Goodwill Thrifted Patio

Dover, Ohio- I was thrilled when Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio asked me to feature a Thrifted Patio for Spring 2018.

From the moment I pack the last of the Christmas decor away, I am planning for my spring patio.

It’s like getting a whole new room each summer, and the ability to change the color theme.

People often ask me why I have such good luck finding great items by thrift shopping. I'm happy to share my base principles:

  1. To find a bargain, you have to look everyday. My personal schedule allows me to go 3 days a week. If you don't get to it first, someone else will.
  2. At my local Goodwill store in New Philadelphia, I start at the left and walk the perimeter then head to all the in between aisles that brings me back to the cashier for checkout (Amazing how much you can see in 30 mins).
  3. I have purposely chosen neutral colors pallets on my interior walls and main pieces of furniture so I can make almost anything blend in.
  4. Spray paint and chalk paint is your friend. Watch as many YouTube tutorials as you can. It really is easy peasy to use. 
  5. The beauty of thrift shopping is having a statement piece or “look” that no one else can mimic.
  6. Don’t be afraid to use indoor pieces on the outside. Add all the layers possible (pillows, blankets, lamps, buffet, stools...)
  7. Putting a look together is a gradual process. I have a space at home where I gather and store items over a period of months.
  8. All of the items you see featured on my patio, I will be able to pull inside and use during the winter months.

 Outdoor Patio Furniture

This year, working with my existing exterior furniture, I decided to go with a white and black theme and pops of green from nature.


Angle view Outdoor Patio Furniture

I added new-to-me items all from my local hometown Goodwill in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Above sources: Cream boho style pillow case (Goodwill)....

Cream knitted throw blanket (Goodwill)

Cream pillows with black Pom poms (Goodwill)

Side table (Thrifted find)

2 brass lamps (because brass is in! Goodwill as well)


2 Copper stools (Goodwill)

Copper stools to be used as small tables or pulled apart to add extra seating. I love the copper against the black.

copper end tables

Pillow and end table

Above sources: Cream knit pillow (Goodwill)

Boho style throw that can be used as a table covering as well (Goodwill)

Large glass hurricane, mini white stacked dishes inside and candle (Goodwill)

Wicker stool spray painted copper by Rustoleum to match the other stools (Goodwill)


Stenciled Rug

I took my existing outdoor rug of 4 years, flipped it and used a stencil from to create a new design and pattern. The stencils is a great way to update your wood porch or concrete patio slab

White Dish Placesetting

I thrift shop for white dishes everywhere. They always match and compliment any theme party your might have.

Right Corner Patio View

Inviting outdoor space that will be summer’s best living room for morning coffee and sunday afternoon naps.


My patio is long and narrow, so i treat it like a galley kitchen. Across from the grill, I have placed a long dining buffet to be used for storage and outdoor entertaining and parties. The mirror will act as a holder for any wreath, decor banners, etc…

I splurged on the boxwood orbs to place in my existing urns. I love english gardens and they tie in nicely for added greens.

Sources: Buffet and mirror from Genevieve’s On 2nd Street, Dover, Ohio


Wine Box for Dessert Plates

Wine box from Goodwill housing dessert plates.

Before and After Patio Views

A comparison of my patio from last summer to this summer. It always felt washed out with the tan and light grays. A rug flipped and painted with a stencil, a wicker stool repainted, thrifted items for layering, light cream with black and copper accents for the fix. Happy Spring and summer decorating!


Cheri P| Commercial| Residential| e-Designs| Minimalist

Dover, Ohio| Instagram @cheri_interieurs

Dressing for Spring with Kristi of Trendy Teacher

Northeast Ohio weather can make Winter to Spring wardrobe transitions tough.  In a week’s time, we could have weather in the 60’s then snow/sleet and cold overnight.  I believe dressing for Spring can be simplified if you stick to the basics, which in my opinion are transitional pieces mixed with pops of pastel, neutral and or floral!  

First let’s start by talking blazers, long sweaters, and kimonos.  Sometimes I want to wear a cute floral top or pastel blouse, but it’s just too cold for me to pull off (I refuse to freeze all day!).  Remember that layers are your friend!  If I want to wear a thinner type of top with short or no sleeves, I’ll usually add a tank underneath and something over the top like a lighter colored cardi or opened button down.  Lighter colors, florals, and neutrals are my typical “go-to” choices. 

