The first rule of switching your closets to the fall season? Chuck it if you don’t need it. “We [all] have clothes that we hold onto out of guilt, or habit, or hopefulness that we might wear them again,” author Erin Boyle told the the Sweethome blog. To cut down on that superfluous stuff, dedicate a limited space to a particular season’s clothing; anything that doesn’t fit should be donated (contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup) or tossed. And be ruthless: If you didn’t wear it this year, you won’t want to unpack it next year.
Since the advent of the indoor mall, the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — has become a holiday unto itself. The overwhelming, all-American desire to get a good deal on holiday gifts has made the day a huge event for consumers. And retailers are only too happy to oblige, since many chains look to the last two months of the year as their biggest opportunity to command a profit for the year.
Retail stores expect to post $3 billion in sales this Friday, up 11.5% from 2015. And Black Friday’s online corollary, Cyber Monday, is set to match those figures. In fact, Black Friday is no longer just a single day; Amazon launched 35 straight days of “Black Friday” promotions last week, offering a new deal every five minutes through Dec. 22. And eBay, Macy’s, Target and Walmart aren’t far behind; many retail stores will open when the sun sets on the Thanksgiving feast.
As you head to the malls and superstores this year to get a great deal on a big-screen TV or Playstation VR system, don’t forget that you’ll have to make room for those bargain finds. Because for every people-pleasing gift of Black Fridays past, there’s a sweater that just didn’t fit, a toy nobody liked or a countertop appliance that was used once before getting shoved to the back of a closet.
Bag up that unwanted apparel and other items and call ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. They’ll be taken to a thrift shop and resold, putting them into the hands of people who use and appreciate them while funding programs that benefit the nation’s veterans. You’ll earn a tax deduction, and be secure in the knowledge that the deals you found on previous Black Fridays and abandoned won’t add to landfills.
You’ll also give thanks for the newfound space you can use to hide any deals you find this Black Friday and Cyber Monday before you wrap them up for gift-giving. And that will make for happy shopping and a happy holiday!
For Halloween costume inspiration, check out Netflix or your TV programming guide for celebrity ideas. With some large frame glasses, your daughter can look like an old-school Taylor Swift. With Pokémon Go all the rage, it should be easy to create some fantasy creatures for your youngsters to wear. For “Duck Dynasty” look-alikes, you just need some dark yarn for beards.
Many young women and parents haunt vintage shops for Halloween loot. You can find plenty of ideas at these shops for 1920s flapper costumes, for example, or to represent book and movie characters from “Gone with the Wind, ” “The Wizard of Oz” or early TV shows such as “I Love Lucy.” You and a friend could find all of the right fashion for a Lucy and Ethel pairing or Lucy and Ricky for a couple.
If you take an active interest in garage sales, you can probably pick up some ready-made Halloween costumes or gather up arts and crafts supplies to make your own for kids and adults. You won’t need many supplies for a Scooby-Doo character, for example. And, all you need to represent a popcorn box is a red and white stripped skirt or pants and a white shirt. If you want something really simple, use a few green leaves to adorn your hair and a yellow shirt. Presto — you’re a pineapple!