Hey, friends! I'm helping get the word out about the upcoming Rhea Lana Children's Consignment Sale in Siloam Springs. If you haven't ever participated in a Rhea Lana sale, you should check it out! I have been selling and buying at these sales for two years now, and it has really changed the way I take care of clothing my four children from season to season each year.
For the first 6 years of Life With Kids at our home, this was my system for clothing my kids in a frugal way:
1. Scour yard sales for used clothes in decent condition.
2. Use coupons to combine with end-of-season sales at children's clothing stores and buy a year or two ahead (for example, buy next year's swimsuit for Maggie at this year's end-of-summer sale).
3. Keep all clothes from my oldest two kids to pass down to their little brother and sister.
This system worked for us for those six years, and I am thankful for the way it helped up keep our kids clothed for a minimal amount of money. But there were some less-than-ideal elements of this system, including the storage hassle: all those huge Sterilight plastic bins with every size of infant and toddler clothing in both boys and girls varieties! We moved our entire wardrobe of infant and toddler clothing five or six times from house to house. Uggh. Plus the hassle of buying discounted clothes seasons ahead, guessing what sizes they'll need in which season, and having to get the purchased clothes into the right bin so that all the 3T clothes you bought last year are all in one place when it's time to wear them. It worked, but it was a hassle.
Another downside to our old system was that with six years' age difference between our two boys and our two girls, by the time my younger son and daughter were ready for their turn with the clothes, most of the styles were looking pretty outdated, especially considering that I had bought many of the clothes used even before my older two kids wore them. So some of the styles were 7-8 years old. Current style is not the most important thing, but outdated clothes was a down-side to the system.
I also found it difficult to keep track of what I had and what I needed for each kid each season, and I sometimes ended up with random shirts or pants that didn't really make a wearable outfit. And I found that as my big kids grew out of toddler size clothes, it got harder and harder to find second-hand clothes in larger sizes in good condition (older kids stay in the same size longer than infants and toddlers and tend to wear through their clothes before they grow out of them.... this means less quality second-hand clothes in bigger sizes.)
Like I said, even with its down sides, our old system worked well for us, and I'm sure I would still be using it if we didn't have access to the Rhea Lana sales nearby. But let me tell you, Rhea Lana has now completely changed how I clothe our children! By buying and selling at Rhea Lana, I am now able to clothe all four of my kids for next to nothing, easily make sure that they each have the clothes and shoes they need, pick out up-to-date styles for them that I love each season, and not have to store bins and bins of children's clothes that are not currently being worn. Here's how it works for me:
1. Each spring and fall, I go through closets and clean out all the clothes, gear and toys that my kids no longer use or need or have outgrown. At the same time, I evaluate what we have and what we still need for each child for the upcoming season. I make a list: Max needs 4 pair of pants, 5 long sleeve shirts, 4 pajama pants, 1 pair of dress shoes, etc. I work my way through all four kids until I have a complete list of what they all need for the upcoming season.
2. I take our outgrown clothes and toys and gear and spend a few hours at home tagging it all and entering it into the Rhea Lana online system and then take it up to the sale on merchandise drop off days.
3. I take my list of all of our needs for the season to the Rhea Lana sale and shop for all four kids. Within a couple of hours or less, I have done all the shopping to clothe my kids for six months. It costs FAR less than buying retail, and many of the clothes are in "like new" condition. Each time I've gone shopping, I've spent only about $100-150 total to buy everything we needed for the new season.(Granted, we have had some of what we needed already at home). I go home with complete outfits for each child, not a bunch of hodgepodge shirts and pants like I often ended up with in my old system.
4. At the end of the sale, I pick up the check for our outgrown items I sold... and every time it has been about the same amount of money I spent shopping for the new season. Rhea Lana has allowed our family to clothe four children for two years now for almost no out of pocket expense! By selling AND buying, we are basically trading in what we no longer need for what we do need!
Rhea Lana really has been a huge blessing to our family. If you haven't checked it out before, you should! Check it out on Facebook or on the Rhea Lana website.
Enjoy the sale, friends. Rhea Lana is a fun and frugal way to take care of your munchkin's clothing, shoes, toys and gear needs. Hope you all find it as helpful as I have!