Mar 092010
 

In the spirit of Having fun and getting stuff done

Are you longing to paint your toenails and pull out the sandals? Have you been thumbing garden seed catalogs like me? Or does getting ready for spring make you want to pull your polartec blanket up over your head and hide?

Yes, Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday. Easter is just three weeks away. Time to come out of hibernation and get ready for warmer weather! And, speaking practically, everyone must have something to wear. So now is the time to figure out what do you have and what do you need:

  • to add to the grocery list
  • to take to the dry cleaner
  • to order

Time for a pep talk. You can do it. Invest planning time now so you are free to enjoy Easter and those pretty spring afternoons. Just chunks of time. Bits of brain power here and there. Short-sleeved weather will arrive and you’ll have your family ready.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Proverbs 31:27 The Message

Here’s what we do. Strategies to help you?

Keep it simple. Decide from the start to minimize. Do we really need so-and-so? By spreading out necessary purchases over this month and by checking to see what you already have, you will prevent last-minute money wasting.

Get Ready. A bit of prep work will make it go smoothly. You may think this is a bit much for a clothing assessment. Trust me, after sorting clothing and wrangling with children you will not want to stop and fix a meal.

(1) Prepare food. On Friday I made a double batch of cookie dough. Saturday morning I made some simple sandwich fixings to have on hand. I followed Cassandra’s advice on being ready in her post, Spring Cleaning: First Things First.

(2) Gather supplies. Look in closets and storage buckets for clothes already invested in. Including your closet. Grab your household notebook and pen. A few garbage sacks for  (a) donating (b) discarding (c) saving for another season.

Now, make it fun.

Hold a ‘new-to-you’ fashion show. We dumped out most of the contents of closets and clothing storage buckets on the family room floor. Fortunately for us, the younger three children can all wear hand me downs. Or new-to-you outfits. Have I mentioned I love little girls’ dresses? This year we are going full-out-fancy for the price of – nothing. Almost four years ago the older two girls were in my brother’s wedding. This year, those beautiful flower girl dresses will be worn again for Easter. The youngest boy will also wear a new-to-you outfit that his older brother wore years ago when he toddled.

While you have it all pulled out, go ahead and assess clothing needs for spring and summer. Jot it down in your notebook. You’ll know what you need and can pick it up while you are out. Or be able to take advantage of an online sale when it happens. Donate outgrown items still in good shape. Discard socks lacking a match and clothing beyond mending.

Aren’t blessed with new-to-you options, you say? Try a local consignment shop or church sale. Watch for a Target or Walmart special clearance. Two dollar shorts are the way to go for brand new. Good, basic khaki skorts, pants and shorts can be found in the school uniform section of JCPenney. Lands End Overstocks has the same type section for snatching up sales. Sometimes investing a few dollars more for a long-lasting piece of clothing saves money in the long-term. A future new-to-you!

Skip the stress.

Keep a shoe bucket. Please raise your hand if you enjoy taking children out to try on shoes. Anyone? How about five children – all at once? Not this mama. Saturday morning we will pull out the big bin of past-loved Sunday shoes.

I explain in a spring time post last year why each child has two pair of shoes and how we store them: All About Feet. My friend, Paige, suggests one pair for church events and one pair for play. By trying on, we find that yeah! there are sandals, in good shape, that younger siblings can wear. New to you!

Order online. Twice a year I order shoes and a few other items from Lands End overstocks. Usually I can get last year’s styles. I do have a couple sets of wide feet. So we print out the measuring “foot” to be sure we are getting the right fit. Grab your handy free shipping code OR wait for the latest one to arrive on a catalog or via email. There is no sense in paying $10 in shipping when waiting can save you money. And, since you are planning weeks in advance, you have the time to wait a few days.

Add to the grocery list now. Have you noticed how Easter accessories, like tights and frilly socks go quickly? It’s like bread and milk when snow is forecast. There really is no sense in making a special trip out to shop for Easter items. I know I’ll be going grocery shopping at least twice between now and then. So I am adding to my list:

  • white knee socks
  • white girl tights
  • fresh ponytail holders

I add to the grocery list: wrapped candy for egg hunts, egg dye and large marshmallows and crescent roll tubes for resurrection rolls. I also jot down what I need for Easter dinner.

Finally, plan to have fun! Add needed supplies to your list for Easter and spring time activities. Here are a few to get you started:

This may seem like a bit much. Really, it is a small time investment. By setting aside part of a morning now you can focus on Easter in a few, short weeks. Plan now. Have fun and get stuff done.

“He is risen. He is risen indeed.”

Time for you to share. Will you buy new outfits or go with new-to-you?

Or, what color do you paint your toenails?

  7 Responses to “Spring forward: A seasonal assessment”

  1. What a smart mama!

    We certainly go the new-to-you route as much as possible. Although it seems that my boys get tougher on their shoes and clothes every year as they get older and spend more time outside the house, so we have fewer things to pass down than we did when they were little.

    Last year we started a special clothing fund, setting aside a little money each month so that those clothing crisis moments don’t hurt quite so much.

  2. Wow, what a treasure trove of good ideas! Planning ahead a little at a time helps everyone get to enjoy those special days, including momma!

    I have worked on getting better at this a little each year so that I wouldn’t be that tired, grumpy faced one in the pictures :)

    Thank you for putting this together.

  3. Get ideas Tricia! You’ve inspired me once again to get-going on planning ahead. Each season, I use a spreadsheet for each child and have pared down clothing items to what we actually need (no unused outfits in our drawers or closets!). My spreadsheet contains everything from raincoats & boots to socks & underwear; listing how much is needed and what’s on hand. It takes a lot of the guess work out for me & I’d be happy to share it!

  4. Wow, once again I am so impressed!! These are wonderful ideas!! Thanks!!

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