Transitioning to Capsule Wardrobes for My Kids and a Free Secondhand Kids Capsule Wardrobe Checklist


Since shopping for secondhand kids clothes is my job it is probably not surprising that my kids’ closets are overflowing. My boys have gotten used to my piles of clothes for them to review and weigh in whether to keep or sell. Compound that with hand me downs from brother to brother and even the reserve sizes are way more than we need.

In a moment that was the result of weeks of frustration I decided we need to make the jump to capsule wardrobes.  With my two older boys we reviewed their current season clothes and got it down to a manageable amount that will actually fit in their dressers.

Then I moved on to cleaning out the sizes I have in reserves. I let go of a few sizes altogether since there are 5 sizes between my middle and youngest. As I mentioned on Instagram a few weeks ago, my older 2 boys are shaped very differently so I considered that as well when cleaning out some of the sizes. 

I already had everything divided in bins by size, so I moved through and divided each size into Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer groups. 

From there I laid out what I had and removed the items that weren’t in the best shape, didn’t coordinate well with the other pieces or probably wouldn’t have the right fit. 

 A complete size 5 fall/winter capsule wardrobe-.
Things that didn’t make it to be sold or donated.

As I went through size by size and season by season there were of course some that had bigger gaps due to wear or how my kids grew as my oldest has been known to skip whole sizes.

A slim size 5 spring/summer capsule. I made a note to add some solid color shorts and shirts.
Then each season add holiday outfits and pajamas. 
Organized and packed back in their bins.  Soon I will fill out and insert the checklist.

With my youngest wearing sizes smaller than what I had saved I will be creating his capsule wardrobes from scratch. I created a capsule wardrobe checklist to help guide my shopping and I wanted to share that with you as well!

Sign up HERE or click the image below to receive the checklist printable which includes Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter sheets for both boys and girls. This capsule is VERY minimal, but there is extra space if you want to write in more pieces.

Starting in January I’ll also be posting a series of how I pull together a secondhand capsule wardrobe which will give you a better idea of how long it takes, how/where to shop and also how much money you can save!

Do you already use capsule wardrobes for your kids or are you thinking about making the transition? 

Advertisements

An Unplugged Failure…

I got as far as making my list for the things I planned to do during my unplugged week…

and then a sickness took out one kid at first and then both me and my husband.

I did finish a book or two and then switched to audio books when my head hurt to much to read. 

I did manage to photograph the clothes before I was too weak to get up and was able to post them from bed. 

Many things still sit on my list- socks and chex mix and thank you notes (I have majorly procrastinated on those!) And even though I didn’t achieve my goal of an unplugged week I did consume social media with pleasure and not comparison or envy.

I truly enjoyed seeing houses being decorated and families at Disney or just celebrating with family. I think that’s why it’s generally hard for me to unplug during that Thanksgiving week- because everyone is having such a great time and I love following along.  So maybe I will rethink when my “unplugged” week should be scheduled.  Perhaps during an election week or Valentine’s Day would be a better time to take time away. 

When would you pick a week to unplug? Let me know if you give it a try!

Evolving Parenting Style: Managing Screen Time for My Kids and Myself

This post contains affiliate links

Much like every other part of parenting, managing kids and screen time is a daily endeavor. Adaptability is key and accepting that what works today very well won’t work tomorrow. Not to mention individualizing to what is best for each of your children.

I’m not going to get into specifics about how we manage actual hours in our house (there are a multitude of ways and I’ve collected some on Pinterest) but I do want to touch on some things that have worked well for our family. I’ll also be sharing some ideas that were shared by a pediatrician and psychologist who presented at a seminar I recently attended related to this topic.

IMG_2744 (1)

 

For the Kids:

Make a Plan– Currently my children are about 9.5, 8 and 2 so there is a wide range of screen time concerns that need addressing. The best way to start, especially for the older kids who have more autonomy, is to develop a plan.  The doctors at the seminar recommended  this Media Plan from the American Academy of Pediatrics. We finally implemented a written plan earlier this year but haven’t transferred it over to this format yet. When you are hurried it really is a great tool to point to when having trouble remembering the plan that was agreed upon!

Use Some Tools– In addition to our written plan we purchased a Disney Circle at the end of last year. This tool works in conjunction with your wifi and you can use it to set all kinds of time limits, monitor history and set age restrictions on content.  Also when other people join your wifi network, like friends or babysitters, their devices will also have the same level of filtering. I have heard that older children WILL find ways to work around it, but for the stage we are at it works really well.

