Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Online Gallery as Back-to-School Wardrobe Organizer

I am a bargain hunter.  I like to buy out-of-season and clearance clothes if they are cute clothes for a great price.  With young children this means that I need to buy a size or two larger than what my child is now wearing, and then store the clothing until the child grows into it.  Or as is the case with school clothes during the summer break, I store the clothing until school is in session.

My memory isn't what it used to be.  That or I simply have too many things to remember them all.  I forget which it is.  When I store clothing, I may think that I will remember what I have, but I don't.  So I use tools.

One tool that works for me is my online photo gallery.  There are many out there; some are free.  The one I use is SmugMug, which does have an annual fee.

The way I use my online gallery to organize school clothing is by 
  1. Taking a picture of each article of clothing that I deem worthy of being worn for the coming school year, as well as new purchases.  That pic is then uploaded (from phone or camera) to a dedicated "clothing" gallery for each child.  
  2. I further organize the pics in my SmugMug online gallery by creating a caption for each clothing article, broken down into whether the item is bottom/top/shoes, leggings/pants/shirt/skirt, color, and length.   SmugMug has the option of sorting photos by the caption, alphabetically.  This way, for example, I can see that my 6YO currently has three yellow short sleeved shirts for the coming school year, but not one top in the hues of orange or green.  Which are two of her preferred colors.  Oopsy.
  3. Before making a purchase, I can view my online gallery (SmugMug has a handy mobile app for smartphones) to see what I have and what is needed.
BTW, there is sort of a Step 1A: At the end of the school year, I went through Yellow's school clothes that survived first grade.  Those pieces of clothing that appear up for another year, I stored away to remove them from further wear and tear.  I still need to do this step with Pink's clothing, as she will be going to kindergarten.  Yes, I know that we are about halfway through summer at this point.

For the past couple years, as Yellow entered kindergarten and then first grade, about a week before school we have a back-to-school celebration day.  Part of what we do is unveil the "school clothes" wardrobe for the coming year.  This is when I will unpack the stored clothes, including new purchases with a surprise or two.  Just a bit of sunshine and silliness to make it fun and add to the excitement.
Purple LOVES her socks!

Do you use your online gallery for something besides documenting the awesomeness of you and yours?  Do tell.

P.S. If you sign up with SmugMug as a result of this post, please consider entering my coupon code 0NtSTssTqyhFI during the sign-up process.  This will earn me a one-time $10 referral credit on my annual subscription.  Then you can ask your friends and family to do the same for you.  Win-win.

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