Minimalism Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Think #minimalism is stark or boring? Think again! When you can eliminate household décor items that aren’t meaningful or beautiful, you get a home that holds things that are of true significance to your life, Becoming Minimalist says. Photos, artwork, natural elements and travel souvenirs will create more warmth and interest than store-bought tchotchkes because they inspire memories and associations. Take a hard look at your spaces and #declutter and #donate anything that’s only there to take up space or doesn’t have a deeper meaning to yourself and your family.

Harvest a Few Fall Deals at the Thrift

The apples are crisp, and the air is crisper … it must be fall! And there’s no better time to score a few bargains at the local thrift store. With cold weather and the biggest holidays just around the corner, you can prepare for the season without spending a lot of money — and at the same time, help fund veterans’ programs.

The first thing you’ll want to look for at the thrift is cold-weather clothing. If you need sweaters, scarves, gloves or a winter coat, you can find them on the cheap at the thrift. Likewise with blankets, comforters and throws — and if you start shopping for such items early, you’ll have a great selection of stuff from which to choose.

You may also want to add a little fall flair to your home. Try a warm color palette and a harvest theme, Midwest Living saysCorn husks, mums, gourds, leaves and pine cones are among the many natural accents that suggest the season; use them creatively and emphasize red, brown and orange hues to celebrate autumn.

Halloween closes out the first full month of fall, and many thrift stores will have lightly used or brand-new decorations from last year that people either didn’t use or are no longer using. String lights, paper skeletons, plastic lawn decorations, you name it; they all wind up at the thrift for reuse. But they won’t be there for long!

The thrift is also a great source of raw materials for your Halloween costume. In no time, you can source the used clothing and accessories needed to cement your status as a disco dude, zombie, cheerleader or pirate. For something more topical, you can pick up a dark suit and an extra-long red tie fast at most thrifts.

Whatever you find, you’ll experience the thrill of the hunt and save yourself some money while helping the nation’s veterans. Donations of lightly used clothing, housewares and accessories made to ClothingDonations.org are sold to thrifts for resale, with all proceeds going directly to programs that help veterans access housing, health care and more.

So shop freely for all of your fall festivities! But don’t buy new — harvest some deals at the thrift!

New Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

Is there any springtime family activity that’s more fun than decorating Easter eggs? Probably not — but you can expand upon the typical vinegar, water and food-coloring treatment to keep the kids entertained and your table stylish. Martha Stewart offers no less than 64 ideas to shake up your egg-decorating game. You can use chalk paints to make polka-dot eggs, for example, or decoupage them in gingham; you might even make them shine with an application of copper or gold foil. Whatever you choose, the project will help get the weekend off to a fun and crafty start.

Decorate for Easter With a Little DIY

Thrift, dollar and party-supply stores can all help you get your home in shape for a festive Easter brunch. But when you want to re-create a designer look on the cheap, there is often no substitute for DIY, says 3 Little Greenwoods blogger Ashley Greenwood. After seeing Pottery Barn market a moss-covered basket filled with glittery eggs as an expensive Easter accessory, she reproduced the look at home with a trip to the thrift store and some quick handiwork with a hot glue gun. And since many thrift stores are supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org, you can get creative while contributing to a good cause.

Thrift Your Way to an Elegant Table

Decorate for an Easter brunch on the cheap by shopping at your local thrift and secondhand stores, many of which are supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. For inspiration, check out the holiday table Redhead Can Decorate blogger Julie Fiato was able to stage with a few fortunate thrift-store finds such as rose china, champagne flutes and pink plastic eggs. Donation pickups keep thrifts supplied with new items constantly, and when you buy and repurpose lightly used goods, the proceeds help fund veterans’ programs nationwide.