The start of the school year is fast approaching and while it's been lovely to spend quality family time together, I know in our family we're all going stir-crazy and really looking forward to the new term!
Before we get there, I am definitely feeling the urge to organise the house so we can hopefully keep the transition to school as stress-free as possible.
Before I start any project it makes me feel better to write a list (classic procrastination technique!) so here goes, my top 5 areas that need to be de-cluttered and reorganised before the end of the school holidays:
1. The Tupperware Drawer
Every school has different expectations for school lunches and it might be worth sussing out what's the norm at your school. At the school that my son is going to this year, they have multiple eating breaks and also snack times where they eat at their desks. Apparently, this means that multiple containers are necessary. We have heaps of small containers, but seemingly not as many lids, so this is priority number one. Nothing is as frustrating as looking for missing lids! Same goes for waterbottles- matching them all up ahead of time will give me a chance to ditch the odds and ends and replace them with things that actually match.
2. The Pantry and Freezer
Before I go crazy buying, baking and freezing school lunchbox snacks, our food storage needs a re-think. I'd love to have a specific spot in the pantry for snacks so when I write the shopping list it's easier to see what we have already. I would also like a dedicated place in the freezer for frozen muffins and slices because often things that go in our freezer end up at the back and never come out, which is super annoying when you've gone to the effort of actually cooking!
3. The Entrance Hall
We have an entrance hall in our house with a 'shoe shelf', bag hooks and a sideboard for keys, coins and phones. This sounds great in theory, but actually, it quickly turns into a dumping ground for all of the random crap that comes into the house. Before I set it up with a spot for a backpack, school shoes and hat, it needs a deep clean (and maybe it's time to cull that shoe collection!).
4. The Car
This might seem over the top, but school holiday activities have been tough on our poor little car and nothing makes you feel more like a proper, in control adult like a clean vehicle. I have a feeling that there's a treasure trove of hats, socks and shoes under the back seats and maybe even some of that missing Tupperware, so before school starts a full clean, inside and out, is on the list.
5. The Wardrobe
For the first time in my son's life, we're making room for a school uniform. I really want to encourage him to be independent and get himself dressed and ready for school. To make it easier for him we need to go through his stuff together, sell or donate the clothes he's grown out of and make one drawer a dedicated school uniform section. He hasn't tried on his new uniform yet, so I'd love him to do that before the first day so we have a chance to exchange ill-fitting items and wash the rest, ready to wear. Then we need to go through and make sure his socks are paired, his underwear is passable and he's not missing any important items.
This is my first time as a primary school parent, so I'm SURE I'm missing some things- feel free to shoot me a comment if you have any awesome tips!
My kids seem to outgrow their entire wardrobes overnight! Pants that fit perfectly yesterday are an inch too short, shoes are uncomfortable, and t-shirts have mysteriously become crop tops. Before Use-Ta! I would think to myself 'what do I do with all these baby clothes?!' and I'm sure there are tonnes of parents out there thinking the exact same thing so I thought i'd write a post about the many options out there for selling your kid's clothes.
Gumtree & eBay
Selling your baby and children's clothes online through eBay or Gumtree is a great option for parents who have the time and the inclination. The trick is to upload good quality photos along with thorough descriptions and be prepared to answer buyer questions and provide further information to keep your feedback positive. eBay and Gumtree are both great for bundling together items in the same size which means you can offload a bunch of stuff quickly. Gumtree is free to post an ad and eBay's fees vary according to how many items you've advertised in a calendar month and how your buyer has paid for the item. A lot of people prefer to meet up and collect items to save on the cost of postage but if you're not comfortable with that make it really clear that pick up is not available and make some time to get to the post office!
Facebook is perfect for selling popular brands or to people in your area. The best way to find the right group is to go to Facebook and search for your favourite brands or your local area with the keywords buy, swap, sell or trade. Most of the good groups are closed and the admins check to make sure new members are legit so before you ask to join make sure you have a clear profile pic so they know you're a real person. Once you're in make a point of reading the pinned post so you can follow the rules of the page- many a Facebook feud has been started over group guidelines and on many pages if you don't follow the rules you get booted! When you're selling your stuff clear photos are important and a clear description of the item's condition, payment terms and postage details. One big plus of Facebook selling is that there's often a lovely community of parents with similar interests hanging out in these groups, and it's free! Pro tip- avoid people wasting your time by specifying that immediate payment is required (preferably with PayPal so both buyer and seller have protection if something goes awry).
Markets & Garage Sales
If you have a lot of stuff to sell a market stall or garage sale could be an option. There are heaps of child and baby specific markets that pop up in different venues, such as the Kidspot or All For Kids markets in Melbourne and most areas have a trash-n-treasure market. Book early to get a good stall at a good venue and be clear about the fees involved and what they include (for example, some markets don't include public liability insurance or tables and chairs). Don't forget to rent or bring a trestle table or clothing rack to display your goods and show up early to make your set-up easy on the eye and organised. Bring a buddy in case you need to eat or use the bathroom and don't want to leave the stall unattended, and also because friends make it way more fun. Before the day make sure everything is clearly priced (people hate asking) and if you have particular sizes or brands that might be of interest print off signs to put on your racks or table. If you've gone the garage sale route make some big, colourful signs for the main roads around your house. Bring change and shopping bags, be friendly and be prepared for some haggling!
If all of the above is just too much or if you just don't have the time to do it yourself a consignment store like Use-Ta! is a great option. You just drop the stuff off and let us do the rest! Check out our seller's information at www.use-ta.com.au/sell for details.
So there you go! There are so many options for re-selling your baby and kid's clothes. If they're good quality, in good condition and are good brands then there are people out there who want to buy them. It's sustainable, it puts money back into the family budget and it's fun!
Use-Ta! takes almost all of the hard work out of re-selling your out-grown kids clothing but there are still a few things you can do to make sure your items sell quickly!
- Select the best of the best!
We sort through items on the spot at Use-Ta! but if you go through everything beforehand this process is much quicker so you don’t have to wait around. If something has an obvious stain, is damaged or obviously well-worn then chances are we won’t take it. Think about whether or not the item is suitable for the current season as the store can’t take items that won’t sell in the consignment period. Reputable brands and clothes with a bit of personality sell fast, which is good for everybody! Ask yourself- if my child was this size, would I buy this item in its current condition?
- Wash and iron items before you bring them in.
If clothing has been in storage for a little while it tends to get that funny smell about it- we prefer clothing that smells like fresh linen, has been pressed and looks shop-floor-ready. If you bring something in that needs attention it may incur a cleaning fee and it will take longer for it to reach the shop floor where customers are waiting to buy it!
- Tell your friends!
The success of the store is shared with all of our consignment clients—if you tell your friends where they can buy these lovely pre-loved kids’ clothes then they might end up buying something of yours, or a friend of theirs will. When you’re in store ask for some flyers to pop up at Childcare, take a business card or share the website on Facebook.
Use-Ta! wouldn’t work without our amazing consignees sharing their kid’s treasures and we all have the same aim- to find new homes for the clothing that has served our children well (and to make a little cash!). By using these tips we’re all winners!