From Printables

Purging and Sorting Weekend

Anyone else take inventory of their stuff this weekend?  We had piles of shoes strewn over the living room and my kids took a trip down memory lane as they imagined how old they were when they wore the different pairs of shoes.  Me?  I was shocked about how many pairs of shoes we owned.  Then again, my eldest has gone through TEN sizes of shoes in his short 6 years, and with winter and summer and boots…  That’s a lot of shoes.

Thanks goodness for Half-Pint!

Next week I tackle clothing (and toys after the kids have gone to bed).  Anyone else purging and sorting and taking inventory of your needs for spring and summer? Don’t forget to print out our hand Inventory Cheat Sheets.  Remember, too, to trace your kids’ feet on the back so you’ll know if those awesome Euro shoes are the right size.  (You won’t want to miss out on boots like these!).

-E

Today is Sort and Purge Day

I am not someone who often follows my own advice.  It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s just that somehow I don’t find the time.  Especially when it comes to organization.

I ADORE organization.  I love reading books on it, buying new office supplies, and observing how other people organize their lives.  But somehow, I feel (and often look) like the most disorganized person I know.

Waiting for later in Winter

But today, my friends, I followed my own advice.  Since Half-Pint is less than two weeks away, today was the day that I went into the basement and found the boxes that hold the clothing I’ve got stored for the kids.  Each kid has a box filled with the next size up – even the oldest, as I often buy things at thrift stores, on clearance, and at Half-Pint that are such good deals that they are worth storing for a year (or more).  Plus, this helps me not have to buy Quite so much all at once when I realize that my child has grown into a whole new size in a matter of weeks.

Piles, Piles and more Piles

I dug through all of the clothes, brought clothes that will be good for fall and winter  (and even stuff just a little big but that will probably fit in a few months) all upstairs to their bedroom.  I then storted through all of the stuff that is already up there and is too small or is for super hot days (since they are long gone, and surely they won’t fit next year).    Everything went into piles, bins, etc.  Clothes for this season were sorted and hung up in the kids closet and folded in their bins.

An organized Closet. Look closely, it only happens twice a year.

I then printed out our printable vital stats sheets and filled them out.

Filled out and waiting for September 17

Splendid!  Next step will be for later this week, when I sort through all of the bins and figure out what I can sell this sale, what has to wait till spring, what should be saved for my youngest, and what needs to find a place in the circular file.    Then Friday,  I’m attending a Half-Pint Tagging party where I’ll bring my bins, ready to hang and pin.

Easy peasy.

Does anyone else find this time of year stressful?  Kids growing out of clothing, change of seasons, switching everything over.  I feel like I just did it yesterday.  Anyone have any advice on how to manage it all?

-Ellen

So, so quiet….

We’ve been a bit quiet lately.  Not on purpose – but between Half-Pint’s, we’re reminded of all of our other hobbies.  And our jobs.  Oh, and our families.

But we’re not short on thoughts (and as my husband always says – absolutely not short on opinions) so we’ll begin to send them your way again soon, promise.

In the mean time, we’ll post a little link fun.  LOVE this blog (LOVE the color just as much, too).  How About Orange posted these cool book plates.  And because it’s officially summer, your kids might enjoy a trip to Half-Price Books, and this nifty book plate to boot.  Sounds like a perfect rainy-afternoon activity.

-E

Your 2010 Olympics Buttoned-Up!

Oh, YES!  It’s a pretty printable one-page summary of the 2010 Olympics schedule thanks to Buttoned-Up.  Now you won’t get into a pickle like I did yesterday.  Told my kiddo we could watch ski jumpin, but uh, it wasn’t on.  It’s very important – he’s going to be a ski-jumper, you know.

Seriously, I should know better by now than to promise a four year old something I know nothing about.  And yes, I could have gone online and looked it up, but now I’ll just consult the fridge.

