Archive - Organizing RSS Feed

Meals on the Go

celebrations-baked-ravioli-ay-l

Part of being organized is making the best use of your time.  And when you don’t have much time to work with you really need to plan ahead and get a bit creative.  Today’s example of this is meals on the go.

With school and extracurricular activities soon approaching, no matter where you may need to rush off to (sports practice, games, competitions, concerts, music lessons, recitals, etc.) it’s likely you’ll be driving all over town at dinner time (just like we do).  My son is a competitive gymnast, and that means intense and lengthy practices.  This also requires us to travel a good distance to his gym (there aren’t many options for a male competitive gymnast, so we go where we must).

To make the best use of our time on practice nights, I’ve decided to create some quick and healthy meals on the go.  There is no way I want to go through a drive-thru three nights a week when we’re on the road, especially when I’m trying to foster an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle!  So here are my top three fork-free (car friendly) dinner ideas:

Homemade Chicken & Broccoli Pockets:  I’ve taken this delicious Pampered Chef recipe that’s meant to be formed into a braid and turned it into individual pockets (think “Hot Pockets” but homemade)!  Instead of getting fancy with the dough and making the braid as called for, instead I make the filling (essentially cheese, meat, veggies, and mayo) and fill individual crescent rolls, wrapping them into little pockets before baking.  You can put your own spin on this by substituting other meat and veggies.  On the side, add fruit (whole or sliced), after all it is the original self-contained fast food!  Or mix things up and make a flavorful smoothie with yogurt, fresh fruit, and you can even hide some more veggies in there!

Crispy Baked Ravioli:  These raviolis are perfect for little hands, easy to make, and are a treat for your mouth.  The kids will think they taste like little pizzas!  This recipe, from MyRecipes.com calls for plain cheese ravioli, however I typically choose ones filled with chicken, spinach, and cheese (or a similar variation of that).  The kids will enjoy the crispy coating on the outside (who am I kidding, you’ll totally enjoy it too), but you’ll feel good about serving these since they’re baked not fried.  ;-)  The meal is complete with some fresh veggies, sliced fruit, and a little container of marinara sauce for dipping (that’s the only potential for mess with this recipe, but it’s no different than going through a drive-thru and having ketchup for the chicken nuggets)!

Wrap It Up:  Last year my son wanted a deli wrap EVERY DAY for lunch!  So I know he’ll love having a wrap for dinner on the go.  I’m taking it one step past deli though, and I’ll use a cooked meat, like thin steak strips, shredded pork loin, or chunked chicken breast.  You can really load up a wrap to have a whole meal in your hand!  Add diced or julienned vegetables, rice, your favorite sauce (ranch, bbq, or mayo) and roll it all up inside a whole-grain wrap.  These can be served hot or cold and really make a filling meal.

Each of these meals can be heated up before you leave the house, wrapped in foil, and put into an insulated bag.  They’ll be warm when the kids are ready for them; and in my opinion, these are WAY better alternatives to fast-food that don’t require much prep and baking time.  Enjoy and safe travels!

About the author ~ Bobbie Spera is a Professional Organizer, Home Management Consultant, and the owner of Simplified by Bobbie located in Pennsylvania. Visitwww.simplifiedbybobbie.com to learn more, view before & after photos, and read helpful organizing tips. Contact Bobbie for your FREE phone consultation, and make your space & time work for you.

My Favorite iPhone Apps

When I counted today I had about 80 apps and games installed on my iPhone.  A big chunk of those are games my kids downloaded and play while we are waiting or on long car rides.  I have no clue how to play Dino Rush nor do I have any desire to learn how.  Of those 80 or so apps I use about 11 on a regular basis and would consider them my favorites.

