As someone who has grown up in thrift stores, I have grown to absolutely love thrifting when all things align. Let’s be honest, not all thrift stores are alike and not all thrifting days are the same.
When thrifting, it’s important to set your goal before entering into the store. If you are looking for pants, I suggest only going to the clothing portion of the store. If you are furniture shopping, veer straight to that particular section upon entering the store. Your pockets and your precious time will thank me later.
Thrifting is in fact an art.
It takes creativity, patience, and diligence to sort through gently used clothing and household items. One way to organize your thoughts and closet ahead of time, is to print the pictures off of “potential outfit ideas.” This will eliminate any frustration as you roam the shelves. Let’s face it, there is no guarantee that you will find all of the items on your mental or physical list. Remember, not all thrift stores are the same and not all shopping experiences are the same.
Beware of Overly Used or Malfunctioning Items
There are some items you should either avoid or exercise extreme caution before purchasing. These items include electronics (toasters, radios, blenders, televisions). Some thrift stores will allow you to test these items out before purchasing (DO IT!) Most thrift stores have a no return policy.
Learn the Donation Days and Sales Events
Some thrift stores have a specific day to which the items are placed on the shelves. Regulars know these days and show up faithfully on these days. This is when ‘new’ gently used items are re-stocked. I suggest showing up early, preferably before the lunch hour!
Call or visit your favorite or local thrift store to learn about the weekly sales events. If you’re lucky, you can catch the buy one get one for half off. Some events even include all items half priced. Word of advice on the sales days: The lines will be long and the competition will be HIGH for some items.
Buying secondhand is a mindful way to help decrease pollution from production, waste, and use of resources while still getting your fashion fix.
Check The Zip-Code
As stated, not all thrift stores and experiences are the same. Yes, that’s right. There are some thrift stores that are basically overpriced used items. Within these stores, you can find $75 purses and $35 belts. This is not O.K. The purpose is to locate used items that are used and still usable for a reduced price. Be sure you are not being taken advantage of for the sake of thrifting!
Experiment and Have Fun!
Create your own thrifting experience and have fun doing it! When you leave with all of your new items, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness! Happy Thrifting!
Our morning’s are extremely fast. Extremely. As I was thinking about how to spend more time with my children, it dawned on me that I was already doing that in the morning’s. In the morning’s when they brush their teeth and forget to mouthwash. In the morning’s when they lose one shoe or cannot find their homework. That’s the time. But I had to figure out how to make it quality. So I started asking questions. I’d ask questions like, what are you looking forward to most today? My oldest tends to give me an answer about hanging with her friends at recess or how she’s excited to discuss a recent TikTok with her classroom best friend. My youngest almost always looks forward to seeing her teacher. On the drive to school, we talk. Some days, they talk and I just turn the radio down and listen. They hop out and that’s it. It seems so little but that’s the quality time needed for them to start their days, everyday.
Nights are a little different. This is because we’ve all had the chance to go into the world and come back home with the results of that day. Nights are not as rushed. They are calm. Nights are our moments to decompress and reflect. Again, they talk and I listen. They talk about their friends and who got into trouble. They talk about who burped in class and who tripped them at daycare. They talk and I listen. Sometimes I’ll ask a question and I almost always get a response. I accept both the good and bad responses. Some of the not so good responses are followed by a question by one of my children. They want to know ‘why.’ They eat dinner and talk and I listen. They get ready for bed and talk and I listen. Bedtime stories and bedtime videos on YouTube happen, sometimes by request. We all sit in bed and read or listen to a video and it’s calm. They search for sleep music on their TVs (yes, they have to sleep to sleep music every night). We hug before bed and off they go to dreamland to begin again the next morning. And that’s it. That’s the quality time.
Take Videos and Pictures Everyday
I am the mom with the camera aimed and ready 365 and 24/7. I have been taking pictures of my little ones for a decade and I don’t see that changing one bit. Take pictures. Take videos. Strangers will look at you strange. Do it anyways. You will look back at every picture and think of the good times. Both of my daughters absolutely love the camera! They have been in front of it since birth and it has become our versionof quality time. We pose in strange locations and take pictures. We make silly faces. We make funny videos. We crack up at each other and that’s our quality time.