Spring Fashion 1

Let’s talk florals, since I already mentioned them!  I swear florals have been going strong for years and Spring 2018 is no different.  What else screams Spring like pretty flowers and color?  I have thrifted many floral pieces over the past few years, including older/vintage pieces and newer/trendy pieces.  A quick tip; find floral that you feel good in and that makes you happy (even when the showers outside seem never ending!).  I love pairing floral pieces with solids, or for a more bold look, a complementing pattern (which also seems to still be pretty popular when worn correctly).I assure you, floral can be a part of anyone’s wardrobe!  

Spring Fashion 2

Take those layers and florals and pair them with neutral and pastel solids for a finished Spring look.  When I think Spring, I think light and bright.  I tend to stick most of my darker clothing (cardigans, dress pants, sweaters etc.) back on the hanger unless I find inspiration on how to spin them into a Spring look (via an Instagram post or a pic found in Google images). I’ve got myself all pumped up about Spring and I think I should share some specific pieces that I think are clutch in any wardrobe: 1) light beige/oatmeal colored open cardigans/sweaters 2) a light, longer style kimono/duster 3) a white t-shirt that has a looser fit 4) colored/white jeans 5) some type of floral!  I have been on a shopping hiatus since participating in a 3 month no-shopping challenge, but that all ended on April 8th!  I plan to thrift wisely for key pieces to compliment my existing Spring wardrobe!  Wish me luck and happy thrifting! 

 Check out more from Kristi on Instagram @trendyteacher 

Thrifting: A Family Tradition

Hi, I’m Sarah Gott, an Arts educator and freelance artist and upcycler who has a passion for everything recycled, handmade or vintage. I’m teaming up with Goodwill to chat with you about projects and ideas I’ve not only worked on in my home, but around town and in the classroom. 

family tradition 1

Spring is the best time of year, isn’t it?  While I do enjoy the nicer weather and the days growing longer and warmer, it has more to do with the fact that it is the start of thrifting season! There is nothing better than waking up early on a Saturday and heading to a rummage sale, thrift store or flea market.

This love of thrifting started at an early age. When I was around 6 or 7, my mom ran a flower shop in Medina and my dad worked for the county so I stayed at my grandparents’ house during the day when I wasn’t in school.

family tradition 2

My grandma filled their home with carefully selected pieces that were always so perfectly put together no one would ever guess that she thrifted quite a bit of it. Her outfits, home décor, and DIY furniture were so stylish that even at a young age, I couldn’t help but find her fascinating, and I truly enjoyed spending time at her home.

I always looked forward the afternoons she would ask if my brother or sisters and me would like to go “treasure hunting.” She’d grab her running list of items she wanted to find, then we’d grab some snacks, load into her beige Crown Victoria, and head out, hopeful the thrifting God’s would grace us with bountiful gems. Putting $5 in our hands, she’d send us off to explore.

Of course, I would usually buy toys with the money she gave me. One that I still have and that I am saving for my future child is my doll, Kate. I’m not sure what it was about her, perhaps her gorgeous curly red hair or her perfect 1980’s laced dress but I was drawn to her immediately and I have loved her ever since.

family tradition 3

family tradition 4

She always had useful advice about thrifting, which I still use today. She said to go often so you can stay up-to-date on what’s new, and go on like a Wednesday when there are not as many people and the shelves are more likely to be filled. Have a running list of things you want to find so you don’t buy stuff that you don’t need, and think outside of the box when looking for items you could repurpose.

She believed that if you were true to yourself and only purchased quality items, you’d discover your style and be able to fill your home with things you truly love. It doesn’t matter if someone has used it before or that you found it at the bottom of a bin. There was a story behind it and you could give it new life and make it your own.

family tradition 5

family tradition 6

Now that I’m older and she has passed, I find myself in the aisle of thrift stores feeling that connection to her. There is an internal spark I get when I find a deal. It’s like a gift she has bestowed on me. Whether it’s now shopping with my Mom, or project I’m working on for a client, or something I’ve upcycled for my home, I hear her voice or remember the times we spent in the exact same place so many years ago. I truly believe her influence fuels a large part of my style, creativity and drive as an artist and maker. I am forever grateful for that.