Apps I Use on a Daily Basis

RTMRemember the Milk (RTM) – This is the system I use to keep track of my tasks and I use the premium version so that I can sync it with Microsoft Outlook.  I check it every day in the morning when I begin working through my morning routines and then at periodic times throughout the day.

loseitLose It! – I am trying to lose a few pounds that I gained since turning 40 and I find this app really helpful in keeping track of the foods I eat, the exercise I have done, and the progress I am making toward reaching my goal weight.  When I get off track though, this is the app I like the least….

calendarCalendar – I just use the standard calendar app that came installed on my iPhone and sync it with my calendar on Microsoft Outlook every week during my weekly review.  I review it every morning to help me orient me to my day and if I am heading out to a meeting use it to look up the address of where I am going (I always write the address directly into the calendar entry via the Location field).

messagesMessages – I have teenagers.  Do I need to say more?  In all honesty, texting is a lot easier in some cases to communicate with friends and my husband and I use it frequently.

podcastsPodcasts – I listen to a lot of podcasts either while working out, walking, or cleaning my house.  I love learning new things and I find podcasts a great way to do that and a good way to distract me from how much I really don’t want to be cleaning my house :).

facebookiconFacebook – I check in a couple times of day and find the app on my phone a convenient way to do that.

  Apps I Use, Just not Everyday

chaseChase Mobile Banking – I really like this app because it lets me make check deposits without ever leaving my home and keep an eye on our account balances.

dropboxDropbox – I love Dropbox and use it to store files that I may need while away from my computer or share with friends or people who I am working with on a project.

evernoteEvernote – This is my digital filing cabinet and I use it A LOT to file work related things and to some extent for home related things (primarily recipes).

waterlogged

Waterlogged – I don’t drink as much water as I should, so I am trying to get into the habit of drinking more and this app helps me do that by letting me track my water intake each day.

notesNotes – This is the standard Note app that came on my iPhone and I use it to keep notes on things I need to remember, but don’t necessarily fit in RTM.  Things like books I want to read, my kids’ student ID numbers, our Wi-Fi password, etc.

What are your favorite apps?

Maximize Your Kitchen

Are you making the most of your kitchen space?  Perhaps you feel like your kitchen is busting at the seams.  Or maybe you find yourself saying “I know I have one of those (insert kitchen gadget or food item here)… but I don’t know where in the world it is!”  An organized kitchen saves time and money, and who couldn’t use more of both?

In a previous article I talked about creating zones in your kitchen.  Now, let’s take a closer look at how to create extra usable space within those zones.

  • Vertical Victories
    • Tiered Shelves – are great for easier access to canned/jarred goods and spices (these can be made of wire, plastic, or bamboo and are sometimes expandable to further maximize cupboard space).
    • Small Shelves – will quickly double the space you have in cupboards and on pantry shelves.  They come in various sizes and shapes (ie. corner shelves).  One way I use these shelves is to place dinner plates on a cupboard shelf and insert a small wire shelf above them for dessert plates (in the space that would be otherwise wasted).
    • Adjust Shelves – it’s always funny to me when I adjust a shelf in a client’s kitchen cupboard and they say “why didn’t I think of that?!”  I always say “make your space work for you!”  Sometimes it’s those little things that make a big difference.
  • Gathered Gadgets
    • Drawer Organizers – will make dinner prep easier!  Sort cooking utensils & gadgets (like with like), assess how much room they need in a drawer, take measurements of your drawers (width, depth, and remember the height too), purchase organizers based on those needs and dimensions and put them into place to best organize and simplify your drawers.
    • Utensil Crock – A crock next to your stove makes cooking so convenient when it contains only those utensils that you use on a frequent basis.  The next few times you make dinner pay attention to the items you use most; that’s what should go into the crock.  Not only will it make cooking faster, but it also frees up space in your drawers.  You can also add a little personality to your kitchen by choosing interesting accessories.  I like to get creative with this by using a pitcher, cookie jar, heavy vase, or even a new/clean small-sized garden urn!
  • Centralized Snacks
    • Small Plastic Baskets – are a great way to sort and containerize snacks.  One of my pet peeves is to reach into a box (ie. fruit snacks) and find out there’s only one left… or worse, it’s empty!  So I take all individually wrapped snacks out of the boxes they come in and place them into open baskets… easy to see and to grab when making lunches.  Having these uniformed containers in your pantry will save space regardless of what you buy on the next shopping trip… no more cramming!  (Quick tip:  these baskets are excellent for organizing spice packs and medicines as well.)
    • Clear Storage Containers – are always a helpful item to have in the pantry.  Whether you choose Rubbermaid, Tupperware, or Lock-n-Lock you can’t go wrong by keeping open snacks (ie. chips, cookies, & crackers) in clear storage.  Choose either square or rectangle to make the best use of space and to easily stack them.  This also helps you to quickly see what you have left when you’re deciding what needs to go on your grocery list!
    • Under-Shelf Basket – Rubbermaid makes a handy little basket that slides underneath a wooden cupboard shelf (no assembly required).  The hanging basket slides in and out and is convenient for holding smaller snack items, breakfast bars, popcorn, etc.  (You could also use a few of these hanging in the cupboard to lay down spice containers… organize each basket by spice type – savory, sweet, baking, etc.)