IMG_2742

Ongoing Discussion– This leads right into what the doctors stressed the most which was having ongoing discussions with our children related to all things related to the media they consume. They are going to grow up eventually so having honest conversations about how to have a healthy and safe relationship with the digital community is paramount.  While some topics should be discussed proactively many of these will happen naturally when implementing…

Co-watching– This is one of the hardest tasks for me personally, mostly because my kids want to watch YouTube videos of people trying not to laugh or playing video games (I’m happy to watch Daniel Tiger with the little one). But honestly it’s a great way to connect by laughing together and also it beats any content filter (because trust me, lots of words make their way through the filters.) Adults can also initiate the co-watching by suggesting a series to watch as a family or starting a tradition like family movie night.  Besides books, television and movies are a fantastic catalyst to all kinds conversations about life.

All the Stuff- Now about the physical management because 1) These things are expensive and 2) ALL. THE. CORDS. All of the kids’ devices stay out of the bedrooms at night as part of our plan. But, charger cords were often moved to all corners of the house. After a final mommy meltdown over another broken cord and somehow all of the charger blocks missing we set up this basket system.  The charging cables feed in and are connected by these ports.

IMG_2368

We have also had our kids start wearing glasses that block the blue light as recommended by our optometrist.  There is so much research about how the blue light affects sleep and also causes damage to our eyes.

We still have battles and times where we just give in and let the screens rule the day, but for the most part we are managing in a way that works well for our family.

For Me:

While kids generally use screens for entertainment, for adults the pull can often be more to stay connected to their work. My business is conducted nearly exclusively online and since I haven’t outsourced any marketing or customer service I often feel the need to check my phone or computer constantly.

Follow the Plan Too– I don’t know how it is in your house, but my kids will totally call me out when I’m being a hypocrite!  The adults in our house follow the same general plan about when and where we use devices.

Know Where Your Weaknesses Are– and what is being affected as a result. I’m not the one who will stay up too late on a Netflix binge, but I will be distracted by Instagram or Facebook when I should be taking care of more urgent needs, like folding the laundry rather than running the dryer for the 8th time.  The latest iPhone iOS has a new screen time tracker where you can also implement limits which is handy if you don’t have the Circle.

IMG_2743

 

Unplug- I’ve heard it recommended to take a Sabbath or rest for a day a week, a weekend a month, and a week a year. I try my best to embrace this rest in relation to my own screen time, specifically internet and social media usage.  Generally I have internet free Sundays for the most part and once a month we do that as a family. I should be better about taking a whole weekend off each month- maybe I will work on that for 2019! For the week off I love doing that during the week of Thanksgiving. Typically we have traveled to be with family, though this year we are staying home. My kids will be out of school all week, so getting any work done isn’t likely to happen. I’ll enjoy this week by doing more reading, cooking and tackling some of those things I get distracted from starting (or finishing). I’m sure I’ll sneak in some Christmas movies too!

I’ll follow up in 2 weeks with what I was able to accomplish during my unplugged week!

Do you use any of these tools to manage screen time? What are the biggest screen time battles in your house?

Pros and Cons of the Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Kids Clothes and An Invitation For You!

I’ve built my business around selling kids clothes, but I started out just like you, a mama with kids outgrowing their clothes quicker than I could replace them.   It’s worth your time to think about which of the many ways to sell kids clothes is right for you.  To make it a little easier I’ve put together the pros and cons of the top 5 ways to sell your kids clothes!

IMG_2186

Consignment sales

Consignment sales were my first introduction to secondhand kids clothes shopping.  They are held all over the country by churches and moms clubs as well as some are small businesses or franchises. I search consignmentmommies.com to find sales in my area.  I did also sell clothes this way for a time. Ultimately, I decided to move on from selling and now only shop consignment sales.

Pros:

-All advertising is done for you.  Sales are typically very well attended.

-You set your own prices. You can also usually denote whether or not you want items marked down on sale days.

-You can sometimes earn early shopping hours before the public by selling or working a shift.

-Some sales have a charitable component which may give back to an issue you value.

Cons:

-You have to prepare all the clothes. This typically involves entering your items into a software system, pricing and printing tags. Then pinning, hanging and delivering your inventory to the sale.

– Some sales require you to work a shift at the sale when can be difficult for some moms.

-Payout varies by sale and you can receive typically 50-70% of your sales.

