We agree – kids should be kids, and all kids should love all types of play, all types of colors, all types of clothes.
We love that some stores are beginning to take away gendered signs. We have often thought about doing the same. We have had many passionate parents even ask us if we could. It’s not that we don’t want to, but let us explain.
The entire sale is filled with items, brought in by consignors, in just hours. 600+ consignors bring in their items and have to put their items on the sales floor in the proper places, and want to get in and out as soon as possible! Volunteers want items to have been put on the sales floor in the right spot – like by like! There are just a few short hours to get the entire sales floor ready for the sale. From 8pm until 11pm, volunteers work frantically to make sure everything is organized. The less work that they need to do, the more likely that the sale is easy to shop.
And we know shoppers want to be fast. Most people only have a short period of time to shop and they want to zero-in on where they need to go. Me? My youngest is a slender 7 year old who loves crafts, and soft bright colored pants. For him I shop in 5, 6 and 7 boys, and 7 girls for slimmer fitting bright colored straight legged jeans and soft pants. I shop in the craft area, game area, and boy toys (because he also loves star wars and pokemon with a vengence). And I always peruse the girls toys and the nursery area, because you never know what might catch my eye (like the cloud lamp I bought him last sale). And I always shop girl and boy shoes because he really loves all colors and tends to have narrow feet. I don’t feel funny about it, because he doesn’t shop with me, and even if he did, he knows what he likes and what fits.
That said, we have no interest in making children feel sad, confused, or stereotyped about anything! Starting this sale, after Consignors have come and brought their items and after the volunteers are done sorting, we plan to remove the ‘boy toy” and “girl toy” signs. We will re-label them simply with “toddler toys” and “big kid toys”, and perhaps some more specific signs as able and appropriate. We will keep the clothing signs as they are. Not sure if your item goes on the boy or girl side? Ask a friend or another consignor and they can help you decide. We know that with itty bitties it seems extra ridiculous, but our gender neutral areas have NEVER been shopped well (for the same reasons as we listed above).
We’ll see how it goes for shoppers and revaluate after the sale. Let us know how it goes!
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).
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”.