Saving Money on Kids Clothes (while still keeping them looking spiffy)

konmari-childrens-clothing.jpg

Going through the KonMari Method was a huge eye-opener in realizing how much unnecessary stuff I thought we needed. Clothing was a big example of this. I simply didn’t realize how much extra clothing I had (was hoarding) for each of our children until I became more mindful of ‘stuff’ in general. However, despite my enlightenment, scaling back on buying kid’s clothes was one of the last things to finally change in our overall journey of living with less.

That’s because frankly, kids clothes are stinkin’ cute and most of them Spark Joy!

However, I’ve turned a corner. I (finally) realized how much money I was spending compared to how little of the clothing my kids actually wore. Not a winning combo. As silly and obvious as it may sound, I had to actually mentally work out the reality that there will always be cute clothes and sales; but the only one wanting them was me. How did I not realize this sooner? I can’t be the only parent to ever have this ‘A Ha’ moment.

About a year ago is when I really started being smarter about our children’s clothing. My kids still have a decent sized wardrobe, but nothing compared to even a couple of years ago. I don’t shop like I use to and I’ve come up with some pretty savvy ways to pare down the volume of clothes; while still maintaining a good variety and also having fun myself with their outfits.

Keeping Smaller Children’s Wardrobes

The biggest way I have come to reduce the amount of clothing is to shop less. It’s as simple a strategy as it sounds. I don’t tempt myself with adorable ensembles by limiting the amount of unintentional shopping I do. An easy way I have found to keep to this, is by eliminating a lot of the daily emails I use to receive from shops we frequent. Admittedly, this was a bit of an experiment on my part; but it worked. When I stopped getting these daily reminders, I didn't know about sales and on my own I didn’t think to check out their websites, unless I actually needed something. This achieved exactly what I hoped it would - less clothing and less money spent.

I also keep track of exactly what my children will soon be growing out of. So, if I’m out shopping, at a quick glance I can reference the list I keep on my phone and know exactly what I’m looking for. This has cut out unnecessary purchases of things my kids don’t need.

Tips for Buying Clothes

  • Buy Quality. I love the expression, “I can’t afford to buy cheap” because it’s so true. Buying inexpensive clothing often means a compromise of quality materials and craftsmanship. It’s not a deal if you find yourself having to replace a pair of $10 pants three times before your child actually outgrows that size (been there). Instead, paying a bit more initially often works out to be a cost savings down the road when your child is able to wear the item, longer. I have also found with the pieces of clothing I have spent more on, that I’m able to use them again for my younger children (often with little sign that it’s a hand-me-down).

    Peekaboo Beans is a brand I have shared before. We love their designs, prints, style, fit and quality. Cost wise, I do find their pieces are slightly more expensive than some common children’s clothing retailers, but you do get what you pay for. I have purchased clothing for our oldest, which was handed to our middle child and then once he outgrew it - I was still able to sell them through online buy/sell groups for a decent penny. In the end, it didn’t cost me any more and likely, even less than having bought cheap and was a way better deal all around. Some of their pants even have a great ruched bottom that stretches as your child grows, giving sometimes even years of extra wear! Our kids have also noted that they prefer the look and feel of Peekaboo Beans, which has truly eliminated buying clothing only to hear, “I don’t like it”.
    *This isn’t sponsored, we’re just genuine fans!

 
 
  • Swap With a Friend! I unintentionally have pared up with friends who have children of opposite ages/gender that work well for swapping clothes. This happy coincidence of being able to trade clothing at no cost, has worked out really well - especially for play and school attire. If you know of someone who buys similar brands/quality of clothing as yourself, consider asking if they would like to swap!

  • Buy used. I have found wonderful used clothing and consignment shops, where I’ve been able to buy new or almost new children’s apparel for truly a fraction of the price. I’ve also had great luck over the years with local children’s buy/sell Facebook groups. The only downside is when you’re searching for something in particular, but otherwise definitely an easy way to save money!

Spark Joy - First Impression of Marie Kondo's Second Book

sparkjaymariekondoNot to be too dramatic, but I have counted down the days in my planner to the circled January 5th release date of Marie's Kondo, "spark joy", for well over the last month. I had questions that only Ms. Kondo could answer and I hoped this companion book would finally shed some light on what I felt was vague or completely omitted in her first book, "The life changing magic of tidying up". And friends, Marie Kondo, delivered.

