We've always known we wanted to adopt and I am a huge packrat (in addition to being a clotheshorse), so as my bios outgrew things, I carefully boxed them up for those future unknown children. Everything went into big Rubbermaid containers, labeled with gender and size. (FYI, This is not a picture of MY storage bins, and is nowhere near as many as I was using!)
My sister's first baby was six months younger than my son so I handed down my son's baby things, but then her son caught up to my son in size and she began adding to my collection. When friends had children I happily loaned them boxes of items from "Mary's Closet." Most of them returned them with items of their own (as they weren't planning on having more children, and so had no use for them).
One day I ran into a woman at a thrift store who would be getting her 2 year old nephew in an emergency placement. Since her nephew and son were the same size she needed more clothes. I arranged to give her all the 24 month /2T boy clothes I had. Luckily she showed up in a truck - I had six huge Rubbermaid containers and 2 garbage bags FULL of just that size!
On the day we agreed to placement of our definitely non-infant sibling pair, I called up a friend and told her I was officially closing "Mary's Closet." Since she had 4 kids - infant to age 6, I offered EVERYTHING to her on the condition that she NEVER return them. I didn't care if she used them, sold them (she could keep the money or share), or gave them away - as long as she took them all.
She had no idea what she was agreeing to. There was at least 40 feet of tubs stacked floor to ceiling. Our friendship survived and now all of my children's clothes go straight to Goodwill or a thrift store everytime the chair I throw them on disappears (gets buried). 3 of my 4 children wear adult size clothes so I occasionally give them away to friends.
Now all I have to do is break myself of the habit of keeping all my "skinny clothes." 4 years ago I dropped from a size 16 to a size 6, and got rid of ALL of my "fat" clothes. Now I'm back up to a size 18 and I am unable to make myself acknowledge that I no longer have the willpower or energy to lose the weight again. (*sigh*)