Local Consignment Store/Resale Chain

As far as consignment stores go, there are 2 ways you can earn money for your items. Most chain stores offer cash or store credit on the spot. Examples are Kid 2 Kid and Once Upon A Child. Consignment boutiques typically issue payments after your items sell.

Pros:

-Low prep. Grab a bin and nicely fold your items inside and you are good to go.

-Cash on the spot! The stores I frequent typically process your items in around 30 minutes.

-They will buy basic brands. Staples like Old Navy, Target brands and Carters are generally always accepted at these stores which are hard to sell through other avenues.

-Supporting local business. I have frequented a shop near me for 10 years!

Cons:

-Lower payouts and no room for negotiation. Payouts are often set in a software system and are 20-50% of selling price when you get a cash payout. Consignment stores often pay 50-70%.  

-Decreasing sales prices. If the store is on a pay-when-sold method most follow a set discount schedule

-Longer holding times. Instead of picking up your unsold items at the end of a consignment sale, generally stores hold onto your item for an entire season. This may leave you with out of season items once the selling season is over.

ThredUp/Swap/Schoola

One of my favorites is the send it and forget it method provided by these businesses. I typically always have a ThredUp bag I am filling.  Anything that is a bit nicer than I want to donate to a thrift store I will send in just to try.

IMG_2201

Pros:

-Send your items right from home.

-Unwanted items are recycled responsibly.

-Some brands that don’t sell well on other platforms will sell.

-Schoola is donation only and can benefit your kids’ school or other projects.

Cons:

-Payouts really vary. ThredUp has changed their policies lately and I have seen a reduction in payouts.

-It can cost to have any refused items shipped back to you if you desire.

-Unsold items are not returned to you.

eBay/Kidizen/Poshmark

The original way to sell things from home, eBay is still a great place to sell.  Now apps like Kidizen and Poshmark also have tons of customers ready to shop.

Pros:

-Really popular platforms with people searching daily.

-Customer service departments who will help assist in any disputes.

-Very good for seasonal type items. Even things like ski clothing or bathing suits will sell year round for people vacationing.

Cons:

-Learning curve for using each platform. Photographing, making listings and shipping.

-Fees are between 10-20%

-It can be hard to get views when you have smaller inventory numbers.

Instagram/Facebook

IMG_2299

Of course, selling on social media platforms is my favorite way to sell my own kids clothes!

Pros:

-Tons of customers at your fingertips. There are Facebook selling groups for nearly every brand and style of kids clothes.

-Building relationships! It’s a fun way to connect by seeing other kids wearing the clothes you loved for your kids. When they follow you they will often buy from you again.

-Control! You decide when, where, how much and all other details of how you want to sell your items.

-Highest profit! If you process payment through PayPal you will only be charged around 3%.

Cons:

-It does take time to photograph, price and post your items. And deciding what to post where.

-Certain items just won’t sell, sometimes without rhyme or reason.

-You have to store all your items while you are waiting for them to sell.

 

So, which way of selling your kids clothes sounds good to you?

I would like to invite you to try selling your kids clothes on Facebook by joining the Evolving Style Private Community!  All you need to do is subscribe to the Evolving Style email list which will keep you up to date on all things Evolving Style and a bit from Amy’s Evolving Closet! Once subscribed you will receive an invitation to join the group and start selling!

Welcome to Evolving Style!

IMG_2163.JPG

Hey mamas!

I’m excited to be expanding into blogging to dig a little deeper into some things I’m really passionate about- evolving and style.

I grabbed onto the word evolving several years ago. My favorite definition is to develop gradually. That idea is so freeing to me. The chatter around us often says, “hey, this will be so quick and painless!” or “just do this and you will never have to think about that problem again!” I’ve believed it so many times and still haven’t found all the perfect solutions.

When I think about style I really think about the way something is done. I’m not talking about style in the perfect, put together way.  This has so much to do with personality types which interest me to no end as well. Your style is yours and yours alone!

The biggest thing I have learned as a mama, which applies to anyone really, is that change is inevitable. But when you are helping these little lives develop, the changes are constantly being thrown at you. Not to mention our own changes and development! So why do we still seem to think that we should be able to find one plan, one style, that should work and stick to it until the end of time?

Here I hope to share my Evolving Style as a mama of 3 boys, small business owner and a woman in the south who likes nice things. I’d love to build a community of other women who can share their own Evolving Style so maybe we can learn from and love each other better without defining a “right” way of handling all the things we are juggling!

xo,

Amy