I hope these tips help you organize, containerize, and get creative to make the most of your kitchen space!

Bobbie Friedman is a Professional Organizer, Home Management Consultant, and the owner of Simplified by Bobbie located in Pennsylvania.  She is dedicated to helping individuals and families simplify their lives!  Through personalized organizing services, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance she’ll help you establish effective ways to manage your schedule and home; turning CoMpLiCaTeD into Simplified.

Visit www.simplifiedbybobbie.com to learn more, view before & after photos, and read helpful organizing tips.  Contact Bobbie for your FREE phone consultation, and make your space & time work for you

How to Get Things Done When You Don’t Like Making Lists

So you’re not a list maker, huh?  I hear you.  A big piece of our world isn’t, but are unfortunately forced to find some way of coping and managing in a list making world.  Here are a couple of suggestions to help you balance your need to be organized and productive without being forced to write out long lists.

Focus on the Big Picture – Switch your attention away from creating a list of things to do to identifying just your top priorities.  For example rather than doing this at the beginning of every week or day

listmakers

Try something like this

nonlistmakers

Once you have your priorities identified, schedule time on your calendar to actually focus on getting them done.  Here are some really creative ways of scheduling them

Compliments of Katie over at Smile Like You Mean It

Or maybe something like this

Get Creative with Your Lists – Tap into the creative parts of your mind (since that is where non-list makers usually like to be) by making your lists visual, colorful, and tactile.  Try something like this

Compliments of Jill at One Good Thing by Jillee

Compliments of Jen at Jen Hewett

Good luck!

How I Manage to Only Go to the Grocery Store Once a Week

Young Woman Holding Two Brown Paper Grocery Bags

I was giving a presentation last week to the St. Paul’s Parish Mom’s group (a really nice church and school if you are looking and live in the area) on meal planning and when I told them that I only go to the grocery store once a week, they looked at me as if I was crazy.  I never really considered the fact that I rarely make multiple trips to the grocery store each week anything special.  It is just something that I have always tried to do and there are definitely weeks that I have to go more than once.  But since it was met with such surprise at the presentation I thought I would share with you my strategies for how I manage grocery shopping once a week.  I talked about how I managed grocery shopping and errands a while back, so in this post I will get a little more specific.

How I Plan for Shopping in My Schedule

Grocery shopping and errands are always something I actually schedule on my calendar, so I don’t forget and ensure that I stick with the habit.  For me, late Thursday afternoons are set aside for shopping and errands and I schedule it on my calendar like this.

grocery_shopping_scheduled

Click on image to enlarge

 

I think I chose Thursdays because they tend to be less crowded than Friday’s and because our dinner plans on Thursday are much more relaxed so I don’t feel the pressure to get home and get dinner started.

