Tips To Maximize Your Child’s Wardrobe During Seasonal Change

kids clothes Although it’s still hot in many areas of the country, the seasons are changing and cool weather will be here before we know it.

For us adults, it’s a pretty simple process when we drag out our cold weather clothes and put away the warm weather clothing. We just check to see if it’s in wearable condition and wash or hang it up.

It’s a little more complicated when you have kids. Kids are rough on clothing. And they grow out of it so fast.

Kids can grow several sizes from one year to the next.

And some kids, like mine, are so particular about their wardrobe. My son only wanted to wear jeans and dark t-shirts as a kid. One daughter was a fashion diva, and had to have the latest style. The other daughter only wanted to wear dresses.

Below are some ideas to make planning your child’s wardrobe easier.

Take Inventory

Before going out and buying a completely new wardrobe for your child, take an inventory of what your child has.

If you have more than one child, start with the oldest child first. If you have any kids of the same gender, you can pass down clothes to younger children as long as they are still in good condition. That should help with some of the expense of buying clothes for your kids.

First, go through everything and see what still fits and what is still wearable shape. If it’s stained or torn and can’t be fixed, now is the time to dump it.

Some of the clothes, you can just look at and see it will no longer fit, but others, your kid may need to try on. Depending on the child, this may not be an easy task. It may be time for a little bribery, er encouragement such as a promise of a trip to somewhere fun, when the wardrobe task is finished.

Now, look at what is left. Is there anything in there that is still in good shape but you know your kid will never wear it? Go ahead and put this in a pile to give away. There is no point in hanging it back up or putting it in a drawer if it’s never going to be used. Give it to Good will or to someone who has a child the same size.

Fill in the Gaps

Now, with what clothes that are left, look to see where there are gaps. If there are only 3 pairs of jeans, your child will probably need a few more. Write down what you still need to get your child to make it until next Spring.

If finances are an issue, you can wait awhile on things like a winter coat for a few months. Just get what your child will need for the next several months.

Also if finances are tight, be sure to check out the second hand stores. I have often been able yo find my granddaughter clothes that have never been worn, with the tags still on. Kids grow so fast, sometimes they don’t even get a chance to wear some of their clothes before they grow out of them.

This is something you should do at least 2 times a year and preferably 4 times at the start of every season.

Cathy

Family Emergency Preparedness

hurricane Irene I live on the East Coast and this week has been our week for natural disasters. Earlier this week, there was a rare earthquake. I didn’t feel it but I know some friends and family who did.

The earthquake was  relatively mild in our area, but farther north in the DC area, there was some damage.

Although we don’t expect earthquakes in our area, we do expect hurricanes. And low and behold, it’s hurricane season.

In fact later today we will be hit, if it doesn’t change it’s course, by a major category 3 hurricane called Irene. I’m hoping it will just move further to the east and go out to sea but if that doesn’t happen, we need to be prepared.

Oh, and if you don’t hear from me much over the next week, it’s not because I don’t love you. It will probably be because we don’t have power!

Pray for all of East Coasters! We are going to need it.

The following tips will be what we did (or should have done) for this hurricane but they can apply to any disaster.

  • Get your disaster kit prepared before you think you will need it. In fact, you should have it ready at the very beginning of hurricane season to avoid the rush to get supplies at the last minute. Here’s what you need to have:
  • Plan on 1 gallon of water for each person in your household. That’s one gallon per person, per day. And don’t forget your pets.
  • I save a lot of large soda and juice bottles and fill those 3/4 full of water. Then I store them in the freezer. If we loose power, the frozen bottles will keep the freezer cold longer and in a pinch, we can drink them.
  • Get a large plastic Rubbermaid type container with a lid and fill it with food. Good things to put in there are things like crackers, peanut butter, little sausages, honey, canned foods like soup, veggies, tuna, and fruit. Put in some silverware, cups and plates, enough so each person has there own place setting. Also put in a lighter, paper towels, and a can opener. And don’t forget food for your pets. Put 2 bowls in there for them too, one for food, one for water.
  • I got a gallon sized plastic bag that I will keep in this plastic box. In it, I put in our insurance info (health, house and car), our ID cards and debit/credit cards.
  • If you can get a wind up type radio, do so.
  • A first aid kit along with any prescription medications your family takes on a regular basis. Also put in a bottle of  pain relievers such as Ibuprofen.
  • Flashlights, one for each family member. They have the flashlights out now that don’t need batteries. You just shake them. if you can find these, get them.
  • Batteries in different sizes.
  • Gas up your car and keep a 5 gallon gas container filled with gas nearby.
  • A tent large enough for your family and a sleeping bag for  each family member.
  • A tool kit.
  • A few changes of clothes packed in a plastic box with tight fitting lid. Also add a bath towel for each person.
  • Take pictures or video of your home, inside and out and your cars. You may need these later for insurance purposes.
  • Hand Sanitizer, and toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo, toilet paper and a hairbrush.