100 logo 

Your local Goodwill is turning 100 years old this year – a very significant milestone! For a century now, Goodwill has stayed true to its mission of helping people become the best versions of themselves. 

How do we do that? In many ways. Most commonly, we provide the kind of skill-building programs and services people need to train for, find and keep good jobs. In other cases, we help parents reunite with their children through parenting classes. And we even provide 24/7/365 advocacy service to survivors of sexual assault through our affiliate, COMPASS.

You may - or may not - know that when you donate or shop at a Goodwill store, you are helping to raise the funds that support all of the above and more. (You could wish Goodwill a happy birthday simply by going on a little shopping spree!)

In the coming months, you’ll hear some extra buzz about our organization as we embark on a whole year of grass-roots celebrations that YOU are invited to! First up is the grand opening of our brand new retail store in North Canton – please stay tuned for the late April date, because you won’t want to miss all the fun we have planned for you.

Would you like to directly support the good work that Goodwill will do this year? You can always make a financial donation to us here that makes an instant impact on someone here in your community.

Happy birthday to us - and thank you for your support along the way.

Unicorns, Peace Signs and Cats

As a mom of three young girls (two of which are school age), I’m focused on buying the essentials for back to school. What are the essentials? To me, that means practical purchases that will last my little ones through the school year.

On our way to a Goodwill shopping trip this past weekend, I asked my seven and five year old daughters what they thought were ‘essentials’ as they headed into second and first grade.

After explaining what the word ‘essential’ actually means, they gave me their answer: unicorns, peace signs and cats.

Okay. This should be interesting.

BTS Mo 1

After years of being a savvy thrift shopper at Goodwill, my focus has always been on shopping with an open mind, and not shopping for a specific item. You know….like unicorns, peace signs and cats.

I was going to have to work hard to either find these ‘essentials’ or convince these little ones that this isn’t the way thrift shopping is really done.

By the time we entered the sliding doors of the Massillon Goodwill store, my daughters’ list of essentials had become more specific. Unicorns were now pink unicorns. Regular cats would no longer work; they had to be kittens on the clothes, now. And, peace signs needed to include sparkle.

Anxiety was creeping in.

Without sharing the step by step shopping experience, which may or may not have included a few ugly mommy moments, here’s a spoiler alert: We found unicorns, cats and peace signs. And, here’s how we did it.

BTS Mo 5

  1. Bribe them. Our Goodwill had a massive bin filled with all kinds of little toys and gadgets near the register. Everything in the bin was $1. We made a stop there first and they each picked out a favorite tchotchke. The catch? Mommy will buy this toy for you if you behave while we shop for our ‘essentials.’
  2. Always get a cart. Even if you think you won’t be buying much, you will need a place to put your purse. I hang items for each daughter on either side of the cart. It allows me to have a clear idea of what we might be purchasing.  It makes it much easier to find tops or bottoms to match.  Once we have a match, it goes into the belly of cart.
  3. #defineyourself That is the theme for this year’s Back to School Shopping at Goodwill. Really, it’s one of the few places I can let the girls pick what they want and create a personal style, while staying in budget. Most of the items we purchased were $2 or $3 each, and some were the Color of the Week tag which only cost $1. Maybe that hashtag should be #defineyourselfatgoodwillbecauseitdoesnotbreakthebank. Probably too long for marketing purposes.
  4. Shop sizes smaller and larger.  Although my seven and five year old daughters technically wear the size in clothes, their body types are very different. As a result, we are best to search other sizes for our treasures. Leggings, for example, can fit up to two sizes smaller or larger than what they typically wear. These bad boys are meant to stretch! Also, one size up works for many sweaters or cotton shirts that may have shrunk. The result? A perfect fit for my gals. 
  5. Check out all departments. Keeping the kiddos occupied and engaged during an hour-long shopping trip is not an easy task. I mixed it up with frequent stops in the wares section where they could peruse through bins and shelves filled with toys, pre-teen décor and new products. As a result, we walked away with some great toy organizers and some cute décor items. BTS Mo 6

The trip was awesome all around. Goodwill is big enough to have a great variety (even those ‘essentials’ they wanted) and small enough that I wasn’t worried about losing my kids in a mega-store. Prices were more than fair and I was surprised how many Color of the Week $1 items we found without even trying. I can’t imagine anywhere you can purchase three overflowing bags of back-to-school fun for less than $65, other than your local Goodwill.