I also shop regularly at Target and Costco, but I try REALLY hard to only shop at Target every other week and at Costco about every 4 – 6 weeks.  I try and spread all the shopping out so that I don’t have to do all three in the same week.  If it is a week that I need to do more than just grocery shopping then I either have to add time to my calendar or I divide it up between two days.

My husband does all the fruit shopping in our home and I do all the other shopping (household items, vegetables, dairy, staples, meat, etc).  My husband will usually stop at the grocery store twice a week to pick up fresh fruit (it is like candy in our home).

How I Make Sure I Don’t Forget Anything

I meal plan every week during my weekly planning review and create a grocery list at the same time I meal plan.  I save my meal plans and store them along with every recipe I need in a 3-ring binder so that I have everything I need when it comes time to plan the meals for the week.  I then post the grocery list on the refrigerator and write the meal plan on the calendar.  This helps me remember what meals I planned and also helps me add any other items that I realize I need throughout the week.   And because my meal planner is portable (i.e. it is in a 3-ring binder) I could probably take it with me to the store if I wanted to, but I have not done this.  Sometimes I will take a recipe with me, but never the binder.

I review my calendar during my weekly planning review for any events or activities that require either food or something from the store and then add everything I need to my shopping lists.  The planning calendar I talked about here helps with this too.

I am very disciplined about adding items to the grocery list, Target list, and Costco list AS SOON AS I THINK ABOUT THEM.  This habit alone has saved me many trips to the store.  It took a lot of practice, but now it is just habit.  I also tell my kids to add items when they think of them rather than just tell me.  Because they know where the lists are, they can easily add things too.

I keep back up supplies of all toiletries and as soon as I pull the last one from the closet, I add its replacement to the list.  I also keep a list in the bathroom so that I can easily write it down when I realize we are out.  If I waited to write it down when I got downstairs, I would probably forget about it.

For the stores that I shop at less frequently (i.e. Target and Costco), I always make sure I buy enough to get me through until the next planned shopping trip.  In the case of Target, since I only shop there every other week, I make sure that I buy two weeks’ worth of the things I need.  For example, I usually buy our cat food at Target, so I just make sure I have enough to get me through two weeks.

So that is pretty much how I manage to only go to the grocery store once a week.  It took me many years to get get really good at this and I have learned to tweak things to make it work for me.  So if you want to try these same strategies in your own home, take your time, be patient, and try and stay motivated.

Good luck!

How to Stop Living in the Urgent

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. ~ Stephen Covey

To change from living a life of urgent to living a life of balance is not easy.  If it were then most of us would already be doing it.  As busy parents we get caught up in the demands of jobs, schedules, and raising kids and before we know it our lives become one urgent mess.  And we eventually end up asking ourselves, “How did it get like this?”

Busy Dad

If you have read any of Stephen Covey’s books, you have probably run across the concept of using a time matrix to help you plan your schedule and focus your life around your priorities rather than planning your priorities around your schedule.  The Time Matrix looks like this and is divided into four quadrants to illustrate how people spend their time.

Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent – These are our most important priorities and should be done the first thing every day and are things we need to make sure we leave time for in our schedules.  They are also those things that happen completely unexpectedly and require immediate attention.  Things like your child falling out of a tree, a flat tire, and as in the case of the diagram, a kitchen fire.

Quadrant 2: Important But Not Urgent – These are the priorities that usually get pushed off because we are spending too much time in Quadrants 3 and 4.  These are the things that if you don’t take care of, the consequences will eventually catch up with us (i.e. not exercising, not spending time with our kids).

Quadrant 3: Not Important But Urgent – These are the things are that are other people’s priorities and the things on other people’s agendas.  They have real value and urgency to our friends, co-workers, and family, but little value or urgency to us.

Quadrant 4: Not Important and Not Urgent – This is where we waste our time.  They have no real value in our lives or help us in any way to live more meaningful lives and they have no sense of urgency.