Before I get into things, a disclaimer is only fair, I have not finished the book... yet. I wanted to share with you my first impression of "spark joy" because I've been asked my opinion of it, and specifically whether it's worth purchasing. So, a full review is coming, but for now this is what I can share.

Buy the book! If you've started the KonMari method, I truly suggest purchasing this book now and when questions arise (as they likely will), refer to 'Part One: KonMari Master Tips" as you'll likely have your issues addressed in this section. Take it from someone who didn't have this new book while going through the process, it will really help. If you've completed the purging portion of the method and are in what I call phase two of organizing, this book is going to sort out all the storage potential your home has to offer... with visual aids, hurrah! See, you need the book.

Though I haven't read cover to cover yet, I have finished 'Part One' and flipped through the book enough times to confidently say, Marie Kondo has really revamped her delivery and overall writing style. Compared to the first book, which introduced the method, "spark joy" is much easier to follow; it's detailed and specific, the drawings provide the perfect accompaniment to her descriptions which doesn't leave room for confusion, and I love her  breakdown for home organization into almost every area of the house and category of items imaginable.

If you've had a chance to dive into "spark joy", I'd love to know your thoughts please feel free to share! [youtube id="1RdbSUJRC-E"]

 

KonMari Christmas Shopping - How To Shop for Children

KonMariChristmas.jpg

konmarichristmasshopping If you've followed my KonMari series, on my YouTube channel, I've spoken a lot about how much this method has changed the way I shop. I am much more aware and intentional about what and how I purchase. With this shift in how I buy, Christmas naturally will be very different than it was in the past; basically no more buying for the sake of buying! I came across a very neat concept that I've elaborated on and this is what I will be following as my shopping outline for our three children this year. It's simple, purposeful, and a great balance of "want", "neat", and "meaningful"!

Something they WANT: This category is for the fun present, the one they've circled in the Wish Book and have written to Santa about. I do suggest waiting to buy this gift until closer to Christmas. Children tend to change their minds on what they're hoping for on an almost daily/weekly basis (or at least mine do); to avoid having to return a gift bought months in advance, wait until children are certain they know what they want under the tree.

Something they NEED: This is a great opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone" (such a terrible sounding expression, but you know what I mean). Something that you likely would have had to purchase anyways wrapped up and given as a present (aren't you the clever parent). New piece of sports gear, hobby equipment, etc.

Something to WEAR: This will likely be more applicable to older children that perhaps want a piece of name brand attire or more expensive clothing than is usually bought. I always include fun socks, a neat hat, or some other piece of clothing accessory that has them excited. Again, win/win!

Something to READ: We're huge into books (you all saw the proof during my book purge), and we include two books during Christmas. One is enjoyed Christmas eve as a holiday themed family book and a smaller one is given to each child in their stocking.

Something to DO: I added this category, because not all gifts need to be tangible. It's fun to include a present that allows for an outing such as: a movie date, trip to the museum, fun manicure, etc. If your children are still a bit young to be impressed with a gift certificate, include some pictures for them to visually see what the activity will be.

Something for ME: This is my favourite category as it's something that will last for years, possibly a lifetime. Something made or reflective of the past year, or the child. An ornament, a photo album (using online sites is so great for these), a piece of art, jewelry, etc.

For FAMILY: A gift for everyone to enjoy together. Some suggestions include: a board game, a family outing, game consoles, even a larger item even like a new TV, etc. I hope this list offers you some guidance in how to streamline your gift buying this year and inspires you to buy a bit more intentionally for the children in your life. Check out my corresponding video on this below:

[youtube id="uoakRTriRfA" parameters="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoakRTriRfA"]

As mentioned in my video, Krystal Acker has partnered with me on two awesome giveaways. You can enter both below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway will be open internationally and I will email the winner directly.

Krystal Acker is an amazingly talented graphic designer, illustrator, and artist from Kentville, Nova Scotia. She works with businesses in creating the design of their brand and creates wonderful prints and customizable art. Krystal's authenticity is very evident in her pieces and it's not hard to tell she invests and is passionate about her work. Krystal can be found at the following places: Facebook Website Instagram

NEWS.jpg

konmari.jpg

blog-lovin.jpg
Follow
giveaway.jpg

Check back soon, we host new giveaways often!