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GUEST POST: Smart Moms Use Snow and Cold Days to do Spring Cleaning

I’m soo pleased to share this guest post from Michelle Wiginton of Just Between Friends!  If you are snowed in, there’s are some INCREDIBLE ideas here!!

Hundreds of thousands of American moms across the United States are using this cold weather and unexpected snow days to clean out, organize and prepare their gently-used, outgrown and unused maternity and children’s items so they can cash in at an upcoming spring children’s consignment sales event. From strollers to Sketchers, from Gymboree to Johnny Jump-Ups, and from Little Tikes to Little People, children’s consignment events’ offer families the opportunity to buy and sell what their children need for next warmer weather. (and we could all use some sunny thoughts right now)

“Children’s consignment sales events bring moms together under one roof and give them the opportunity to sell their items and make great money for their family, while providing a venue where they can also shop for what they need for the next season,” said Michelle Wiginton, event coordinator for five Just Between Friends semi-annual community sales events in Missouri. “I have consignors who use their checks to buy the next season’s wardrobe, help pay the mortgage and even one mom who is funding a family trip to Disney World this summer on what she has made selling at our events.” What’s great about consignment is that you can prepare and tag their items year round. This makes winter storms almost enjoyable because moms know they will make great money on their items that sell in spring. A few hours spent in preparation of their items will mean hundreds of dollars during the next sale.

“Our consignors know that we inspect all items, so we don’t waste their time on things that won’t sell and we don’t waste the time of our shoppers, who do not want to sort through stained and outdated clothing or dig through broken toys or games with missing pieces,” said Michelle Wiginton, who is also a Certified Meeting Planner, as well as being certified in Change Management and Business Process Reorganization. “Consignors say they save their “best stuff” for consignment because they can make more money than at a garage sale or traditional consignment store, they love to shop early and they don’t have to pick-up any items that don’t sell when they donate to a local children’s charity. We make it easy for smart moms to make money, save money, make new friends and have a ton of fun in the process.”

Spring will be here before you know it (even if it doesn’t feel like it under a foot of snow and ice) and the kids will need new bathing suits, shorts and outdoor play equipment. Cleanout closets, toy boxes, shelves and those bins in the garage. Consider selling DVDs, booster seats, books, toys, crib sheets, nursery décor, bunk beds, hair bows and anything else that has to do with raising a child that you no longer use or need.

“A mom’s first consignment sale experience can sometimes be the most overwhelming (and most financially rewarding), simply because they might have a ton of stuff to tag and bring from a couple of years,” said Wiginton. “After their first full year of events, including a spring/summer and then fall/winter sale, they will then just be prepping and tagging items for one season. Moms will still get a nice check, but have a lot less to store and try to keep up with. I hear all the time how great it is to have money for the items that were just taking up space in someone’s home and garage AND get great money for it, too.”

Snow Day Consignment Game

  • Make your first consignment experience a game! (you know, it really should be fun!)
  • Get your kids to help if they are old enough or have some fun while they are napping, if they are too young to help. Have them go through their own things…and bring you shoes that pinch their toes, tops that show their tummy and toys that only babies would play with.
  • Go through your home and gather all of the things you know are outgrown or unused and take them someplace in your home where you can sit down and sort (like a basement, living room or guest bedroom).
  • Next you are going to create three piles: Trash (for broken and anything beyond repair or reuse), Donate/Garage Sale (more than gently-worn clothing, toys that might be missing a couple of pieces but someone might purchase to compliment a set they already have, shoes that are scuffed, etc.) and Consignment (this is where all the really good stuff goes)!
  • Go through each item, talk with your kids about Halloween costumes and laugh about your items…these are your memories, enjoy them! Send your little ones off to find missing Little People, missing shoes and that cute matching hat and belt to last year’s Easter dress. Include your children so they learn that taking care of things is important and talk to them about the other kids who are going to enjoy their things next and what they might want you to look for at the sale to bring home for them.
  • Once you have your trash pile, set it out for Mr. Sanitation Engineer to pick up. Then, box/bag up your garage sale/donate items because those will be your second priority. Focus on your consignment items because that is where you will recoup your most investment in your children. Check all clothing items for broken snaps, buttons and zippers. Any stains? Head to the utility room.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have fresh batteries, hangers, cardstock, safety pins, etc. You can prepare your items by cleaning them up, getting them all together and entering your items into the computer. Do as much as you can now. Then, when the sun clears the roadway, you’ll be half-way to a big, fat juicy consignor check.

TIP: If you can, invest in a couple of inexpensive plastic tubs and mark them “warm” and “cold” for your clothing. When your kiddos grow out of something, launder it and then just toss it into the bin, so it will be ready for tagging when you are! Remember, have fun. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some family time, earn some extra income and then shop with your friends!

Michelle Wiginton is a hard-working wife of a retired OK State Trooper and mom to three sons and is also the current Franchise of the Year for Just Between Friends, the nation’s largest maternity and children’s consignment sales event franchise. www.jbfsale.com She has a BA and Master’s Degree in International Human Relations and has worked with both ABC News and Good Morning America. Michelle coordinates five JBF semi-annual community children’s consignment sales events in Missouri and firmly believes you can have fun, laugh, serve others and get your work done at the same time.


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