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 ClothingDonations.org 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 ClothingDonations.org!

 

It’s time to transition—goodbye, summer and hello, fall!

It seems like we were just having our garage sales and greeting our kids as they got off the bus, ready for summer. While some of us are scrambling to get in that last minute vacation, many children only have a few days left before a new school year is underway! Translation—fall is upon us.

If you checked out our back-to-school tips, you’ll remember that we talked about the clothes shopping excursions that typically accompany a new school year. Sure your children (and yourself!) may only have gotten a few new items for their wardrobes, but you’d be surprised by just how much space a couple pairs of jeans, some sweaters, and new coats will take up in your closet. Not to mention, you have summer clothes you still need to keep out—where do you put it all?

Our friends over at The Huffington Post have some great tips for helping make that summer-to-fall closet transition a little easier. Here are their suggestions:

1.)    Go through your summer clothes. Now that the season is (almost) over, try on everything. If you don’t wear it or it doesn’t fit anymore, put it in a plastic bag for donation. Then go to our website, fill out a donation pickup request form, and we’ll pick the items up for you!

2.)    Don’t pack it all away yet. The weather is still warm for the rest of August and most of September, so only pack up a few items. Keep any pieces that can be worn in the fall easily accessible in your closet.

3.)    Evaluate old fall clothes. Just like your old summer clothes, try on these fall items. If they are too big or no longer fit your style, donate them to us! We’ll be happy to help those pants and sweaters find a home in a new closet.

4.)    “Hang fall clothes, organizing by type.” By keeping flannel shirts separate from the big sweaters and jackets, you’ll be better able to see smaller items. It also lets you see all of the pieces you own, to keep you from buying things you don’t need!

Now that you have the knowledge you need, start getting your closets prepared for fall today!

To Garage Sale or To Donate? That is The Question!

Spring is officially underway, friends! We’ve cracked open the windows, spring cleaned, and made a pile of clothes and other items we no longer need. Now, what should we do with them?

For most of us, the answer is simple: have a garage sale. Holding a garage sale seems like a natural step after spring cleaning. It’s a way for our belongings to find purpose and meaning with someone else who will use them, and it’s also a great way to make some quick cash.

While it’s validating to sell your things, it’s also great to donate your former treasures. Here are five reasons you should consider donating your clothes and possessions instead of selling them:

  1. It feels good. When donating to a cause we care about, we feel good. Instead of holding a garage sale, consider donating your gently used items? Even better—when you donate to ClothingDonations.org, you’re helping veterans. With last Saturday being Armed Forces Day, the timing could not be more perfect. Consider making a donation to us today!
  2. Planning a garage sale is stressful. Garage sales can take weeks of planning and preparation. We know how busy everyone is, so do yourself (and us!) a favor: donate your items. We make the process easy and painless, so there’s no need to stress out!
  3. Donations are tax-deductible. Donations made to ClothingDonations.org are tax-deductible—all the more reason to donate your gently used items!
  4. It declutters your home. Having a decluttered home should be enough incentive to donate your clothes. Imagine all of the extra space you’ll have. Sounds good, right? Donate today!
  5. It’s easy! Simply place your items in a donation box, and schedule a donation pickup with ClothingDonations.org. We’ll swing by and make sure your donated goods are given to loving homes.

Now that we’ve given you some pretty compelling reasons to donate your belongings instead of selling them, the question is this—when will you schedule your donation pickup?

The Closet Trick You Need to Know

Follow these 3 simple steps and you’ll never waste another morning searching for your favorite top:

Step 1:  Turn all of your hangers backwards, this will mean that the hooks will be facing you.Each time you grab a piece of clothing turn the hanger the opposite way.

Step 2:  Let six months go by and reevaluate your closet. Are some hangers still backwards? Schedule a pick-up and donate those items because they’re just taking up space.

Step 3: Of course, it’s possible that some items aren’t seasonably appropriate and in that case wait another six months and then follow the steps again.

How do you keep your closet in order? Visit us on Facebook and share your tricks with us!

Photo Credit, David Niblack,  Imagebase.net.