The total haul:

  • 6 tops
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 scarf
  • 4 pairs of pants/leggings
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 4 toys/misc décor items


Boymom Shops Goodwill!

BTS Crista 1

As a boymom with two kids ages 2 and 9 months, I have yet to experience the “Back to School shopping” panic. But the “shopping with a toddler and a baby in public” panic on the other hand, I know that feeling quite well. It’s one of the main reasons my husband and I signed up for Amazon Prime two weeks after our second was born. 

BTS Crista 2

So needless to say, I was a little worried to venture into Goodwill’s Middleburg Heights Store for some shopping with my kids. But this mama was smart and we brought Grammy along for our shopping adventure. Our goal was to find a few fall clothing items for the boys and maybe a treat or two. Get in and get out as quickly as possible.

 Items in our cart at checkout?

  • 2 sweaters - $2.00 apiece
  • 1 Winnie-the-Pooh outfit - $2.00
  • 1 pair of overalls - $2.00
  • 1 Cars3 coloring book - $0.50
  • 1 slinky - $0.50
  • 2 dog toys - $3.00
  • 1 Fisher Price Little People Wheelies City Skyway with car for Grammy’s House - $7.00
  • 1 Minnie Mouse Shopping Cart - $2.00

BTS Crista 10 BTS Crista 15 BTS Crista 14

Total? About $20.00. In my opinion, you can’t beat that!

BTS Crista 3How did the kiddos fare? Pretty well!

We made the trek across the Goodwill parking lot without incident and my toddler let me hold his hand (Phew! He’s been exercising his independence lately, which is great, but not in parking lots). After we got inside the store I quickly got the baby in a shopping cart and my toddler decided he wanted to walk – but only after we got a special shopping basket for him to carry around his green frog stuffed animal in, of course. BTS Crista 4

We headed towards the kids clothing first and I was genuinely surprised at how easy it was to quickly find things right away. It’s so nice that Goodwill stores size and colorize clothing. I can’t even imagine trying to find the right size hanger by hanger with my kids in tow!

BTS Crista 5I immediately went back to MY childhood when I pulled a Winnie-the-Pooh sweat suit off the rack. It’s clear this outfit had been worn once or twice as a Halloween costume or something. It’s practically brand new with the sweat suit material still super soft. And for $2.00 I just couldn’t pass it up (even though I knew the hubby would role his eyes at it!). I think Disney is so expensive, so I was happy to find this deal.

The sweaters I picked up were from OshKosh and Children’s Place (awesome, but expensive brands). Again, both in like-new quality and for $2.00 apiece. And I finished up with a cute pair of bear overalls from Koala Kids. BTS Crista 7

Even though I have two boys, they were born at different times of the year. I’ve had to add a few seasonal items into the baby’s wardrobe and found Goodwill is a great place to find brand new or like-new baby clothes for $1.00 or $2.00 apiece.

BTS Crista 8On our way over to the toy aisle, we stopped to pick out dog toys for each of our dogs. The dog toys are brand new and are one of the products shoppers can always count on to find at Goodwill with our “New Goods” program. 

The kids toy aisle was actually fun. The toddler played with a couple cars and a fire helmet while my mom and I shopped. Grammy found a great deal on a Fisher Price Little People Wheelies City Skyway car ramp for her house. Both my boys are really into cars. I was so happy she found it!  

BTS Crista 9

The Minnie Mouse shopping cart? It was either buy it for $2.00 or endure a public toddler meltdown at my place of employment. You’ll guess which option I wisely chose. 

Finally, on our way over to checkout, I noticed fabulous closeouts for new parents or grandparents. Goodwill had three brand new pack n’ plays and a brand new Eddie Bauer travel system! I couldn’t believe my eyes!

