusting rags as the clothes were too worn to pass on. I should note though that we did a lot of laundry but that only prepared us for life when the baby came…

  3. posted by Jen on

    I totally agree with you as far as getting rid of maternity clothes after they’re needed (and thanks for the great suggestions!) It’s also a good idea to remember, too, if you’re planning on having more kids in the near future (within 2-3 years), because maternity clothes are rarely trendy, you can wear them again when you’re pregnant the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time around. Just some food for thought.

  4. posted by erica on

    Now if only I can get rid of the maternity clutter on my body! Great suggestions!

  5. posted by CJ @ SaveChange on

    Don’t forget Mom-2-Mom sales! Mom-2-Moms are awesome mini-sales where you can sell something you don’t need (maternity clothes included) and buy something you do need on the cheap (diaper pail, monitor, etc.). Local shelters or organizations for young moms in need are also appreciative. My sister found a great organization in Ohio that helped expectant teens/early 20’s moms out with clothes and baby supplies. Look around… They’re out there!

  6. posted by Suzyn on

    I lived in a set of nice men’s XL t-shirts from Costco and a pair of H&M yoga pants. I also adored a couple of cotton-knit dresses from Old Navy. They were comfy, washable, and fairly cheap!

    The t-shirts came in really handy when my boys were tiny – I kept a stack in the nursery so that I could quickly change any time I got “nailed” with spit-up!

  7. posted by Vered on

    I spent way too much on gorgeous, tailored, expensive maternity clothes. I didn’t even get to wear half of them b/c I mostly stuck with the few that felt comfy. I gave two large boxes of them to Goodwill – hope someone found them there and put them to good use.

    @erica: “Now if only I can get rid of the maternity clutter on my body!”
    🙂 Just like any other decluttering project, it takes time and hard work… but it can be done.

  8. posted by CoffeeKim on

    I found that my mother’s size 1x shirts were a perfect fit for my first pregnancy, and they didn’t look obviously “maternity-ish” during the post partum era!

  9. posted by Angela on

    I think it is beyond wise to hang on to things if you think there might be more kids coming.
    Also, I want to add that I think it is a great idea to invest in a few nicer clothes (not expensive, but well-fitting and attractive) that make you feel really good when you are pregnant and also in the uncomfortable postpartum times when nothing seems to fit right. Although we always hope those items would only fit for a few months, it is a time to really take care of yourself and try and feel beautiful!
    Old Navy, Target, etc. have cute and inexpensive clothes.

  10. posted by Dee on

    I held onto all of my stuff from the first and three years later used almost everything that I saved – was very glad that I planned that storage ahead of time as YES, maternity wear is extremely expensive. I agree with Angela, investment in a few good pieces is key to making the most of maternity clothes and making the most of being um more robust :-). Planning for post pardum is also something to keep in mind when making purchases (expander waist pants, plain long turtlenecks/T’s, and yoga pants. .. I wore at least five or six items for a few months afterwards until my shape returned to semi-normal. Gap makes great expander waist maternity wear that lasted throughout and afterwards and Old Navy has some great choices for basic pieces! Now that we are “done” I am going to sell my better items through a local consignment shop and donate the rest that were less expensive to charity or expecting friends – the same goes for toys/baby supplies that we are no longer in need of.

  11. posted by Nancy on

    This is so timely for me! Right now I’m on maternity leave for my second baby. I’m usually pretty good about keeping un-cluttered closets and only keeping clothes that I love (the rest of the house is another story). But maternity clothes can be so emotional…deep down I want to have a 3rd child but between my age, my hubby’s age, and finances, we’re stopping at two kids. So giving up the maternity clothes is hard because it really symbolizes the fact that this will be my last child. And don’t even get me started about how hard it is to get rid of baby clothes!

    My mother gave me good advice – wait until you’re a little less hormonal to start plowing through the maternity/baby stuff. That way, you’re going through it with a clearer head.

    In the meantime, I put my initials on the maternity clothes that I really loved, and “lent” them to friends. That way they’re not taking up space in my house and when I get them back in a year or so I’ll be able to make a decision about them.

  12. posted by Dee on

    @Nancy – my baby just turned 8 months and I STILL haven’t worked up the courage to part with my maternity clothes or the baby items. . .as I stated above. . .its on the list of “to dos” but actually doing it is going to take some courage! I’m in the same boat . number two logically is it for us but my heart isn’t ready to succumb to that reality. Don’t rush it for sure and live in the moment and enjoy that little one, they grow so fast .. .the clutter can wait :-).

  13. posted by Kristin on

    I have four kids. I got my maternity clothes from Ebay and KMart (they have great maternity clothes). I let friends use the clothes in between each of my pregnancies and then they just gave them back to me when it was time again to use them, including ones they’d purchased. I’d say about 6 of us kept those clothes in rotation until we were done having kids. The oldest is now 13, the youngest is 4 and one of women’s sisters is now wearing all those clothes. Talk about getting your money’s worth.

  14. posted by Jude on

    First of all, maternity clothes aren’t expensive if you purchase them at a store like Target. Second, from my experience as an impoverished person, the one area where I wish I’d spent money during my first pregnancy was on a couple of decent pairs of pants that fit. Instead, I relied on hand-me-downs that were too big and were never comfortable, even after being modified. It’s horrible enough to get fat for the first time in your life (no matter the end result); it’s especially horrible to get fat and have clothes that hang on you. For my two later pregnancies, I purchased clothes that fit, and it made a huge difference in my outlook.

  15. posted by tay on

    I agree. I work in fitness and found it extremely hard to find maternity fitness gear (that weren’t leggings or t-shirts..uuuuhh) And so I felt very unattractive for a great portion of my pregnancy and man it was horrible. I hated to put on the over sized t-shirts and tennis shoes. I felt frumpy (spell) When I was not going to work I was able to put on jeans and cute tops and it felt so good. Target as well as mimi maternity and some of those maternity places have good sale items.

    I keep promising myself that I will do things differently as far as what I put on my body, with the next pregnancy. It is soooo important to look good during that time…It’s hard and hormonal enough not to look your best.

  16. posted by Dawn on

    While I did spend about $75 out of pocket for some dressier clothes (and my MIL spent about $100 on maternity clothes as a gift to us) during my first pregnancy, most of my maternity clothes have been borrowed.

    Thankfully, I’ve got a good group of friends who are all in the ‘having babies’ stage of life. We’re able to pass around the clothes (and baby gear, too…) to whichever friends currently need them. It’s a great money saver!

    Ask around at church or in your neighborhood. It’s so nice to just share them, rather than have a box in your closet for years and years!

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