Honoring Those Who Served on Veterans Day

Established in the aftermath of World War I, Armistice Day commemorated the armistice with Germany, which ended the war on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Renamed in 1954, the holiday has expanded to recognize military veterans from every U.S. conflict as #Veterans Day.

Events around the country will feature parades, speakers and moments of silence in recognition of veterans. One of the biggest this year will be held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11 to mark the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) will stage a “Massing of the Colors” at The Wall in the run-up to the main ceremony, bringing color guards from chapters and state councils across the country to salute to veterans lost and surviving. VVA will also participate in one of the largest annual ceremonies, the annual wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Companies employing veterans can get in on the act, Military.com says, by treating them to lunch, recognizing their sacrifice in a company newsletter, sharing stories of their service with clients and vendors, recognizing their families, or engaging in a day of community service on veterans’ behalf. Contact a local veterans service organization (VSO) to plan an event.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a handy guide to Veterans day activities if you’d like to stage your own observance. From a full-on ceremony including guest speakers, posting of colors and Taps, to classroom activities, musical programs and poster contests, all can garner respect and #honor for the nation’s veterans.

You can make your Veterans Day observance more personal if you know of a friend or family member who has served. Send a card, volunteer to take them to the local parade, or invite them out to dinner in gratitude for their service. They’ll appreciate the gesture!

And remember, every #donation you make to ClothingDonations.org helps fund essential veterans programs and events like the ones mentioned above. Schedule a free, #contactless #donation #pickup today!

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 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!

The Perfect Time of Year for Renovations

Every season has pros and cons when it comes to home projects: Spring is best for starting new landscaping projects, for example, while summer is good for a kitchen overhaul since you can grill while your new stove is installed.

These seasons are the busiest time of year, however, so your project may face shortages of labor and materials — or pay top-dollar to get what you want, when you want it. Fall and winter may be equally good for a renovation project, Renofi says..

Right now, you can still install new flooring or finish your basement and finish in time for the holidays. Temperatures are still warm enough for exterior painting, too, as well as many landscaping projects such as reseeding a lawn or planting bulbs and shrubs.

Should your roof need repairs, don’t hesitate. In areas with significant amounts of snow buildup in winter, a faulty or damaged roof may not last until spring. Roofing has the benefit of being a fairly quick project that won’t disrupt your home’s interior.

Interior painting is a good project to tackle in the fall, since the lower humidity will help paint dry faster. You’ll be spending more time inside those rooms soon enough; why not do so in a fresh and clean environment?

Larger projects such as a kitchen or bath overhaul may take more foresight, experts say. Plan at least a month or two in advance to get those renovations started, whether you decide to do them yourself or hire a contractor.

Winter has the added benefit of being contractors’ slowest season, so if you’re eyeballing a big job such as a new kitchen, bathroom or whole-house renovation, start planning and booking workers now. The only downside is that the weather may be messy.

Big renovations are likely to test your patience, considering ongoing supply-chain issues and labor shortages. Project timelines may be three to five times as long as they were in the past, U.S. News & World Report warns, and prices for materials and labor have gone up.

But there’s no time like the present to get started. Just remember to contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free, #contactless #donation #pickup of any castoffs you discover as you prepare to freshen your space.

Summer Reading for the Dedicated Declutterer, Part 3

Perhaps the best-recognized proponent of a #minimalist lifestyle, Joshua Becker offers a practical companion to his bestselling The More of Less in The Minimalist Home. The book offers easy-to-use strategies to achieve the mental benefits of #minimalism, including a room-by-room approach that starts by #decluttering the easiest room of the house and ends with the most challenging. Keep only what matters to you most, the book says; not only can #minimalism save you money, it can free up the time necessary to give back and engineer a fulfilling, productive life. (As always, you can give some of that unwanted #stuff back by scheduling a free #donation #pickup at ClothingDonations.org.) #SummerReading

Find Some Green Garb for St. Patrick’s Day

Planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and short on green gear? Make tracks to a local thrift store that’s supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. There, you’ll find all manner of Kelly-green garb, and if you shop early, seasonal decorations that suggest Irishness such as artificial shamrock garlands. Any day is a good day to #donate, of course; lightly used clothing, small appliances and other household goods of all colors and sizes are welcomed throughout the year as part of a free #donation #pickup. #Donations are tax-deductible, too, so schedule yours today! #StPatricksDay