Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tips for Selling at a Kid's Consignment Sale

Since 2010, I have organized a children's consignment sale in Richmond, Virginia. We just finished up our spring sale so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few tips for anyone new to consignment:

  1. Get to know your sale. See what other sellers are bringing and how they are pricing items. 
  2.  Keep it seasonal. Bring short sleeved tops and bottoms in the spring and long sleeved shirts and jeans in the fall.
  3. Quickly run an iron over your clothing. It's all about presentation!
  4. Don't bring worn, stained clothing. It hurts the reputation of the sale which will end up hurting your     bottom line too!
  5. Price to sell. Again, overpriced merchandise hurts the sale's reputation and won't sell either.
  6. If the sale allows it, assemble playpens, cribs, high chairs, etc. 
  7. Find out if your sale offers perks for things such as friend referrals or volunteer shifts. You might be able to bypass the registration fee or earn a higher percentage of your sales by helping out.
  8. Use printed tape or ribbon on your hangers to easily find and sort your items at pick-up.
  9. Tell everyone you know about the sale! Word of mouth is a huge traffic source for consignment sales. My friends usually end up buying a ton of my stuff too! We all just have great taste. ;-) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

{Free Printable: Pantry Labels}

Sometimes you'll catch me on Pinterest swooning over highly organized pantries. There's something about food in clear, label containers lined up a shelf that takes me to my happy place. Admittedly, I am not the world's most organized lady BUT the desire to be is there and that's the first step, right? Right. Today, I'm sharing some fun labels you can use to make your food storage the envy of everybody on the block. (yes, that is meant to be read a smidgen of sarcasm)

These are 3" labels for larger containers. Create your own using the blanks. 

This is a set of 2" labels for smaller products. Use the blanks at the bottom to create your own!

I am happy to create more using food items not included here. Just leave a comment below. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

{Peasant Top and Shorts}

I am just dying, dyyyyyyying for the start of spring. It's no secret that I loathe cold weather and the best I can do is hole up in my house and make grand plans for warmer days. This usually begins with planting a few seeds indoors which I inevitably murder before time to transplant. Next comes a half-assed attempt at a diet to make myself bikini ready and, my personal favorite, spring sewing! 

The top is a modified version of the McCall's M6062 pattern. I took in the sides a couple of inches, added elastic around the bottom and stitched on a bow. The shorts are from McCall's pattern M6059.

She is always this goofy. I LOVE IT!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{Downsizing on Purpose}

We purchased our first home in Richmond, Virginia shortly before my son was born back in 2006. At the time we were certain that the 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home would be absolutely perfect for our little growing brood. 

Or so we thought. *dun, dun, dunnnn*

Fast forward four years later and our little abode on Milbrae Lane had all but lost it's charm. Our family room, you know the sterile room reserved for company, became a volcano of unorganized books and toys. I had no idea what was even being played with and it was just as confusing for kids. They would ransack the space and when the floor was covered, begin lugging other toys into the den, dining room and kitchen. They NEVER played in their bedrooms since they were upstairs--too far away from everyone else. Their rooms were just more toy storage and more square footage for me to dust and vacuum. It was hard to get upstairs and clean as this meant I had to move the whole gang and their activities from one level to the next. And the dust, dust, dust-- I just couldn't keep up with all the dust! 

The maintenance on a larger, older home is daunting. I'm not exaggerating, it was always something. The high gutters were impossible for Shannon to reach on a ladder yet the high trees all around us made easy work of keeping them full. Our driveway was cracking and the deck was crumbling. Inside was one malfunctioning appliance or faulty fixture after the next. The words money pit come to mind. Between everything breaking and the overwhelming amount of cleaning that needed to be done, we were always frazzled, always thinking about what we needed to be doing. It was not worth the stress and the time it took away from our family. 

Perhaps our biggest issue was money. Between maintenance and a high mortgage payment, we had little extra money to do anything but wallow in the mess. We were living in a suburb close to so many activities yet we were so isolated by our lack of financial resources to participate in any of them.

We had to make a change. And we did. 

The opportunity presented itself for us to move out into the country, close to my family. We had been floating the idea around for quite a while and decided to take the leap. Our new home was a 3 (small) bedroom, 1200 square foot, split-level in the heart of Virginia. We would make it work.

The downsizing process:

We both agreed that we needed to seriously downsize our "stuff" so the first step for us was a yard sale. It was easier to sell our things with the mindset that we didn't want it cluttering our lives in our new home. A good rule of thumb is to sell anything that hasn't been used in a year. That tidbit helped me let go of clothing and kitchen gadgets that were pretty but lacked practicality. 

Excess children's clothing, toys and gear were tagged and put in a consignment sale. Children's items do better sold this way than at a yard sale. Worth it for the little extra work of tagging. We sold almost a thousand bucks worth of stuff we didn't know we had! Sad but true but awesome! 

We eyeballed our new space and did our best to figure out exactly where everything would go. We even sketched out a floor plan for some of the rooms. If something didn't have a place it was either stored, sold or donated!

We have now lived in our smaller home for about 7 months and here are the benefits we are seeing:

1.   Way less cleaning. I mean way. I can deep clean the entire house from top to bottom in about 2 hours. I'm talking windows, floors, vacuuming, tubs, all of it. This was an entire days work before. 

2.   Smaller electric bill. 

3.   Here's an obvious one: Less stuff, less clutter. Enough said. 

4.   I can hear what the kids are up to from anywhere in the house. Before, if the kid's were upstairs and I was in the kitchen, I had no idea what they were busy destroying. I had to follow them like a puppy (a cranky one) all day. 

5.    No more super high staircase. Again, nuff said. 

6.    The challenge of making a small space work has been a fun for me! Getting innovative with organization and taking a hard look at what we really needed was worth it for the payoff. 

I'm just speculating here but the hardest part about downsizing for some people may be going against the societal norm of bigger is better. But having sort of lived the other side, I am not envious of the more space than you need lifestyle that comes with it. I'm enjoying my time with less chores, more time to do what I enjoy with less impact on the world around me. A downsized life has proved to be a freeing one. Here's what we're focusing on:

Friday, February 15, 2013

{Glitter Framed Felt Board}

Don't you just hate it when your significant other deletes all of your pictures from the camera? Yours has never done that, you say? Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Well, this project was supposed to come with an awesome sauce picture tutorial but due to unforeseen circumstances, we'll just have to settle for photos of the finished product and little bit of talking-you-through-it. Luckily, it's totally simple, you really don't need the photos.

You will need:

  • Lots of glitter
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Clear Acrylic Coating Spray (Krylon)
  • Felt in choice colors
  • Spray Adhesive

1. Remove the glass and backing from your frame. Apply a layer of Mod Podge and pour over glitter, tapping off excess. Repeat until the entire frame is covered.

2. After the Mod Podge has dried, spray the frame with clear acrylic spray. Let dry.

3. Use spray adhesive to attach a piece of felt to the backing of the frame.

4. Cut felt shapes to make ice cream or any other fun designs. I've seen a ton of great ideas for felt boards on Pinterest!

Have a great weekend!