Keep Your Fall Fashions Clutter-Free

Saturated colors, logos and head-to-toe cable knits made a big splash on fashion’s runways this fall. But for those among us who aren’t ready to drop thousands of dollars on a single outfit, there’s another concern: how to refresh one’s wardrobe and look good for the fall season without creating more #clutter?

You may get the urge to shop as fall begins, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The temperatures are falling, and you might need new flannels, sweaters, jackets and other cool-weather clothing to wear, even if you’re working from home during the #pandemic. Specific items may need replacing after shrinking or wearing out.

As you shop, however, be mindful of the fact that every new item you buy will need to find a place in your closet or dresser. Ask yourself: Is this purchase truly necessary? Will it fuel a Marie Kondo-style sense of joy? Will I use that garment often enough to merit a spot in my limited space?

If the answer to each of these questions is yes, consider the storage space you have and what’s already in it. If you have are happy with your clothing storage and want to add a few new items to the mix, eliminate one item that you no longer use or just couldn’t work into the routine for each new item you buy.

If — as is more commonly the case — your closet and drawers are stuffed with things that you no longer like, no longer fit into or no longer use, #purge those unwanted items when you start shopping. Keep only a few essentials that you love, says Minimalism Made Simple, and your closet and mind will quickly become less #cluttered.

If you don’t have time for a complete purge, consider getting rid of two or three items for every new item you buy. That way, the overall numbers of garments owned will steadily decrease until your closet contains only successful new purchases and other items you cherish and love to wear.

As for the #stuff that doesn’t make the cut, bag up any garments that are in good enough shape to be worn again and contact ClothingDonations.org for a #donation pickup. You’ll feel good knowing that you look great and have an #uncluttered, #organized closet space while at the same time helping #veterans. That’s the way to kick off the fall season!

Have Your First Post-Pandemic Garage Sale

Did you order and accumulate lot of extra #stuff during the COVID-19 shutdowns last year? Now that the pandemic is on the wane, you can finally have a #garage sale safely and make some money from that extra #junk. Sort through some your clothing, books and household goods and set aside whatever you don’t need that’s still in decent shape. Don’t overwhelm potential patrons with huge quantities of used clothing and books, Wholefully says; display and price only the best items in those categories and donate the rest.

Celebrate Earth Day This Week and Every Week

Earth Day 2021 is not just a day — it’s a three-day event. Arranged around the theme “Restore Our Earth,” the observance will offer thousands of affiliated events worldwide to increase awareness of climate change and other environmental issues.

Scheduled this week are a global youth and education summits, a virtual “We Shall Breathe” summit from the Hip Hop Caucus, and a live event with workshops, panel discussions and performances on official Earth Day itself, Thursday, April 22.

Global summits will be held virtually, making it easy to join even if pandemic restrictions are in place. Fans of the planet are invited to participate in cleanups, tree plantings, teach-ins and other activities nearby; locate one near you on this map.

You can make every day Earth Day by volunteering with, donating to and advocating on behalf of environmentally friendly organizations. But perhaps the best way to help the earth is to modify your behavior in order to shrink your impact on the environment.

If you can’t go totally vegan to reduce factory farming, for example, you could at least observe Meatless Mondays. You can pick up litter when you’re out for a walk. You can calculate your own carbon footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it.

Reusable shopping bags and bottles can cut your use of single-use plastics. Plastic waste has infiltrated every part of the earth’s ecosphere, and humans and animals are suffering ill effects from ingesting the chemicals they release.

The more that can be reused without going into landfills, streams and oceans, the better. That’s another good reason to #donate your used clothing (a major source of plastics in the water supply, by the way) and household items to ClothingDonations.org.

#Donated items can have a second life with new owners, not only saving on waste, but also eliminating an equivalent amount of new goods needing to be manufactured. Plus, the proceeds from resale go toward helping veterans nationwide.

The Organizing Blog encourages you to get involved in efforts to clean up and protect the environment in ways large and small this Earth Day and every other day of the year. The saying may be hackneyed, but it’s true: We only have one earth — let’s protect it.

Observing Vietnam Veterans Day Safely

March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day — an opportunity to remember the 9 million American men and women who served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during U.S. involvement in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 7, 1975 — some 6 million of whom are living today.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and hundreds of partners will continue the special 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War that launched in 2012 this year. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA recommends remembering veterans with socially distanced community activities from March 25 – March 29.

“This is an opportunity for all Americans to recognize and thank our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice during one of America’s longest wars,” the VA Blog says. “Outside of these dates, we should remember that we can always thank and welcome home Vietnam veterans any time of the year.”

While in-person events are challenging to stage safely, the VA invites well-wishers to reach out to Vietnam veterans who live in remote areas, are physically unable to attend commemorative events or are living in nursing homes with a thank-you card, call or Zoom conference.

Honor Flight organizations are working with VSOs to create Honor Parade routes in many communities. These outdoor events pass by veterans’ homes at a safe distance to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus. Vietnam Memorial walls will also appear in many locations — many of them supported by VVA chapters nationwide. Here’s a short list of commemorative events.

Hundreds of observances will take place, and the VA urges participants to celebrate and honor veterans safely. Many events get some funding from your generous donations of lightly used clothing and household goods to ClothingDonations.org.

So clean out a closet and #donate; call, text or write a veteran; or take part in a safe, socially distanced event to thank a Vietnam veteran for their service. They will appreciate the consideration on National Vietnam War Veterans Day — or any day of the year.

Start Storing Those Seasonal Items

Make some of your #spring #cleaning chores seasonal, The Spruce says, in order to get ready for warmer weather. Clean the grill, patio and garden furniture as soon as daytime temperatures warm up; also wash the windows to take advantage of sunnier days. You can also start sorting your heaviest sweaters, coats, flannel sheets and woolen blankets into #storage bins for next winter; you won’t need them in just a few weeks. If you find anything you just don’t want, donate it to ClothingDonations.org.