Make Spring a Time of Personal Renewal

Spring — at least in places with relatively well-defined seasons — is a time of renewal. In the northern climates, crocuses and daffodils are already popping up, the trees are budding, and birds are chirping. Warm weather won’t be far behind.

As nature wakes from its winter slumber, people often start to emerge from their hibernation. That may mean socializing more, exercising outdoors or launching a new project. Whatever one’s rebirth engenders, it’s a welcome respite from the cold, gray days of winter.

“What better time than spring to regroup and reprioritize, and even reinvent ourselves and the lives we find ourselves living?” asks Abigail Brenner, M.D., in a Psychology Today article. Leading her seven suggested personal “rituals” to start a spring renewal? #Decluttering.

First, declutter your living space, sorting out any clothing that you haven’t worn in more than two years and #donating it ( can help). Follow up by getting rid of any pantry items and medications that have expired.

Next (and perhaps more importantly), clear your mental and emotional clutter. Shed the practices and habits that sap your energy. Let go of the past, commit to decisions you’ve been putting off, challenge limiting beliefs, and think positively. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

Try something new, and take advantage of the weather to do something outdoors. Try to #streamline and #renew your life to improve its overall quality. What are your priorities? Focus on what you value the most and structure your time around it.

Once your living environment and psyche are clear, you’ll be more relaxed — there’s just “less noise” in your brain, Mayo Clinic psychologist Craig Sawchuk told CNN Health. And the altruism engendered in donating goods “psychologically can have a really good impact.”

So this season, take a hint from nature: Take the initiative to renew your surroundings and your outlook. You’ll feel better and more refreshed every step of the way.

Sports Fandom and Clothing Donations

This weekend, Super Bowl LVIII will kick off in Las Vegas, pitting the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Whichever team takes the prize, it will almost certainly be a drag-out contest punctuated by multimillion-dollar ads, star-studded halftime entertainment and celebrity cameos.

Throughout the season, sports fans spend a lot of money to support their favorite teams — buying expensive tickets to live games; celebrating with tailgate parties, at home and in bars; and sporting their team’s colors religiously on game days and other occasions. Licensed fan apparel is a $40 billion business worldwide, and that’s not the only merch out there.

If you’re a sports fan, chances are that you have a cherished jersey with a favorite player’s number and name on the back — or maybe several. You may complement this with other wardrobe items such as a stocking cap, sweats and other items in the team colors, and you may have spent quite a bit to share your allegiance.

But like anything, even a premium jersey can outlive its usefulness. Perhaps you gained or lost weight since you bought that jersey or have a new favorite for game-day wear. Maybe it was a gift that wasn’t on the mark, or maybe you have one jersey too many. Or maybe you started following a different team altogether (!), making that particular piece of apparel a relic of the past. can help. If you have fan apparel that you’d like to get rid of but is still in usable condition, #donate it! Schedule a #free #donation #pickup, and one of our drivers will come get your disused fan gear and other household items at the designated time and date.

Conversely, if you need a good piece of fan gear for game day or general wear, the #thrift and #secondhand stores supplied by generous #donations to often stock lots of logoed items from area teams at prices that are a fraction of what such items cost to buy new.

Whether you #donate fan gear, buy it used or both, the proceeds from #donations and resale fund valuable programs that support the nations #veterans. And that’s a team everyone can get behind.

Thrift-Shop to Save on Halloween Costumes

Stuck for a scary-good #Halloween #costume for your kids or yourself? You could buy a ready-made, no-fuss costume if you’re strapped for time, but that’s never as fun as creating your own, one-of-a-kind take on a monster, superhero or ghoul.

Nor is it cheap! Prepackaged costumes can easily cost $50, $100 or more — and you’ll need that money for candy and decorations. So instead of purchasing a costume, assemble one from the unique #clothing and finds at the #thrift or #secondhand store.

You can quickly create classic characters such as vampire, rock star, witch, ghost, scarecrow, burglar or hippie by shopping the local thrift for clothing and accessories, Unexpectedly Domestic says. If pop culture is your thing, the Golden Girls makes a great group costume.