The key to living a more balanced life is to try and spend as much time living in Quadrants 1 and 2 with the emphasis in Quadrant 2.  How do you move beyond living in the urgent?  It is a question busy parents ask every day and here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Decide to Stop Accepting it as Fact

Other than some professions (i.e. doctors, nurses, police), most of us actually have a lot more control over how we choose to respond to situations and whether or not we give into the urgent or not.  Rather than just accepting this is how life is, try asking yourself these questions instead.  Is this really urgent to me?  How can this be different?  What can I do to change the situation?  What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t respond?  What are my other options?

Know Where You are Going

When you get crystal clear on what you want in life and where you are headed, your ability to know what is important and what is not important gets so much easier.  When confronted with an urgent request, you should ask yourself,” How does this help me get where I want to go?”

Get Better at Anticipating

Anticipating requests, projects, and schedule disruptions is as much about experience as it is about planning.  The reality is that we cannot anticipate everything in life nor should we try, but we can learn to get better at anticipating some things by paying closer attention to the bigger details, taking more time to better understand each other, and using tools to better plan and manage our schedule (i.e. a planning calendar).

Learn to Say No

Sometimes we let the urgent creep into our lives because we don’t like saying no.  Like the time I went out to run one quick errand and came back PTA treasurer….but I will save that story for another time.  To get better at saying no, try taking some time to understand why you are always saying yes and resist the urge to respond immediately to every request.

Map Out Your Schedule

Try getting into the habit of mapping out your schedule each week and ensuring that the majority of your schedule is spent in Quadrants 1 and 2.  Mapping out your schedule is different than just updating your calendar.  It goes beyond appointments and meetings and helps you plan where you actually want to spend your time based on your priorities and goals.

Good luck!

Is Your Kitchen Ready for the Holidays?

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Is your kitchen ready for the “overtime” it’s about to put in? Think about how much time you’ll soon spend in this area prepping, cooking, baking, and entertaining. Before the madness begins dedicate some time to organizing your kitchen.

When working with clients to simplify their kitchens I always implement zones. Zones are simply areas of like items grouped together in a location that best fits their use. Here are some sample areas:

  • Preparation (an area where you have the most counter space to spread out)
  • Mixing bowls, measuring cups/spoons, cutting boards, knife block, etc
  • Cooking
  • Spices, Oils, Cooking Spray, Cooking Utensils, Pots, Pans, Lids, etc.
  • Baking (may be in the same area as cooking depending on your space & needs)
  • Baking ingredients (ie. baking soda, flour, brown sugar), baking pans, muffin tins, etc.
  • Storage (where you wrap up leftovers and make lunches)
  • Tupperware containers, plastic baggies, cling wrap, foil, etc.
  • Serving
  • Plates, bowls, utensils
  • Beverages (best kept near/above the dishwasher – faster to unload & put them away)
  • Glasses, cups, mugs, etc.
  • Entertaining (infrequently used, store down low or up high)
  • Platters, trays, chip/dip dish, ice bucket, etc.
  • Food (divide into areas w/in the pantry or organized in groups w/in cupboards)
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Dinner
  • “Extras / Bulk”

Imagine where you naturally gravitate in the kitchen to carry-out these tasks. This is typically where each zone should be set up, with everything for that purpose at your fingertips. Really take time to evaluate where the proper locations of these zones should be. Once in place they will save you time, energy, and stress! You’ll be set for the holidays… and beyond!

Bobbie Friedman is a Professional Organizer, Home Management Consultant, and the owner of Simplified by Bobbie located in Pennsylvania.  She is dedicated to helping individuals and families simplify their lives!  Through personalized organizing services, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance she’ll help you establish effective ways to manage your schedule and home; turning CoMpLiCaTeD into Simplified.