 BTS Crista 13 BTS Crista 12

BTS Crista 11The checkout process was quick and painless (except when we had to hand over the Minnie Mouse shopping cart for 30 seconds). And just like that, we were on our way.

It was an enjoyable shopping trip with the boys and my mom. I think we walked away with some wonderful merchandise for a small investment. While I’m probably not ready to give up my Prime membership EVER, I think a trip to Goodwill is a fun experience for kids and parents alike.  

Stay strong out there fellow boymoms! I know you’re working hard to keep the chaos in check from son up to son down! 



Goodwill for Back to School? Yes!

You JUST put away the last of the school stuff from last year - which may or may not have included a science experiment in a forgotten lunchbox - so guess what time it is? Time for BACK to school shopping!

So fun, and so expensive. Especially if you have "tweens," like me, who can officially wear "adult" clothes. Simple t-shirt? More expensive. Cool pair of jeans? WAY more expensive. Shoes? Don't even get me started.

Luckily, I - and by extension (and the fact they have no debit card) my girls - are not afraid to thrift shop! About a week ago, we visited the Goodwill store in Jackson Township for a Back to School thrifting session (sesh, in tweenspeak). 

When I thrift shop with my girls, I tell them we are looking to fill in around the edges basically. Anyone with kids this age knows they definitely have certain things they CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT, and so we do go ahead and selectively order online those particular items - within a predetermined budget. (I'm not crazy!) 

Those things, while essential in their eyes, will probably not give you the quantity you need to make it through a week or so without having to do laundry every.single.night. That's where Goodwill comes in! Having already spent the bulk of my back to school budget, I needed some things that could fill up the closet on the cheap. 

Here are just some examples of the kinds of staples we found at Goodwill:


Everyday hoodies - this one is from Old Navy (where we get those anyway), for a cool $4.

Athletic shorts - these are Nike (they MUST be Nike) and we got them for $3! I would usually be adding a "0" to that when I order them online. 

I was happy with the selection, and I haven't even gotten to the best part yet: MOMSCORE and BONUSFIND. First, let me define these for you:

A MOMSCORE is when you find something for yourself - and in this case I TRULY was not even looking. This Gap jacket was hanging on the end of a rack and I think it actually said my name when I walked by. $8! It still has the tags on it - a no-brainer.

momscore2 (1)

A BONUSFIND is when you find one of those items your kids CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT - but at Goodwill! My daughter has been asking for a Vera Bradley bookbag for a while. Let's just say they are more than we normally budget for bookbags (I'm sure Vera is a nice person, but geez). I had contemplated making this one of her "special" items that we do order, but I am happy to report I let my frugal side talk me out of that - and then we found this for $10! She could not be happier, even if she will not pose for a photo (Moms, you understand). 


So, PLEASE think about educating your kids about how shopping Goodwill for back to school can mean more bang for your buck - which translates into more stuff in their closet! With plenty of options, the bus-is-getting-here-in-three-minutes-and-I-have-NOTHING-to-wear meltdowns could be fewer and farther between (we all know they will still happen).

Happy shopping!

The Growth of Goodwill

Goodwill Industries International, Inc., widely known as Goodwill, is one of the most well-known charitable organizations in the United States and also has a presence in 13 other countries. While a majority of people only see Goodwill as a retail thrift chain and a place to donate their gently used clothes, furniture and household goods, this is only a portion of our nonprofit organization’s goal. We're also a social service agency dedicated to helping people in the communities it serves by providing job skills training and services they need to obtain gainful employment and improve their lives. This dedication began more than 100 years ago and continues to be a driving force in communities across the country.

From Humble Beginnings

Goodwill got its start in Boston in 1902 when Methodist minister and early social innovator, Reverend Edgar J. Helms developed a new system to help the poor. Helms set out to collect used clothing and household goods from wealthier areas of the city. He then hired and trained poverty-stricken individuals to mend apparel and repair household items like furniture and appliances. Once refurbished, everything was either resold or given to the individuals who performed the work. A new philosophy was born, “Not Charity, but a Chance,” and the system worked well. It allowed individuals to break away from the degradation of asking for a handout and instead infused them with the dignity of earning for themselves.

