With only two days to go until #Christmas, you might want to check the options at a #thrift store supplied by generous #donations to ClothingDonations.org if you’re short on #gifts. Not only do they offer plenty of lightly used goods at nice prices, you can often find unique #gifts that might be just right for a particular person on your list if you browse for a few minutes, no shipping required. And if you’re feeding a crowd over the weekend, you can get necessities such as linens, baking pans, serverware and other essentials for the holiday table — and maybe even the perfect ugly #holiday sweater or white elephant #gift. #HolidayTips
5 Ways to Shop Sustainably This Holiday Season
You’ve got a dilemma: You want to give gifts that your friends and family will love during the holiday season, but you want to do so without creating undue environmental impact — not such an easy task in today’s global economy.
Mass-market merchandise requires raw materials — petroleum products, rare-earth minerals and so on — that are often toxic to extract. Manufacturing byproducts and product packaging go into landfills and oceans, where they can last thousands of years.
What’s more, even things that break down or recycle easily often travel long distances to get to your front door, using fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. So even if you buy imported foods for the holiday feast, you add more carbon to the atmosphere.
But there are ways to at least minimize your impact during the #holidays:
1. Support small, local businesses. The closer you are to the product’s source, the less fuel it takes to get to you. Locally grown foodstuffs and handmade items — that one-of-a-kind scarf from the craft fair, for example — have minimal environmental impact and are usually better than anything you can find at a big-box store.
2. Shop sustainable businesses. Businesses that pledge to recycle, use #sustainable materials, plant trees and offset carbon emissions are easier on the environment; just be wary of claims that seem too good to be true. “Fast fashion” brands are some of the worst for creating trash.
3. Give an experience. Tickets to the movies, a local play or concert; a restaurant meal; or gift certificate to a yoga session, spa or salon make great gifts that don’t require a lot of sweatshop labor or create extra greenhouse gases.
4. Shop the thrift. Giving used goods a second chance is a great way to keep lots of clothing and household items out of landfills while saving money. Bonus? Buy from a #thrift shop supplied by #donations to ClothingDonations.org, and you’ll help fund veterans programs.
5. Donate. #Charitable organizations need help on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. Choose a cause that aligns with your giftee’s goals and #give in their name. It won’t be the same as unwrapping the latest air fryer or smart speaker, but still makes a thoughtful #gift.
#Giving can be its own reward — especially if you shop #sustainably.
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!
Start the School Year Clutter-Free
It’s back-to-school time, and if you are a parent of a student or a student yourself, you know that the sudden influx of homework, books and other supplies makes it a challenge to stay #organized and on top of tasks. But several strategies can help manage all that #stuff better while keeping track of assignments, due dates and extracurricular activities.
Parents can help young students stay #organized by streamlining the household environment. Invest in a chore chart, white board and academic planner, Good Housekeeping suggests. And to keep clothing, books, shoes and other items from getting #disorganized, get as many shelves, bins and cubbies as you need and label them.
A homework station is a good idea for students of all ages — and WFH parents, too. You’ll need a rolling cart, plastic storage baskets, a dry-erase calendar and a desk, Woman’s Day says. Post a calendar, a daily schedule and a pegboard organizer or bulletin board nearby, and it will be easier to keep track of tasks and needed supplies.
Teens who build good habits in school will keep them their whole lives. Student empowerment specialist Daniel Wong offers 30 tips on using routines to stay focused, get homework done on time and still have time to relax with family and friends.
One is to #declutter one’s #workspace on a weekly basis. “Look through all the papers, notes, brochures, and other things you’ve accumulated,” Wong says. “Recycle or throw away all the things you don’t need. Clutter attracts clutter, so if you declutter once a week, you’ll be more likely to stay organized in general.”
#Thrift stores supplied by #donations of clothing and goods to ClothingDonations.org are a great place to look for lightly used organizers, baskets and bins. You might even find a good selection of stylish #clothing that growing students can wear to #school at prices that won’t break the bank.
And if you find anything your students won’t be needing in the as they move ahead in school — disused sporting goods, books, outgrown clothing, etc. — contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free, contactless #donation #pickup. Here’s to a happy, healthy school year!
Dog Days: Decluttering With Pets
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!