|A bag of 'new' toys for the car makes for a happy ride! photo|
Think about situations that may be challenging with your children: a long car ride; going to church; a sick day at home; a rainy day; eating in a restaurant---just to name a few that come to mind---now grab a gallon ziplock bag and a sharpie and write these situations as labels on each bag. Next, bring your bags with you to the sale and fill each one with toys, games or puzzles that your child has never seen! Resist the urge to use them when you get home and find a good place to keep them until that occasion arises. Voila! Meltdown and crisis averted for very short change!
|Messy play? No problem with extra clothes at the ready. photo|
Think of all the situations that arise when you need a different outfit for your child: spills; water table at a play date; didn't make it to the potty; impromptu night at grandma's; change of clothes for school or camp---not to mention how nice it is just to have extra play clothes so that you don't have to do laundry quite so often. I stopped carrying a diaper bag pretty early on and found myself in a few scenarios when I wished I had clean and dry clothing to change my preschooler and toddler into. I plan to make a list of these occasions and put these extra outfits together from the many well organized choices that await you on the clothing floor, downstairs at the sale. Then, put the outfits in bags and place them where they can be easily accessed (a permanently packed bag for the pool; emergency supplies in the car etc.)
|Clothes that fit for little $$$ (photo)|
It's also very savvy to think ahead to the next season, or even to the end of this current season and buy a few things that are one size larger. I never like to do this at retail prices because I'm afraid I'll get it wrong and returns are such a hassle, but at just a few dollars per article of clothing, you can't go wrong by planning wardrobes ahead when you shop the sale. My mother used to keep huge appliance boxes at the top of our attic stairs filled with hand-me-downs from our cousins and with each new season, we went up and tried them on to see what fit. Why not even buy a few sizes ahead if you see a coat in excellent condition? Just label it and pack it away for later. The $10 bag sale is an excellent time to stock up on clothes that will fit later.
|You may find something unexpected! photo|
You may not think of the sale as the place to look for decorative items for your child's room, but the middle room (between the toys on the first floor and the downstairs clothing) often has unexpected treasures. I found a beautiful sterling silver frame of the Make Way for Ducklings statues, decorative shelves from Pottery Barn, precious book ends, and photo albums, to name a few. It's nice to peruse the sale often if you can shop early for the things you need and come back later to take a more relaxed approach and let yourself notice things you may have missed the first time.
We hope you can pop in for a little while on Saturday, May 2nd between 8:30 and 1:00 at Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Avenue in Needham (across from the library.) AND, if you'd like to shop early with your list, there is still time to sign up for a shift to volunteer for a two-hour shift, just click here.