Edgar J Helms


Growth of a Charitable Giant

Goodwill differed from many of the other charities of the time by establishing stores where donated items could be sold for profit. Then, these monies could be used to pay the workers that helped repair the various goods. Helms believed that everyone had the potential to work, given the right opportunities and training. By working and doing for themselves, disadvantaged individuals not only kept their dignity, they also were empowered to take charge of their situations and make their lives better through their own toil. The system worked so well that Helms’ vision grew into what has become a multi-billion-dollar nonprofit organization inspired by the same principles. While Goodwill workers no longer repair items, the same business model is used today in every one of our more than 3,200 stores.

Goodwill History

Local History

Several of these stores are operated by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, Inc. This Goodwill was formed by the merging of Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and Goodwill Industries of East Central Ohio, Inc. in 2005. Together we have been serving local communities throughout Cleveland, East Central Ohio and a portion of West Virginia for nearly 100 years. We serve 10 counties, including Carroll, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Harrison, Jefferson, Stark, Tuscarawas and a portion of Lake Counties in Ohio and Brooke and Hancock Counties in West Virginia. We not only have retail stores located throughout these areas, but also offer various programs to help improve employment opportunities and the quality of life for all the individuals we serve.

Although times have changed, Helms’ vision has remained intact. Goodwill continues to strive to help communities everywhere. With your donations and patronage of the many retail stores around the country, you can, too.Centennial Blog Post

The last time you replaced your computer, what did you do with the old one?

If you can’t remember, it probably wasn’t a meaningful experience. Next time, consider donating your computer and/or other used technology to Goodwill’s ComputersAgain Program.

ComputersAgain is a Goodwill program that delivers mission by connecting refurbished computers to people who otherwise could not afford this technology, while reducing e-waste and creating opportunity.

Computers (mainly desktops, including monitor, keyboard, mouse, and tower) are made available for $85, after need is identified through an application process. Individuals, schools, and other non-profits are all eligible to purchase ComputersAgain computers, although most are purchased by individuals and families who require the significant cost savings in order to participate in the digital world.

Goodwill staff, volunteers and people in Goodwill programs focused on computer training set out to work every day on the donated computers, tackling each piece individually before reassembling it into a like-new machine. All components are wiped, cleaned and tested; once assembled, it’s loaded with Windows 10 – and then the entire unit goes through a quality control process before being placed on a shelf marked “ready.”

In 2016, 319 computers were provided, and 81 had been provided as of June 7, 2017.

So the next time you upgrade your computer, or if you think you may qualify to receive a computer through the ComputersAgain Program, think Goodwill.

Where to donate

Apply for a ComputersAgain computer

ComputersAgain blog




Benefits of Donating to Goodwill

Ditch the dumpster and donate your items at Goodwill! It is earth friendly, supports an organization that provides valuable services to individuals in your community and it could even save you a few dollars on your income taxes. Simply gather your donations, ensure each item is in good condition, drop it off at Goodwill and pick up a receipt for a possible tax deduction.

What Can You Donate?

You can donate most of your gently used clothing, furniture and household goods to Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. If your items are in saleable condition, donate them to one of your local Goodwill stores or attended donation centers. Cuyahoga and Lake County residents can also schedule a free pickup for large donations, like furniture. If you’re unable to bring your Goodwill donations in yourself and you meet the three-piece minimum, reserve a free pickup.

Goodwill Donations are Tax Deductible

When you drop off your Goodwill donations, an attendant will provide you with a donation receipt. If you itemize your deductions on your federal tax return, you may be able to use this receipt to claim a charitable deduction. According to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines, you can deduct the fair market value of the items you’ve donated throughout the year. Fair market value isn’t the price you originally paid for the items, but the price a buyer would be willing to pay for the items in their current condition. While Goodwill can provide a list of average prices for common items sold in its stores, a charity isn’t allowed to tell you what these items are worth. Instead, refer to IRS Publication 561 (Determining the Value of Donated Property) and/or consult with a local tax adviser. Try using this estimating tool or referring to this donation guideline from Goodwill Industries International.

Donating Helps Goodwill Mission and the Environment

Besides your potential tax deduction, donating items to local charities helps keep more stuff out of the landfill. Best of all, your Goodwill donations help create opportunities for community members who need to find a job or build much needed job skills.