This year’s most up-to-the-minute pop culture costumes borrow looks from Clueless, The Addams Family, Stranger Things, and Top Gun: Maverick, says Refinery29. But you can’t go wrong with longtime favorites such as Harry Potter, Where’s Waldo and Dora the Explorer.

For best results, brainstorm a few costumes before thrifting, says Open Door. Keep an open mind, however, because you might find something that sparks new ideas. Don’t just look for clothing, either — the thrift might have accessories and props that will make your look stand out.

Don’t forget that thrifts are a great source of foundational materials such as sheets that can be repurposed, as well as Halloween decorations. What you come up with is limited only by your creativity, so start #thrifting now. You’ll be able to shop sustainably and save money.

An added bonus? Thrift stores supplied by help fund valuable veterans programs. When you #donate clothing, #household goods and other lightly used #stuff, it gets resold to fund housing, health care and other veteran needs.

Remember to contact any time of year you wish to schedule a #free, #contactless #donation #pickup, too! Think of your donation as pay your Happy Halloween forward. Hope yours is spook-tacular!

Keep Cozy with Thrifty Craft Projects

The holidays are now a memory, and everything has finally been put away — hopefully, following some “editing” that keeps the volume of your stuff in check and your shelves and closets clean and clutter-free. It’s time to hole up and prepare to cope with the worst that winter has to offer.

Many people spend a lot of time getting creative ahead of the holidays, crafting wreaths, ornaments and other items that brighten the home for entertaining. But you can continue to make your home a cozy place during the darkest, dreariest months of the year by letting your creativity run wild.

Visit the local thrift store for inspiration and raw materials. Many secondhand goods are supplied by generous donations to from families like yours, and repurposing the items sold there helps fund programs that support the nation’s veterans.

When it comes to warmth, old sweaters can provide a source of warm cloth that helps keep other parts of the body comfy. The do-it-yourself blog Ecouterre suggests turning sweaters into slipper-socks; with just a few stitches, that old pullover will keep your pinky toes protected from drafty floors.

Old sweaters can also serve as the source material for handwarmers, vase holders and stocking caps, according to Design Bump. If you don’t have any sewing skills beyond a square knot, you can get a few yards of fleece fabric and make this no-sew blanket to hide under for a night of Netflix and warmth.

Another—slightly more complicated—idea from the Making Our Sustainable Life blog is to take old linens and sew dry grains inside to make a microwavable bed warmer. Bonus: In the hot, humid summer months that will be here eventually, you can use the same item as a bed cooler by throwing it in the refrigerator.

For those in older homes, Good Housekeeping offers 20 ideas for making “adorable” draft stoppers to place under doors. Pet parents, be forewarned: Many of these stuffed snakes will also be irresistible to dogs and cats. And if you happen to be a quilter, of course, you already know that the thrift store is a treasure trove of interesting fabrics and patterns.

If the weather has you housebound, in other words, there are lots of creative ways to keep winter’s chill at bay. Don’t despair: Try out a few of these ideas, and spring will be here before you know it. Stay warm!

Don’t Let the Clutter Take Control—Donate Your Items to Us!

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had one or two items that we don’t actually need but can’t bring ourselves to throw away. For some, these one or two items expand into three, ten or 25. Pretty soon you’ll have desk drawers, or even a closet,  devoted to these unneeded, yet strangely powerful things.

This is when it’s time to start letting go of emotional attachments and clearing the clutter out. You may think a box of notes you passed with your friends in middle school, the old coin collection gathering dust, clothes from five years ago, or old textbooks from college are absolute necessities. However, if you don’t use them and they’re taking up valuable space, chances are you probably won’t miss them if they’re gone.

When it comes to item that are sentimental, ease into it. You don’t have to get rid of everything, and not all at once. Consider keeping one old sweater that means a lot to you and one or two college textbooks that may help in your career. Then, donate the rest of these items to us. Fill out our form to schedule a pickup, put the items in a box marked with the word “donation, ” and then set them out by your mailbox.

We also found this article by Maria Gracia to be very helpful with tips on how to fight your pack rat urges. One tip she provides that we love is to take pictures of the items that hold sentimental value to you. That way, you can “keep the memory, rather than allowing the memory to take up space.”

Take our advice: De-clutter your home today, and remember to donate anything you don’t need to!