-Ellen

A told B and B told C, I’ll meet you in the free mag, LMNOP

A friend of mine let me on to a little secret – you can get a Free downloadable subscription to the kid-centered magazine LMNOP.  One  issue back was all about letters, and I couldn’t stop reciting the sing along lyrics to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom while I was “leafing” through this green and graphically beautiful magazine subscription.

And don’t be confused that the latest issue focuses on spring – the mag is centered out of Australia, so it will help you get a jump start on ideas for next year.  And the blog is filled with ideas for us northern hemisphere folks alike, like directions to make this cheap, cute daisy costume.

Inventory Weekend: Printable sheets revisited

Late night Inventory

Late night Inventory

A few months ago we sent you a link for our Printable Cheat Sheets – a way to take inventory of your child’s needs for each season, allowing you to more effectively bargain hunt.

Early next week we’ll be sending shopping tips for the big sale next week, but we wanted to remind you that this weekend is a good time to take that inventory.  Long sleeve shirts?  Got’em – PJs?  Wow, running short.  Oh, and don’t forget those ballet shoes one size up (I traced H’s shoe insert on the back of the paper so I would know how big to buy them – wow, he has dirty feet), and a pair of long underwear.  And this year, our family is going to try and give each other New-to-You (used) or Homemade gifts,  so I’m going to have my eyes peeled for some fun games.  Any other tips you have?  Let us know what they are!

Tracing the insert of H's shoe

Tracing the insert of H's shoe

Free School Fun

My inbox has been bombarded the last few days with “free printables” and craft ideas for back to school fun.  So I thought I’d pass a few along!

Printable Lunch Notes and ID Tags from Olibollen.com

Printable Lunch Notes and ID Tags from Olibollen.com

More printable lunch box Notes!

More printable lunch box Notes!

How to make a Magnet Lunch Chart

How to make a Magnet Lunch Chart

Printable Notebook Labels

Printable Notebook Labels

And there is more here, here and here.  Us?  We’re going to work on decorating a backpack this week.  I’m thinking paints and a little iron-on-fabric.  Hiding the stains to make a new backpack for preschool…

Ellen

Printable Bargain Cheat Sheets

It’s the time of year for thrift (or garage, for you fellow midwesterners) sales.  If you’ve got the time to poke around, there are great finds in those endless stacks of odds and ends.    As two busy moms, to be fully prepared for the dig, we’ve come up with a plan that is sure to help you in your thrift shopping year round.
 
First, take inventory and survey your needs.  Take out all of those bins or empty our last year’s dresser drawer and see what you already have and where the “holes” are.  For example, just this past week I pulled out a fabulous new pair of Paulina Quintana pants that I purchased a year ago on super clearance.  With their bright blue, red and black design, I realized that I don’t have hardly ANY plain colored t-shirts (especially in dark neutral tones to play down the craziness of the pants). 

To assist you with this inventory, we’ve developed a great checklist (boy and girl)  that you can download from our website  or from our blog’s printable’s page to highlight what you are missing.  
 

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Second, using this list, create a shopping list of your needs.  Of course you aren’t going to pass up the deal of a lifetime on another pair of crazy pants, but it might help you focus your gaze a bit more tightly.  Think beyond your current season needs and sizes.  To be truly thrifty, you’ll want to use this opportunity to broaden your scope to the following areas:  next season’s clothing and outdoor gear, sports clothing and gear, extras or seconds needed for camp, daycare, preschool, the cabin, and Grandma’s house (Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to drag your pack and play each time Grandma took the kids for a night?) and special occassion clothing.
 
On the back of your list trace one of your child’s feet in pen and then trace one of their basic shoes around it in pencil.  THis will come in handy when you find yourself evlauting shoes for purchase that no longer or never were labeled by size or are labeled in a foreign sizing.
 
Finally, stick your list(s) in your purse or in the car for surprise thrift stops!

Watch for our next posting for what Lisa calls “Garage Sale tips for the OCD Mom”.

Ellen