What to do when someone gives you a bag of clothes?

(28 Posts)
Kiteflying27 Mon 25-Mar-13 09:36:50

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, sorry if it isn't!

I was recently given a bag of clothes that a colleague's son had outgrown. I didn't ask for them but am very grateful and would like to show my appreciation somehow. The lady said that she didn't want anything for them but I feel like I should do something. I was just wondering what other people have done in similar situations. I know some of the things she likes e.g. baking, so had thought about a Lakeland voucher, but I don't know her very well and don't want to inadvertently be weird and socially incompetent!

Agh the angst, why do people have to be kind! wink

mumsnoc Thu 28-Mar-13 16:56:27

Maybe I'm terribly churlish but I feel when someone offers or gives you a bag of clothes you're the one doing them a favour if you take it! They want to clear the space but they also don't want the guilt of throwing away perfectly good stuff even though they have no further use for it. So I'd also be in the 'a heartfelt thank you is enough' camp.

When I was pregnant I was amazed at how many people I didn't even know that well were trying to offload baby items on me. Now, having had my baby, I realise that they were probably trying to be kind and to save me money, but at the time I almost came to resent it as I'm not a fan of clutter myself and don't really like having things in my house that I haven't chosen myself. One person offered us a cradle they even described as 'slightly broken'. hmm Ummm thanks but no thanks! grin

MERLYPUSS Wed 27-Mar-13 12:43:33

I've just had this. A huge bag of next clothing. The grandmum said 'DO NOT want anything, just glad my 2 could use them'. I bought grandkids an easter egg each - £2 one.

Goingdownthegarden Tue 26-Mar-13 20:03:48

I recently was given a very special hand-me-down by a not-very-close friend. I gave her a small, nice bottle of oil (sounds weird now but it looked like a nice small present to me) as a thank you. The next time she gave me something, she told me that she didn´t want anything in return. I think I had made her feel that I thought she wanted "payment" for the things and this had made her feel uncomfortable. I think often that all of this trying to be "quits" with people causes bigger problems than just accepting their no-ties kindness. It´s easier (and more appreciated) just to show similar kindness - to them or to someone else - whenever the opportunity arises.

sara11272 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:52:56

I had a colleague who used to pass me on lovely Boden and baby Gap stuff. I used to give her a couple of edible things (ie at the moment maybe a chocolate bunny) for her children rather than anything for her - seemed like an appropriate way of thanking her indirectly without potentially embarrassing her by giving her something herself.

ellesabe Tue 26-Mar-13 18:47:58

Your colleague was probably glad to have them taken off her hands. It's a mutual arrangement!

I give away clothes, happy knowing they are going to a good place. Wouldn't want anything other than a verbal thank you!

purples Mon 25-Mar-13 11:19:11

Having both received and given away bags and bags of clothes/school uniforms/ Brownie uniforms/ toys/ books etc I've always given/received a big smiley thankyou, and depending on how well I know the person a big hug too.

If the person doesn't see your child, then as someone has already mentioned its a nice idea to take a photo of your dc wearing the clothes (or playing with the toys etc), I'm sure they would just be happy to see their "old" clothes being well used, and would love to see a pic of your dc.

Kiteflying27 Mon 25-Mar-13 11:01:24

Thank you very much for all of the replies, I think I'll give her a bottle of wine. I think you're right anything more would be over the top and I'd hate to put her off giving us anything else! Hee hee, thanks again x

MillionPramMiles Mon 25-Mar-13 10:24:14

I feel really bad now, I've taken bags of clothes, a cot, toys and god knows what else and only ever said thanks and emailed photos of dd in some of the outfits. Bake a cake if you can maybe or as another poster suggested, picture of baby in a donated outfit? Then you haven't spent money on a gift which might be a bit awkward but you've made a nice gesture?
I don't expect anything when I donate stuff on, I'm grateful to free up the space in the loft!