Visit www.simplifiedbybobbie.com to learn more, view before & after photos, and read helpful organizing tips.  Contact Bobbie for your FREE phone consultation, and make your space & time work for you

Less Stuff – Less Stress

Too Much Stuff

In this commercial-driven age of more more more, why am I saying LESS LESS LESS?

Well, think about what you want in life… what would really make you happy. Is it the latest electronics, more shoes, a new wardrobe, or more kitchen gadgets? Sure those things are nice, but isn’t there something greater in life? Like time with your family, laughing with your friends, relaxing in your backyard, and playing with your kids. That sounds WAY better than a new purse, right?!

I think at our core we all realize that people are more valuable than things; but our “insides” are not always in sync with our “outsides.” It’s easy to fall into the habit of work work work to buy buy buy; especially because marketing and advertising tells us that this is the key to happiness. If there are any doubts of this theory, just turn on the tv or radio, drive down the street, or walk through a store. It doesn’t take long to see how much we are really bombarded with messages of MORE is more.

Have you become swept up in this fast pace way of life, exchanging your precious time and energy for STUFF? Whether you realize it or not this visual clutter adds chaos and stress to our lives everyday. It’s an unpleasant cycle when you step outside and look back in. So I challenge you to change that way of thinking and fight what has become a natural instinct for so many. Make your mantra, and way of life, “less stuff, less stress.” This isn’t something you can just say though, you have to:

  • create clear priorities that reflect your true happiness
  • change your way of thinking about possessions (new and old)
  • set in place new habits for
    • shopping (acquiring new)
    • purging (getting rid of the old)
    • what you allow into your mind (via tv, advertisements, etc)
  • share this new mindset with your family and
  • enjoy the time and energy you’ve freed up from stuff now to focus on experiences

These changes won’t happen overnight, but if you are consistent and persistent they WILL happen. I truly believe that we can take what we’ve made CoMpLiCaTeD and simplify it for a better life.

Bobbie Friedman is a Professional Organizer, Home Management Consultant, and the owner of Simplified by Bobbie located in Pennsylvania.  She is dedicated to helping individuals and families simplify their lives!  Through personalized organizing services, hands-on help, and knowledgeable guidance she’ll help you establish effective ways to manage your schedule and home; turning CoMpLiCaTeD into Simplified.

Visit www.simplifiedbybobbie.com to learn more, view before & after photos, and read helpful organizing tips.  Contact Bobbie for your FREE phone consultation, and make your space & time work for you

 

The 10 Tools I Use to Help Keep Us Organized During the School Year

Half the battle of staying organized and focused during the school year is to set yourself up for success by making sure you have the right tools and information readily available when you need them.

Tools to keep your family organized during the school year

Here are the key items I keep on hand during the school year to help keep us organized and on track.

  1. Central supply station with plenty of school supplies to get us through the year.  Items I keep in our station are: Sharpened pencils, Pens, Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Highlighters, Rulers, Scissors, Calculators, Lap desks (so that they can choose a comfortable place to do their homework), Paper clips, Stapler, Rubber bands, Pencil Sharpener, 3-Hole Punch,Variety of Paper (notepads, notebooks, plain white paper, loose leaf notebook paper), One or two extra binders with dividers, Folders, Backup Supply of Printer Ink
  2. Loose change and small stash of $1 bills for lunches, field trips, or class expenses
  3. Copies of kids’ schedules and locker combinations
  4. Copy of the school calendar
  5. School phone directory – Our PTO issues a new one every year.  It has the names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of every family in our school as well as the contact information of all the staff members
  6. Family calendar – This is what keeps us sane.  I keep ours hanging on our refrigerator and have taught the kids to add commitments they have to the calendar and to look at it before making plans.
  7. Message/Reminder System – Whether this is just a dry erase message board in your kitchen or a simple notepad, I like to have a way of letting the kids write down requests or reminders for me so that I don’t have to carry them around in my mind.  So when they come home and tell me they need gym shorts, all I say is “write it down”.  It is off my mind and ready for me to follow up on later on when I have the time.
  8. Chore Chart – Updated almost every day during the school year with family commitments and responsibilities
  9. Permission notepads – Our PTO provides a permission slip notepad for use every year and I just keep a pad handy so that I can quickly send a note to the teachers letting them know if I will be picking the kids up early or if they are going home with a friend.
  10. Schoolwork and Paper Organizer – Kids bring home a lot of paper.  I use a combination of a family organizer and this counter top organizer to keep track of it all.

