How to create a capsule wardrobe for your children

I don’t know about you, but we fight two frequent battles at my home: my kids wanting to wear things that don’t match, and my kids having a closet full of clothes they don’t wear. Each year, we seem to buy so many items of clothing, and some of them are outgrown before they are even worn. This causes us to waste money and waste space, as you are storing clothes you clearly didn’t need.

Enter the capsule wardrobe.

Capsule wardrobes are not new. If you do a Pinterest search, you will find hundreds of blog posts and graphics about capsule wardrobes. Since kids outgrow clothing at an alarming rate, it makes sense to spend less on more versatile pieces. Capsule wardrobes involve spending less, less clutter, and more outfit choices. So how do you create a capsule wardrobe?

1. Take stock of what you have.

Clear out your child’s dresser and closet. Make three piles- one to keep, one to donate, and one to throw away. If clothes are stained or too worn, throw them away. Don’t donate anything you wouldn’t buy from the thrift store yourself. Once you have finalized your “keep” pile, look at what items you have, what items you need, and what colors you have.

2. Decide what you need

Think about your lives, your kids’ activities, and the climate where you live. We are in the mid-atlantic, and it gets hot here in the summer. We go to school and church and are in dance class. Therefore, they will need church clothes, work out clothes and enough outfits for the school week. We try to follow the 4-6 rule: have four to six pairs of pants- two pairs of jeans, one pair of dark colored pants and one pair of light colored pants; four to six dresses (sundresses are OK because you can wear a jacket or sweater over them); two skirts, four pairs of shorts, two swimsuits, 4 to 6 long sleeve shirts, 4 to 6 short sleeved shirts, three sweaters, one casual jacket and one dressy jacket. Don’t forget about underwear and socks.

3. Choose a color scheme

What colors do you already have? What colors do your kids absolutely love? What colors look best on them? My little blonde, blue eyed girls look great in blue, green, and hot pink. They also love wearing these colors. I make sure to include plenty of neutral colored pieces to tie the wardrobe together. Children’s boutiques often stick with a color scheme when they release new seasonal lines. This makes color scheming your child’s capsule wardrobe easy! Retailers like Gymboree and Carter’s are known for this.

4. Hand-me-downs and thrift stores are your friend!

I have two daughters and while I don’t save everything from my older child’s wardrobe, I do save gently worn items and big items like coats. If you don’t mind second hand items, you can save some big bucks reusing items from other children, or thrift shopping. We love ThredUp online consignment shop!

I’ve created an infographic for you. Feel free to print this off and use it as a checklist.

Here is a sample capsule wardrobe for my littlest child:

The above clothing items are all from OshKosh. Except for the romper, do you see how each piece coordinates and can be worn together? You only have a few clothing pieces, but you can create several different outfits from the pieces. All of the items go together so there is little chance of her creating a “Tacky Day” outfit that doesn’t match. How many different combinations do you see that will go together and be cute?

Feel free to hop online and start creating your own capsule wardrobe! Have fun and happy shopping!

Intex Quick Set Pool Review

We had a Target version of an Intex family pool at the start of summer. It was 7 feet in diameter with a bench and it held 200 gallons of water. It was great.

Until we came outside one morning to find it leaking badly and partially deflated. I tried to patch it and make it last but to not avail.

Due to the quarantine, kiddie pools are hard to come by. I had heard good things about the Intex Easy Set pools and found a smaller sized model for a reasonable price.

I knew where I wanted the pool but the spot wasn’t level. I used our garden tiller to level up the spot.

I raked out the dirt so it would be level and I used stall mats to ensure the kids could hop out of the pool onto a dry, non muddy surface.

Set up is super easy. Take it out of the box and spread it out on a level surface. Inflate the top ring with a hand pump. If you’re using a filter, follow the directions and assemble and connect the filter. If you aren’t using a filter, insert the plugs into the holes.

Then, after you have put the plugs in the filter hose holes and made sure the drain is closed, begin filling your pool. As your pool fills, your sides will rise. Be careful not to overfill it.

Finally, when your pool is filled, enjoy it with your family!

There are a lot of things I like about this pool. If we had a little bit larger of a pool we would have gotten the pump and filter. This pool is only 294 gallons so we are doing fine with our chlorine dispenser and our pool vacuum. I like the fact that is durable and easy to set up- it also is really easy to clean.

If I were to reorder this, I’d get the eight foot instead of the six foot. I don’t really consider that a con, since that was my mistake and no fault of the pool. Even at six feet, the four of us can sit together comfortably.

In short, if you are looking for a small pool for you and your small children with low maintenance, look no further than an Intex Easy Set.

Enjoy and we will see you again tomorrow for a furniture re-do.

Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

homework spaces

 

My third grader has just started back to school, and we usually have a little homework to do each evening. While the homework is not difficult, what can be difficult is finding somewhere in our home where there are no distractions.

She has a desk in her room where she sits to complete her homework.

img_2653

 

There are a lot of things I like about this set up, but there are also a lot of things I would like to improve upon.

Her desk is actually pretty neat.

We are currently using a repurposed shoe box (covered with pretty paper and embellished with a book plate) and a crate to corral her desk items.

img_2656

I also created this super cute French memo board to hold her pictures and papers for school (more about that later).

So what more does her desk need?

1. Lighting

Emorie’s desk currently has no lighting. I am looking for one of these little gooseneck lamps, preferably one with a USB charging port for her tablet.

desk lamp

Walmart.com

pb kids lamp

Pottery Barn Kids

2. Pencil/pen/art utensil storage

Right now, Emorie’s pens, pencils and other writing odds and ends are housed in this white crate, which is more suited for reading books and magazines.

img_2653

This is simply too much in that white crate. Instead, I’d like to do something like this:

hanging pen storage

Shelterness

 

I  have both a dowel rod and curtain hardware, and an extra towel bar. I also already have buckets. I could easily use either one of those things to create this for her desk. Plus, it’d be super cute and she’d be able to find things soooo much easier.

3. Comfy seating

desk-chair-cushions-c

Pottery Barn Kids

Emorie’s chair isn’t uncomfortable, but it could be better. I love these cute, comfy cushions from PB Kids.

Have a wonderful week.

Managing paper clutter

Managing paper clutter

School has now started back for both my oldest daughter AND me. If you glance around our kitchen and living room right now, it’s evident we’ve gone back to school. How? The piles of paper.

Paper, paper everywhere and none of it spendable. In all seriousness, the paper piles were getting on my nerves and I knew I had to get rid of them.

1. Start with your existing paper piles

The first step to managing those paper piles is to sort through them.

Go through those papers and get rid of any that aren’t needed, and put away what you need to keep. We utilize several folders in our house: one for school papers, one for bills, and one for work related items. Anything else is shredded or thrown away.

2. File your bills

We have two places in which we file bills: one for bills to pay and one for bills that have been paid. We keep our paid bill stubs in a binder for a year and then we shred them.

3. Go paperless, when possible

Manage other paper clutter by stopping it at the source. Switch to paperless billing when possible, and remove yourself from junk mailing lists.

4. Dispose of junk as soon as possible

Don’t keep unwanted junk paper around…just shred or throw away that unwanted paper as soon as it shows up.

How do you handle paper clutter?

Have a wonderful weekend.