Dirt and dust collect fast in winter, when houses are closed up against the cold. To keep your air #allergen-free, do a top-down #cleaning that includes the tops of moldings, framed artwork, blinds, books, and other hidden horizontal surfaces, Broomstick Cleaning says. Change the furnace filter on a regular basis to maintain air quality and optimize your heating dollar. And remember that a #cluttered home is harder to keep #clean, so try to eliminate any #clothing, papers and tchotchkes that you just don’t need or want and are getting in the way. #Donate any lightly used items to ClothingDonations.org. #WinterCleaning
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 ClothingDonations.org 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 ClothingDonations.org 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!
If you want to get ruthless in #decluttering your #closet, set a maximum number of hangers or limits on how many of which category of garment you will keep, says Simple Lionheart Life. You can track garment usage to ensure that only your favorites stay in rotation by turning the hangers in your closet around; after you wear an item, put it back hanging the right way. Any garments still hanging backward at the end of the season can likely be #donated. Or for a more immediate #purge, imagine yourself wearing each item of clothing or outfit when you run into an old friend or acquaintance — would you look and feel your best at that moment?
Don’t make #decluttering into an insurmountable task — start with just one #closet. Pull everything out and sort it into #keep, #trash and #donate piles. Clothing you enjoy wearing regularly are easy keepers, while items that are too damaged, stained or stretched-out can go directly in the trash. What goes in the #donate bag is a little more nuanced: Maybe an item doesn’t fit, never worked as part of your personal style, or was part of a too-small “goal” outfit that now only inspires anxiety, CNET says. Send those #garments to ClothingDonations.org immediately, set a new goal and reward yourself with a new outfit when you achieve it.
If you have #pets, you know that they can contribute to the #clutter and #grime that your home attracts. And the “dog days” of summer are as good a time as any to discover a few strategies to keep your space #organized and #tidy — whether you have a #dog, #cat, or some other furry, scaly or feathered friend.
First, tackle #decluttering #KonMari-style. “When going through your dog or cat’s items, focus on which of them bring your pet the most joy or serve a true purpose,” FreshPet says. “They usually make it pretty clear what they like and don’t like. Keep only the items that make your #pet the happiest.”
Try not to get too sentimental about pet possessions. If there’s something that has particular significance such as your pup’s first collar, frame it. Most other items can be discarded; #donate lightly used items to a local animal shelter or ClothingDonations.org. If something holds memories but is of little use, take a picture of it before letting it go.
Life Storage suggests creating pet “stations” around the house, designating bins and baskets for grooming items, outdoor/exercise needs, toys, and food and treats. If you house your pet in a crate, cage or aquarium, keep any related supplies #organized nearby for convenient care and maintenance.
PopSugar offers a list of 10 pet #organization products “sure to make your life easier,” or you can DIY your own storage solutions. Get creative with #thrift-store finds, shop the container section of a local hardware store or build an organizer. Consider labeling all boxes, baskets and bins as an additional #streamlining strategy.
Once your pet #stuff is organized and in its proper places, you won’t be tripping over toys or wasting time wondering where the leash went. And your home will be easier to #clean, too! Pets shed, track in dirt and leave other messes in their wake. But that’s a topic that The Organizing Blog will revisit another day. Enjoy the dog days!