Movie Nights and Days
Lazy days. We all need them. We have our days when we just lay around and watch movies. They love it and I love it. The days turn into nights and we spend lots of time together on those days. I learn all about their new interests and ideas. I witness all of their new artwork. We watch movies and paint nails. They wash their dolls hair and they borrow my brush and comb to do the hair. We take naps. That’s the quality time needed. They are able to just be and still be accepted for the little children they are.
We Go To Church
We go to church. We sing and laugh and listen. Sometimes they sit with me and sometimes they visit the kids church. When they sit with me, they just listen. They absorb. They sometimes ask questions and listen more. We take pictures afterwards. We eat lunch and they laugh. My oldest makes jokes and the little one laughs hysterically. Most church days, they are full of energy!
Shopping and Ice Cream
Weekends! We get up and GO! We go shopping or browsing. We ride around and go into different stores. We walk around and they bring me random items they want or are curious about. We talk and laugh. My oldest pushes the basket and runs into shelves and people (sometimes). My youngest almost always gets in the basket (although, we all know she’s a little tall for the front part). They sneak stuff into the basket. My youngest hides under clothing racks and giggles. My oldest picks stuff up and plays dress up in the middle of the store. They both do cartwheels in the frozen food aisles. Sometimes, I just push the basket cluelessly because I know they are okay and they are just being children. We check out and they always fight over who will pull my card from the machine. My youngest loves putting groceries away and she’s quite good at it. I just let them be and that’s our quality time.
We have game nights. I always lose. But both of my girls are very good! I’m not sure if I lose because I’m helping them each turn but somehow they manage to beat me, and that’s okay. We play Candyland. We play MyLife. We have karaoke competitions-for hours. They make jokes and laugh. When one of them starts the pout over losing, I pep talk them and they are okay again. They argue over turns. Sometimes tears. But then, we always end the night peacefully, somehow.
Yes, that’s right. We have blackouts. No TV’s, no laptops or tablets. Even if it’s only for a few hours. Most times, this happens when tensions are high and I can tell we all need to decompress. Their first response is, ‘ahhhh nooo.’ After about 30 minutes, they are settled into the quiet. I might find one doing a crossword and the other washing her dolls hair. During this time, they are calm and present. My oldest tells me all kinds of facts, stories and ideas on her mind. My youngest likes to cuddle and tends to nap off and on.
I Cook, They Eat.
I’m not the best cook but they eat happily. They put their requests in early in the morning and I attempt to make it. It’s not always a winner but it’s a chicken dinner! Ha. They almost always compliment dinner. We talk and laugh. They waste food on the floor and on their clothes and on the table. They clean and keep talking my ear off. We laugh when someone burps or when it comes out the other end haha. Quality time.
1 On 1 Time During Dance Classes
Both of my girls have separate dance classes on separate days. This means one on one time! We go get our nails painted. We ride around. We jam out to music. Most importantly, we talk.
Going to Nana’s
Off to Nana’s we go! Nana always has the good snacks so they (and me) are always happy. They run around aimlessly. They play with bubbles. We play with water guns. We talk and laugh. They play outside and run away from bugs. My youngest cries. My oldest runs faster. We play with the baby cousin, neighbors and with dogs and house birds. We record videos. We eat. They talk and laugh.
Laundry and Clean Up Days
We have clean up days where we have to get everything back in order. They groan. I play music..loud, when needed. Sometimes, they jump right in. We compete to see who finishes first. My oldest always wins. They dance and clean. They sing and clean. They sometimes cry and clean. They complain and pout and clean. When it’s all clean, we relax. Everyone is back at peace when it is clean and all is well again. My oldest apologizes for pouting most times. My youngest could care less. Ha!
On park days, they bring their bikes while I exercise. They play on the playground and sometimes asks to be recorded as they do flips. I record. They race on the track with their bikes and zoom past me. I challenge them to go faster by passing them on the track and they always pass me. I help my youngest on the monkey bars. My oldest pretends to climb across the monkey bars. They introduce me to their new buddies that they meet on the playground. We have picnics. We play with bubbles. We leave before dark, tired and wore out but happy. This is our quality time.
In a Nutshell
Hopefully you’re able to leave with new ideas to spend quality time with your little ones. Or maybe you could just relate to this post. Did I leave any out?