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Mon 25-Mar-13 09:55:36

excuse typos - phone/fingers/late pregnancy = inability to type coherently!

dinkystinky Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:58

Thank you card and flowers/chocs/bottle of wine are a nice way to show thanks

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:08

oh no, no need to give anything as in my experience, you receive clothes and you hand clothes on - it's definitely a good-will cycle.

if it was a larger item - cot of pram, then I would offer money and if declined I would buy a bottle of wine or flowers as a thank you.

Not clothes though.

My baby is due this week, I found out last week that 2 cousins are pregnant, I am already in the mindset of holding things back for both of them. I have been given ao lot of clothes/blankets (i can't use them all, there are loads!) so am busy dividing it up (one baby due in July, the other Oct!)

I just like the idea that the stiff goes to a good home and ultimately it ends up at a charity shop - win win!

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 25-Mar-13 09:50:15

I always give a small gift in return for hand me down clothes. One of my best friends gets a bottle of wine cos I know that's what she likes, but I would buy someone I don't know very well a bunch of tulips or couple of bunches of daffs.

Bonkerz Mon 25-Mar-13 09:48:32

We do this all the time. Have a wide circle of friends and clothes get passed around all the time. If I get passed clothes from someone who can't benefit from anything I give away (usually who has oldest child and no more) I tend to buy a couple of tops in child's new size to say thanks but generally I just check what to do with clothes when I've finished (pass on/give back) and say thanks very much x

FrauMoose Mon 25-Mar-13 09:47:30

I would avoid a token because it is too much like saying, 'I feel so uncomfortable about receiving a gift that I want to give you something with a precise monetary value, so we're quits.'

A card/cake/bunch of flowers/pot of bulbs/bottle of wine etc would probably be a nice low-key way to show appreciation though..

Bearandcub Mon 25-Mar-13 09:45:28

Ooh I must have posted too soon there. Should have said:

Personally, I've only received a thank you or given a hug and a thank you. But whatever you feel you want to do.

Poledra Mon 25-Mar-13 09:43:52

I have given loads of baby stuff away to colleagues - I never want anything for the stuff as , TBH, getting the space back in my own home while knowing I've not thrown away perfectly good stuff is reward enough smile

I gave my cot to a colleague whom I didn't know very well - she gave me a bottle of red wine, which was much appreciated but not needed! I'm sure a Lakeland voucher or the usual stuff (chocolate, flowers etc) would be absolutely fine.

DeepRedBetty Mon 25-Mar-13 09:43:44

I've never said anything more than thank you, and never been given anything more than a cup of tea when I dropped them off grin

Tigresswoods Mon 25-Mar-13 09:43:31

I have been both a receiver & a giver. I've never expected anything & my friend I don't think did either when she gave me stuff.

IMO people are just trying to clear space & be nice.

Move on. grin

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 25-Mar-13 09:43:20

I have given bags of clothes, and received bags of clothes too. No cakes or vouchers were involved at all. I just view it as a cycle of goodwill. I don't suppose your colleague expects more than your thanks. You'll pass them on again in due course to someone else.

I have always said a very heartfelt thank you, but never bought a gift or card. I think a voucher may actually be over the top. Your colleague may be embarrassed and feel that they couldn't do it again for fear of looking like they were after another voucher! (I would feel like this in that position).

givemeaclue Mon 25-Mar-13 09:41:19

I normally give a bottle wine, but have never found that it is expected and nor do I expect anything when passing things on. Its a nice gesture though. How old is your child, a picture drawn by them may be nice

calypso2008 Mon 25-Mar-13 09:40:56

Just say thank you!
That is all I have ever done and all I have expected in return when I have passed on clothes & books to ther people.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 25-Mar-13 09:40:44

Oh and no one ever has gave me or baked me anything for the bags of clOthes I pass around and they're all really good names and condition. What am I doing wrong where I don't get cakes for it!

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 25-Mar-13 09:39:55

Oh and no one ever has gave me or baked me anything for the bags of cl

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