What tools do you use to keep your family organized during the school year?

Creative Clothes Shopping for Back to School

It’s that time of year again – the kids are going to be heading back to school, and they need new outfits. Many times, it’s because they’ve outgrown last year’s clothes. Other reasons include changing fashion trends and tastes. Regardless of the reasons, your kids are going to need new clothes before heading back to school.

Creative Clothes Shopping for Back to School

Are there any other options besides the traditional retail shops?  Is there a way to go about this creatively?  The answer is yes. Here are some creative options for back-to-school clothes shopping.

Take Stock

Do your kids come to you complaining that they have “nothing to wear”? It’s pretty doubtful that they really have nothing; it just seems like nothing. It seems kids can be so dramatic!  Take some time to assess your kids’ wardrobes and really discern what they have. Chances are, you’re going to find some decent clothes that fit that can be worn again. They might even be clothes that have been so long forgotten that they will seem new again! A closet can get full of clothes that don’t fit right and the good pieces get lost in the mix.

Break out the Needle and Thread

If you can sew, now is the time to get your sewing machine out. (And if you can’t sew, maybe now is a good time to learn!) You can recycle old clothes artfully with some well-places stitches. For example, let hems out or cut and hem worn-out pants to make shorts. If you can do some needlework, you can get creative and cover stains and small holes on clothes that otherwise fit fine. I am not a crafty person by an means, and I honestly would prefer to have a friend do this for me in trade for something that I am good at!

Give Old Outfits a New Look

While you are going through the bureaus and closets of your kids, try to mix and match and put together new outfits. You can create a whole new look by mixing and matching, especially if your child has items in similar or neutral colors. Now, with boys – this can be a little tough, but girls love this stuff!  Time spent with mom trying on outfits seems like a fun afternoon activity.

Shop for Used Clothes

Watch for consignment sales in your area, and since it’s the end of summer, keep an eye out for yard sales. It’s amazing what you can find at these second-hand options, sometimes even name-brand clothes that kids really like. While you’re shopping creatively for used clothes, don’t forget the internet. Yard sales are moving online these days, so take advantage of the local and larger groups selling used items online. Craigslist and ebay are great sources for bundles of clothing too.  I’ve been really successful getting 4 pair of jeans all the same size from another mom whose child has outgrown them.

Watch for Sales

Of course, watching for sales keeps your clothing bill lower; but if you watch for sales creatively, you can combine these events with some of the above options to create a whole new wardrobe for the school year. Try using coupons whenever you can and know when an item is priced at the rock bottom price.

Shop Online

I’ve always been a big fan of Old Navy.  One big reason was that I could order a ton of clothing in different sizes and styles, have it delivered to my home and then have everyone try them on.  This beats dragging my kids out to trek through stores finding the right styles.  Whatever does not fit or is not liked is easily returned when I am out on my own!  Plus when you order online you can use sites like Ebates and get cash back too, so you are saving even more.

Susan Heid loves inspiring Christian moms to make small changes managing their home and family life giving them more time, order and less stress! As a Certified Parent Coach and Family Manager Coach she enjoys sharing her expertise with moms through workshops, teleseminars, public speaking, and individual and group coaching.  She is a proud mom, step-mom and foster mom to 3, married to her very own prince charming, loves coffee, cloudy days, and does think the “bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle.”  Her FREE 5 part mini series: “The Opening Act” is helping moms worldwide become the calm mom they want to be!

Page 1 of 1712345»10...Last »