I hope you never go through  natural disaster but it’s smart to be prepared, just in case.

Cathy

 

Empowering Kids with Time Management

clock Our last guest post is from Janice:

One of the most important things I have ever taught my children was time management. From an early age I have gifted my children with lessons on how to be responsible for their schedules and times, which has had one of the most powerfully positive impacts on my family. I even began to teach them these skills when they could barely talk! With five children, it was imperative that I teach them these essential time management skills and tools so that I would not have to be the time keeper for everyone in the family.

 

Teaching my children these invaluable skills has, in part, allowed them to become the well-rounded, responsible adults that they are today. I don’t think my oldest daughter would be able to manage her own schedule as a full time law student and part time waitress if I didn’t instill in her time management and a sense of ownership of her time when she was young. She often calls me and thanks for me for helping her become very aware of how to best manage the hours in a day and keep track of commitments, appointments and schedules because it enables her to be successful in her law program, relationships, work and life!

 

My younger kids have a hard time adjusting to home when they return from their alternative boarding high school because all their time is managed for them while at school, so when they get home they don’t have that same structure. Luckily, they are armed with everything I have taught them while they were growing up, so they quickly adjust back to being utilizing their skills. They know that I won’t act as their time keeper, so they must immediately bounce back to self-reliance for all of their scheduling needs.

 

Teaching your children how to manage time is an extremely important task that simply cannot be overlooked. I have devoted a great deal of my parenting to instructing them on how to stay organized, be on time, reliable and dependable. I believe these are incredibly important life skills that position a child to be successful not only in their personal life, but in their career, education and all other areas of their life.

Easy Tips to Organize Your Kitchen

I love this post! But then I’m an organizing junkie! Here’s a great post from Nicole Rodgers. organized kitchen

Keeping the kitchen organized and tidy is something that is easily accomplished but can be difficult to do if one does not know where to start. There are a few different areas in the kitchen and a few suggestions when it comes to getting this busy room in order.
The first inclination would be to pull everything out and start organizing. Before doing this, a thorough inventory will help to show what exactly is in every cupboard and cabinet. In doing this, one may find that there are two bread makers and an excessive amount of glass ware in the kitchen. Things easily have a way of piling up in the back of cupboards without being noticed.

Once the inventory is completed, things can be thrown out, donated or stored. If there are items in the kitchen that are only getting used once a year, do they need to be in a cupboard where more essential things can be stored? If there are items that do not need to be in the kitchen, but are not yet ready to be given away, they can be stored. If concerned with keeping too much clutter, a good trick would be to give the item an expiration date. If that bread maker is not used within a year of being stored, it should be thrown out or donated.

After the items are organized and trimmed down, a plan for the kitchen should be drawn up. It is best to organize this room into section. It makes the most sense to keep similar items in one area. For example, all of the baking dishes and baking supplies should be in the same general area. This will make things go more smoothly when cooking. This is a chance to totally reorganize the drawers and cabinets.

In addition to grouping similar things together, items that are used frequently and on a daily basis should be in the main section of the kitchen. Spices and seasonings should be in easy to reach cabinets and the larger and heavier items should be stored at a lower level. When cooking and preparing meals, there should be a natural flow to the work and having everything organized accordingly will facilitate this.

When it comes to organizing flatware and small kitchen gadgets, the use of drawer dividers can greatly increase the usable space found here. These will come in a variety of different styles and options. Drawer trays should be purchased so that they are large enough to accommodate the largest tools or pieces that need to be stored.

If there is unused wall space, this area can be used to place items within easy reach. A wall mounted rack or peg board can help to organize small utensils, pot holders and more.

The refrigerator and freezer can also be cleaned and organized at this time. Expired and old items need to be thrown out and the various bins and storage sections of the refrigerator used accordingly with similar things being grouped together. Having the freezer well organized into sections with everything appropriately labeled will help to ensure that things are easy to locate in here.

Kitchen organization is something that is simple to attain with a basic plan and a little bit of work. One may be surprised at the transformation after a little bit of cleaning and organizing.

 

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging for three years; one way she believes keeps a kitchen clean and organized is to reduce junk mail that sits on the counter tops.  She has a cubby hole in her kitchen to place the mail daily so that it does not get in the way of her cooking and cleaning.